Although it’s made of tin, typically used during war times and not that pretty to look at it, cans are making a comeback.
Bay Area Cotati is leading this renaissance in the most unlikely of industries–marijuana. The dispensary has increased its popularity in recent months by packaging high-grade cannabis in its own Calyx Green canning facility.
Mercy Wellness director Brandon Levine says it’s revolutionizing the way his dispensary does business.
“It’s really changed the game for the dispensary itself,” said Levine.
Every morning, as many stoners are barely rising to wipe THC from their crusty eyelids, Cotati Production Manager Kyle Monday and his team are carefully canning cannabis in 1/8th of an ounce portions. These special cans are painstakingly weighed and placed on a conveyor belt where liquid nitrogen removes oxygen from the container. Lastly, they are sealed closed for optimal freshness, labeled with Cotati’s trademark and shipped out to eager tokers.
“We look through the product a lot. Make sure we have the right size buds in the cans we like,” said Monday.
Ziplock bags are traditionally used to package cannabis, however, these items aren’t easily recyclable nor biodegradable and only maintain freshness for about 2 months on average. In contrast, Cotati’s recyclable cans keep cannabis fresh for up to two years, allowing Mercy to offer a far wider range of strains.
“The difference in the amount of product we have went from 30 varieties to over 100,” said dispensary director Levin.
One downside to the switch from bags to cans is the cost. Bags typically cost about 11 cents each, while cans can average anywhere between 80 cents to 1 dollar. Levine, however, feels it’s worth every nickel.
“I predict people will do this more and more,” he explained. “It should be standard for packaging for California.”
My name is Petey Wheatstraw, also known as Charles Stevens. I’m an avid marijuana smoker, writer, devoted father and non-profit minion– not necessarily in that order. A Chicago native I’ve lived off and on in the Bay Area since 1996. Seven years ago I finally settled here to capture the changing face of our communities.