Craftsmanship at its Finest: High Quadz's Commitment to Quality
Craftsmanship at its Finest: High Quadz's Commitment to Quality
The story of three industry veterans and their mission to up the quality of cannabis products is an inspiring one. It all started when Mark May, Chris McDonough, and Nameer Ramzam teamed up to create High Quadz. After stints with some of the biggest names in cannabis, the trio set out to create something new - a cannabis company that put consumer experience and quality first.
Seeing how industry standards had become compromised over time, they vowed to create something better. With their combined 75 years of experience in the cannabis industry, they knew they had the knowledge and opportunity to make it happen.
With their debut product, Sin Mints, which launched in August 2022, High Quadz made sure to focus on providing fresh, premium flower with no compromises. With this consumer-driven mindset, High Quadz quickly gained recognition for their limited drops and small-batch production made in BC.
Their focus on quality has made them a hit with consumers, and the team have even taken to the streets with a series of pop-up events - meeting face-to-face with their customers, gathering feedback, and learning first-hand what people want from their cannabis.
So what makes High Quadz Cannabis so special? It’s their commitment to never compromising on quality and craftsmanship, an approach that has won them fans around the country. Through its relationships with craft farmers, High Quadz is creating a new standard for what consumers should expect from their cannabis.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Chris McDonough, co-founder and COO of High Quadz Cannabis, to learn more about their mission, what sets them apart, and their plans for the future.
Can you tell us how the three of you came together and decided to start High Quadz?
In December 2021, I was introduced to Mark through a friend, and I had known Nameer from back in 2015 when we crossed paths working in the cannabis industry. I had this idea with Nameer and another friend of mine who talked about how it would be great to have a procurement-style cannabis brand. And we met, Mark and Nameer and I, at a Cafe on Commercial Drive, and drew up the whole High Quadz plan on a sheet of paper.
That was the genesis of it all and from there we started putting all the pieces together for release. So that's how and where it all happened, in East Vancouver.
How long did it take from the time that you conceived of High Quadz till when you started to gain traction on the business?
In May 2022, we started putting together the sourcing options we had and started to get flower lined up for an August launch. That was when we got to market, at the end of August 2022.
So in total, it took about nine months to get to market?
It did. We felt that there were a lot more micro-cultivators coming online. So we thought that now was the time time to strike and start putting this together. So it took about nine months to get everything in place to launch into regulated cannabis.
What's the mission at High Quadz?
We are a procurement brand. So we want to be able to seek out and find the best growers, the best micro-cultivators and find the batches that we think our customers will like and get those to market. Really focusing on the aficionados and the consumers that appreciate the finer aspects of flower.
In such a crowded market, what makes High Quadz stand out?
That also goes back to our procurement model. We're not tied to any one cultivator. And I think it gives us the ability to really be flexible with the batches that we bring to market. And I think that gives us a little bit of a different look than some of the more traditional LPs that are selling all the stuff that they're growing.
The popups seem to be a big part of your strategy. What have you learned from meeting your customers face-to-face?
I'm really learning that our consumer spans different age groups and social classes and anyone can really appreciate the finer aspects of flower. We're able to really connect with those people and these pop-ups present our brand to this group. There are a lot of different people that are interested in High Quadz and many are coming over from the black market.
How have you been able to leverage the collective experience of the co-founders to create something different from what everybody else is offering?
We're a lean group, and Mark, Nameer and myself all bring different things to the table. We've been all wearing a lot of hats and everybody is in startup mode to do what we can do to push High Quadz forward.
What's been the biggest challenge since starting High Quadz?
We were there at the beginning of the BC Direct Delivery program, and just going through all the regulations and getting people signed up for the new delivery method was challenging, but we've been making some pretty good headway with that.
We're in close to 100 stores right now. We were boots on the ground and out there, store by store, account by account, building out High Quadz. In the beginning, it was trying to get people to look at other ways other than through central distribution.
From your Sin Mints and Galaxy Cake flower to your Chatterbox pre-rolls, you've been able to create some amazing products. How do you ensure consistent quality in each batch?
I like to be out there visiting the cultivation throughout the growing process. It starts with identifying strains that the farmers are growing, and keeping an eye on how it's progressing through the growth cycle. And once it's in the curing phase, we do a final check over of everything to make sure that they meet our high-quality standards, which include all the aspects of the flower from the nose to the colour to the trichomes.
What's next for High Quadz Cannabis? Any exciting new products on the horizon?
We're looking forward to the launch of Flawless Victory with Herbal Dispatch in 3.5-gram flower jars, as well as pre-rolls, which will probably come a little bit after that week or so. We're really excited to get this heavy-hitting indica to market.
What are your plans for the future of High Quadz Cannabis?
We're really excited to get into other provinces and get BC micro-grown cannabis out to other parts of Canada. We're anticipating a launch around mid-summer of getting High Quadz out to Ontario, the population centre of Canada.
Ultimately, why should consumers choose High Quadz Cannabis?
High Quadz is for people that want really high-end flower that's got all the aspects that make them the best quality. If it's been procured by our sourcing team, what you're getting has been selectively chosen for aficionados.