Cannabis Interview – Jason Winkler – Five Star Extracts

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It seems like everyone is getting into cannabis these days. They’re also finding that it’s not so much about getting into the industry, but positioning your brand for the long game; building the trust, rapport and brand loyalty that gives staying power.

We sat down with Jason Winkler, Co-Founder and CEO of Five Star Extracts, to talk about what it really means to build a long lasting, sustainable thriving brand in cannabis and why they’re out to make a dent in the industry.

I am a brand and music guy when it comes down to it so I use my branding expertise in any industry I immerse myself in. I very much feel that the cannabis industry is in need of a brand that the consumer can trust and would wear the brands logo proudly across their chest and that is our goal here at Five Star.

Jason Winkler – Five Star Extracts

Jason, we’re excited to connect with you and learn more about your journey as well as your role/vision with Five Star Extracts.

Can you tell us a little bit about how you initially got involved in the industry… and any pertinent background information that led up to getting into the industry?

Jason: I started this company with my brother Eric after seeing our 94 year old grandfather in pain with a lack of appetite after getting very injured after a fall.

He was taking pain pills to deal with this extreme pain but it was affecting him in a negative way with the lack of appetite and his overall mood.

Our grandparents were extremely against cannabis because of how they experienced the stigma from the culture they were accustomed to. So that being said it took a little convincing to have him try a distillate vape pen we brought over one day, but once he did he started feeling better and getting off the painkillers.

Once we saw him turn back into his happy, fun self we knew this industry was something we had to pursue to help others.

Five Star Extracts

Before Five Star I helped build a tech startup company called Liquipel with my other brother. At Liquipel I ran all Marketing initiatives and partnerships bring on partners like WME, Pharrell Williams, Steve Aoki and Nyjah Huston.

I am a brand and music guy when it comes down to it so I use my branding expertise in any industry I immerse myself in. I very much feel that the cannabis industry is in need of a brand that the consumer can trust and would wear the brands logo proudly across their chest and that is our goal here at Five Star.

 

Where are you primarily operating out of (states) and why did you choose those markets

Jason: Five Star Extracts is operating currently in California and Nevada.

We started this business in our home of Orange County California and we are lucky enough that California is one of the leaders in the US market. We feel that California creates the demand and culture of the industry and we are excited to build here.

Five Star partnered with Las Vegas Cannabis in June 2018 and have been developing our product Double Shot since then. It is finally time for the release of Double Shot which is happening this July!

We feel like the Nevada/Vegas market is going to be a must for brands that want to be one of the big players in this industry. Vegas is a market that caters to the tourist and our product Double Shot does just that.

We created a product that is fast acting, easy to consume, and is a one time use product. We are very excited about this product launch and are very confident that it will be a product that belongs in Vegas.

We were reading your Mission Statement, which includes the words Clarity, Consistency & Potency, something that’s often difficult for a lot of brands in the market.

What has been part of your process that has allowed you to remain so consistent?

Jason: Those words are the cornerstone of our business, we do everything we can to guarantee our products goes above and beyond the standard by controlling every aspect of the production from seed to sale. All our distillate products are extracted from our own biomass and extracted in our facilities with highly qualified professionals overseeing the process at every step of the way

 

What are some of the various product lines you offer to the market and why did you choose those to lead with?

Jason: Five Star’s goal is to offer unique high quality products. As of now in California we have standard .5 510 carts that are testing in the 90% THC –

Three flavors (Strawberry Lemonade, Caribbean Mango, and Wild Berry) of our 400mg Double Cup pourable syrup Tincture, our 100mg Double Cup pourable syrup Tincture with the same flavors…

…and in August we are introducing The Bullet .5 90%+ THC testing disposable which has our very unique hardware technology.

Five Star Extracts – The Bullet (Aug ’19)

Five Star offers in Vegas our three different flavors of our 20mg Double Shot beverage product in Strawberry Lemonade, Carribean Mango, and Purple Grape

 

You also have a pretty strict testing policy, correct? We couldn’t agree more. Tell us a little bit about that process and why it’s so important for a brand to include that as part of their operations.

Jason: Yes we are very strict with our products testing.

We make sure all of our vape products and tinctures pass all testing standards and above. We make sure we use multiple labs to get consistent results.

 

I feel like in an industry like ours it’s very important to put out only the highest quality of product that your brand can truly stand behind.

Tell us more about the Double Cups

Jason: The Double Cup is a 400mg and 100mg syrup tincture that has a dosing syringe attached to each bottle that lets you dose correctly.

For example on the 400mg Double Cup measuring 3ml per syringe that equals 10mg of THC. This product is amazing to mix with any beverage or just to take by itself with the correct dose.

Five Star Extracts – Double Cups

Also a big thing about this product is that we use the highest quality of ingredients so not only does it do the job as a cannabis product but it tastes good. The Double Cup is made with real fruit, natural flavors and water soluble THC.

Double Cup is also vegan, gluten free, and has no HFCS. There are three flavors of Double Cup, Mango, Strawberry Lemonade and Wild Berry AKA Rasberry.

 

And you’ve done some pretty cool collaborations as well. Can you tell us a little bit more about those?

Jason: Five Star as a brand is about finding new ways to work with creative people and companies. One of our first collaborations was with a streetwear brand called Pink Dolphin.

Niema and Cena the owners of Pink Dolphin are friends of mine and we wanted to see how we could work together of a cannabis product so we designed and created a unique .5 vape cartridge as well as some limited edition T-shirts and jackets. We saw a great response for this and we hope to work with them again soon in the future

We are looking at a couple interesting collaborations now and looks like we might have a really cool one coming together in August. I will keep you posted.

 

What are the biggest problems we’re seeing with the emergence of so many brands in this industry?

Jason: I feel like there are a lot of brands and people getting into this industry for the wrong reasons. There are brands that just started that are jumping on to what they think is a green rush but they don’t realize how much time, effort and actual struggle there is to get to the point where there can be real money made in the industry. Especially if you are trying to do everything by the book.

We have been at this since 2015 and I would like to think we are just starting to figure it out.

Jay Alvarez for Five Star Extracts

How have you embraced education as part of your approach to consumers your customers and consumers at large in efforts for them to understand the amazing benefits of cannabis

Jason: Yes we have and we are focusing a lot of or marketing content on education now and running that content on social media as well as in dispensaries to educate the consumer on our products.

As a brand we are starting to do different types of media such as Podcasts to educate people more on the benefits of cannabis and CBD.

 

What are some of the most profound effects you’ve witnessed from some of your customers so far?

Jason: As a brand we have seen and been told how our products help so much with chronic pain. People that have tried everything but for some reason the only thing that works for them is dosing Double Cup or vaping on our pens!

 

Talk to us about your Seed-to-Sale approach?

Jason: Five Star’s partners in California and in Nevada control every aspect of the processes so we know exactly what is going into each product we produce. We focus on specific strains and stick to perfecting our products with those strains.

It is something that is very important to us and we make sure we are involved in every step.

Jason Winkler – Five Star Extracts

What do you think are the three to segments of growth in this industry over the next 3 years?

Jason: I think cannabis will become somewhat of a committee and there will be a time where you will see the consumer having way more control on what brands stick around rather then what we are seeing now.

Brand and brand loyalty from the consumer is key! Brands and quality consistent product is what the next three years looks like for us. All I can say is BRAND BRAND BRAND.

Second labs I feel like there are not many options out there right now in certain areas and I think that growth will happen as well.

Lastly I think we will start seeing big box retailers and eCommerce completely takeover the CBD space.

 

How important do you think the internet will be in the shaping of this industry as it moves forward?

Jason: I think the internet will drive this industry and consumers with reviews of products, letting people know where to get their products, dispensary purchasing managers buying for their stores online and for consumers being influenced to buy from the influencers that they follow on social media to the mainstream PR that is flooding the internet about the cannabis industry.

When it comes to CBD the internet will be everything for the industry the amazon of CBD is coming, Amazon and eBay are going to jump on board and big box retailers are jumping on board. Walmart.com, Target.com, Krogers etc.. it’s all happening and will be in our faces sooner than we think.

Source: The Star

If appropriate, can you share with us some things you’re about to launch or are coming up next for you and Five Star Extracts?

Jason: We are super excited about our new disposable The Bullet that will be out in August. This unique hardware is the size of a bic lighter, holds .5, hits amazing and the battery life will outlast your oil.

Also we are about to announce a huge partnership but I can’t say with who yet but when it’s announced I will make sure to let you know.

 

Jason, this was an awesome interview! Thanks for taking the time!

Jason: My pleasure! Happy to be a part of this.

Jason Winkler – Five Star Extracts
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