This is not your ordinary vape pen.
Fed up with vomit-inducing concentrates and throwaway vape pens overcrowding the market, Sergio, a Pasadena-bred entrepreneur, created Spliffin — a line of vape hardware that delivers luxury highs on the go.
Unlike the clunky oil rigs that’ll run you $70 a gram for top-shelf wax, Spliffin condenses this experience into a sleek cartridge for $60 a gram. Add that to the fact that their pocket-sized hardware packs one of the cleanest high you’ll ever experience, and that might explain why Spliffin consistently sells out of their goods.
We chatted with the Spliffin team to find out about the company that wants to change the way you get high, one enlightening hit at a time.
We heard Spliffin was started by a guy named Sergio, but he’s pretty elusive. Who is he and why all the hush hush?
Sergio is the founder and CEO of Spliffin. He’s a native Angelino and successful entrepreneur. He’s a laid back, down-to-earth chief executive who leads by example. Sergio is not particularly fond of the spot light. Rather than promote himself, he’s more interested in seeing Spliffin grow into a world-class brand.
Before Spliffin, was he always interested in getting into the marijuana industry?
Sergio has more than a decade of experience in the industry, growing and designing grow operations throughout the country. He grew his first cannabis plant when he was a teenager, realizing early on that he loved growing and cultivating the plants just as much as he appreciated their euphoric effects. One of the reasons that Spliffin concentrates taste so incredibly pleasing, is because they are derived from the award-winning flowers that Sergio has been growing for years.
We heard the concept for Spliffin was inspired by him trying to quit cigs. Did it work?
Sort of. At least it did for about six months. He’s reverted to smoking traditional cigarettes again, though much fewer than before. He used to go through a pack a day. Now a pack will last him a week or more. We’ll blame his relapse on the pressures of building an iconic marijuana brand.
Over the past few years, entrepreneurs eager to bank off the vape trend have oversaturated the market. What makes your products more than a phase?
It’s simple; Patient feedback is guiding Spliffin’s evolution. Since launching in September of 2014, we’ve built quite an emphatic and loyal patient base. Their comments, suggestions, even the complaints, have a genuine impact on our operations.
If you offer people a forum to engage with you, they’ll tell you exactly what they want and expect. Then it’s up to us to channel that feedback into developing products that will meet or exceed their expectations. In fact, three of the new varietals we’ll be introducing soon are directly inspired by customer feedback.
It also helps to have someone like Mel Frank on your team, but the people that use our products are the ones driving us forward.
Is Mel helping grow the plants you use in the product?
Mel lends his expertise to several operational areas. His input was integral to the development of the Spliffin cultivation and extraction processes. Currently, his focus is on quality, helping to ensure the purity and potency of our concentrates. He is also heavily involved in the R&D process for new products.
His guidance is invaluable. After 45 years of growing, researching, writing, publishing, and lecturing about marijuana, Mel is recognized worldwide as one of the premier authorities in the marijuana industry.
How did you develop the unique high fashion look to your marketing?
Spliffin reflects Sergio’s personal style and desire to create a brand inspired by current, luxurious, contemporary design. Beyond the quality and craftsmanship of our products, we’re building community and cultivating lifestyle. Our marketing approach looks and feels entirely different from others, thanks to our incredibly talented and creatively driven team.
What’s it like to experience a Spliffin high versus the high you get from the average vape pen and concentrate on the market?
Clean. Uplifting. Blissfully relaxing. Spliffin’s euphoric effects are a direct result of the purity of our concentrates. Our products are 100% solvent-free, meaning users won’t experience nauseating, distasteful effects associated with many other providers. Spliffin concentrates are rich in terpenes – the aromatic hydrocarbons that give each strain its signature flavor profile. The effects are going to be balanced and consistent. Our proprietary manufacturing and quality control processes ensure that our products are going to deliver the expected effects, each and every time.
Why did the team choose to debut in California and not Colorado?
California drives marijuana culture. No disrespect to other states, but California is the heart and hub of this industry. It is home to the pioneers that started the movement more than half a century ago. The best and brightest minds in the industry are here. Our climate is optimal. Resources are plentiful. And of course, California is the birthplace of the cultural and lifestyle trends that eventually sweep across the country.
Despite legalization in CO, we’ve heard about a lot of small businesses struggling to survive against the bigger companies moving in. When you were there for Cannabis Cup, did you notice this?
It was only a matter of time. Cannabis legalization is gaining momentum, and social acceptability is at an all-time high. So it makes sense that the business sector would want to capitalize on the enormous potential in this industry. Eventually, everything will balance out, and our industry will look like so many others. We’ll have the giant mass-producers that will dominate huge chunks of the market, and we’ll have smaller, specialized boutique companies that cater to a particular demographic.
So, which side do you see Spliffin on?
Ideally, we’d like to meet demands on both sides of the fence. Quality and legality are the two biggest determining factors. We’re going to take our time and feel our way through the growth process. Overextending, like others in the business, leads to compromises in quality and effectiveness… Sacrifices we’re not willing to make.
From a legal standpoint, we’ll have to see how the legalization movement plays out over the course of the next few elections. The industry could see unprecedented progress, or we could experience a wave of reversals that push the industry into a backward spiral.
How does Spliffin deal with the inconsistency between MJ being regionally legal but illegal under federal law?
All we can do is adhere to the rules enacted by California courts and elected leaders. Legalization is on the horizon, but until we know for sure what that means exactly, we have to tread somewhat cautiously.
We’ve taken the initiative to standardize our operation, holding ourselves to a higher level of accountability. We’re hoping that once the industry evolves and safety guidelines are implemented, production standards and safety metrics will likely mirror the practices already employed by Spliffin.
How long does it take to create a new concentrate?
It takes 4-6 months to develop a new product. Conceptual and exploratory steps are the fun part. One of the most difficult steps is ensuring scalable consistency. Growing and caring for our raw material is a lengthy and costly endeavor. Not every cannabis variety translates into a desirable concentrate product, so we’re constantly reevaluating potential new products throughout the entire process. We don’t move forward with a product if we can’t comfortably guarantee that each batch is going to meet or exceed our standards.
What’s in the works for the Spliffin team?
As far as concentrates, Spliffin will introduce a few seasonal blends and new concentrate varieties for spring. We’re also excited about developing some very cool and informative video content for our site and social media feeds.
Lastly, we’ll be unveiling multiple new product lines developed in collaboration with cultural influencers.
So “How To” hacks for THC vapers?
Some are purely instructional. Others are light-hearted and fun. The videos are for anyone — over 18 yrs. old, with a valid doctors rec — that could benefit from Spliffin’s euphoric effects.