Expanding a family business into new areas is no small feat, especially when that business is still federally prohibited in the United States.
But David and Idan Spitz have grown their Colorado-based marijuana business, Kind Love, considerably over the past two years, opening three stores in two states while crafting deals to jump into California, Nevada and even their native country of Israel.
On the heels of opening two new medical dispensaries in Oklahoma, Kind Love recently acquired and converted Mary Jane's House, a north Denver dispensary that had closed during a state Marijuana Enforcement Division investigation, into another Kind Love store. The Mary Jane's House purchase came with two licensed cultivation facilities, a key acquisition for Kind Love's growing footprint in Colorado.
"That will almost double our production capacity and allows us to make our product available to bigger audiences," David says.
In addition to operating two stores in Colorado, Kind Love sells wholesale flower to other dispensaries. The new grows have enabled Kind Love to lower flower prices, David says, as well as debut a line of cheaper marijuana shake sold in pouches with rolling papers, similar to a pack of tobacco.
Kind Love also now produces and sells a new line of concentrated THC products, Turbocore. The Spitzes view Turbocore, a toothpick-sized stick of cannabis concentrate meant to slide into joints or spliffs, as their ticket into even more stores across the country.
"It's a full-spectrum extract made of water hash and a trichome shell. You just stick it in and light it up," David explains. "There's really nothing like it out there."
Kind Love currently has agreements to sell products in California and Nevada, and is working on deals to offer Turbocore in Illinois and Massachusetts, according to David.
A graduate of Tel Aviv University and a veteran of the Israeli Air Force, David moved the Spitzes to America in 1997. Proud of the leading role that Israel has taken in medical marijuana research, David says he still has university connections. After his home country opened for medical marijuana sales in 2018, he began talking with license holders over there, too.
"They really need branding. I've been approached by several companies to bring our brand there to Israel, so we are going to have a cultivation and distribution there. It's only medical, but this will be under the Kind Love brand," David notes. "What we do is very data-driven. We know today what we're going to harvest at the end of the year. Each plant we put in, we know what we're going to do with it."
Preferring to stay away from combustible inhalation, David doesn't smoke anything — but Idan has for some time, and started earlier than David would have liked. As with most father-son interactions involving cannabis and adolescence, there were some rocky periods. "I won't even say what I did when I caught him playing with it for the first time," says David, recalling Idan's early years with cannabis.
"He'd bust me and break my pipes a lot," Idan remembers.
While he didn't approve of his young son's consumption, David saw opportunities in the cannabis field, and opened Kind Love as a medical dispensary in 2010, when Idan was pursuing a Ph.D. in plant biology. At first, David didn't want Idan to join the new family business. Idan wasn't interested, either; he studied biofuels at the University of Illinois and co-authored three peer-reviewed research papers for his doctorate work.
But Idan's past with cannabis and his biology research background eventually merged a couple of years into his graduate studies. While in Denmark studying bio-energy, he realized that his scientific curiosity had been taken over by plant genomics, which happens to be an important factor in cannabis breeding.
"I took a little break from Ph.D., and my dad asked me to come work with him," he recalls.
Idan took a position in Kind Love's cultivation before becoming the company's lead grower and chief operating officer. He's now running the new Denver store at 3899 Quentin Street, and has more ideas for Kind Love's future.
"I know exactly how I'm going to do this and how I want things done. I'll still get my Ph.D. one day, but I'm having fun being a drug dealer for now," Idan says, looking at David with a sheepish grin.
David, who says he no longer minds being called Pablo Escobar by his kids, is also in on the joke.
"Friends don't let friends smoke mids," the elder Spitz concludes.