Honey® CEO Peter Tejera talks potency, testing, and microdosing with LeafLink
The California market is the largest global marketplace for cannabis, yet many consumers remain ill-advised on what to select when entering a dispensary. Walking into a dispensary and seeing hundreds of products, countless brands, and a variety of ways to incorporate cannabis into your lifestyle is overwhelming.
It’s important to help dispensary managers, buyers, and budtenders understand their products better in order to provide more informed recommendations and ultimately increase sales. Customers’ brand loyalty will grow when they have a trusted, valuable resource at your dispensary to help make informed purchases and will return time and again for that extra level of service.
HONEY, an original California brand, which has been operating in California since 2013, and their CEO Peter Tejera, are dedicated to educating retail cannabis professionals on how to best inform and serve their customers. Peter has been involved in the cannabis industry for 18 years, founding L.A.’s first vertically integrated collective. His years of experience make him adept at adapting to, and even anticipating, the ever-changing industry.
LeafLink sat down with Peter to talk potency, testing, and emerging trends retail professionals and consumers should have on their radar.
LeafLink: Let’s get started. What do you think is the biggest misconception about cannabis and vape products?
Peter Tejera: Potency. Product potency is not about THC.
LL: Meaning the highest THC percentage isn’t what determines the effect?
PT: That is correct.
LL: That’s a common misconception, especially amongst consumers. Since THC isn’t the driver for potency, can you explain what is?
PT: It’s about the combined effect of the phytochemicals in the plant working together. That’s the “ensemble effect.” THC is just one component. These chemicals play together and give the full experience of the flower.
When a band plays together, you hear a song. It’s still the same song if the drums are removed, but something is off. The same with cooking. All the ingredients come together to make a dish but remove just one element and the taste is totally different. It’s the same with cannabis. The combined effect of each component is what delivers a rich experience.
LL: What’s the best way for a budtender or consumer to know what’s potent then?
PT: Stop looking at the THC percentage. Look at the physical product. Look at the thickness of the oil and the color. Thick oil is a great indicator the product is not diluted, overly processed or refined. It is in a more natural state.
When you listen to music on vinyl records you get a warmth, depth and richness in the sound that you just don’t hear when streaming digitally processed music. The same is true for cannabis. The less processed – the deeper the experience. The color should be golden or honey-like. That shows purity and quality.
LL: Anything else you recommend a budtender or consumer look for?
PT: Always taste vape products. It should be smooth, warm and sweet to round out the full experience. You might even get a savory flavor. Either way – it should be inviting, appealing and pleasant. It should ALWAYS taste good.
LL: I feel like people have slowly started to seek out more detailed information about where their product comes from, but this focus on potency outside of just THC percentage is still a change for a lot of people, isn’t it?
PT: For those that really know the plant, no, this isn’t news. But, it’s something consumers, patients and cannabis professionals should really understand. Everyone should know what they buy and why it does or does not deliver the desired experience.
LL: Let’s switch gears a little bit. How are HONEY and other retailers impacted by the increase in mandated testing in California?
PT: Since HONEY’s inception, we have always tested our products and exceeded recommended guidelines, so mandated testing has not impacted the company. I think it’s a long overdue requirement for safety. Retailers need to know what makes up the products on their shelves.
Part of getting a full understanding is learning about the teams and expertise behind those products. Retail personnel should be invested in providing researched, tested product, and hold brands accountable to provide this information. It’s more than reading a label or having a product demo or basic education.
Beyond testing – retailers should know about the purity during cultivation, processing and manufacturing, and from where a product is sourced. For example, 100% of HONEY’s flower is from Humboldt family farmers.
LL: Last question – What is an emerging trend that more retailers should discuss?
PT: Microdosing. With an expanding consumer/patient base, so many are concerned about how to try a cannabis product. Microdosing, or administering small amounts of cannabis, is an ideal way to experiment. Microdosing is a convenient and easy way to try for patients, recreational adult users, or doctors looking for a product as an entry point.
New consumers should look for products featuring an aerator (carb) to regulate airflow and dose. A disposable pen, like the ones we make here at HONEY, can provide a gentle physical or mental shift for people trying new products.
Microdosing is going to be a very important tool for physicians, physician’s assistants and patient advocacy groups alike to help those seeking relief through a low dose product. It will be a means to help advise and monitor patients using cannabis, as well as help determine the appropriate dose for their symptoms. At HONEY, we are focused on helping and supporting the professional medical and advocacy community to establish comfort with cannabis products, delivery devices, and accurate dosing.
About Peter Tejera:
Peter Tejera has over 18 years of experience in the cannabis industry. He is the Founder and CEO of HONEY, evolving from L.A.’s first vertically integrated collective, HERBALCURE®. Mr. Tejera serves as a founding Board Member of the California Cannabis Manufacturer’s Association and is a member of the Community Advisory Board for the National Institutes of Health-funded research of Cannabis Health and Young Adults.
In 2013, Mr. Tejera founded the Cannabis Consulting Group, non-profit, independent research, and educational think-tank devoted to objectively analyzing the cannabis plant, and its impact on society and human life.
About the brand:
HONEY is a California state licensed adult use and medicinal cannabis company offering the best tasting, smoothest and most authentic flower like experience. Evolving from the first vertically integrated collective in Los Angeles, HONEY revolutionized the industry with the first short path distillate vape cartridge. HONEY is easily recognized by its thick, golden/honey color, and sweet, warm taste. The unique, potent blend features the most complex and highest count of phytochemicals working together as an ensemble, delivering upon the true intent of the natural cannabis plant.
Only HONEY has 100% of its flower collected from Humboldt family farmers. HONEY products include THC and CBD vape cartridges, disposable pens, and capsules available through legal dispensaries and delivery services throughout the Golden State.
Want to learn more about HONEY? Discover HONEY products by visiting their menu on LeafLink.
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