Photo courtesy of V Syndicate

Over the previous decade, V Syndicate has elevated the stoner expertise — full cease. Their accent improvements, such because the Grinder Card and it’s ever-expanding line of Rollin’ Trays, make smoking weed extra handy than ever. 

In addition to partnering with hashish icons on the order of Snoop Dogg, Cheech and Chong, and Wiz Khalifa, V Syndicate has created expressive product strains and reconfigured important smoking instruments into objects of ever-improving comfort with cutting-edge model. Considering how sophisticated the whole lot on this planet is lately, it’s good to know that smoking weed can stay a laid again, easy affair.

In reality, ashtrays, storage containers, and (particularly) rolling trays have by no means been the identical since V Syndicate acquired into the sport. This firm finds new methods to make equipment extra apt for the modern-day stoner.

A cornerstone of V Syndicate’s enormous success is because of their product strains that characteristic stoner favorites, equivalent to Alice from Alice in Wonderland, Rick and Morty, Van Gogh, and the corporate’s best-selling reefer rep to this point: Einstein

Tom Scharf, CEO of V Syndicate, took a while to speak to MERRY JANE concerning the firm’s historical past, its excessive factors, and what the way forward for smoking equipment may look (and work) like.

Grinder Card (courtesy of V Syndicate)

MERRY JANE: V Syndicate launched in 2010 with the invention of the Grinder Card. Can you are taking us by that?

TOM SCHARF: Sure. In 2010, I used to be dwelling in Canada with my then-girlfriend. I had a small enterprise there, nothing to do with hashish. We have been each hashish people who smoke. I’m from Israel, she’s from the U.S. We didn’t have our smoking equipment there. Then, I noticed that my girlfriend was utilizing a bank card to grind her weed. She would seize a nug and simply rub it throughout the numbers on the cardboard, and it might break [the weed] down fairly nicely.

I believed that was actually cool. I had by no means seen anyone do this. So I believed, we can truly make a viable product out of this. We simply wanted to make the cardboard look extra reliable and be extra sturdy, and that led to the idea of a stainless-steel model of it. That’s mainly the way it got here to be.

Two months after that, we have been in L.A. at Hemp Con, doing our first present. That was September 2010. We noticed how customers reacted to it. It was the hit of the present. And this was simply type of a prototype model, however the idea was positively a winner. We utilized for a patent and acquired it, and that’s the way it occurred.

How did V Syndicate broaden from the Grinder Card to Rollin’ Trays?

While we have been simply doing the cardboard, we have been very busy with IP safety and we’d achieved some licensing. We had licenses with Snoop Dogg, Cheech and Chong, and Wiz Khalifa at one level. We had actually cool stars, however then it type of plateaued.

We realized the Grinder Card is a cool idea for lots of people, however it turned extra of a cool giveaway product. At the tip of the day, it’s not an actual substitute for precise grinders. Still, it was an amazing run for six or seven years, after which we determined we wanted one thing else.

Going into 2017, I had break up with my girlfriend and acquired out her share of the corporate. I made a decision to department out, attempt one thing completely different, and our distributor in Europe got here up with the concept for the trays. He mentioned it might be an amazing SKU so as to add. I used to be type of skeptical, pondering it was one thing I’ve seen earlier than, it’s not one thing very progressive, however I gave it a shot. We made a small line of trays and I used to be shocked how nicely they caught on.

Sometimes, it looks like hashish customers can undervalue the position of an amazing, reliable rolling tray. How was V Syndicate capable of handle that problem and persuade people who smoke that an amazing tray is important?

In 2017, the market was fairly flat. There have been simply a few manufacturers they usually have been fairly boring. Consumers didn’t have lots of choices. We tried to make trays into extra of an artwork type — to make them extra of an expression for us and for our prospects. Each tray is supposed to be an artwork piece and the general public responded very, very positively.

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Metal Alice rolling tray (courtesy of V Syndicate)

Please take us by the particular options and benefits of every of V Syndicate’s Rollin’ Tray strains. Let’s begin with metal rollin’ trays.

The steel line is fairly simple. We didn’t reinvent the wheel right here. We made certain, and proceed to verify, that we use good high quality metal with the suitable thickness. We pay lots of consideration to element with regards to the graphics. We ensure they’re prime quality, and we run samples beforehand to verify it’s clear.

A giant a part of it’s the packaging. We ensure it’s stunning, which inspires the retailer to show it, and we ensure it has our branding marks on it. We ensure it appears to be like like a reliable product as a result of lots of different trays are type of low-cost, off-brands — they usually look that approach. We take it the additional step. 

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Glass rolling tray (courtesy of V Syndicate)

How concerning the shatter-resistant glass rollin’ trays?

The glass rolling trays began about two years in the past. I seen how a lot individuals who smoke like to make use of glass. It’s straightforward to scrub, and it appears to be like good together with your glass pipes and bongs. Stoners love glass!

So, so far as glass rolling trays, there was nearly nothing out there that was additionally reasonably priced. So, I aimed to make the standard of our glass trays equal to our steel [trays]. Design and performance are the whole lot. But, we additionally had to verify the glass was sturdy.

People just like the steel trays as a result of you possibly can drop them, they usually don’t break. So, we went with a shatter-resistant glass, which is analogous to how they make cellphone screens. It’s not shatter-proof — for those who drop it from 10 toes it may shatter. But the glass remains to be fairly laborious.

The prime quality print and sturdiness of the fabric we use immediately proved to be a profitable idea. And, we’re in a position to verify these tays are reasonably priced. Our small glass rolling trays go for $15 to $20, our medium-sized line goes for $20 to $25. They’re priced to be accessible to everybody — or, at the very least most individuals.

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Silicone and glass rolling trays (courtesy of V Syndicate)

Now let’s speak Hybrid Rollin’ Trays.

For the hybrid rolling trays, we have been seeking to cater to individuals who wish to smoke oil and flower, so we mixed silicone with steel.

We work quite a bit with silicone. We have a product referred to as a Dabit Card. It appears to be like like a Grinder Card, however as an alternative of a grinder, it has magnetic dab instruments. We use a silicone pad to cowl over the instruments, which retains them clear, so you possibly can simply put it in your pocket or purse with out getting the whole lot sticky.

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Einstein rolling tray (courtesy of V Syndicate)

We love V Syndicate’s character-branded strains. What pictures are most profitable for you?

Probably the Alice [in Wonderland] characters. They’re very talked-about, and we simply got here out with two extra variations of them. Alice has been actually killing it for us! Our all-time number-one, although, is Einstein. I believe that has to do with Einstein being such an icon amongst stoners and related to constructive issues, like mind-expansion. We additionally actually centered on the colours with Einstein. Color is a giant a part of our designs, we work laborious to make them vivid and interesting.

Tell us about V Syndicate’s new deal with advertising on to customers. What has that change entailed? What have been among the outcomes?

Over the previous year-and-a-half, we actually began specializing in our on-line presence and we began promoting on Amazon. Business-wise, it’s nice to promote to customers as a result of the margins are larger, however much more than that, it creates a requirement out there. It’s type of like getting the phrase out concerning the model by the backdoor.

When specializing in promoting to companies, you hope for a trickle-down impact. You should undergo the distributor, then the shop, after which lastly the patron. Even you probably have a tremendous product, so many issues can go incorrect — points like distributors prioritizing one other challenge over yours, or shops not having the suitable area to show the product and it finally ends up simply getting buried with among the different manufacturers.

When you deal instantly with the patron, you create an natural demand. The client will go to a retailer and ask in your product, after which we get the demand from the shops and the distributors. So, it’s actually about strengthening your model from the bottom up. It’s an effective way to do enterprise.

Finally, what’s subsequent for V Syndicate?

We’ve been engaged on some grinders and a few storage objects, and we’re in all probability going to do some smoking equipment, too, like pipes. We’ll be increasing our strains by including extra classes and extra merchandise to our portfolio. And, as all the time, arising with progressive designs!

* This was made in partnership with V Syndicate

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