Vandy visited Chris at Suncliff's facilities inside Vela to get answers to some of our burning questions.
When most people see Suncliff, one of the first observations is the four classifications. Similar to Van der Pop, Suncliff thought it was best to simplify the cannabis experience without sacrificing education and gained knowledge.
First off, how did the four classifications come to be?
"We were really looking at our brand and this idea of transparency on people understanding what it is that they’re consuming and getting away from the stigma that cannabis usually has associated with it. So part of that is putting in certain structures that help people bridge the gap of, you know, is cannabis for me? And one of those ways we did that, especially for new users, is by putting each of our products into one of four categories."
"From a consumer perspective, it gives them insight off the bat of the kind of experience that they’re going to get. A lot of people’s bad experiences with cannabis are rooted in either dosing too much or in consuming something that had an effect that was different from what they expected it to be…but with a little bit of knowledge and some intent, you can set yourself up for success in 99 out of 100 occasions. On our end, too, it gives us a theme and structure that we can use for a lot of our products, so when we have a really heavy indica we don’t just sell it as an indica strain we can sell it as ‘calm.’ It’s good for night time, hanging out and going to bed. Whereas if you smoke a sativa right before you go to bed you’re probably not going to have the best time. It really just feeds into that piece of a mature and sophisticated cannabis brand for the mature and sophisticated cannabis consumer."
How did you classify energetic vs. creative?
"Creative is definitely a trickier one. It really comes down to a lot of the terpene content and THC content as well as the info that we’ve gotten from the community around us. Some strains are notoriously more creative, but I think if we had the perfect solution for creativity we would've made a billion dollars by now."
What can you tell me about your pesticide-free efforts in regards to growing and extracting?
"As anyone in the cannabis growing side of things would know, there is no way to grow cannabis without some form of pest, so obviously pest management is important. In our brand, we avoid things that are considered pesticides. We use only organic approved pest management, which is different than a pesticide which is generally something that’s more chemical in nature and doesn’t come from a naturally occuring source. So we use things like neem oil and chrysanthemum oil which are all approved by organic standards. Since cannabis is not federally recognized and the USDA will not classify cannabis as organic, we are working on getting our Clean Green certification. Clean Green has their own guidelines with organic approved pest management that you would see used in any other organic industry and we just use them in cannabis following the same guidelines."
I see you've upgraded your Suncliff Sips cartridges. Why did you decide to do that?
"We’re a company that really prides itself on its quality, on its transparency, on its approachability for a more mature cannabis enthusiast. Anyone in our lab can attest to the fact that we put an insane amount of work into creating our oil. We were putting them in these cartridges that did their job, but weren’t a good enough of a presentation piece for the quality of oil that was going into them. With the surge of cannabis industry, the innovation that is going on has honestly been unprecedented at the rate at which it’s advancing. For us, it only made sense to provide a more appropriate vehicle for our product, something that does convey that quality…the glass and the metal. It’s wickless, which is going to make them more reliable in the utility perspective as well, since wicks are notoriously fickle as far as their ability to clog and fault. With the ceramic heating system and new design, I think we finally found the appropriate delivery system for the quality that is going into them."
Why did you decide to pursue a CBD line?
"There are a lot of motivations. As the market becomes more mature, we see a lot of different types of cannabis users emerge…as well as pretty big legacy from the medical world where we obviously have our roots in. CBD is where most [med] companies in some form got their start. That being said, we are a newer company, we weren’t in medical. A lot of us came from that world, I know I did. And we want to be able to provide products that are meeting everyone’s needs and not everyone is chasing the highest THC. I know personally I had an injury and a surgery and a lot of stuff and I have moved away from higher THC strains and almost exclusively smoke CBD. At the end of the day, a lot of it had to do with meeting the needs of the market and understanding that there are different consumers that have very different needs…as well as just growing some really, really good CBD cannabis that also made really, really good CBD oil."
Any Suncliff words to live by?
"Cannabis can and should be for everyone."
How do you embody that at Suncliff?
"In a lot of our marketing, we’ve taken the stance towards that sophisticated and mature user, which is previously something that wasn’t being addressed by the underground market (or wasn’t very prominent). Also, I think just operating internally with the sense of professionalism that we’re trying to communicate externally has been a big part of what we’re doing. At the end of the day, there’s just a bunch of really good, smart, hard-working people behind our brand and I’m thankful that I get to work with the team that I do."