There was one issue: the cutthroat nature of the Oregon cannabis market was killing them! Calling it a place where “investors came to lose their money,” Noah said that in his experience Oregon might have the most challenging cannabis market in the world, with an “insane” failure rate. He knew he needed more than premium flower to stand out.
The answer, thought Noah, was pre-rolls.
Well, it would be the answer, if he could get over his pre-roll prejudice. Noah had stayed away from pre-rolls as he began building Benson Arbor. Too often, they were a way “…For people to hide crap inside of a pretty package,” taking advantage of the consumer by tricking them into paying a premium for an inferior product.
Still, he knew that pre-rolls were a majorly untapped source of potential revenue. The Benson Arbor team had been packaging up their B buds and trim together to sell to extract processors, but quickly realized they were leaving money on the table. Pre-rolls offer the highest margin for B buds, and Noah began to wonder if he could find a way to build a better pre-roll. Surely starting off with the highest quality flower would give him a leg up?
But their initial efforts only confirmed his fears. He had an outside company produce some pre-rolls that were acceptable, but not a product he would smoke himself.
If it wasn’t good enough for Noah, it wasn’t good enough for his customers. He went back to the drawing board and purchased a partially automated knockbox machine in March 2021. The setup and airflow didn’t meet his standards, and neither did the build quality. When he reached out to customer support, he found that they weren’t helpful at all. He knew there had to be something better out there.