Licensed Producer Review: Broken Coast Cannabis

This is my second licensed producer review on the medical cannabis market. I’ll be making note of the things that matter to medical patients, and highlighting where companies are doing a great job and noting where changes could be made to provide better products or services to patients.

Broken Coast Cannabis is based on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada and owned by a larger company called Aphria as of early 2018. Small-batch premium “BC Bud” is noted on their website and mentions how their flower is hand-trimmed and slow cured at its indoor facility. They serve both the medical and general consumer market.

 

Wide variety, great quality however consistency varied

As of October 2019 there were 10 dried whole flower varieties, two low cost flower tips (trim), two edible oils, and one THC capsule option. Of the dried flower types available eight were over 15% THC.  I have tried seven products from Broken Coast, six on the medical side and an additional one from the retail market. Each and every time I opened one of their containers I could smell the pungent aromas hitting my nostrils and most of the time the buds were large in size, even with five gram containers. 

The flower overall was great quality however I did notice some consistency issues when it came to lighting joints. Dark ash occurred on many occasions and some in the community have advised me that this could be due to an improper cure. As I primarily vape this wasn’t much of an issue but at the cost per gram you want consistency.

 

Why a perfect seal matters

A strong induction seal on the container keeps the moisture balance intact I’ve noticed and despite some products I had from Broken Coast that were four months or older since packaged, when I opened the container the aromas were still there.

 

Price, Excise Tax & Compassion Pricing

Of the current full dried flower products on their website, the cheapest per gram was Texada (Super Lemon Haze) at $10.04 per gram, and the highest was $11.86 per gram for Muskmelon OG. The average overall cost per gram across all whole flower options was $11.05 per gram.

These amounts are based if you live in Ontario since the Cannabis Act went into force on October 17 2018 an excise tax was introduced. Many licensed producers have absorbed that cost for medical patients and Broken Coast isn’t one of them. Prices may be lower or higher depending on the province or territory you live in as this tax percentage varies. Shipping is free when the order is over $150, otherwise a $5 flat fee is applied.

Compassion pricing doesn’t exist at Broken Coast and the only low cost offerings are the Indica and Sativa Tips for $4.06 per gram which is a mixture of high quality cured trim in a container.

Return Policy

Broken Coast has a great return policy on cannabis, according to the Broken Coast website,

Returns can be made within 30 days of purchase by sending any remaining product back to Broken Coast Cannabis 3695 Drinkwater Rd. Duncan, BC V9L 3C0, along with a written note indicating the reason for return. Broken Coast will only issue a credit for up to 10 grams per strain for a maximum of 30 grams per order. Any product returned to us has to be destroyed and cannot be resold or returned to you; please consider this when ordering strains you have not tried before.”

 

End Thought

While I enjoyed my experiences with Broken Coast and now have a few new favourites, I wasn’t a fan of the pricing as there was no incentive to buy more and save more. It would be nice to see a compassion pricing program for those who could use relief from the high taxes applied to such items.  

Thanks for reading. 

Next up will be Pure Sunfarms’s take on Afghan Kush.

Licensed Producer Tour & Review: James E. Wagner Cultivation (JWC)

This is my first licensed producer review, I’ll be making note of the things that matter to me when choosing one, and highlighting where companies are doing a great job and noting where changes could be made to provide better products or services to patients.

Choosing a licensed producer is never an easy task, I’ve seen some cannabis reviews and talk on social media about James E. Wagner Cultivation (JWC) and decided to switch half my prescription to them at the end of June 2019.

 

Pricing that makes sense and free shipping

The cheapest per gram of dried flower that JWC offers is $7 when buying 30 grams of ChemDawg, with tax that’s $237.10 in Ontario for just over an ounce. While ordering less grams of the same cultivar for example does cost more, in the case of five grams, the cost would be $9 plus tax. It sounds a little confusing, but makes sense, buy more, save more. I do wish companies who use this method of pricing to extend the discount in some way when ordering 30 grams overall in an order.

Shipping is free with Canada Post or Purolator if the total order is over $150, otherwise its $10 flat. Orders generally ship within one business day, delivery times vary but since I live close usually one to two business days until it makes way to the local post office.


Selection is key

As of September 2019 there were 10 dried flower varieties, three oil options, and dozens more arriving down the road. It’s important to have a good selection as I find rotating my choices around keeps cannabis effective, rather than my body getting use to the same cultivar over and over.

 


Quality of the flower

I’ve consumed eight products from JWC since the end of June, the quality of the flower was excellent each and every order and didn’t require a humidity pack to bring the moisture balance back. This is exactly what I expect from a licensed producer that delivers high quality cannabis.

 

Packaged just right

Too many times I’ve received dried cannabis flower that was packed over six months ago with other licensed producers (LPs) and many consumers I’ve spoken to on social media having similar fates, which leads me to advise that JWC packages their cannabis when an order comes in, which is probably one of the reasons why their flower isn’t dried out and fresh every time.

 

Excise Tax & Compassion Pricing

When the Cannabis Act went into force an excise tax was introduced, many licensed producers have absorbed that cost for medical patients and JWC is one of those companies. Also to those with an annual income of less than $25,000, a 15% discount is given with proof (usually this is a Notice of Assessment or other government issued documentation).

 

 

Terpenes matter

Under each cultivar on their website is a link to a “Strain Profile”, this shows what terpenes and cannabinoids are present and helps consumers draw possible conclusions as to what worked and what didn’t for them. For instance, Rockstar Kush has Caryophyllene as their dominant terpene, while White Russian is Pinene dominant, there’s a high chance you’ll likely feel different from each of these and may prefer one over another.

 

What can be changed or improved

Okay, I’ve said A LOT of positive things so far, what could be changed or improved. Once you log into the website to make your purchase those “Strain Profiles” are no longer there, adding those links within the webstore when logged in would be great!

That’s it. I would throw in that I hate the wide mouth containers, but those are already in the process of being changed later this year.

How I got a tour

It started with a Twitter joke Cory Philion (@c_philion) made originally about us going together on a tour, someone I never met but had casual online conversations with. A few weeks later JWC had a contest for a branded hat, and I made a comment, “A tour would be nice too”, and Laura Foster, Chief Compliance Officer at James E. Wagner, asked me to direct message and it was set from there.

 


The tour experience

Last month I went on my first tour of a cannabis facility, and I must say I’ve never seen that many cannabis plants in my life, it was unreal. Nathan and Laura were my tour guides for the next two and a half hours, I asked some questions and learned a bit on the business of cannabis. Also, no soil plants here, JWC only uses aeroponics to grow cannabis, and as JWC puts it, “Aeroponics is a plant-cultivation technique in which the roots hang suspended in the air while being periodically misted with nutrients and water.” 

I enjoyed walking the halls of the connected rooms in my marshmallow-like suit, the environment was really clean and made me feel happy knowing this is where I get my medicine from.

 


After reading the recent
AMA on Reddit that Nathan Woodworth, CEO of JWC took part in, I’m excited to hear their that JWC is currently working with provincial retailers to bring its products to the recreational market in the coming months.

Thanks for reading and big thanks to Nathan and Laura for taking the time out of their day to show me how a cannabis company works day to day. 


Next up will be a review on JWC’s Rockstar Kush.