Up until very recently machines that automated the cannabis trimming process were awful.
They were not designed well, they produced cone-shaped buds and they would get gummed up with resin easily. The GreenBroz automated machine just works. It is quiet, fast and treats you buds extremely gently.
A very special thank you to Dylan and his team at KaringKind.com in Boulder, CO for welcoming Matthew Kind into their grow to see how they use the GreenBroz Machine
Learn why growers and business owners both love the GreenBroz machine
Interview with Cullen Raichart of GreenBroz.
Learn more at: http://www.greenbroz.com
[1:00] – What is GreenBroz
[2:03] – Cullen talks about by other trimming machines don’t work optimally
[4:50] – How does GreenBroz avoid cone-shaped buds in the trimming process
[10:45] – What is ROI on the machine
[13:16] – Cullen talks about how to clean the machine
[14:55] – Costs of the machines
[16:12] – Ease of getting leaves for concentrates
[17:32] – What are the sizes of the machines
[20:26] – Contact details for GreenBroz
Matthew: Hi, I’m Matthew Kind. Every Monday and Wednesday look for a fresh new episode where I’ll take you behind the scenes and interview the insiders that are shaping the rapidly evolving cannabis industry. Learn more at www.cannainsider.com. That’s www.cannainsider.com. Are you looking for a fulfilling and lucrative career in the cannabis industry? Visit www.cannainsider.com/careers. That’s www.cannainsider.com/careers. Now here’s your program.
As the cannabis industry grows cultivators are looking for better ways to automate harvest while still maintaining high quality premium plants. Today’s guest Cullen Raichart, co-founder of GreenBroz has created a machine that greatly reduces the time it takes to trim a cannabis plant. Welcome to CannaInsider Cullen.
Cullen: Matt, thank you so much for having me.
Matthew: Can you give us an idea of what GreenBroz is at a high level?
Cullen: GreenBroz is, we’re kind of an up and comer in this business, and we came across a different idea when we approached the trimming question and that is we decided to look at it as how can we do an excellent trim job more rapidly and efficiently than human beings. And that’s the impetus for our machine was. So we’re a complete manufacturing company. We make more than one product, but our flagship is definitely our trimmer.
Matthew: Okay. And where do you see other machines falling short? Because I wouldn’t get into that, but there’s a lot of sourness in the community from machines that tried in the past to help with trimming, but did a poor job on execution. And to be honest I was a little skeptical when I heard about GreenBroz, but then people started telling me how cool it was and how well it worked. I went out and saw it, and it’s really I’ve come around. But can you just describe what the other… the machines that doesn’t work optimally, why don’t they?
Cullen: Sure. Well there’s basically one other design of machine as far as dry trimmers go, and those machines are tumblers. They look like a dryer. They sit on their side, and you fill them full of product and they tumble, and your very delicate and expensive product tumbles over and over and breaks down and knocks off all the crystals and so forth. That’s basically the difference, the design of their machines. I think they really came at it differently. They looked at volume as being the problem, and while trimming volume is definitely something you need to address, again we looked at it differently.
We decided to approach it from the perspective of I mean how do you really automate detailed work. How do you automate that kind of attention to quality, and that’s what the impetus about the blade design, the whole design of the machine is about gentleness, the way that the material is put in, the way the material comes out, the amount of contact it has with the blade, the amount of time that the amount of the movement that the product has over the blade’s surface. All these things were considered because it is really about taking a very delicate product and valuable product and treating it as if you would… as you would treat it with your hand.
Matthew: Now I want to give a shout out to Dylan of Karing Kind a dispensary in Boulder. He was kind enough to let me in and show me how he used his two GreenBroz trimming machines. And I have a little video I took with my phone and some pictures that I will put on this post on the website of www.cannainsider.com. But I was amazed by a few things. One, you know, whenever an employee gets replaced by a machine it can be an uncomfortable thing, but I noticed the employees really enjoyed the machine. They don’t see it as a threat. They see it as something that helps them, and it really does help them. Two, it’s very quiet and fast. I didn’t realize that it was going to be so quiet and so fast. I was picturing something else. Now the cannabis cultivators in the past did not like how the machines made their buds cone shaped. They’d nurture this plant for 60 or 70 days, let’s say. They watch it grow these beautiful buds. They cut it and they cure it, and then they watch some machine take the bud and turn it into a cone shape in front of their eyes and it drives them crazy. What’s happening with these other machines that create the cone shaped buds, and how does GreenBroz avoid that?
Cullen: Well first thank you so much for calling out Dylan. Dylan has been just a great supporter. We really like those guys at Karing Kind. And I’m really glad you had the opportunity to go and see it. It’s such an important thing to see it. As you know, the industry and the machines have such a bad reputation that it really takes that moment, and when you see it it changes everything. It really changes your perspective on how the whole process is handled. And the reason that our machine doesn’t make consistent pine cone, as we call them, out of your product is quite simply there’s not a consistent form to the way that the product moves over the blade.
The blades are in a swept design so that… and the blade spacing is designed such that there’s not a lot of the product that gets into any one blade surface at a time. It’s like very small scissor cuts instead of if you look at the blade designs of the other machines, the tumbling machines, you’ll see that they’re very large openings and they’re very square, and square blades rolling around in a drum, make pine cones. So our blade designs gives the product the opportunity to hit every possible angle onto a blade surface and have the least removed. The distance between the top blade and the bottom blade is such that no bud material gets into that bottom blade surface.
And as far as people and, you know, automation its role in any business, the role of automation is to alleviate the tedious and time consuming task and make people more efficient. Give employers the opportunity to keep good employees on and give them better wages while getting productivity where they need to have it. Let’s face it, in this industry when you’re… if you’re not a producer who has a distribution point, your spending 10% to 20% of your final cost on trimming, and that’s just not a functional model. So what we’ve done with this machine is give you the opportunity to work inside the machine as it’s running, to work with the machine at whatever level you really want to.
So you can take a good quality employee and someone who cares about your business, cares about your product, and give them the opportunity to work on a machine and become a 1000 times more efficient. It’d take a single person in a day trimming and they trim, you know, a pound let’s say, which is probably pretty average, and then you put them on my machine, on the small machine and they can trim 16 to 30 pounds in that same timeframe and get the same quality. And that’s what’s really amazing about it is it gives you the opportunity to produce a very, very high quality product in a very short period of time. And we got lucky, to be honest with you, with the speed of the trimming on it because again we were focused on quality, it just happens to work really fast.
Matthew: Yeah. Now let’s walk through some scenarios here and some math for a dispensary owner or anybody that’s interested. So I’ve cured my plants for two to three weeks. They’re dry, and I’m ready to trim. Now you were saying that, you know, from a productivity point of view, let’s just say someone’s who’s trimming could do a pound and you’re saying with the machine they could do 16 pounds. Is that a pretty average or is that pretty normal what you see when someone purchases a machine?
Cullen: Yeah that’s right. That’s on the low end of the production scale for the small machine, but it’s very consistent, you know, that machine will consistently produce at that level. And one person can drive that machine all day long. Because of the, you know, trimming being so detailed and tedious, it’s very common that people while trimming trim very very well for the first couple of hours and then their productivity diminishes and their quality diminishes over time. The machine produces at a consistent rate from the beginning of the day to the end of the day. And you can use… a person can use a machine by letting the machine do all of the work or part of the work, or you know, any kind of amalgam there between those two things, you have a lot of freedom with it. The other machines on the market you don’t have the option to be inside it and look and see what’s going on. With this machine you’re right there. It’s right in front of you. You can stop the machine. You can unload it. You can reload it. You can do whatever you want to with it. It’s just very gentle and like you said, quiet. It’s unbelievably quiet.
Matthew: Yeah so there’s a couple benefits here to the automation in terms of you’re reducing theft risk by having less people as well because during the trim process is when a large amount of theft occurs, and I’m not saying, you know, some trimmers just don’t I guess have some integrity or whatever the situation is, but you know when you take down the number of trimmers you have you’re going to have less theft. Also I mean a trim job is typically greater than minimum wage. So this is a tremendous cost savings over time. What’s kind of the payback you typically see where they break even on the machine after they’ve invested in it?
Cullen: Well you know it’s probably dependent on how reliant the customer is on the machine. But if you look at, if you take for instance the average of about $200 per pound, and that’s a California kind of guessimation right there, but if you’re looking at $15 an hour and 8 hours a day, you’re looking at about yeah, $200 a day for that same pound. So say roughly $150 to $200 per pound for a human to trim cannabis. And then you use our machine, the machine does… if it runs at full capacity and gets its 30 pounds per day in that same timeframe, it’s paid for itself in an 8 hour shift. So you definitely have the potential to pay it off in the first day you own it, but most guys will have it definitely paid off within the first week or first full harvest that they run with the machine.
Matthew: Yeah those type of economics really are tough to argue with.
Cullen: It’s pretty astounding, Matt, when you think about it. I grew up in an industry where we bought a $750,000 piece of equipment to better our business, and you know that’s a lot of machine. That’s a lot of work you have to do to feed that machine, and then that machine has to produce above and beyond that so that you make profit. So when I looked at this machine, you know one of the biggest things about it was quality. You know, we have to have quality. We have to have reliability. You have to have consistency because a down machine, you know, ruins everything. And then the other thing is like return on investment because I watched my parents struggle with the cost of a big huge printing press, and I don’t want to put people in that situation. And we might be on the other side of that as far as return on investment, I don’t think you’ll find anything, any piece of equipment that produces at this level that returns that quickly. But, you know, it is what it is and we think the value point is right.
Matthew: Now what about cleaning the machine because as we know if you’re wearing rubber gloves for example and you are doing trimming by hand, you get the oil all over the gloves and the scissors and everything, the resin. So what do you do, how do you clean the machine? How often does it need to be cleaned? Does it get gummed up pretty regularly? How does that work?
Cullen: Well that’s another beautiful thing about trimming dry. You know once you’ve properly dried the product, it reduces that really tackiness to it. It still has, you know, the stickiness in the tricomes but you have to squeeze the bud a little bit to get that stickiness. So we’re not putting any real pressure on the bud so you don’t get a lot of stick into the machine itself. So we have guys that trim and they’ll trim all day and they’ll not clean the machine. And we have guys that will clean the machine once in the middle of the day and then we have one customer who doesn’t clean the machine. He’s had it for four months and he’s never cleaned it.
So yeah that’s kind of amazing to me, but that’s the nature of it. I mean you know, with a dry trimmer and the lack of… we don’t have a downward pressure. We don’t mash the products and we’re not really taking any of the, you know, we’re not putting any pressure onto the tricomes so we’re not causing any of that stickiness. So you will get some build up, and if your product isn’t properly dry, you can get some leaves that smash between the two blade surfaces and you get some streaking, and that’s when you have to you know, pull the machine apart and you just take the top blade out and put a little light coat of oil on it and scrape it with a razor blade, and then put it back together. The little machine takes about 5 to 10 minutes depending on how deep of clean you want to put on it, and then a large machine takes 10 to 15 minutes depending again how detailed you want to be.
Matthew: And how much do the different machines, different sizes cost for each machine?
Cullen: So the MSRP on the small machine is $5,250 and the large machine, I think, on the MSRP is at $10,500. I apologize. We just updated this year so I don’t have that off the top of my head.
Matthew: So how much thru-put can go through the small machine versus the large one?
Cullen: So the small machine is 16 to 30 pounds in a day. And then the large machine does 8 to 10 pounds in an hour or I should say 8 to 12 pounds in an hour. We’ve had that machine, it’s really dependent on product preparation. So if your product is properly dry it trims it so fast it’s kind of unbelievable how quick it operates, and then again so gentle. If you’re getting 10 pounds out of it, you’re getting 80 pounds a day, and if you’re getting 12, you’re getting 100 so it’s pretty good.
Matthew: And so all these precious leaves that now can be extracted into concentrates, there’s an easy way to get it. Either you just pull open a drawer at the bottom of the machine essentially and it’s all there.
Cullen: That’s right. So the small machine was designed actually with another product of ours in mind which is a dry/sift tumbler. That machine was designed to sit on top of that product, and it still does. What we found though was that people loved that machine and they do a lot of different things with their trim which is great. So we made that machine pretty much the right size. It can sit on its stand. It can sit on our tumbler. It can sit on a tote. It can sit on a trashcan with a trash liner, and basically all the trim just falls directly below it. There’s no vacuum. There’s no pressure. There’s no anything. It’s just a gravity feed as it falls right down into the next place where you can do whatever you want to with it.
Interesting note about that. We’re finding and actually doing some work with a couple of the big CO2 companies in regard to the actual size, the particle size. The trim is so fine and so perfect it makes really really good extraction trim if you will. So we’re looking at that and looking with some big partners to see if they’ll recommend it for that purpose alone.
Matthew: That’s a good idea. Now for people that are trying to visualize how big these machines are, can you give them some context there?
Cullen: Sure so the small machine is a desktop machine. If you figure a large… well they’re smaller now, but they used to be your scanner/copier/fax machine was a pretty good size piece of equipment, but it sat on your desk so it wasn’t huge. So you’re looking at about 16 inches wide and 20 inches deep. And so it’s pretty portable. It’s easy to carry. Easy one person lift. The larger machine, the commercial machine is 34X37 inches and comes on its own stand with wheels, and has locking casters on it so you can put it in a place and lock it down. The stand on the big machine has a couple of options with it. You can just put a 35 gallon bag up underneath it. It has a rail for the bag to attach where you can put a tote under it, whatever you want to do.
We’re always thinking about how to make it easy, you know, machines should be simple. And that’s what we tried to make is simple and easy and efficient. So we’re always looking at adding little bits of simplicity to help our customers work more efficiently.
Matthew: Now what would you say to the purists out there, you know, they only hand trim under moonlight with the classical music playing, and they can’t you know, even think about the idea of allowing their precious flower into a machine? How do you get them to think about this a different way?
Cullen: Well it’s an economic consideration right. I really appreciate first of all people who take that time, the diligence and the time to look at it from that perspective. And you’ll always have people who are artisans and an artisan can do a much better job on an individual basis, but that’s limited. Not very many people can trim at that level, and especially trim crews. They don’t perform at that level consistently throughout the day, but my machine does. And if you look at, we do have some lab results online, coming up online that show that our machine, actually the THC content for hand trim versus our machine comes out higher from our machine. So that’s been… that’s only a couple of lab tests, and it’s by and independent person who purchased one of our machines and decided to prove whether or not it was as gentle as hand trimming and he proved it twice with two different products. So it was pretty exciting for us to look at it and see an actual difference in our favor as far as you know, THC content after trim.
Matthew: Now Cullen in closing how can listeners see your machine in action and learn more about GreenBroz?
Cullen: Well you can always go to our website at www.greenbroz.com. It’s a great portal. We have some video coming up online and there’s information there of course. There’s some videos out there you can find on YouTube as well. We just finished up a great demo video that’s going to get posted here shortly. You know the real powerful moment is when you see it, and videos are great, but they don’t tell a story as well as being in person. So we do have representatives in Colorado, California, Washington, Oregon who can come out and do demos and show people how the machine works, specifically on their product and in their environment. So our model, our business model right now is a direct sale model with supporting our sales people in the different states, and then we also have some retail locations who carry our product.
Matthew: Okay. Well Cullen thanks so much for being on CannaInsider today and educating us. We really appreciate it.
Cullen: Well Matt thanks so much for having us and it’s just such a pleasure to actually see how big this business has become and then neat people like you that are out here spreading the word and then bringing companies like ours out to the forefront. So thank you so much.
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