Jupiter Research adds veteran controller to Phoenix team
Jupiter Research, an innovative manufacturer of high-performance inhalation hardware and technology for plant based extracts, has added a full-time Controller to its Phoenix office.
Brad Hoch comes to Jupiter Research with more than 20 years of experience in a wide range of accounting and finance functions. Previously, Hoch served in accountancy and finance roles at Gateway computers and American Traffic Solutions.
“Brad’s breadth of experience will lend itself well to Jupiter Research as we expand and work to operate more efficiently in 2019,” said Jupiter Research President Mark Scatterday. “Brad came highly recommended as a great fit to the Jupiter Research culture and is a valuable addition to our growing company.”
In January, Jupiter Research, founded by Scatterday in 2015, was acquired by TILT Holdings, a vertically-integrated infrastructure and technology platform serving the cannabis industry. The acquisition calls for Jupiter Research to remain based in Phoenix with robust research and development capabilities. TILT has several technology and B2B companies across the industry supply chain.
TILT Announces Expansion of Jupiter Distribution in California
Jupiter’s proprietary inhalation technology continues rapid growth with the integration of Baker and Blackbird software and services
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 22, 2019–(BUSINESS WIRE)– TILT Holdings Inc. (“TILT” or the “Company”) (“TILT”) (CSE: TILT) (OTCQB: SVVTF), a leading provider of products and services to businesses operating in the cannabis industry, today announced that Jupiter Research, LLC (“Jupiter”), a leader in inhalation and vaporization technology and wholly owned subsidiary of TILT, has further expanded distribution of its proprietary, high-performance technologies in California through its integration with TILT’s software and supply chain services. The expansion allows Jupiter to establish a physical presence with increased geographic reach throughout California, enabling TILT to develop stronger customer relationships and deliver Jupiter products to B2B customers more quickly than ever before.
TILT acquired Jupiter in early 2019 to further expand its technology ecosystem and B2B reach across the supply chain. Through this acquisition, Jupiter has accelerated its growth with additional distribution opportunities leveraging TILT’s software, logistics and supply chain services provided by Blackbird Logistics (“Blackbird”) and Baker Technologies, Inc. (“Baker”). The integration of TILT’s operations and software solutions, combined with its robust distribution services allows Jupiter to provide support to its more than 640 customers in California with just-in-time inventory fulfillment and services.
At TILT our vision is to help cannabis businesses better serve their customers and patients by providing them the tools to communicate, operate, and scale with a greater degree of efficiency.
Alex Coleman, Chief Executive Officer of TILT Holdings
Through Jupiter’s expansion with Blackbird and Baker, Jupiter customers benefit from partnered solutions and shared expertise pivotal for success in the global cannabis economy. The continued integration of our businesses is driving cross-selling opportunities that deliver more value to our customers and increased revenue opportunities for TILT.
As more and more consumers prefer inhalation devices, Jupiter is an industry leader in vaporization technologies. Jupiter produces power supplies and cartridges specifically designed for cannabis oil in the market today, featuring Jupiter’s proprietary ceramic CCELL technology. Jupiter’s team has decades of combined experience in vaporization partners with more than 800 brands and cannabis retailers across the United States (“U.S.”), Canada, Israel and the E.U.
TILT is a leading provider of products and services to businesses operating in the cannabis industry. The Company offers the contract manufacturing of marijuana in a variety of form factors, vaporizer and inhalation devices, business and consumer delivery services and a broad suite of software products for over 1,500 retailers and brands throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. The majority of TILT’s products are customized to client specifications and branding, all enabling them to operate their businesses more efficiently and connect with their customers more effectively. The Company is organized in two main business units, Software & Services and Consumer Devices & Packaged Goods, designed to augment competencies across the organization in research, manufacturing, packaging and technology to deliver end-to-end services and customer solutions. All of TILT’s products are supported by an extensive research process led by scientists and engineers, using data analytics and discovery to produce new products helping shape the industry. Headquartered in Cambridge, MA, with offices throughout the U.S., Toronto and London, TILT has over 500 employees and has sales in 40 U.S. states, Canada and Europe. For more information, please visit www.tiltholdings.com.
Selling CCells: Arizona Firms Prosper With Popular THC Vape Cartridge From China
If you’ve ever wondered why all your vape cartridges look the same, the answer is less mysterious than some sort of marvel of industry standardization. The truth is that the ubiquitous black-tipped glass cylinders all pretty much come from the same place.
In 2015, Smoore Technology Limited, an e-cig company in Shenzhen, China, founded CCell, which produces patented ceramic cartridges for vaporizers. Now, CCell holds the vast majority of the market share.
Most of the vape cartridges you see are their popular TH2 line, which also comes with white or wooden tips, and in three different sizes. Even with only four distributors in the United States, CCell supplies nearly the entire country with the vape cartridges used by cannabis dispensaries and their oil-producing ancillary companies.
The license to sell CCell products, which also include vape batteries, contains a clause requiring companies to distribute only CCell products. That doesn’t bother Sinacori.
“We didn’t want to have a line of really good products and another of inferior products,” he said. “We only wanted to sell one line of quality products.”
One thing is clear: The public has chosen CCell’s design as its favorite. Before CCell came on the scene, most cartridges heated oil (mostly for e-cigs back then) with a wick. CCell’s innovation was using ceramic heating elements, which reduced the likelihood of burning the oil.
From there, CCell took over.
Jupiter Research sold $25 million worth of products in 2017. In 2018, that number shot up to $100 million, with no signs of slowing down.
“It’s been a wild couple years,” said Mark Scatterday, Jupiter Research’s president. “The mission stays the same, but we’re going to have a lot more resources.”
He said it still feels like “the first inning,” as the company branches out into new products.
Tilt paid for two-thirds of its acquisition in Tilt shares, so Scatterday said he’s still very focused on expanding the company, especially in research.
Jupiter Research is more than a CCell distributor, Scatterday said. The company also works closely with CCell to improve vaping technology across all industries as well as other forms of vaping, such as with dry flower. Five of the firm’s 35 employees work in China.
Jupiter Research holds the majority national market share, Scatterday said. The company imports about 5 million cartridges a month, and that’s a conservative estimate, he said.
Nationally, he said, CCell distributors import about 12 to 15 million cartridges a month. Sinacori estimated 20 million.
Despite the proximity, 3 Win Corp and Jupiter Research have an excellent working relationship, Sinacori said. Even nationally, if sales representatives find that a potential client already has a CCell distributor, they don’t try to poach them.
“We’re very friendly competitors,” Scatterday agreed. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for those guys.”
He even expressed interest integrating with 3 Win Corp for a closer and more profitable relationship.
The distribution companies don’t typically sell to dispensaries directly, but license with a few that produce concentrates who, in turn, sell their products in other dispensaries. Sinacori said 3 Win Corp sells CCell cartridges to about 50 dispensaries in Arizona.
However, Scatterday said Jupiter Research accounts for about 80 percent of the cartridges in Arizona. He said that Jupiter’s clients may capture more of the overall patient market.
With CCell’s patented technology, clients have few options for where to go for cartridges, but are always looking to differentiate themselves, Scatterday said. They can’t change the hardware, but they can make custom mouthpieces or print designs on the cartridges.
Still, no matter how you dress it up, it’s still a CCell cartridge, and probably will be until the next best thing comes along.
How CCELL Delivers Dependable Cannabis Vape Cartridges
This article is sponsored by CCELL.
As the market for medical and recreational cannabis products grows in states around America, concentrated cannabis products like oils are leading the way. Among the most popular delivery devices for these concentrates are vaporizer cartridges filled with high-potency cannabis oil. In California, one of the largest legal cannabis markets, vaporizer carts make up 25% of delivery sales.
While demand for vaporizer carts is on the rise, the technology is still young, and largely based on repurposed e-cigarette hardware that isn’t all that well-suited for the job. This has left vape cart consumers plagued by a familiar suite of problems.
From unvaporized oils to leaky cartridges, these problems could spell trouble for the vape cart industry, since consumers who don’t get their money’s worth from a new technology are less likely to try it again. To ensure that users get the most out of every puff of their carefully crafted concentrates, processors are increasingly turning to more reliable ceramic heating elements, like those developed by industry leader CCELL.
“As we looked for ways to deliver our oil to customers, we went through 36 different cartridges before deciding that CCELL’s technology is the best on the market today,” says Rob Zaitona of Cartel Oil Co.
Purpose-Built Cannabis Cartridges
Because the viscous, sticky nature of cannabis oils makes them tougher to vaporize than other liquids, the industry demanded new solutions. To offer those solutions, doctors and professors with years of experience developing ceramics for vaporization worked together to create CCELL. While numerous producers are crafting ceramic heating elements, not all ceramics are created equal, as CCELL’s partners will tell you.
“We’re committed to making the highest quality distillate for our Aces product line, but we never felt that our disposable pen hardware fully showcased our oil,” says David Hudson, director of sales at Aces Extracts. “Once we made the switch to CCELL technology, we could immediately see and taste the improvement in flavor and consistency of each pull.”
Here’s how CCELL makes those improvements possible.
Many cartridges use a cotton wick as their heating element, but these wicks can burn at high temperatures. When that happens, consumers can say goodbye to the cannabis flavor that oil processors have worked so painstakingly to craft. Once you’re vaping with a burned wick, every hit will carry the taste of that char.
In contrast, CCELL ceramic heating elements are composed of a patented formula developed with thermal endurance in mind, meaning they can absorb and distribute heat from the embedded coil evenly and regularly. This ceramic is sintered together at a very high temperature, increasing its stability even further.
“Because CCELL coils are more stable than other heating elements, they won’t burn out or become charred like other heating elements can,” says CCELL’s marketing director Joe S. “And the design of the coil guarantees the most even possible heating distribution, eliminating local overheating and ensuring that every bit of oil gets vaporized.”
Ready to Roll
The even heating provided by CCELL doesn’t just prevent burning, though. It also makes CCELL-powered puffs remarkably consistent, so that the last puff on a cartridge feels and tastes just like one from its heart.
And since CCELL coils heat the surrounding cannabis oil consistently every time, users don’t need to spend their first couple pulls priming the pump and getting their cart warmed up. CCELL-driven vape carts are ready to start strong from the very first puff, because life is too short for load times.
Bigger Puffs, Fewer Leaks
While some cannabis oil cartridges render cottony clouds of vapor, others can leave users exhaling puny plumes. Even more common are carts that do both, providing a satisfying lungful of vapor on some hits—and thin, tasteless wisps from others.
An added benefit of that permeability? Since CCELL heating elements are so good at absorbing cannabis oils, they are less likely to leak.
“CCELL provides the best vapor production, hands down, along with the lowest leak and defect rate we have experienced,” says Devin Weller of Sea Dub Extracts. “They beat the quality of every other atomizer out there.”
Vaping technology elevates Phoenix’s Jupiter Research in cannabis industry
Having a background running an electronic-cigarette company proved to be a big asset for Mark Scatterday, the CEO and co-founder of Phoenix-based Jupiter Research, a manufacturer and distributor of cannabis vaping technology.
But not exactly in the way one would think.
Instead of enabling him to transfer the knowledge he’d gained as senior vice president of manufacturing and product development for NJOY, a pioneering developer of e-cigarette technology, to the cannabis side, Scatterday’s insight told him that was the wrong move.
When Scatterday launched Jupiter with friend and business partner Bob Crompton in 2015, cannabis customers were implementing the vaping technology used in e-cigarettes and tobacco. The medical- and recreational-marijuana industries were just taking off.
However, the wick-and-coil device would overheat cannabis oils and create a burning taste. This method, Scatterday said, was ineffective and prevented delivery of cannabis in its true form.
“The hardware at the time did not work very well. We knew we could deliver and develop products that were optimized for high-viscosity oils or cannabis extracts,” Scatterday said.
Developer: Better quality vaporization
Research and testing yielded a new ceramic technology that was better suited to handling the viscosity of all-natural plant extracts like hemp and cannabis. The result is a better quality of vaporization that preserves the integrity of the intended flavor and efficiency, Scatterday said.
After a year and a half of product development, Jupiter entered commercialization in September 2016. What started in a two-bedroom apartment Scatterday and Crompton rented specifically as Jupiter’s headquarters is now in a full-fledged Phoenix facility that they moved into in April. There’s also an office in China.
Today, Jupiter’s three main vape pens are sold in a half-dozen countries including the U.S. They’ve generated an annual run rate of more than $50 million, and that statistic was projected to reach $100 million in 2018, Scatterday said.
“The vaporization segment is the fastest-growing versus the traditionally smoked marijuana, which we anticipated,” Scatterday said.
Clients tout Jupiter’s products
Jupiter’s clients are natural plant extraction companies that wholesale to the retail side of the cannabis trade. Scatterday’s company offers the technology and hardware, which frees up extractors to focus on what they do best.
Rickie Hendrickson, director of operations for Sublime Brands, has been working with Jupiter for more than a year and provided Jupiter products during its testing and research phases. Because Sublime’s cannabis oil is a bit thicker than most and more difficult to use in other vape pens on the market, Hendrickson said it was especially beneficial for Jupiter to use her oils to help develop its products.
Currently, Sublime, a Phoenix-based producer of cannabis products from edibles to vapes, purchases Jupiter’s devices and uses them in its wholesale brand. Hendrickson has received a lot of positive feedback from customers about Jupiter’s Liquid 6 pen, which she called probably the best vape platform available.
“The market was made to fit more cigarette oils. As a dispensary that uses cannabis oils, we see that (Jupiter’s product line) has more of a benefit to us and patients,” said Hendrickson. “In our business, we deal with a lot of overseas companies. But it helps so much to have a local office that you can call whenever you need something or have a question.”
‘It was just the beginning’
A lifelong entrepreneur, Scatterday’s decision to let that spirit guide him has positioned Jupiter at the head of a rapidly evolving industry as the medical- and recreational-marijuana fields continue to pick up speed nationwide.
And it started over cocktails and cigars on Saturday nights with his friend and neighbor, Crompton, who had heard countless stories over the years about what Scatterday was doing with his former company. The reality of the vaporization technology and inhalation delivery system’s role in the then-fledgling medical-cannabis industry powered through the smoke and buzz.
“We recognized what the future holds for this segment of the business. We saw the opportunity, and it was just the beginning,” Scatterday said.