4 Cannabis Companies Score Big after other Purchases Failed
When a company whiffs on making a large purchase on machinery, the consequences could be dire. With the cannabis pre-roll market soaring, time and quality are foremost when trying to create a winning bottom line. Not all machines can compete at the Major-League level and a big price tag doesn’t assure success.
Convincing a cannabis company in need of replacement equipment to handle a growing need is not easy, particularly when other purchases have resulted in dismal failures.
Proving that a pre-roll machine that costs much less actually works better than the one previously purchased is even more difficult to convey. When a machine costs one-third of what was shelled out before, losing quickly turns into winning.
Hefestus was not the first to the marketplace when it introduced the Aura 2000 in February 2019. To get the groundbreaking and cost-effective machine into a cannabis manufacturer’s facility took sound salesmanship and a strong leap of faith on behalf of the purchaser. Telling a potential customer that the Hefestus model was better than the one they purchased for three times the price is a tall order.
The proof is in the pre-roll, in labor costs, time consumption, finish quality, smokeabiity and the Hefestus Aura 2000 has shown just that to some of the largest producers of cannabis pre-rolls in the United States. These four cannabis giants scored big from gambling on another company with a much lower price
Copperstate Farms is one of the largest greenhouse cannabis producers in North America, with over 1.7 million square feet of canopy and 40 acres under glass, bringing big agriculture, consumer packaged goods and pharmaceutical industries together to form a major league player.
The Farm at Snowflake in Arizona was built in 1998 as a hydroponic tomato greenhouse in what is now recognized as an ideal geography and climate for farming cannabis. Copperstate has 50 different cannabis strains currently in production, with 50 in development.
With the current boom in pre-rolls, Copperstate had an enormous challenge: keep up with a high demand.
After getting poor statistics in production, Copperstate purchased two Aura 2000 machines and a grinder.
“We struggled to find the right one because we fold our prerolls and do not twist them,” said Barb Hansen, Pre-Roll, Packaging & Inventory Manager for Copperstate. “I think the quality is as close to looking handmade as we can get.”
The Aura 2000 machines were installed in June 2021.
“We are producing at least 100,000 pre-rolls a week and our highest was 1,400 pre-rolls an hour. We also purchased the grinder and absolutely love the grinder.”
Copperstate had tried two previous grinders “but they were finicky about the moistures.”
Copperstate purchased the PSE 5, which can grind up to 40 pounds of lower an hour.
Copperstate also raved about the service and had an easy time installing the machines, despite the difference in time zones between Arizona and Israel.
“We also had really good service — especially at first,” Hansen said. “We were able to remote right into the machine and help us adjust to be strain specific. The amount of service has been amazing. We have been very happy with that. I would definitely recommend the company. I think they are awesome.”
Most importantly, Copperstate already has recorded an impact on its bottom line.
“We have seen an 8 percent reduction of labor costs,” Hansen said.
Swing and a Miss
Gary Lasalle, VP of Operations and partner with King’s Garden Inc., had swung and missed on an expensive pre-roll machine but had the courage to face another pitch. Then he hit a homer with the Hefestus Aura 2000.
“We tried another manufacturer that failed miserably,” Lasalle said. “We were gun shy about another but everything Hefestus said, they did. Their equipment is top notch.”
The original and largest cultivator in California’s renowned Coachella Valley, the King’s Garden goal is “to produce a family of perfectly consistent, creatively curated, superior quality cannabis.”
Put into use starting last Nov. 1, production now includes more than 35,000 pre-rolls a week with 7,500 5-packs hitting dispensary shelves.
“The Aura 2000 is working out phenomenally,” Lasalle said. “We are meeting all of our expectations and the Aura 2000 is doing everything they said. Our efficiency has increased, and the production has increased greatly. We’re saving money and the service has been great.”
Lasalle also replaced his former grinder with a new Hefestus Industrial size.
“We felt in order to meet our standard and we needed to use yours instead of our machine.”
The Hefestus Industrial grinder was designed for dried and frozen cannabis stems with buds. The grinder separates stems from all parts of buds and cuts dry buds into small “flakes” to be consumed by smoking or vaporizing
A Stand-Up Triple
T-Rex Distribution decided to take a bigger approach to pre-rolls by purchasing an Aura 2000 machine in 2019 that is capable of making three sizes of pre-rolls.
T-Rex Distribution has cultivated relationships from San Diego, Eureka, Humboldt County, the High Desert, Central Valley, Central Coast, and Southern California.
In order to keep up with demand of supplying dozens of clients, T-Rex turned to the Aura 2000 and can now produce 1 gram, .7 gram and .5 gram pre-rolls.
“We can almost double the production of what we could before when we run that machine and almost triple the production of hand rolling,” Otto Escobar, facility manager, said. “After previous failures, now we have product that works.”
A Big Win for the Bottom Line
Speed in producing pre-rolls is foremost at High Grade of Phoenix to roll up a vast amount of premium-grade flower.
High Grade produces premium-grade flower and extracts, ensuring environmental controls are set to optimal levels in a manner that produces only the cleanest, most potent, terpene-rich cannabis in all its forms.
“It’s given us a more cost-effective option to automate a product sku that is extremely labor intensive and inefficient to produce,” said Jessica Ragel, Director of Operations. “The Aura 2000 has helped us meet demand needs and sustain stock on the shelf.
High Grade began using the machine last June.
“The service was great, and this team is extremely friendly. They do their best to set their clients up for success,” Ragel said. “They also take feedback well, which is nice as a purchaser of their equipment. They want to know how to improve.”
The results have been dramatic.
“We have been able to reduce the time it takes to produce pre-rolls by about 70%.and overall, that reduces the cost to produce,” Ragel said.
Hefestus Technologies Ltd, located in Caesarea, Israel, has been a technology leader for over 30 years, developing high-level packaging machinery for customers around the world.