Interview with Scott Martin of N2 Packaging
Cannapreneur: Scott Martin
Company: N2 Packaging
We chatted with Scott Martin of the Idaho-based marijuana packaging company, N2 Packaging. We talked the cannabis industry, the importance of cannabis business compliance, and the absolutely critical role that packaging plays in maintaining a quality cannabis business and product.
CM: Before we dive into N2, can you tell us a little bit about yourself: where are you from and what sparked your interest with the Cannabis industry?
Scott Martin: In 1994 I moved to Twin Falls, Idaho and married my wife Karen. Karen and I have three kids and feel very lucky to be able to raise our family in such a great area. In terms of professional experience, I owned and operated a finance company for several years.
My interest in the Cannabis industry was sparked by coincidence.
After selling my company in 2013, I was approached about investing in a pending patent for the packaging of controlled substances. What made this packaging unique was that it was a hermetically-sealed container with a modified atmosphere. I researched the industry and the process, decided to invest, and N2 was born.
CM: Tell us a little bit about the history of Cannabis packaging and its impact on the industry and consumers.
Scott Martin:As the industry matures, companies are realizing that the lowest price plastic bag isn’t enough to compete in the evolving, highly-regulated markets. Companies are seeing the value of investing in more sustainable, compliant, and child-safe packaging. Consumers are choosing quality and consistency, which is achievable with advanced packaging options.
CM: Are there strict standards and regulations in place for how Cannabis is packaged and stored?
Scott Martin:Each state in the U.S. has its own set of packaging guidelines. Regulations are similar in that they typically focus on child-resistant, tamper-evident, opaque packaging with very specific label requirements.
CM: What led you to designing the N2 packaging? Were there any ah-ha moments that stood out?
Scott Martin: As I researched the Cannabis industry, I listened to growers discuss the fluctuation of the market due to an oversupply of product after harvest. As the industry grew, this would be an even greater problem due to an increase in cultivation.
We felt that the preservation qualities of our packaging would eliminate the “rush to market” and let cultivators choose the best time to bring their product to market.
Our ah-ha moment came when we started to understand the importance of staying ahead of regulations and adapting our packaging to meet or exceed the packaging requirements.
CM: Can you share some of the science behind the N2 packaging and what makes it exclusive in the industry?
Scott Martin:Oxygen is the main culprit in the degradation of Cannabis. Our patented process removes oxygen prior to the product being hermetically-sealed in the can. This process limits the growth of mold, microorganisms, and harmful bacteria while helping to stabilize the terpene profile.
CM: Has there been any sort of educational period with the packaging in regards to the industry understanding the importance or has it been embraced as a true packaging innovation from the start?
Scott Martin: Consumer acceptance of our packaging had to overcome the “see it, touch it, feel it” method of choosing product.
As with many new innovations, there are some who immediately recognize the benefit of change, and there are some who are slower to embrace it.
Fortunately, we have been able to work with many great packaging partners, like Mercy Wellness in Cotati, who have made education to their customers a standard. Once people try our packaging, they overwhelmingly like it.
CM: What do you see as some of the unique benefits to the packaging?
For cultivators, our packaging offers:
- A patented process, with laboratory studies confirming the benefit to terpenes preservation over all other forms of currently available packaging
- Meets or exceeds all current compliance regulations in the U.S. and Canada
- Ability to include a unique identifier that allows the client to comply with upcoming recall requirements, as well as send marketing information to end consumer
- Great branding opportunities through consistent delivery of quality product
- Unique graphic design labels and logos to help differentiate their products and stand out on shelves
- Ability to manage when to release product to market
- Easier stacking/boxable storage
For consumers, our packaging offers:
- Confidence in purchasing a consistently fresh, quality product.
- Convenient, discreet, reclosable package
- Recyclable and child-safe
CM: What challenges did you have to overcome in terms of creation, production, manufacturing, and distribution of the N2 packaging?
Scott Martin: We have faced a number of challenges because state and federal regulations differ. One of our biggest problems is the same that everyone in the industry faces, which is the ability to do banking. We have been turned down by many banks and we have had other businesses refuse to work with us because of association with our industry.
CM: There seems to be a steady push towards ensuring the cannabis industry is environmental friendly in many of the business aspects. How does the N2 packaging stack up in regards to being “green”?
The metal can is the most recycled food packaging product on the planet.
CM: Where do you see the industry going in regards to packaging and how would you like N2 to play in that growth?
Scott Martin: As the industry evolves, larger growers will look to industrialize the process while continuing to provide quality, consistency, and compliance for their packaging. Our company will continue to advance our process and remain engaged in the regulatory process.