Photo Courtesy: CaliGreenGold
I’m the lucky man to have been able to sample the fine cannabis composites rolled by the ultra-high net worth quality, cannabis joint roller, CaliGreenGold. These tasty treats make me think of the first time that I rolled some Middle Eastern hashish into a joint comprised of the finest (available) flowers of the day. Every year after this first time that I made my own composite joint I’d travel out West, seeking a pre roll that really got me lit up! Enter CaliGreenGold and their adventures in composite cannabis-land. These young people really get it! Now without further adieu may I please share with you a very intriguing gentleman who dreams in flavor and quality.
Warren Bobrow= WB: Please tell me about yourself? What brought you to the cannabis/botany world? Healing? What was your inspiration to do what you do?
CaliGreenGold history and CEO/Founder –
David Jean-Philippe Danon=DJPD: My name is David Jean-Philippe Danon I was born in Paris, France and grew up in Southern California. I’ve always been of two worlds, the Old and the New. I tried cannabis in my late teens and I knew it was love at first flight! Smoking flower helped me understand my place in this world, connected me to my favorite cultural decade in America’s history (the 1960’s) and gave me the gift of a larger ‘family’ and community I could belong to. Cannabis saved me from being a blind cog in the machinery of society, it gave me a window and a doorway into a world that I always felt I belonged to. I went to Brown University and from NYC, I successfully started and sold the world’s first mobile music game company after building $50M in revenue and moved back to SoCal. In the past decade, my passion for cannabis has spread into a love of botany, I have curated a world class collection of palms, aloes and succulents in a 4 acre botanical garden in San Diego CA.
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CaliGreenGold sample pack
My inspiration is to create a beautiful, enduring and successful brand in the culture of cannabis: I’d like to give back to the people who gave so much to me, to share the royal pleasure of enjoying a carefree puff with friends, to innovate new ways of enjoying cannabis and continue the worldwide movement towards legalization and ecological sustainability.
WB: Please tell me about your company? What do you do that’s different, therefore better than your competition? What stigmas do you face?
DJPD: CaliGreenGold, is an ultra luxury cannabis brand based in Southern California that manufactures and self-distributes its innovative, smokable cannabis products. We are creating the world’s first diverse portfolio in the smokable category, ranging from 1/2 gram Pre Rolls and 3 gram Blunts, to large format 9 gram Cannagars, all infused with the finest quality concentrates that are also sold separately (Crumble, Live Resin and Diamonds). We are pioneering in the California market, the use of all natural materials such as organic rose petals, hemp, palm and banana leaves. Our brand and products are synonymous with quality and the aspirational cannabis lifestyle. We appeal to all consumers by creating a ladder of product choices to fit any budget or occassion (daily PreRoll vs special occasion Cannagar).
We started CaliGreenGold to combine our love of California cannabis with the authenticity and sophistication of European lifestyle branding. I want to showcase the recreational and medicinal magic of using cannabis, as one of the greatest pleasures civilization has to offer; properly branded, packaged and priced as “Everyday Cannabis Luxury”. Our close knit team is a family bond comprised of managers, artisans and sales specialists. People talk alot about craft in this industry but everything we do is truly handmade. From our small batches of Concentrates, to limited edition La Rosé Blunts and Cannagars, each organic rose petal and leaf is laid down one at a time, to strict quality control standards. Our packaging isn’t cheap plastic, acrylic or carboard, we use laboratory glass with humidity controls so you can reuse it as a holster for your cannabis. Each CaliGreenGold product is hand dipped in wax, and stamped with ‘LOVE’.
That’s the source of our higher margins and constant insatiable demand. Think Supreme, but smokable…when you treat your customers like royalty, they get inspired to spend more and they organically share your product experiences with their friends. It’s a simple principle that’s hard to produce but it creates a very wide, defendable moat between us and our competitors, who generally cut corners every chance they get. Within our core management team, (consisting of Mark Lindal, Claudia Valentine, Ouija Whittemore, Ariane Toledo, Charles Pfeifer and Gordon Myers), our competitive edge doesn’t come from other companies, it comes from our own internal drive to master consistency, unique consumer experiences and outclass our peers with quality and innovation.
CaliGreenGold is the first luxury brand in cannabis to offer what companies like LVMH, Cohibas, and Wine estates have known for more than a century… make high-quality, high margin products, continue to innovate and the market will come around to your way of doing things. It’s working for Apple and Tesla in their respective industries. I also learned from watching my advisors, Jeff Church and Nicole Viduaretta, rapidly build Suja Juice from a San Diego garage into the nation’s premier, fresh pressed organic juice company. Quality, price and talented people are fundamental to our way of doing things. We are pioneering new formats and concepts that will take us far into the future. For example, we are ‘pairing’ potent concentrates with flower to create new sensations, never before experienced in cannabis! I feel it’s like the early days of mixology, when makers of spirits and bartenders were innovating new drinks to suit anyone’s tastes. We always use single strains for the purists but also use color codes for new consumers, who understand the basics of Indica, Sative and Hybrid. Ultimately all THC is equivalent, but it’s the nuanced terpenes and cannabinoids in different arrangements which give each strain of cannabis its own unique flavor and distinctive sensations. So whether you are a new, younger consumer or an experienced Cannoisseur, you immediately recognize the quality of our products.
As an industry we face a few stigmas, such as the lack of federal legalization, but COVID has really changed our industry in a deep and remarkable way. Before the pandemic, cannabis was one of many ways to enhance your life, but during our nation’s recent time at home, many more people have realized this wondrous plant has many daily beneficial uses for our minds and bodies. It is much more tolerable than alcohol or pharmaceuticals and it’s easier than ever to enjoy via edibles, vaporizers, smokables and home delivery services. I believe next year we will see almost all 50 states use cannabis as an economic source of income during these hard times, banking laws and the federal government will soon come along to collect its share of the taxes. Then it’s a rapid path to worldwide cannabis legalization.
WB: What is your six and twelve month plan? What obstacles exist in your professional world? How do you anticipate removing them?
DJPD: During the next 6 months, CaliGreenGold will continue to capture more share of the high-end California cannabis market and is preparing to aggressively pursue new market opportunities in the fastest growing legal cannabis states. We are partnering with licensed operators in these states to help us get immediate market traction. We believe our uniquely branded encapsulation of California’s OG cannabis culture is exportable to all US states and abroad.
We are also capitalizing on the growing trend for healthier tobacco alternatives. Over the next 6-12 months, we will begin to fulfill this mission by replacing THC cannabis with CBD flower across all of our products and distribute direct-to-consumer through our website and Instagram, as well as through tobacco and convenience stores, hotels and resorts across the nation. These new CBD versions of our products are also handmade from the finest natural materials such as organic rose petals, hemp, palm and banana leaves. The product ‘shells’, the packaging and the CaliGreenGold brand will also be franchised as an end-to-end solution to flower producers & distributors around the globe for both CBD and THC cannabis fulfillment and co-branding opportunities.
Our biggest obstacle is that consumers really love CaliGreenGold and it is causing rapid growth and inventory shortages which are hard to keep up with, but it’s a great problem to have and we always find a way! So to remove all current obstacles, our priority in 2020-21 is finding and building a long term partnership that secures capital for growth, adds talent to our team and helps us execute our national/international expansion.
WB: What is your favorite food memory from childhood? What does your favorite (birthday) meal look like now? Favorite food?
DJPD: My favorite food memory from childhood is eating spun cotton candy at Disneyland after riding Space Mountain. The original high. Today, my favorite Bday meal or (last rites meal) would be omakase sushi by master Nozawa or the tasting menu at French Laundry, surrounded by family, friends and my epicurean son.
Blunt in the Wild
WB: What is your passion?
DJPD: I love creating and experiencing newness, feeling like I make a difference for the brief time I am here. My passion is my art, and the art of living well is the greatest art of them all. That’s why quality matters so much to me, it’s real, it’s not a marketing gimmick or a fad, it’s who I am at the core and I want to share my authenticity with others, no matter the medium. Cannabis happens to be an industry so early in it’s infancy, that the foundation CaliGreenGold builds today…will last into the next century. And I’m equally passionate about spending as much time as I can with my 13 year old son. I want him to see how far passion can take you in life, further than you can ever imagine.
– David JP Danon