Research and development, or R&D, is pivotal. The constant search for something new, something better, shows dedication to a cause, and a commitment to those that follow it.
Our Research and Development teams are key pieces to the cannabis puzzle, making it possible for us to create premium, industry-leading cannabis products. They not only come up with exciting new cannabis innovations all the time, but they also create standardized processes so we can scale to consistently and reliably satisfy your cannabis curiosity. We talked to Walter Webster, our Executive Vice President of Process Improvement, to learn more about the impact and importance of R&D at Verano.
Raising the Bar
Verano R&D specialists are stationed at cannabis cultivation and production facilities across the country, working together to not only meet but surpass our goals and implement best industry practices. Each team is made up of subject matter experts that specialize and focus on a different aspect of R&D at Verano. For instance, our standalone edibles kitchen focuses on food science: Developing new recipes and infusing delicious goodies with just the right dose. Meanwhile, our extraction experts are working to improve and develop new methods of extracting cannabinoids and terpenes. As Walter shared, these experts “specifically focus on innovation in their niche areas… As new best practices, new equipment, types of [plant] nutrients, lighting, and extraction equipment become available, it’s part of their lane.” They constantly test these new cannabis developments “to see if they provide enough benefit to implement cross-company.”
Walter also noted that the cannabis we grow, itself, is a crucial part of the R&D equation. Cannabis flower is “like a fine wine or chocolate. There are 65 types of [chocolate] beans in the world, and the beans drive the end flavor profile.” The same is true with Verano genetics, where 150+ unique cannabis strains are used to craft an array of options, from flower to concentrates, edibles to vapes, and even topicals.
At Verano, we take excellent care of our raw materials through every step of the process so the final experience is truly top-notch.
Testing Makes Perfect
Analytical testing labs ensure that any component that’s going into a Verano product meets our required quality standards before production. We analyze the potency, terpenes, cannabinoids, and every other aspect of the product and examine how each part is affected throughout cannabis cultivation and product development.
Walter is “proud of the analytical testing labs within their facilities.” He shared that every part of the cannabis plant has “testing parameters throughout the lifecycle.” For example, R&D tests how terpenes and cannabinoids change depending on weather conditions. The team also keeps surveillance over their storage process, testing for optimal moisture conditions at 30, 60, and 90 days.
If you ask Walter, “any industry, whether cannabis or something else, should be looking at analytics to see what’s repeatable—what should and shouldn’t we keep doing? Utilizing these time-tested processes will ensure consistency day in and day-out.”
For truly dependable results, we minimize testing variables, too. “Some of the most highly trained, highly skilled individuals go to each facility and train others with the same standard practices and procedures,” Walter shared. This way, analysis processes across all Verano facilities are identical. And whichever new developments we make, the end goal is always the same: Crafting a safe and reliable experience with Verano cannabis products tailored to every customer’s unique needs.
You and Verano R&D
All of the work our Research and Development team does is in service of quality and consistency. Standardization throughout every step—from cultivation to production to testing—means that you will always receive a top-shelf product with optimal cannabis benefits, and can always find and expect the same experience from the same Verano products. “When the extremely meticulous government organizations come in to audit, [and] when Verano passes 95 percent and above, it just proves how committed [we] are to continuous improvement,” said Walter.
But as Walter reminds us, that commitment to standardization doesn’t mean we ever settle. “Our research and innovation need to continue to further the industry even more,” from developing new strains and products to encouraging cannabis discovery nationwide.
“Quality is really what it comes down to. It’s the long-term result of continuous improvement, of not being dormant and keeping things complacent,” Walter added. “It’s a continuous challenge to ensure every product we produce is within regulations. But then they think beyond that to innovate… The more they deliver new strains, with new benefits, and stay on the cutting edge of what consumers would like, they’ll progress the industry as a whole”
Referring to the Verano R&D team, Walter shared that, “everyone owns quality. Every single person has some impact and responsibility to control quality on their own level and in their own specialization. It’s a team effort.” Like Walter, we’re beyond grateful for our R&D team, and you can experience some of their incredible work for yourself at your local dispensary.