by Gregory Daurer on December 11, 2016, 09:55 am MST
Industry: Bioscience & Medical
Products: Cannabis extracts
CEO Dan Pettigrew says customers from grandmothers to veterans find his company’s THC-forward hash oil medically effective.
Explaining the origin of his company’s name, Pettigrew says that the elderly grandmother of a friend, his initial investor, tried cannabis for the first time in Colorado. She experienced relief from her eye pain, caused by cataracts, and was able to read her Bible again — something she hadn’t been able to do in years. Pettigrew says, “The effect it had on her was so positive that it just kind of made sense to name the company after her as an honor to her, and as a reminder to us of really why we do this, and why we need to hold ourselves to the highest standard.”
Who’s “dabbing” or “vaping” Viola Extracts’ butane hash oil (BHO), these days? “Our customers are extremely diverse,” Pettigrew says. “There’s 22-year-old-kids, there’s military veterans, there’s soccer moms, there’s corporate CEOs.”
In a 12,000-square-foot building in northeast Denver, Viola Extracts grows its own cannabis, and uses its four extraction machines and 10 ovens to process the raw cannabis into a highly concentrated product. “Butane hash is basically using butane to strip the THC off of the plant,” Pettigrew says. “We then cook the butane off, and what we end up with is a pretty pure product that can come in the form of either ‘live resin’ or ‘wax’ or ‘shatter.’ The three of those are based on different consistencies.”
He explains that “live resin” is made using freshly-harvested, frozen cannabis; the end result sometimes resembles crystallized honey. “Shatter” and “wax” are derived from already-dried plant material — the former looking like translucent, amber glass. Pettigrew calls it a “very, very clean product and a very, very high-quality product.”
And the effect compared with smoking marijuana flowers? “It’s just a more concentrated experience,” says Pettigrew. “So, the THC is more concentrated, the [scent-giving] terpenes are more concentrated . . . the flavor is more concentrated.” Displaying a small plastic container of his live resin made from the Kosher Kush strain, the fruity aromas tingle the nostrils like an aromatherapy oil; the names of the most popular Viola strains give further indication of their scents or flavors: e.g., Papaya and Lemon OG.
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