Defining the Future of Cannabis Vape Cartridges
An Interview with Lab Director Jamie Lundy
One of our favorite brands in the past few years has undoubtedly been Willie’s Reserve – from their iconic founder to their focus on high quality products and working with local farms. So imagine our excitement when we had the opportunity to learn more about their live resin and vape cartridges from Lab Director, Jamie Lundy. So pack a bowl, roll a joint, or grab your vape pen and catch the full interview below.
What drew you to grow your career with extraction processes and concentrates?
“I sort of came upon the world of extraction and after 8 years, have really fallen in love with it. Being the type of person who learned to change my own tire at a young age, I have always been a little mechanically inclined. While appreciating the intricacies that go into the extraction process, I was able to discover how much I enjoy working with my hands, building things and taking things apart, fixing them and then putting them back together.
In extraction, there are always innovations and evolutions of new science, new equipment, new machines which keeps things not only fun, but the growth allows for new opportunities in expanding and developing my own professional knowledge and experience. I have found that learning to love all of these things has been the hidden gem of working in the cannabis industry.”
What do you aspire to see in the future for concentrates and cartridges?
“My overall aspiration and hope are for concentrates to find their way into being more positively recognized by the FDA, allowing for more medical applications. This would mean minimizing some of the limitations created by the state regulators and supporting the companies that produce high-quality products, to succeed.
Because of the number of regulations, specifically when it comes to cartridges, it has felt like we have faced some particularly challenging hurdles along the way. With the evolution of quality control platforms and state mandated testing, I am hopeful that consumers will be able to feel comfortable and confident that every cartridge on the shelf is of a quality that is safe. “
While we know educating those around us is an important part of the world of concentrates, what are the important things to ask about and be informed about when choosing a concentrate?
“First and foremost, you will want to know the company that you are purchasing from. This is where the variations in the products really stem from. Knowing where the plant material is sourced from and who is processing it, makes all the difference. There are a handful of brands and companies, like Willie’s Reserve, that put quality above all else when it comes to manufactured cannabis products. Like a lot of things, make sure you trust the source.
If you are buying lower priced concentrates, there is an implication that those extra steps in the process to ensure quality, may be the sacrifice to producing quantity. Just to clarify, lower price does not imply poor quality, but it is important to know where your product is coming from.
Your local budtenders are also a great reference and resource to understanding more about the products. They can provide information from the test results for things such as microbials, residual solvents leftover from the extraction process and pesticides used in growing the plant material – which will now be required as of July 1, 2021. You can also find terpene and cannabinoid profiles labeled directly on the product itself.”
If not all extraction processes are created equal, what are you doing that makes the Willie’s Reserve vape cartridges a higher quality?
“This might sound simple, but I would say the most important factor in extraction quality is lab hygiene. We run an extremely clean and tidy lab and are careful to not allow for any cross contamination of our production batches. Quality starts with a clean and safe environment coupled with the same standard operating procedures for making the products, each and every time. This is the only way to ensure consistent and quality product, time and time again.
At Willie’s Reserve, we are coming up on our 700th production batch of our strain specific distillate vape cartridges (not including our 1:1 CBD: THC or Craft Live Resin batches.) We produce a lot of hash oil in our little facility. This is all made possible by the very specific processes, we have spent years fine tuning.
Although we use carbon dioxide in our processes, we are able to avoid leaving behind any residual solvents in our products because we do not “winterize”. In our proprietary process, we have been able to remove our waxes from the plant material versus the oil. This eliminates the added step or need for the use of ethanol in what’s called a “winterizing” process.
Our goal is to create an end product with high potency that is complimented by cannabis derived terpenes. The use of cannabis derived terpenes, rather than the commonly used botanical terpenes, gives you a much truer to the cannabis flower experience. We create a product that ensures a high-quality, strain specific experience from Willie’s Reserve, while getting the most out of our plant material. What comes in from the grow goes out from our production facility.”
Why is someone picking up the Willie’s Reserve vape cartridge at the dispensary?
“Quality. I look specifically at our quality control procedures. Not only do we run a very clean lab, but everyone who works here is passionate about what they do and doing it the right way. When you have good people that care about what they are doing, it adds an extra element of love and care as special ingredients. Our team wants to do it right, to do it well and to be proud of the Willie’s Reserve they put out into the world.”
Not only do we have high standards, but we have folks from top to bottom with their eyes on the final products. We welcome feedback from the people on our team, and this has allowed us to keep improving our processes and products. We trust our team as a voice of the cannabis industry. This level of teamwork is something I look forward to continuing to do.”