Smoking a pre-roll usually involves trading a certain amount of quality for convenience, but Cherry believes that you'll keep Kameleons around after giving them a try.
One of Colorado's most popular flower brands recently introduced Only Kameleons, a line of pre-rolled joints made from the same strains grown by the Cherry cultivation. Known for staying on the cutting edge of new cannabis genetics, Cherry wanted a new pre-roll line that spoke to its passion for rare strains, according to sales account manager Zack Venokur.
A south Florida transplant who moved to Colorado to work in the cannabis trade, Venokur knows a thing or two about exotic reptiles and cannabis. To learn more about Cherry's Kameleons and how important diversification is for the company, we caught up with Venokur.
Westword: So what's behind the name, Only Kameleons?
Zack Venokur: Chameleons are some of the most exotic reptiles in the world. It can shoot its tongue twice the length of its body, change colors based on emotions and habitat, and adjust to its settings, kind of like how we have to be in the Colorado cannabis market. So instead of "exotics only" or something like that, we wanted to use an animal with cool packaging. A chameleon has pop and catches consumer attention, and the joints are sort of like little chameleons, too. Each tin has three 0.6-gram joints, which is around a half-eighth overall.
Most companies sell one or two joints at a similar price, so we can tailor to anybody in the market. It's like a little dog walker, something you can smoke while walking your dog or chatting with your friends outside. Quick and easy.
Are they the same Cherry strains sold at dispensaries?
Yeah, it's an extension of Cherry. The joints are strain-specific, with two parts trim, one part popcorn buds and one part kief. The palate is the same as Cherry flower, but it's just a little easier, since it's already a rolled joint.
Cherry now has flower, rosin and pre-rolled products, and has a partnership with Bosky edibles. How important is diversifying the brand in today's cannabis world?
Being fully integrated across the board is very important. In a perfect world, we'd have it all at the same spot: a grow, a lab, a dispensary and everything else. Right now we have the grow, make our oil in-house and use all of our Cherry strains. Obviously, flower is in our wheelhouse and very important to use, but having products across the board just gives us more exposure across the state. And when someone really enjoys something like our Dank Dough flower and they want to see what it tastes like in rosin or Bosky syrup, we can do that.
People who like Cherry are usually different from most smokers out there, and they like exotic strains. We try to focus on the experience, sort of like wine connoisseurs, so people can talk about a crazy flavor or full palate with their friends, as well as the smell. Checking off those boxes is huge at Cherry, so that's why we're excited to put all of that into an easily accessible pre-rolled joint.
As someone who works closely with dispensaries and consumers, what cannabis trends have you noticed lately?
It comes in waves. I think joints and popcorn buds are popular right now. As far as strain tastes, though, those go in waves. All of a sudden, GMO will be popular, then you'll see people going back toward sativas like Super Lemon Haze and Golden Goat. Over the last year, we've seen people going way back to their OGs, old-school smokes, as well as new Sherbets and Gelatos. And right now we're seeing people chase a lot of exotics, which have big, bulbous buds, taste insane and smell even better. A lot of cannabis companies are going after exotics, but you have to be willing to spend the money on them, have great growers and keep the nuts and bolts of a cultivation facility there. You need a lot of things in place to grow special flower, especially at a large scale.
Is there much weed in the middle at the moment? It seems like we have a handful of great growers at the top, and the rest has been a race to the bottom.
I feel like the last couple of years, we've really made a mark. I really think we're up there with flower, without trying to be cocky. But when it comes to price, and commercial grows that are doing big numbers every few weeks, I really think we're up there with the Snaxlands and Cuban Crews. We're not just trying to get people medicated, but provide a real experience along with it.
What strains have you been enjoying lately?
My favorite strain we have right now would be Quicksand, which is a cross of Jealousy #2 and Otter Pops. It's got this crazy flavor of fruit, gas and pepper. It's got so many flavors to it, like ratatouille. Dank Dough has been a staple of ours for a long time. It just has a knockout high from Gelato, but has Zkittlez on the palate, too. Another one I like right now is the Bernscotti, which is a cross of Biscotti and Jealousy. The Jealousy isn't the best yielder, but it has been a really good strain to cross with.