Earlier this month, we told you about Integra Boost and what it can do for your cannabis. We recently got a chance to talk with Ben Blankenhorn, Manager of New Business Development for Desiccare Inc., the makers of Integra Boost.
“Integra is a brand that we launched back at the end of 2015 for the agricultural and cannabis markets,” Ben told The Marijuana Times about how the product got its start. “It’s kind of a brand that we own. Our parent company is Desiccare Incorporated…and we develop atmospheric packaging for food, pharmaceuticals and general packaging – the little things you get in your pill bottles that say ‘Do not eat.’”
According to Ben, it’s very likely that most of the people reading this have handled products from Desiccare, they just may not have realized it. Whether you’ve opened the CVS-branded Tylenol or aspirin and have seen the little freshness packets or have bought and eaten beef jerky and saw the little blue packet that keeps the beef fresh, you’re probably familiar with what Desiccare creates.
Ben told us the idea to use Desiccare’s technology in the cannabis market came with a trip to Colorado a few years ago to work on a kale chip packaging project. Ben turned to his partner at one point and quipped, “This looks like a bunch of weed going down the line.”
“I think the light bulb had kind of gone off thinking we can do something for this to probably extend the shelf life and preserve the potency and the weight of the product so people don’t lose money and, of course, preserve the consumer or the medical patient, whichever one you to want to refer to it as, preserve their investment after they take it home,” Ben said. From there, Integra Boost packs were born.
But the move into the cannabis industry presents problems and opportunities for Desiccare. Since agencies like the FDA that regulate products in various food and drug industries have no jurisdiction over marijuana – which remains illegal on a federal level – rules can be confusing depending on the state; they are ever-changing as well. “So you’re lacking some structure there in a sense and I understand why, I mean, it’s just a new market and the federal government’s not involved, so you have state agencies doing these things…there’s not all one set protocol to work with whereas in Canada, you have Health Canada and they do control these things,” Ben told us. “Therefore, it’s still kind of an industry trying to legitimize itself in my opinion, trying to find its footing in many ways and when it comes to something like the consumable [cannabis products]… there are safety concerns.”
By regulating the humidity and oxygen levels of stored cannabis, Integra is doing their part to bring some standardization to an industry desperately in need of some.