Editor’s note: Since the publishing of this article AltMed’s MÜV Arizona locations were rebranded to ZenLeaf. Read more in the press release.
Michael Piermont, Leaf Trade’s President and CRO, sat down with Zack Swan, the Director of Sales and Marketing for MÜV. MÜV is a fully integrated medical cannabis company known for its robust research and development pipeline exemplified by its award-winning products and dispensaries. In Arizona, MÜV operates a vertically integrated medical and adult recreational cannabis dispensary in the North Phoenix area.
Read up on the five major takeaways from their conversation.
The Market in Arizona is Robust
Unlike states like Illinois, where the recreational rollout happened on a set date and retailers had months to prepare, the transition to adult use in Arizona was more haphazard and essentially happened overnight.
Arizona has always been considered a strong medical cannabis market since its legalization in 2010. The state’s medical marijuana sales have increased year-over-year for eight years in a row. More recently, marijuana sales have created more than $2 million in taxes since adult-use legalization at the start of the year in 2021. After this first year of rec sales, one forecast calls for $406 million in sales, while another analysis sees Arizona’s cannabis sales value hitting $876 million by 2025.
MÜV is Pushing the Envelope on Research and Development
“One of the unique things about our product line is, what we call, our end-cap technology,” said Zach. “It allows us to take those fat-soluble cannabinoids and make them water-soluble. We’ve been able to create several different delivery methods for that technology.”
Those products include a 72-hour transdermal patch (the longest-lasting patch on the market), a transdermal gel, and all of their tinctures. This technology greatly reduces the onset time for these products.
“One of our most popular products in Florida (which we’re hoping to move to Arizona soon), is an EnCaps RSO (Rick Simpson Oil), a fast-acting 25mg RSO capsule. The onset time is about 15-30 minutes, whereas the traditional version might take 45 minutes to 2 hours. That really complements the Verano product line in a lot of ways,” explains Zach.
MÜV is Part of Verano’s Portfolio of Brands in Arizona
MÜV was recently acquired by Verano, and as Zack put it, “Verano has been a perfect fit.” MÜV already enjoyed a strong brand presence in the state because of how the company was serving the medical-cannabis community in Arizona. MÜV has always viewed cannabis as one of humanity’s most ancient sources of natural medications, and the company has used the power of research to advance its understanding of the plant and the opportunities it presents to enhance well-being.
That outlook on cannabis and its potential to heal fit well with Verano’s other quality brands and products. The Avexia offering includes balms and lotions for pain and discomfort, an Epsom salt soak for peak relaxation, and a line of micro-dose tablets suited to meet diverse consumer needs. Encore Edibles are handcrafted and infused by Verano’s culinary artisans. In Arizona, Encore’s sublingual mints are now live, with candies and chocolates coming soon. Under the Verano label, renowned genetics comprise a robust and diverse strain portfolio.
“[Our end-cap products] really complement the Verano line in a lot of ways,” Zach said, “Another area we’ve put a lot of focus on is ethanol extraction and Verano does a bit of this too, but they focus more on BHO (Butane Hash Oil). Which is something we don’t have a ton of experience with. When it comes to extraction methods, people definitely have preferences. I think that with Verano’s extraction background, plus ours, they really work synergistically together.”
The Arizona Market Has Unique Challenges
“Summer is a blessing and a curse,” Zack said. “A huge chunk of the population leaves, but it allows us to catch our breath and catch up with demand.”
Because Arizona just this year approved adult-use sales, compliance remains at the forefront of everyone’s minds. But that hasn’t meant that everyone always knows and understands the new state cannabis rules and regulations.
Leaf Trade has helped MÜV tackle these compliance challenges and optimize its supply chain with simplified ordering and fulfillment, an integrated tech stack, and customizable B2B technology solutions.
Leaf Trade Helps MÜV Stay Visible to Customers When Demand is High
Since the transition to recreational cannabis came pretty much overnight in Arizona, the demand can be overwhelming at times. The consistently high demand for cannabis products puts pressure on wholesale transactions to happen quickly, so real-time data is essential. That’s one of the reasons MÜV turned to Leaf Trade.
“Without Leaf Trade, we would lose visibility,” Zack said. “The reality is, we can’t take care of everyone all at once and Leaf Trade allows us to make sure we’re taking care of our customers at a pace we can handle. If we didn’t have the platform, we might as well be emailing them IOUs.”
Leaf Trade Provides What Competing Platforms Don’t
Beyond the marketplace, Zack said that MÜV’s reaction to Leaf Trade’s integrations has been overwhelmingly positive. “When we first got the demo for Leaf Trade, I’ll be honest, I was a little skeptical,” Zach said. “But then we saw, ‘Oh my god, it’s doing all the things the other platform doesn’t.”
One of those functions that Zack called out was the Biotrack integration. “The team in Arizona has said that [the Biotrack integration] has been great. Biotrack is our seed-to-sale in Florida as well, so we work incredibly closely with Biotrack…it was one of the first things I asked when I heard about Leaf Trade – ‘Do you have a Biotrack integration?’ and your answer was ‘We’re about to deploy.’ Which was a huge weight off our shoulders.”
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