Interviews

Creating High Quality Cannabis Products with Patrick Grenier (PreRoll-Er)

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Episode Description

Patrick Grenier is the Coordinator of Marketing for PreRoll-Er out of Montreal, Quebec. PreRoll-Er specializes in the manufacturing of validated solutions for your pre-rolls or any other cannabis products. As a market leader in the manufacturing industry, their solutions have been tested and proven.

Patrick shares his insights into what dispensary owners need to be aware of when it comes to the quality of the cannabis product in their retail stores. His advice for business owners is to smoke your stuff so you know what’s good and what’s not.

There is an ongoing need for education with bud tenders and business owners to grow in their understanding and experience with the product they are selling. He also unpacks the manufacturing process of pre-rolls using the PreRoll-Er’s state of the art technology.

Find out more about Patrick Grenier and PreRoll-Er:

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Episode Transcript

Tom Mulhern: On today's show, I have a conversation with Patrick Grenier. He is in marketing for a company out of Montreal, Quebec called PreRoll-Er. And as the name suggests, PreRoll-Er is a manufacturer of pre-roll machines. And as I spoke with Patrick, he really went into some of the challenges in building machines that can create quality product. And we had a good conversation. The product that dispensaries are carrying and the importance of the quality in the product. And so let's jump right into the show and my conversation with Patrick.

Tom Mulhern: Patrick Grenier is the coordinator of marketing for PreRoll-Er out of Montreal, Quebec. After 34 years in the printing industry, he made a switch to cannabis cuz well, cannabis is such an amazing industry to work in.

PreRoll-Er specializes in manufacturing of validated solutions for pre-rolls or other cannabis product. As a market leader in manufacturing industry, their solutions have been tested and proven. The machines are designed to help you save time and resources and really to maximize your profits. So Patrick, welcome to the Kaya Cast podcast.

It's great to have you all the way coming from Quebec, right?

Patrick Grenier: Yeah. Hi Tom. How you doing? I'm doing great.

Tom Mulhern: Oh, that's so good. I'm, I'm really glad we, uh, got this chance. You're actually our first manufacturer that's on the, the show and I'm just gonna start this off by saying one of my guilty pleasures is there's a show called How It's Made and it shows like the manufacturing process of how they make crayons and how they make, you know, jelly beans.

So I'm like so fascinated by the machines that you have and we're gonna jump into that. But that I geek out on this sort of stuff and I know you have like a video section on your website of how the machines that you guys build and, and sell, like how they create the product. But just, just off the bat, I'm a nerd when it comes to manufacturing.

Patrick Grenier: We just hired, uh, like a producer for, for a little movie, corporate movie. And we, we shoot it for many, many days and, uh, by, mid-November, just before the MjBiz, we're gonna release that little movie, so how it's done and everything. So they, they went totally crazy with animation and everything.

It's, you're gonna be able to follow the cannabis up to the final stage. It's gonna be so awesome.

Tom Mulhern: Oh, that's, So Patrick, tell me a bit about your background and how you got involved in the cannabis industry.

Patrick Grenier: All my life. I spent it in, uh, printing industry, which has involved like a publicity agency and everything. I was, uh, owner of a printing shop and then I decide to switch to manufacture my own printers. Uh, it leads me everywhere in the world. Uh, I travel a lot, um, but at one point, you know, at 52 years old, the kids are grown up and everything, so decided to sell everything, close everything, and do something out of the blue, like crazy stuff.

So yeah, I'm havin a blast And yeah. Now, especially with those guys, they keep pushing the. But next level, every single day, I can't say. And it's very exciting. Especially it's gonna be exciting with the next years because what they develop here, um, yeah, you have seen nothing yet, to be honest. You've seen nothing.

The industry, it's booming because don't forget, it won't be an only four years there in, in Canada.

Tom Mulhern: It's brand new. What's kind of your background with cannabis? Cause um, you know, like you said, it's a new industry. So did, did you have previous experience with cannabis or is it, something that was brand new as well when you came in?

Patrick Grenier: When I was young, weed was weed. Now it just put thousands of different strain and this and that, and then there's new terpine in there, the technology, cookies, candies, and juice, and name it. So back in the days was you buy a bag of weed and you didn't know what was in there.

And yeah, I smoked, not all my life. I quit smoking for a long, long period of time. And then when I started back as a couple years ago, maybe four, five years ago, my wife got super sick. I mean, extremely sick. She has PTSD. She was, uh, insanely sick, and uh, she was taking way too many pills and she decided to take CBD to, to help her.

And it do, it did a miracle. I mean, to be, I didn't believe it. So I changed my mind. I enjoy way more cannabis now because you can have a, a doobie and have fun with your family and everything. And the morning after you can get up easily and it doesn't, you don't pay the price, let's say.

Tom Mulhern: I've heard that from countless people. The health benefits of cannabis, CBD, you know, from pain to even helping with some of the effects of cancer. And it's just crazy what this plant can do.

Patrick Grenier: It does a lot of benefit. At the same time, I got injured, I got, I broke both of my knees, uh, couple, three years ago. And, uh, yeah, it helping me a lot because, uh, I don't, I don't heal very easily at my age. I'm not, uh, dinosaur, but still, uh, yeah. It helps a lot on my health. That's a fact. I can deny it.

Tom Mulhern: You currently are in marketing for PreRoll-Er, so what does PreRoll-Er do exactly?

Patrick Grenier: We, we are specialized in automation in the process of everything, around packaging the industry. The industry itself, we can't bag it. We can put in a plastic container. The main thing is the pre roller machines, and that's one the name of the company pre roller. I can say honestly, this is the best product out there, not because of the numbers per hour and everything.

It's mostly by quality. The quality that the pre-roll is done. The quality is amazing because this is the flagship machine of the company.

And we, we selling machine like there's no tomorrow. We can't build fast, fast enough.

Tom Mulhern: How do you differentiate yourself from the competition in the field? Cause I'm sure there's other companies that are putting out pre-roll machines. You talked about quality, but what makes PreRoll-Er really unique and stand out as a company?

Patrick Grenier: Very simple. The way the machine works, it's, uh, very user friendly. It's very easy to use the machine, compared to some machine out there, which is take a degree, you know, university to drive it. And the rejection rate is very high, uh, heard. Some machine is, uh, more than 20%. Our rejection rate 2% and less.

The Secret of this is the compaction, and we have a patent on this, so we're not shy or afraid of seeing it. It's a needle. It's a colon shaped needle, goes straight inside the joint.

And while, it's pouring cannabis inside, it's compacting at the same time, and it goes from the bottom up to the top. So my compaction is perfectly even. So when you light it and there's a dust crown on top of that, there's no twist. It twists and then punch. So it's easy to light.

So when you smoke it, the, the, the airflow goes straight in the middle so it doesn't go like this and goes straight on your shirt and you burn your shirt.

So yeah, that main difference about the other, the other guys is we don't work by gravity or we don't shake and hoping that it's gonna go up to the bottom. So there's so many times we create soggy and it goes, it flex. And yeah, it's, it's back quality. And so sometime I'm asking myself why people spending so much money in the lighting and micro dis and developing new strain building cost millions and millions of dollars, and you create a low end product to represent your screen.

I mean, I'm sad when I see this. I'm sad because I'm an entrepreneur all my life. So the name of the game is repeat business and anything you manufacture in the world. So if you could produce a bad end product, I mean, you're just not encouraging the buyer to buy it again.

Tom Mulhern: What are your kind of thoughts on the quality of the pre-rolls that are out there and the products that are out there, and what can we do better?

Patrick Grenier: But a dispensery owner has the responsibility of selling good stuff. And my, my advice smoke your product? Try it. So to ensure the quality of your service, cuz it's so difficult today to, to keep business.

I mean, that's your responsibility to make sure that you have the right product on your shelf, in which you like, you like your product.

Tom Mulhern: And yeah, being those experts in, in the product that they're selling and not just, you know, selling, selling random stuff, but, but knowing what's on your shelves and making sure you have the quality product. Cause I know if I went and bought a pre-roll that was droopy I wouldn't go back to that dispensary, I'd go somewhere else where they really took pride in their product.

Patrick Grenier: And this is dramatic what you just said. You know, it's, it's, those guys are, they're struggling and you are losing business not because of your own fault and because of product fault. It's, so that's why I'm saying investigate a little bit more, try your product a little bit more. Find out, ask for it, and just don't buy it out of the blue. Ask questions.

Tom Mulhern: Yeah, now you're holding a pre-roll in your hand. So what are the steps that are involved in creating your pre-rolls from start to finish?

Patrick Grenier: Very simple. First of all , they take the strain, they take whatever flower they want. Uh, they grind it up to the, the size they want. And after that, just, just put it in a big tumbler and machine turned by itself. So the tumbler goes inside a scale, which is the 0.01 gram accuracy.

It's super, super, super, super precise. And then there's a cone shape, just the paper. So it just grab the paper, go there, and the machine goes. So the, the cannabis go on a scale and then has been transfer inside the joint with the needle compaction. So it's gonna compact perfectly and then gonna go to the next step.

It's gonna close the, close the top and then do the punch for the, the crown, the dutch crown. And after that it just, it's taking reweighted again to make sure, it's gonna pass. or it's gonna be rejected. Rejects gonna be in one container, so it can reuse the, the cannabis inside, so you don't lose anything actually.

But like a percentage rate is very low because we control every station, micro control, every station. And yeah, the reject rate is less than 2% when you run the machine correctly.

Tom Mulhern: What are some of the surprising challenges involved in manufacturing a pre-roll? Cause you know, it, it can't just be as, as simple as you. You explained it. Is there some challenges there?

Patrick Grenier: It took them 40 months to develop that machine. 40 months. That's a long run. Okay. And the challenge was, uh, there's, let's say two major challenge. First of all, in different kind of strain because you, it's something very dry or very sticky. And most of that right now, there's uh, a lot of injected stuff, which is, which I really like by the way.

But getting so sticky, you can't, you can't grab it and you can do a snowball with it, and it's things like that. So it's very difficult. So that, We nailed it. Everything works perfectly. But we had to work around this. The second biggest challenge is to educate, uh, the LP properly. A lot of them is they're been in the cannabis industry for 20 years, uh, 30 years, uh, 10 years before it even was legal.

And for them to understand the automation and the computers and everything. So you need to learn the technology a little bit more. Let's say it's not a machine that is just dumping it in and it works by itself.

Nah, it takes a little bit more than.

Tom Mulhern: Why do you think pre-roll popularity is on the rise? Have you seen that, that the popularity of pre-rolls is on the rise? And what do you kind of see for the future, uh, of pre-rolls?

Patrick Grenier: The sales are increasing like crazy, uh, in that field that didn't expect that. And let's say just in California, the sales are raising, raising like every year.

And on top of that, there's 46% of the pre-rolls are injected. So there's no way you can do it by hand. Then those guys out there spending a lot of time manufacturing special strain, special flavor. So the only way they can control this is to have a perfectly even on every, every single one.

So to have that kind of technology and produce all the time the same good, perfect product. Yeah. And that's, that's, that's the future. I mean, doesn't take a genius. Of course gonna be always those hard guys and the old timers, they wanna roll it by hand .

Of course it's gonna be a market for that. That's the market won't die. But the main market is the youngsters, The young people, they don't want to roll anymore. They don't, They don't get in that, no.

Tom Mulhern: And the benefits is that convenience, like you're saying, but also the quality, you know what you're getting in the pre-roll, like, and now I know there's, there's some people that say the, the quality of the actual cannabis that goes into pre-rolls, it's like the bottom of the barrel. Uh, we'll just throw it in there.

But that's not necessarily true anymore, is it?

Patrick Grenier: No, that's, that's, that's a urban legend, which is not the truth at all. You cannot just put waste and pre-roll and try to sell the flower.

I. ? No, uh, it doesn't exist. I mean, yes, of course there's some people who try to cut short, but like anything in the world, there's nothing we can do about it.

Tom Mulhern: Yeah. Well, that's good to know that, like, speaking to your customers, that actually that's, that's, that's an urban legend that the, the flower that's going into those pre-rolls is just as good as the flower they're selling in bulk. I think really for most young people, it is the convenience of having it pre-rolled for you. They don't even know how to do that. They don't wanna have a big bong, like, so that convenience, but then knowing that there is quality product that's in there.

Now thinking about the cannabis industry, like, like you said, what, what's something that really surprised you about coming into cannabis? Coming from a completely different career in print and, and advertising to cannabis, what's something that surprised you about working in this industry?

Patrick Grenier: The challenge is to educate people, and that's up to us. We need to educate people, and that's our dispensary role. That's a manufacturer role. That's everybody's role to, to educate people.

I don't know if you saw the sign of Tommy Chong. With a big signed THC percentage doesn't matter. See, that's part of the education. You know, like you go to the liquor store and you buy a bottle of wine. You don't walk in a wine store and ask it, but you have something like 22% of alcohol and I wanna pay $18. And no, it's not that anymore.

Tom Mulhern: It's helping people move past going just for the highest THC to saying, what, what do you actually need? And that's, that's that, you know, you don't have control over that other than trying to educate people as much as possible.

At the end of the day, it's that bud tender that's there, talking to the customer face to face, saying, Yes, I know that people are buying high thc, but actually if you go with this terpene it's gonna hit your system differently and it's gonna help you get the effects that you need, whether it's, you know, pain reduction or, just trying to have a, a nice recreational experience with it.

That education is key from the top to that person. That's face to face with the customers.

If you could sit down with a new dispensary owner and you could tell them one thing, what would you, what would you say to them?

Patrick Grenier: Smoke your stuff Tried. I mean, yeah, most, most of the time here I go to the store and half of the staff doesn't know Jack about what they're talking about. Get educated.

Tom Mulhern: We're, we're talking about big LPs, but what about for those smaller LPs? Do you guys have any sort of, Things on the horizon for that, cuz I mean they can get these big machines for these big producers, but what about smaller producers?

Patrick Grenier: Actually, that's the, that's the niche. Uh, we gonna, we're gonna very, very focus on this one because when I joined a company was the only big machines. And ask what's for the small guys? Because the future is not a big guys, it's a small guys. Small guys become big guys eventually, but big guys just getting bigger or they close or whatever it is.

We develop a machine I can't talk too much about it because it's a big launch, but I'm gonna talk to you a little bit about it. It's a, it's a tabletop machine, semiautomatic and this one version full automatic. And you gonna be able to produce, to take, to help the LP with a very limited, uh, amount of money, like between 40 and 50 K, to have automation for them and that's gonna help them to go to the next level.

And that the machine, the machine won't die after that because we have option for that machine. So we're gonna be able to transform that machine. So let's say you invest 50 k and. Transport a machine for an injector. So to do special brand, maybe you have 500 of those and 500 of those. 500 of those, and you wanna put some different type of terpine in there, maybe liquid ash oil, whatever you want.

We're gonna be able to take that machine and just. Swap the tools and make it happen again, and then wanna be able to invest in bigger technology. It's a big leap. It's a big opportunity for us and especially for the small guys to finally have something designed for them.

Tom Mulhern: That's really encouraging cuz Yeah, for those smaller LPs to have that quality product to keep up with those big producers that's awesome.

Patrick Grenier: They were left alone and poor guys, they need to hire like 15 people just to rule the freaking thing. And it's a lot of manpower and that kills you because, and on top of that, you cannot have, uh, All the same level of accuracy when you're a, a roll buy hand. It's very, it's very authentic. It's very fun.

But it's, it's, it's a challenge like on daily challenge for them.

Tom Mulhern: Well, and then that inventory control. Like, like you're saying, like quality, consistency, all of that is so much easier when you have a machine that's doing it and, and you would still have people that obviously are managing that machine. So how do people find out more about PreRoll-Er or, uh, the things that are coming up?

Like you said, you're gonna be at MjBizcon, I'm gonna be there, so maybe we can hang out.

Patrick Grenier: I mean, you know, you have to, you have to come visit us and you have to suggest that you take a nice camera and take a lot of movie on the shoot. A lot of move around this one because you're gonna fall on your ass. To be honest, it's crazy. Uh, it's, it's so simple. You're gonna say, Okay. Uh, okay.

Tom Mulhern: Make sure if you're gonna be at MJ biz, Visit the PreRoll-Er booth. You're gonna fall on your ass because of the new technology that's coming. People can check you out on your website and LinkedIn and all of those sort of things too.

Patrick Grenier: Yeah, actually we're just rebuilding an Instagram because, uh, it's very difficult to work with Instagram because all the band words.

Tom Mulhern: Oh man. We get, we get things taken down all the time, and even, even though we're not like plant touching, you know, we still can't, like LinkedIn ads, all of those things, it's, it's hard man. It's hard in this industry to do any sort of advertising.

Patrick Grenier: Well, we need to keep pushing because the industry's there. I mean, if you look at the numbers with years, Whoa, we need, I don't wanna miss the parade. I wanna be in there. I wanna make sure that I'm the first one in front. You know,

Tom Mulhern: Patrick, I really appreciate our conversation and I'd encourage people to go check out your website, check out your brand new Instagram page, and then visit the booth at MjBiz Con. And, uh, you're gonna, you're gonna be blown away by what they're offering. So thanks for being on the show, and I really appreciated this like, learning opportunity to learn about pre-rolls and everything that goes into it, so thank you.

Patrick Grenier: Hey, thanks for your time. Okay.

Tom Mulhern: It is really important that dispensary owners and retailers really know the quality of the product that they're carrying.

And, you know, uh, Patrick's advice to smoke your stuff. That seems like a pretty smart, uh, insight into really knowing the product that you're carrying. And so again, I would encourage anyone who's listening to, if you are in a cannabis business to really know. What you're carrying on your shelves to, to sample, to train your bud tenders to be that frontline worker in the cannabis business.

And so, again, I thank Patrick for, uh, sharing a bit about the process that's involved in building machines that can create pre-rolls. It was an absolute pleasure talking to Patrick and I would encourage you all to check out his website, check out their Instagram page, and connect with them at MjBizcon.

I also want to just remind you to subscribe to our show. You can do that at kayacast.fm, and we've got a whole bunch of really great episodes coming up. And we're gonna be live at MJ Biz in November. You won't wanna miss any of the episodes that we have coming up.

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