G Pen Turns 10: How Grenco Stays On Top of the Cannabis Vape Market
Cannabis.net talks the evolution of the vape market with Grenco CTO – Michael Trzecieski
Grenco Science has been one of the leaders in both the cannabis industry and cannabis culture for the last decade. Could you tell us a little bit more about that history and what the journey has been like?
Our CEO and founder, Chris Folkerts, was active in the California community long before vaporizers entered the market. His aha moment came after trialing a prototype; it was then he knew this was his calling. He needed to do this better and faster with a style that was uniquely his. In 2012, Grenco Science was born. We’ve gone from a startup making one very basic portable vaporizer to a ubiquitous company that offers dozens of unique products.
Since 2012, we’ve expanded our in-store distribution nationwide and internationally. We’ve partnered with artists, musicians, and other key players in the cannabis scene. Our first and most notable partnership is one for the history books – Snoop x G Pen. Snoop’s support catapulted our brand above the noise and allowed us to expand and build out some of the strongest relationships in the industry. We are fortunate to call Cookies (Berner), Dr. Greenthumb (BReal) and Taylor Gang (Wiz Khalifa) collaborative partners. Historically we have operated within music and arts and now we are thrilled to expand into the athletics arena with our recent collaboration with Tyson 2.0 and Mike Tyson.
“G Pen” is one of the most recognizable names on the market; it’s become almost synonymous with “vape pen.” How does a company in a competitive and restrictive niche market, like cannabis, achieve and maintain that level of brand recognition?
We were fortunate to be one of the first vaporizers on the market. G Pen has become a near de facto way of calling a device a vape. Likening it to kleenex or Q Tips for our world.
It’s wild to see G Pen featured in countless hip hop tracks and music videos, with folks who were true fans- no contracts, no deals, just artists who actually used G Pens and were inspired to write tracks. We don’t just make products to smoke cannabis out of; we create products carefully designed to elevate the entire experience.
You’re currently in the process of adding the G Pen Elite II dry herb vaporizer to your lineup alongside the original G Pen Elite vape. How do these products complement each other and broaden your market share and consumer accessibility, alike?
The G Pen Elite and the G Pen Elite II are both amazing products in the Grenco Science lineup. The G Pen Elite and the G Pen Elite II have some great features that set them apart. The G Pen Elite has a larger oven, so if you’re a heavy user or just love getting big, rich clouds, it’s still a great choice. The only reason it’s not the top of the line anymore is that we’ve raised the bar again —
The GPEN Elite II vaporizer brings a new realm of technology and vaporization experience to both the novice and experienced user alike. Through the patent pending dual heating system and the firmware update capability as well as vivid OLED display, the Elite II exceeds leaf vaporization expectations. The G Pen Elite II is one of the most technical, luxurious, and user-friendly dry herb vapes on the market.
Since the original G Pen, you’ve rolled out many upgrades to the user experience — the carrying case, the silicone sleeve, the integrated pick tool, and more. What features of the GPen ELITE 2 are you most excited about?
The feature that excites me the most is the soon to be released wifi data tracking capabilities that enable a user to track their dosage and usage frequency. Just as some folks use activity trackers to track their steps, this enables a consumer to get granular with their medication protocol and consumptive patterns.
It’s really tough to stop just there…
We’re excited to have refined the vapor quality which is technically the combination of several features. With the G Pen Elite II, we’ve chosen a zirconia mouthpiece, which is less heat conductive for a smoother, cooler, and more comfortable draw. It’s much easier to clean and stronger, too.
We are introducing patented clean-air intake. The isolated airpath combined with the spiral ceramic vapor cooler gives you the best of the best in terms of vapor quality. The vapor is cool, flavorful, and completely customizable.
Even though it’s less flashy, I have to give an honorable mention to the built-in pick tool. These tools are essential accessories for dry herb vapes, but they’re also very easy to lose. By creating built-in storage for the pick tool, we’ve eliminated one of the few annoyances of using a dry herb vape. The tiny detail makes the G Pen Elite II feel and operate like a luxury piece.
Grenco clearly prioritizes an accessible user experience as well as exciting new tech. What is your methodology for deciding which features to include as you continue to push the boundaries?
When we look to develop a new groundbreaking technology product we always keep the end consumer in mind. What is being asked for? How can we elevate that? How does it need to be used in play? What features will make it a better experience? What will the product sell for? Will the product functions meet the discerning consumer demand at that price level or does it need to change? It is easy to make something expensive. It’s easy to make something of poor quality and extremely affordable. Where our team shines is in making affordable, high quality products that are backed by our warranty as well as customer service.
The Grenco team is composed of industry leading experts in multiple key areas. From consumer experience, to product design engineering and to device usability. There are many products that we have on the drawing board that never make it to market. They are either further refined or are scrapped because they don’t make the cut in terms of what we believe to be an excellent product for the growing community.
As one of the most innovative companies in the space, Grenco has changed the face of dry herb vaporizers. How have you been able to do so while maintaining affordability for consumers?
One of the most significant ways we’ve done that has been by offering different products at every price point. From the compact G Pen Dash at less than $100 to the brand new G Pen Elite II at just under $250, we develop products to accommodate every budget. The members of the community are a massive part of what makes this industry so special and we want to make sure that Grenco Science products are always accessible to the consumers who have helped us to get to where we are today.
As we’ve discussed today, Grenco has consistently been on the cutting edge of cannabis over the past 10 years. What does the next decade of cannabis culture and Grenco innovation look like to you?
The goal of Grenco is to design the future. To continue to release groundbreaking products and technologies. But make them attainable. To innovate and continue to build our IP portfolio.
We also want to continue emphasizing cannabis as medicine through cutting-edge technology and precise dosing. Our products also allow for more precise dosing than old-school cannabis consumption methods. The acquisition of Vapium under the brand name Accudose, for example, is a groundbreaking system designed to give users and patients the first-of-its-kind dosing mechanism for ground material.
We look forward to continuing our work in destigmatizing what we believe is a profoundly powerful plant.