hen you walk into a dispensary to purchase a vaporizer cartridge do you really know what you’re buying? Most consumers only think about the actual cannabis oil product itself — perhaps checking to make sure that the plant extract is free of fillers, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and other additives. Few people, however, think to ask what the hardware that makes the product work might contain.
“Over time, cannabis oil can corrode certain metals, making the entire cartridge unsafe to use,” says Peter Dunbar, vice president of marketing at BeGreen Supply in Boston, Massachusetts. “Lab tests have shown heavy metals, like lead, leeching into the product. It’s really bad.”
When the company was launched by Chris Michaud, an industrial designer, in 2017, BeGreen Supply—a custom engineering and manufacturing firm serving the cannabis industry—set out to tackle this problem head-on. “Most hardware was designed for tobacco use,” Dunbar says. “But that’s a totally different product. It doesn’t behave the same way. We decided to look at areas of failure and use them to identify opportunities.”
Dunbar also notes that while most tobacco use products and are tested and approved by the FDA, products created for cannabis consumers are not—so right now it’s important for cannabis companies to be vigilant about the type of hardware they choose for their products.
BeGreen’s hardware puts the end-user first, starting with the quality of the raw materials in their manufacturing process. “We took a stand against plated-metal materials in our product lines. We only use 304 stainless steel, ceramic or better,” says Michaud, who is today BeGreen’s CEO. “We’ve even raised the industry bar with our glass standards. We commit ourselves to innovation, quality, and customer service.”
“We design and engineer products based on customers’ ideas,” Dunbar says. “Cannabis brands are looking for ways to differentiate themselves to consumers. At first, most of our customers don’t realize how affordable, and fast, customization at scale can be.”
“We are more than just a white-label company. We design, engineer, and build solutions,” says Michaud.
In addition to vaporizer hardware, which makes up the majority of the company’s business, BeGreen has also created other types of custom containers for companies in the cannabis space.
BeGreen Supply also manufactures some of its own products, including vaporizer batteries, under its Hum brand. The batteries, which are available at area dispensaries, can be customized with retailers’ logos.
“We can be more edgy with our HUM brand,” Dunbar says. “It allows us to work directly with retailers to find unique ways support consumer education.”
BeGreen has also used its HUM batteries to partner with The Last Prisoner Project, with a portion of each battery’s sale price going to support the organization.