In late 2016, Pax, a leader in vaporizer technology, launched a patented pod system for cannabis oil extracts. Shortly after, Aspen’s Silverpeak dispensary—one of Pax’s highest-volume retailers—started to develop its own proprietary carbon dioxide extraction process for filling the pods; it’s one of just a few relationships the San Francisco brand enters into with growers in legal states, including several in Colorado.
With pure oil and distillate pods hitting shelves in Aspen a few months later, we recently got a rare behind-the-scenes look at the Silverpeak/Pax partnership, from plant to pod.
Since relocating the original grow operation from Redstone to Basalt in 2014, Silverpeak Farms has perfected its pesticide-free flower production process in a 25,000-square-foot, climate-controlled greenhouse. Basking in more than 300 days of sunshine per year, Silverpeak’s cannabis is as clean as it gets.
The life of a cannabis flower plant begins with removing a cutting from a mother plant to reproduce rooted seedlings with identical genetics. Silverpeak’s team of growers cultivates and nurtures each plant to full maturity. Then it’s time for hand-trimming, drying, and curing the plant to prepare for processing. The trim from each harvest of bountiful buds (cut from nearly 30 different strains) is used for the cannabis oils.
Silverpeak’s low-temperature extraction of essential oils from plant matter preserves terpene levels. The result is aromatic oils and distillates that yield an exceptionally effective, fragrant, and flavorful product.
Each pod is filled by hand with 500 milligrams of extracted oils and distillates—and no synthetic additives. (One hit uses up approximately 3 milligrams, depending on temperature setting, so a pod can last up to a month or longer.) The pods are then packaged in child-resistant containers and boxed in co-branded packaging that includes a printed insert with recommended temperature settings for optimal terpene flavor and vapor cloud output.
The entire process, from seed to shelf, takes 15 to 16 weeks, with boxes of pods delivered to stores throughout the state by contracted licensed courier, in compliance with Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division regulations.
The PAX Era itself is lightweight and extremely user-friendly—especially for newbies. It’s also more affordable than its PAX 3 counterpart ($299), making it a perfect pick for tourists (who can gift it to a local or drop it in Aspen Airport’s amnesty box when they leave). One click-of a pod into place and it’s ready to go for any adventure. Plus, it’s USB-charging compatible and has its own mobile app that allows for temperature and light color control along with a remote device locking option, so you never have to worry about it getting into your kiddos’ hands.
Pax Era ($20)
Silverpeak Pure CO2 Oil PAX Pods ($60)
Silverpeak Distillate PAX Pods ($65)
Silverpeak, 520 E. Cooper Ave., 970-925-4372, silverpeakfarms.com