It seems another day doesn’t come and we aren’t hearing about some new legitimately innovative startup that was born as a direct result of the proliferation of cannabis legalization.
Now that growers can grow marijuana without fear of jail and in bulk means a whole host of complimentary businesses are popping up to cater to the demands of this new market and consumer base.
An exciting analogy to consider is the cell phone case market. This industry was tiny prior to the release of the iPhone, which because of its touch screen and new form factor, required extra protection in the form of a snap on case.
Fast forward a few years and the cell phone accessory market is now estimated to be valued at over $93.01 billion dollars for example.
While it is still early days, we here at HerbCEO are optimistic about the potential of cannabis accessories in a society that is increasingly open and proud about using the cannabis plant in one form or another, from CBD oils to “smart” vaporizers, to clothing and even stash jars.
But it isn’t just the use of cannabis products that’s on the rise, it’s the pride in which picky consumers are choosing to exhibit and display their newly legalized lifestyle choices.
Gone are the days when cannabis was a dirty word, to be used in dark musty basements, out of site of private eyes. No, today is all about taking pride in the natural beauty of the meticulously grown cannabis flower.
Today cannabis farmers and retailers legally operate openly and freely and are placing an ever greater importance on the aesthetic of the trade.
This can be seen in the new clean and modernist aesthetics of upstart brands like Tokyo Smoke shop and Seth Rogen’s newly founded Houseplant, both of which are turning the typically grungy connotations of cannabis use on their heads.
In this new brave world in which the cannabis plant is to be admired and even judged as an art (which isn’t weird at all, florists have been working under similar critical standards for centuries) there is an ever increasing need to transport, store, and exhibit cannabis flower in a way in which all of it’s subtle beauties can be appreciated by discerning shoppers and admirers alike.
One brand that is doing just that is Smokus Focus. Below we dig in with an exclusive interview with Sam Whetsel, CEO and co-founder of this enlightening little product.
Putting Flower Under the Spotlight, Literally
Smokus Focus is in the business of helping beautiful flower live up to its fullest potential under clear magnification and direct illumination.
For cannabis aficionados selecting a strain comes down to a variety of complex factors such as smell, appearance, and consistency.
Unfortunately, many cannabis retailers focus more on the business side of selling and neglect the conditions required to allow the flower to shine its brightest.
For example, a shop may lack natural lightning, or may intentionally have very low lighting as part of an overall interior design aesthetic but this makes inspecting and admiring the actual cannabis flower a challenge.
Likewise, many shops keep flower piled high in massive glass jars stored out of reach of customers, who are only able to admire the plant once their turn at the counter has arrived, and this is usually limited to just a quick smell.
“Because the cannabis plant is extremely nuanced and beautiful, our container allows users to fully engage with their cannabis flower” – Sam Whetsel
Smokus Focus display and storage jars are high-tech capsules designed to put flower on display for appreciation up close and personal, from every angle, allowing consumers to make purchase decisions with confidence knowing full well what they’re getting with any particular strain.
Smokus Focus Magnification Jar Features
Depending on the retailer or consumer’s needs, Smokus Focus offers 3 different sized examination jars, including The Jetpack, The Eclipse, and The Horizon.
Each jar has built-in LED lights for full illumination (been using mine for 3 years now without any issues) of the plant material inside, as well as crystal-clear acrylic construction for durability and transparency.
Most impressive are the built-in magnification lenses which allow you to inspect flower at the most minute detail, seeing every little hair, every subtle shade of color up-close and personal.
Each stash jar features:
- High-output LED lights
- Lightning-fast USB-C charging
- Secure locking
- Retail-friendly tethering capabilities
- Crystal-clear magnification lenses
- 100% airtight sealing
As Smokus Focus say, “..the magnification lens gives you a nearly microscopic view of every color, every detail, every nuance of the contents. You realize this isn’t just a display – this is a work of art”
We absolutely love this perspective, appreciating cannabis for all of it’s beauty, so we got in touch with Sam Whetsel, Smokus Focus Co-Founder and CEO and asked him a few questions about Smokus Focus, the cannabis industry, and the growing “cannabis sommelier” movement within it.
Needless to say the conversation was quite “illuminating” and is something we plant to do more of here at Herb CEO..
HerbCEO Interview with Sam Whetsel of Smokus Focus
Hello and thank you for taking the time to share a little more about your company. I will be adding images/video of your product to the published article as well as product details and a link so readers can learn even more/purchase if they like. Below are some questions I am personally curious about and which I think readers will also find interesting. Please feel free to answer in as much detail as you like, this is a casual style interview. Thank you again for sharing with Herb CEO!
HerbCEO: Hi Sam, thank you very much for taking the time to share a little bit about your company Smokus Focus.
Sam: Smokus Focus was started from my home when my partner and I discovered that most of the dispensaries that we were encountering seemed as if they were hiding the cannabis and not wanting to showcase the flower.
It was always in little plastic bags and jars. Being experienced retailers ourselves, we decided to prototype and create the Smokus Focus magnification jar in order to best highlight the beautiful cannabis on display inside of retail stores.
HerbCEO: Off the bat, would you mind sharing a little bit about your background? What drew you into the cannabis industry and into making premium stash and display jars?
Sam: My partner and I have always been entrepreneurs. I have owned several small businesses in my hometown of Charleston SC and my partner Dan still currently owns a large bicycle retail operation in Charleston as well as an import consulting business.
Both of us have used cannabis for our entire adult lives and we wanted to be a part the growing legal cannabis industry.
HerbCEO: Very briefly, can you share some features that makes your product unique? Why, if a cannabis enthusiast is reading this, should they pop on over to your shop and consider investing in a Smokus Focus stash jar?
Sam: The Smokus Focus jar hands down offers the best possible way to view and experience your cannabis flower.
Because the cannabis plant is extremely nuanced and beautiful, our container allows users to fully engage with their cannabis flower by visualizing and understanding the unique characteristics that make up their particular flower strain.
HerbCEO: It seems brands focusing on the higher end of the legal cannabis market seem to be increasing in popularity. Do you feel this “cannabis sommelier” culture is growing or have these people always existed, in the shadows, of cannabis prohibition?
Sam: We have seen this as well. Before cannabis legalization, most users had to hide these beautiful plants in bags and inside of boxes.
Now that cannabis is becoming more acceptable, our jars allow increasingly sophisticated users to bring their fine flower into the light and proudly display it.
Additionally, with the increase in cannabis acceptance, users are learning more about the amazing properties of the cannabis plant.
HerbCEO: Can you describe the value to a cannabis lover in being able to inspect his or her flower under magnification? How does sight impact the overall experience of getting lifted?
Sam: We know that humans love to inspect what they are putting into their bodies. Cannabis is no different. We are finding that a deeper level of understanding is happening when users are able to visually inspect the cannabis plant.
We also find that first time patients see the cannabis plant and begin to understand that this is not a harmful drug, but rather a beautiful plant from nature with many exceptional properties.
HerbCEO: You sold your company My Phone MD to finance Smokus Focus. What drew you to the cannabis accessories market from the smartphone market?
Sam: The telecom business is a business that everyone uses, and mobile phones will always be a part of our lives.
Most people spend a large part of their day interacting with their phones. My business repaired phones when they were broken.
So oftentimes, folks were in a terrible mood when they came into our store for a repair.
On the other hand, the cannabis industry is a fast growing market with obvious voids in the marketplace for packaging and display.
With a background in owning a retail business, it made perfect sense to create what we envision as the industry standard for cannabis display and packaging.
It also helps that the negative stigma of cannabis is rapidly declining and our products make people excited and happy when they can see the Smokus Focus in action.
HerbCEO: We were blown away the first time we discovered Smokus Focus. Dispensaries have always been a fun place to be, but it can be hard to put a finger on what makes them such a pleasant experience. Outside of the sheer volume of bud, we believe part of the experience is viewing flower under magnification and clear light. How far does Smokus Focus go in replicating this experience?
Sam: Before releasing products, my partner and I actively gauge all of the feedback that we are receiving from retail operations, growers and cannabis users to determine exactly what they are looking for in a cannabis display container.
We then do multiple rounds of prototyping and testing to ensure that the product is spectacular for the end user. We ensure that the magnification level and LED lighting is perfect so that the overall product quality is top shelf, enjoyable to use, and that our containers fit the exact needs of the market.
HerbCEO: Smokus Focus jars are an obvious purchase for any self-professed cannabis enthusiast, but we’re curious, what’s your customer split in terms of individual cannabis enthusiasts and commercial/retail operations?
Sam: Fortunately, there is now a Smokus Focus jar for everyone. Right now, we sell around 80% of our volume into commercial operations (cannabis retailers and growers). Additionally we have a very enthusiastic retail customer base who appreciate fine flower and love our innovative products.
In 2019, we are releasing even more products to the market that are not only amazing, but they are compliant in all known retail markets, reach lower price points and provide users with the best possible display experience.
HerbCEO: Do you see a future in which lightning and magnification are more common in the storage, presentation and sale of cannabis? Do you see existing stash jar companies integrating more magnification and lightning tech? Would you view the embracing of this tech a compliment or a threat? If the latter, how will Smokus Focus continue to differentiate itself going forward?
Sam: Absolutely – When designing the Smokus Focus, we have been very diligent about applying and receiving both design and utility patents covering all unique features of our jars.
Moving forward, we plan to implement magnification, lighting and many other features into our new designs. Smokus Focus will continue to innovate and create the top cannabis display and packaging options available in the cannabis industry with a near constant rate of new product releases into the future.
HerbCEO: Finally, if someone’s been keeping their flower in a non-airtight container, what do you have to say to them?
Sam: Switch to Smokus Focus – you will never be disappointed in upgrading your storage container to our product. We are Changing the Way the World Views Cannabis.
The Herb CEO Verdict on Smokus Focus
We’d like to thank Sam for taking the time to share a little bit more about what goes into the Smokus Focus brand and the products they are bringing to market. We love the previous stash jars and are excited for all the new developments currently in the pipeline.
If you have questions for Sam you can contact Smokus Focus directly via their Contact Us page on their website. If you are interested in purchasing Smokus Focus jars for yourself you can find them for sale on their website as well as Amazon for all your Prime members out there 😉
I’ve been using my Smokus Focus jar for three years now since this post was originally published and I have to say it is one of my favorite smoking accessories. If you’re into ultra-premium top shelf cannabis then you owe it to yourself to invest in a magnification device to be able to fully appreciate the beauty that these lovely cultivars offer.