Taking Pre-Rolls to the Limit

Canna Sierra

Canna Sierra blends love of the great outdoors and great flower into every pre-roll.

One of the most satisfying things a person can do is combine a hobby they love with a business that brings joy to the world. The Canna Sierra folks have done just that by uniting their passion for the outdoors with their love of cannabis flower in the form of the eternal pre-roll, a product they happen to be very proficient at producing. Per founder Reb Grant, the two are inextricably linked.

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“We spend a lot of time in the Eastern Sierra,” she explained. “We are avid rock climbers, hikers, and mountaineers and wanted to build a brand inspired by the wild and beautiful places we love so much.”

The team has been playing their passion in the industry for a decade and understand their product and the people who appreciate it. “We’ve been in medical cannabis since 2006 and have always felt that cannabis entrepreneurs are hyper-focused on the “prosumer” market. There is an assumption that everyone wants super-potent flower, yet we knew strong cannabis turns a lot of people off. Our CHIEF pre-roll runs between 20 percent and 30 percent THC. You take one to two hits of CHIEF, you are heavily medicated. If a light user takes two-plus hits, they are often uncomfortably medicated, couch locked, or anti-social.

Pre-Rolls Are A Very Labor-Intensive Product, But That Will Change In Time. – Reb Grant

“Canna Sierra is a beginner smoke or smoke for a light user,” she added. “Our goal was to create a lighter option. It’s a whole-plant blend that runs between 10 percent and 19 percent THC, most often falling in the middle. It’s for someone who wants to medicate and carry on a conversation or focus. The market told me it would never work, but Canna Sierra is skyrocketing.”

Interestingly, the Canna Sierra team are cultivators not currently cultivating. “We are growers, but we are not cultivating right now and we will refrain from cultivating until we are permitted,” Grant said. “We contract with a number of cultivators that we have longstanding relationships with and are managing our genetics. In the time being, we are exploring a number of permitting opportunities and opportunities to operate under an existing permit.”

Consistent with the popularity of pre-rolls among core cannabis demographics, Canna Sierra sales are on an upward trajectory. “We assumed business would level off as summer ended,” remarked Grant, “but our core accounts have doubled their order size over the past two months. We have over forty accounts and growing. Scaling is rough, but we are working through it. We had to shut down all of our production six months ago, but we managed to stay consistent and grow.”

The Canna Sierra and CHIEF brands have not only different THC levels, but also different price points that speak to different consumers. “CS is $3 to $40 per pack (one-eighth) so it works in any market,” said Grant. “CHIEF is $55 to $60 per pack (one-eighth) and seems to work best in shops with a $50 to $60 cap.”

Despite the differences between the company’s brands, they share certain qualities appreciated by loyal customers. “We are consistent,” explained Grant. “Each pre-roll weights .5 gram, which provide six to ten hits, depending on the user. Most users to take two to three hits and are done…a lot is wasted. The gram+ pre-roll is maybe like buying a 40oz.—great for some markets, but not for the masses.”

Of course, not everyone is a devotee of flower, so the company is making a slight departure to introduce a new product soon. “We are in the last stages of [research and development] with our CHIEF Vape Pen,” said Grant. “We want the hardware to be foolproof and the medicine to be on-point. We won’t go to market until we are sure we can deliver on the same level as our pre-rolls.”

To balance the vape’s release, she added, “We are releasing a CHIEF curated top-shelf/packaged flower line that will cross-promote our incredible farmers.”

The profit margin in pre-rolls is notoriously thin, but Canna Sierra seems to have found a comfort zone allowing them to grow into a more sustainable future. “Margins are slim,” Grant said. “Pre-rolls are a very labor-intensive product, but that will change in time. You can roll 5,000 cigarettes a minute, but we are nowhere near that in cannabis production. In time, we will be.”

Even better, some retailers also seem to be more amenable to stocking branded pre-rolls in general. Grant explained, “It appears to be more cost-effective for them to package their shake and bring on pre-roll brands to serve the needs of their patients.”

One of the company’s retailers, West Hollywood’s Los Angeles Patients and Caregivers Group (LAPCG), said of the pre-rolls, “We love, love, love Canna Sierra.”

That said, Grant is upfront about the fact that not all retailers have come to realize a larger percentage of their customers might be looking for a milder experience. As Grant put it, “A lot don’t fully appreciate that not all cannabis consumers are 21-year-old males, and soccer moms may not want the heaviest THC.”

We Spend A Lot Of Time In The Eastern Sierras. We Are Avid Rock Climbers, Hikers, and Mountaineers And Wanted To Build A Brand Inspired By The Wild And Beautiful Places We Love So Much.”- Reb Grant

Of course, it’s a big country, with millions of people waiting for a legal way to consume cannabis, even if they don’t realize it yet. That can only bode well for a company like Canna Sierra, which Grant said, is “looking at licensing opportunities in Colorado and Washington.”

So, does Grant truly believe flower has a significant future? You bet she does. “I believe in flower and I believe pre-rolls will stand the test of time,” she said.

Putting an exclamation point on that, she augured that in five years, she fully anticipates Canna Sierra will become an “iconic American cannabis brand.”

Having tried both CHIEF and Canna Sierra pre-rolls, we can think of no reason why that optimistic prognostication cannot become a reality.

Long live the pre-roll! Don’t forget the flower!

Cannasierra

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