For sellers in the current cannabis market, it’s not just about how you grow bud or blast your concentrates; it’s about how you market yourself. How many stickers and hat pins are you willing to print up and hand out? How big are your promotional giveaways at cannabis festivals? How much sweat are you willing to pour into your social media campaigns? The most successful companies often aren’t the ones with the loudest product, just the loudest voices.
But as popular as dabbing has become, selling to wooks isn’t enough to get a company really rich. But how do you sell dabbing to people who’ve never dabbed, maybe don’t even like the sight of a bong and prefer a nice clean gentle spliff?
One company, Dabado Vaporizers, is making a major play for the yuppy market while keeping one foot in the wook camp. Their website is a slick Squarespace job that’s all high tech electronic rigs (called Bolts) and clean formatting. Nary a blowtorch or smoke or even any concentrates can be found on it. They look like they could be selling watches to the Sharper Image. Meanwhile, their Facebook page (DabsGotMeLike) caters shamelessly to the 710 crowd as a hive of dabbing memes and dripping amber fonts. It’s got over 110,000 followers and its corresponding Instagram account has 52,000.
Dabado also scored some more points with the square community by getting an article in Forbes on their entrepreneurial genius. Forbes makes like they invented the E-nail, though the invention has been circulating among wax aficionados practically since the first BHO blasters were blowing themselves up. What Dabado did do, however, is market the E-nail better and wider than maybe anyone before them.
The company is headed up by two brothers, Nicholas and Steven Helfer, aged 23 and 20, from Denver, Colorado. They told Forbes that they expect the company to end its first year of operation having done $3 million worth of business. They pulled together an initial $150,000 investment the old fashioned way: by making cheap Hitman knock offs and selling them online, among other endeavors. Then they struck out to diversify their customers by selling Bolt E-nails and pens to the straight world. “Cancer patients are not going to pull out a butane torch,” Steven told Forbes.
If all that’s true then the Helfers are savvy businessmen whose ingenuity is going to pay off with dividends and bring dabbing to the masses. But is the Bolt any good? Is the market rewarding those with the loudest product or those with the loudest marketing?
Reviews on the quality of the product are mixed. Until last February, the rigs were made partially with Teflon and there are reports from consumers that the Teflon melted during dabs, which means, if that’s true, that users were inhaling plastic vapors when they took their hit. The company has since switched to tried and true ceramic designs (which also have mixed reviews).