Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today. Can you tell us a little about your background and how you got involved in the cannabis space?
So growing up in Ohio and being a wrestler, I always drank the anti-cannabis Kool-Aid. My view on cannabis really didn’t change until I was about 18 and I was home from college at the same time my brother was home from California. My older brother Charlie has pretty severe cerebral palsy that has kind of progressed over the course of his life and he’s always been given a multitude of medications for the symptoms and for the symptoms of those medications. So when he was home from law school, he asked me, “Jack, can one of your friends get some cannabis and come over to roll up a joint for me?” I could tell he was in a lot of pain, his face was vascular and his shoulders were hunched over because his body was spasming so hard. So I said, “sure” and called JJ, who’s now the COO of Grove Bags, and I said “JJ can you come over to roll a joint for Charlie?” and he did so. As Charlie took a few puffs I saw the relief that overcame him and things all of a sudden clicked in my head. Truthfully, I was angry at first, here’s something where just two puffs of a joint gave him so much relief where he has been in agony for as long as I can remember, taking countless pills for the agony and even more pills to counter the symptoms of the other pills where cannabis could be such an effective remedy. I grew up in the room next door to him where we shared a bathroom and I remember having a little basket for all of my shower stuff because all of his pill bottles took up the whole counter and both cabinets in our bathroom. That background of observing the medicinal benefits of the plant is what got me into cannabis.
Then fast forward a couple of years I am in college and saw everything that was going on with the cannabis industry and it got me more and more interested in wanting to join it. Not just join it though but have my hand in standardizing it, improving it, and creating great quality standards in the space that’s not just selling generic packaging but creating tailored, engineered packaging for cannabis that is unique to plant’s physiology. I wanted to do something different, I didn’t want to be a broker-dealer providing products that had no real advantage, that were repurposed to reuse the crap from other industries that alone those products weren’t even safe for it, both for consumption or store products that were going to be consumed. That’s why I wanted to get involved and what led us to Grove Bags.
That’s an amazing story! Can you tell us what makes your bags different from others on the market?
Great question. So our bags aren’t simply bags, they’re microclimates. What I mean by that is they are actually active environments that maintain very specific atmospheric conditions for the optimum curing and storage of cannabis. What our bags do is leverage our TerpLoc™ technology to maintain less than 1% weight variance and an anti-static anti-microbial environment this is inhospitable and discourages both mold and bacteria growth. But most importantly, our microclimate maintains 40% to 45% more cannabinoids and terpenes in a natural way by using the natural moisture of the plant. And we do that without the use of humidity packets, nitrogen flushing, or any of these harmful food strategies or other repurposed products that aren’t designed for cannabis.
Can you tell us more about your patented TerpLoc™ technology?
Absolutely. TerpLoc™ is a multi-layered film designed around the six essential conditions for successful cannabis storage and curing. The durability of the vessel, the ability to maintain odor for discretion and compliance, the ability to maintain ideal oxygen levels of about 2% oxygen to work with the plant’s natural respiration process to maintain the anti-static environment in order to prevent the trichomes from falling off the buds or into the plastic, which is another key reason why we are an FDA approved material. But lastly, we maintain a 52% relative humidity level using our proprietary blended layers of film. Most of all, we also maintain an environment that’s ultra-violent protected because ultraviolet light degrades cannabis more quickly and more totally than anything else. So those are really the core components of TerpLoc™ and how we achieve them. For example, if you look at salad bags in the grocery store and see a bag of salad, the lettuce inside would wilt on your counter in a few hours but it stays fresh in that bag for weeks. It’s not because that bag has been flushed or purged of oxygen (it has been) its because that bag is made of special blended structures designed to respirate and breathe as if they were operating as the natural lungs of those plants keeping them fresh and preserving both their vitamins and nutrients. This is the same idea of what we do for cannabis, a tailor engineered product for the unique physiology of what we’re trying to package.
Can you explain what “Cannabis Synergy” is and how your bags help preserve it?
Absolutely. Cannabis synergy, known as the entourage effect is the concept that the medicinal impact of the whole plant is greater than the sum of its parts. That’s what we mean by full-spectrum cannabis, with terpenes playing a major role in cannabis synergy and are the main factors that influence different profiles like Indica versus Sativa. They have antimicrobial properties that influence the permeability in the cell membrane, allowing for the more efficient absorption of more cannabinoids. Essentially what that means for your plant is that having packaging that maintains and protects all your terpenes and cannabinoids results in maintaining a higher level of medicine because those full terpene profiles and the full entourage of chemicals in the plant those fatty lipids and those terpenes being protected by the TerpLoc™ microclimate allows us to protect that cannabis synergy and even enhance it. Grove Bags are custom-designed around cannabis low oxygen levels, water vapor transmission, and UV protected antistatic properties, making our solution-driven packaging the perfect cannabis climate, ideal for the entire cannabis supply chain from cultivation to consumption.
Grove Bags did a lot of product testing before bringing your bags to market, can you tell us about the results of these tests?
Absolutely. We’ve run tests with numerous labs as well as major cannabis corporations like Native Roots. The purpose of these tests essentially is to one further everyone’s understanding of the nature of cannabis, how it respires, how it degrades and what that degradation means from a medicinal standpoint, but also the tests validate our technology and they invalidate other methods that all be it might be popular are either unsafe and actually degrade the medicinal quality of cannabis. We are at the forefront of a modern agricultural revolution spearheaded by cannabis. Cannabis, not only needs but absolutely requires standardization and that’s what we’re doing; Grove Bags is standardizing packaging in order to maintain the medicinal quality of product throughout the supply chain.
What are the benefits your customers receive using your bags?
The main benefits they will see from TerpLoc™ range from protecting their bottom line to enhancing and protecting their product quality. This enhances their brand and allows them to make a more potent impression over time. From a revenue standpoint, all it means is that their top-line revenue is increased since they are actually selling every gram as a full gram because they have a less than 1% weight variance. What it also means, they’re cutting down their molding, which directly relates to more top-line revenue. Lastly, in terms of their brand and overall product quality, they’re cementing their relationship with their customers with a beautifully curated package that is environmentally friendly and efficient, yet also elegantly protects and enhances their product, so their brand makes a potent impression with their customer every time and it binds the loyalty and trust of that relationship.
Are your bags sustainable/good for the environment?
Yes. Our bags are actually fantastic for the environment. First off, we are a USA-Made Green Packaging Coalition certified facility that meets the highest food, drug and retail standards around the world. Secondly, all of the solvents that we use in our printing process, we don’t dump in the environment, but we cleanly burn those off by using them to heat our entire facility.
And in addition, because there’s no breakage with flexible packaging and because it is extremely efficient to produce it has by far the lowest carbon footprint of any type of packaging.
Also using tailor engineered materials and cutting edge technology, we get more from less material, further lowering our carbon footprint and maximizing the sustainable impression our customers can make on their patients.
It’s no secret that cannabis packaging produces a lot of waste. Do you anticipate a push toward sustainable packaging as more and more markets become accepting of cannabis?
Absolutely. I think it’s only natural as we mature and progress as an industry that not only operational efficiencies but environmental efficiencies will come to pass. I think it’s important that our retailers in canna-businesses are the ones to usher in reform instead of allowing reform to usher in change.
Is Grove Bags working on any new products/expansion plans that you can tell us about?
Absolutely, we’ve got a few things in the works we can’t talk about, but what I can tell you is that there’s a big rebrand coming soon to reflect our increased scale of capabilities and scope. Also we have a pretty dynamic new website coming out in the near future that’ll allow our customers to maintain accounts, track and forecast their product use, and really cut down on any supply gaps that might arise. We’re also now doing pre-roll cones, both unbranded and customized for our clients’ brands. We have the best pricing on cones and we can also customize cones because why should you be an ambassador for somebody else’s brand? Our cones are totally customizable from customized logo tips to paper type to the cone size itself, empowering our clients’ to have effective residual branding at the endpoint of user consumption. Furthermore, we also just launched our new super sacs for hemp and biomass that have been selling like crazy which essentially line your typical fabric super sacks that you seen made out of woven fabric, allowing you to have all the advantages of TerpLoc™ with your large biomass so you can effectively maintain a really medicinally potent product to be extracted.
What advice would you have for someone who wanted to work in an ancillary cannabis business?
It’s a great question. There’s a lot of people that want to work in ancillary cannabis. It’s very hot right now. It’s a very sexy thing that everybody wants to do, but you still have to add value, find the problems and create solutions for those problems. Don’t create a solution and try to find a problem to plug it into, but truly add value. Do something to unite and move forward the space. This is still a collaborative, not a competitive time where we need to work together.
Growers Network would like to thank Jack and Grove Bags for taking the time to chat with us about their cannabis bags. What did you think readers? Thinking about making a swithc to Grove Bags? Tell us all about it in the forum! Not a forum member yet? Click on of the “Join Now” buttons on this page to sign up. Hope to see you there!
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About the Interviewee
Jack Grover is a graduate of Babson College, the leading school for entrepreneurship in the country. Since joining the cannabis industry, he has become a recognized speaker and thought leader in the study of cannabis physiology, specializing in terpenes and degradation. With multiple patents to his name, Jack has established Grove Bags as one of the top cultivation packaging companies in the marijuana and hemp industry, working with over 200 clients in North America and around the world. Jack’s success had led him to be an Arcview Group mentor and to be featured in multiple publications from Leafly to Forbes. He is a strong believer in industry synergy; feel free to connect with him over email at [email protected]