We recently interviewed Cody to ask about PAQcase’s award-winning pre-roll cases and his experience so far in the cannabis marketplace, particularly in Colorado. Read on to know more about his background, how PAQcase came about, Cody’s future plans and more!
Ganjly: Can you give us a bit of your background and how you got into the cannabis industry?
Cody Ziering: I had started my professional career getting recruited out of college to work for Apple. After drinking the ‘Apple juice’ for a couple of years I realized that traditional corporate life wasn’t for me. Around the same time this epiphany had occurred, I had also started developing a Colorado cannabis startup’s website as a side hustle. Luck was on my side because just I had reached my wit’s end, the startup decided that they needed a director of marketing and made me an offer. On New Years’ Eve 2015-16, and looking for some new adventure, I packed up all my stuff into a Uhaul, put my car on a trailer, and drove nonstop from Miami to Denver.
Colorado felt freeing. It was the first time that I had ever lived in a place where cannabis legal. It felt like a huge weight had been dropped from my shoulders. Work started the next day and from the moment I stepped foot in the office, I hit the ground running. The company quickly grew to 5 brands, 65 people, had a built out 44,000 sq ft indoor grow, a div 1 extraction lab, and a full edible kitchen. Operating in the far west mountains and supplying Denver (our main market) was a challenge but doable. At the end of the first year, the business had accrued $1 million in sales.
While the cannabis company was growing, something else was well. After my first day of work, I stopped at the dispensary with my roommate (and now business partner Brett Gelfand) where we picked up a strain called Jesus OG. That exact night, we had an idea for a joint case, seeing the open hole in the marketplace where multipacks should have been. That night we came up with a product design, logo, and business plan. That was the night PAQcase was born.
Could you please explain PAQcase’s unique product offerings, and explain where/how the idea behind these products was born?
Cody Ziering: PAQcase and its JPAQ family of products are joint cases, designed by smokers for smokers. With a sleek design, our cases are incredibly similar to your phone and provide an unparalleled level of discreetness.
There’s a gasket seal that helps to keep odors locked in and a ‘roach coach’ that allows separate storage of stinky roaches. Coming from a dispensary background, we used an uncountable amount of doob tubes to package prerolls. Doob tubes are one-time use products that often require additional packaging. They offer dispensaries limited branding and marketing opportunities and proved to be a not-sufficient packaging solution.
Moreover, they are incredibly wasteful as a one-time-use and toss the item. Doob tubes also look and feel awkward in pockets and can easily pop open under pressure, making them difficult to carry and defeating their purpose. With a PAQcase, customers hang on to PAQcase for many months, creating a win-win-win for brands/dispensaries, their customers and the environment.
What’s the most important thing for cannabis consumers to know about PAQcase?
Cody Ziering: We make carrying (and smoking) joints and blunts really easy. We even help the environment while doing so. Your rolled goods are protected, kept fresh, and the case they’re in is made of 100% recycled materials. We even offer a line of products made out of plastic pulled from the ocean.
To date we’ve removed 14,000 pounds of plastic, a statistic we are incredibly proud of. We are expecting that number to reach into the hundreds of thousands of pounds by year-end 2020. PAQcase offers extended protection for consumers and extended brand exposure for companies who PAQ prerolls inside them.
What has been the feedback and response so far to the PAQcase products, and which is your most popular offering?
Cody Ziering: Overwhelmingly positive. We originally created the brand as a packaging solution for cannabis brands and dispensaries. Surprisingly enough, demanded by popular request, we’ve ended up selling the cases by themselves on Amazon and to shops around the world. Our most popular product to date is the JPAQ, and we have sold millions of units worldwide. This far exceeded our initial goal of selling only 25,000 to start the business.
What is your proudest achievement with PAQcase, so far?
Cody Ziering: On the business side, partnering with some of the biggest companies in the industry like Canopy Growth Corp and their brands Tweed, LBS (short for Leafs by Snoop), DNA Genetics, and Seth Rogan’s Houseplant brand. We also won a Hightimes Magazine product of the month award. We even got our JPAQduo featured in Daily High Club to their 10,000+ subscribers.
On a personal level, walking into the largest dispensary in the world (Planet 13 in Las Vegas, NV) to buy flowers and seeing a JPAQ in the display. The was a surreal feeling that all the hard work paid off, and that other people believe in our company’s vision too.
Are there new products in the works?
Cody Ziering: I can’t say too much about what we’re cooking up in the PAQ lab but most definitely. We’re working on new designs and newer sustainable materials research. One of the biggest issues with pre-rolls is the amount of waste they cause. Biodegradability and sustainability is a direction our industry needs to head (along with most of the world honestly), and we are going to try and help lead the way.
Where do you hope to see PAQcase ten years in the future?
Cody Ziering: We hope to become the gold standard for pre-roll packaging and carrying accessories worldwide, with cannabis becoming legalized and normalized everywhere. We also hope that as a whole, our industry and many others prioritize the planet’s health and makeshift in buying habits to support sustainability. One of PAQcase’s goals within ten years is to have removed millions of pounds of plastic from the ocean!
Thank you so much, Cody, for taking the time to do the interview and sharing your expertise with our readers. Learn more about Cody Ziering and PAQcase at PAQcase.com.