Benzinga’s recent Cannabis Capital Conference edition hosted a riveting talk among Alex Kwon, CEO and cofounder of Advanced Vapor Services and cannabis-specialized law firm Zuber Lawler’s managing partner, Tom Zuber on how a cannabis ancillary business can thrive amid industry-specific challenges.

Kwon believes now is a “really exciting” time for cannabis, with 3.0 already “upon us” and lots of winds of change -although these have been a sector’s constant “for almost two decades.”

Feeding from different perspectives including operators, ancillary markets and capital deployment, for AVS it all began with the search for a solution to issues the team spotted while developing the business. 

From Producing Derivatives To Becoming A Hardware Company

AVS started with land acquisitions and development in Northern California. That led to building a production facility for liquid plant derivatives and targeting cost efficiencies: the best way to cultivate, the different extraction methodologies and how to get the best cost per millimeter in a consistent manner.

That search led to the firm’s next stage: hardware cartridges. The team dived into understanding all existing cartridges while noticing some shortcomings in that channel. 

Kwon says it was a kind of “serendipitous path” for AVS, acknowledging it was an area that the team needed to understand better in order to grow. As such, hardware started as a side project, helping them with potential solutions for issues arising in their dedication to understanding the plant extracts and the derivative side. 

“So one thing led to …

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