In the rapidly expanding landscape of cannabis manufacturing, certain innovators stand out, not just for their technical acumen but for their holistic approach to the industry.

With products ranging from edibles and tablets to concentrates and vapes, the manufacturing space is where plant science meets chemistry to create the products that consumers and patients use.

While flower is the backbone of the industry, extracts and concentrates have become some of the most sought after products by connoisseurs. From sugar and wax to budder and shatter, live or cured, solventless or bho, there are a number of ways that concentrates can be created, refined, and modified, in the search for perfection.

Max Platt, Director of Manufacturing: Solventless at VIBE, is one of those unique figures, blending craftsmanship and chemistry.

His journey from a budding bud enthusiast to a key player behind one of Missouri’s favorite cannabis brands exemplifies a blend of passion, expertise, and dedication.

A musician and artist, Platt’s approach to solventless extraction seemingly blends his artistic and craftsman sides with his passion for nature and a holistic approach to life.

Platt recently spoke to Greenway about what goes into creating some of the most sensational solventless concentrates in the market today.

Platt’s professional journey through the cannabis industry is marked by versatility and depth.

“I started extracting in the legacy market in Florida in 2011, 2012. But my legal cannabis journey began in Denver in 2014,” he explained.

“My first gigs were in grows – harvesting, growing, trimming, and in 2015 at CannaPunch I started on the edible production floor. I advanced to a position as a brand ambassador with them and eventually worked in the extraction space again. Through 2016 and 2017, I held jobs in retail spaces before returning to the lab in late 2017.”

“I had begun making high-quality live resin concentrates, and at the time the goal was to make the cleanest and purest THC-A diamonds. After branching out on my own into the consulting space for extraction I began to lean toward a preference in the world of Solventless Extraction.”

“In 2021, I moved to Kansas City and in 2022 accepted a job as the Lab Director of Lush Labs. I oversaw the lab, and our goal was to put out high-quality solventless products.”

In September 2023, Platt left Lush Labs to take on a new challenge, assuming the role of Director of Manufacturing: Solventless, at VIBE.

“[I took this position] to continue my path of personal growth in life and in extraction. The choice has proved to be a good one, and I’ve never been happier with where my path has taken me! The team at VIBE is incredible.”

 

 

How did you find your way to working with cannabis?

“I have always smoked cannabis: from age 15 on, and the more I tried to find my place in the world as a functioning, working adult, the more I realized cannabis as a viable path for a career. Growing my own weed was a huge boost in what made me passionate, and the folks I’ve met along the way have only cemented that I chose the right group of like-minded and passionate people to work alongside.”

What does marijuana mean to you?

“Panacea: The healing of the nation. Many folks consider cannabis to be a western-medicine-style substance still. I.e. –“I have back pain, what kind of cannabis should I consume to help it? “ Cannabis treats symptoms, yes, but it more so changes the way we think and act over long periods of time with regular consumption. Cannabis can allow us to relieve our pain, to feel better, to act better and to think more intuitively.”

“To me, the biggest medicinal factor of cannabis is its societal aspect. It converted a society of self-serving “drug dealers” to caregivers. We used to actively avoid each other in mainstream society; avoiding the law and avoiding notoriety. Society’s adoption of cannabis however has now turned those same people into communal caregivers, responsible for providing for their communities. We are now an extensive network of folks happy to do something good for one another, seeking to improve each other’s lives. It spurned a massive renaissance of bio-chemical attention on the plant, furthering important research. Again, all in hopes to help one another. Cannabis brings us closer together, it makes us better people, and it allows us to enjoy our time on this earth just a little more.”

What products or brands does VIBE produce?

“VIBE produces cannabis and cannabis-related products all under the VIBE brand. My department specifically focuses on solventless hash, or hash made from just ice/water and heat/pressure. However, VIBE produces its own flower, edibles, pre-rolls, infused pre-rolls, live resin, cured extracts, and many products in-between.”

Tell us about the processes used to create VIBE’s solventless products.

“We take live plants, trim off the undesirable parts without trichome coverage, and then freeze the buds. The frozen buds are soon after placed in a chilled vessel full of water and left to soak. Then, through a process of light agitation, we allow the trichomes to fall off the buds in the water during agitation. The trichomes are collected in a series of micron-specific mesh bags that collect the trichomes by size. We can combine these sizes to make a micron range of hash. When all the ranges are represented, it is referred to as Full Spectrum, as every size trichome that plant produces will be represented.”

“The collected hash (water hash, ice water extract, bubble hash) then goes into a freeze dryer. It is still filled with water at this stage. The freeze dryer sublimates the water from the hash and then we are left with what appears to look like beach sand. Under a microscope, one can see this beach sand is almost entirely comprised of trichomes. The trichomes are then bagged into another micron-specific bag, this one is smaller than the wash bags to ensure that when we press the hash on the rosin press no undesirables make it through.”

“The rosin press uses heat and pressure to create a sappy oil that runs off onto parchment paper. We have multiple choices for what avenue we want the product to follow at this point. Rosin consistencies include batter, fresh press, jam (or sauce), and combinations of those consistencies.”

What is the biggest obstacle you face in a manufacturing facility like this?

“Consumer education is a large hurdle in the field of Solventless. It takes a concerted effort to educate the masses on new kinds of cannabis extracts. I’ll give Missouri credit though, they are catching on quickly! Live Rosin has really started to find its place in the industry. New cannabis connoisseurs are popping up every day.”

What has the legalization of recreational adult use sales meant for you and your company?

“It means we have to grow more weed and make more hash as more people consume our products!”

What are you doing to keep up with increased demand?

“We have doubled the number of rooms we are cultivating in, increased the throughput of material sent to hash production, and have attempted to reach into new parts of the market for VIBE, like Hash Holes, Edibles, and Live Resin.”

Can you talk at all about how you’re sourcing biomass or plant material and how that has changed in recent months?

“As we possess our own cultivation, we have only been using our own plant material. In recent months my department has sought to find Solventless-specific cultivars and push to produce more volume as the market demand has increased. As we can find strains that produce more hash, the ability to make more hash faster for the people becomes a reality.”

What lessons have you learned from day 1 to now?

I’ve learned so much about the cannabis plant, how to work with people, and where my ambitions lie. I feel like I have always been excited to be involved in the cannabis industry since day 1. I am still amazed by this plant daily though. So, while I have matured and grown, I am still the same kid inside that is just amazed by this plant/industry. I still get stoked every time I walk in a grow room and am just happy to be here!

What’s the best piece of advice someone has ever given you?

“The best advice I’ve been given is to always consider what makes you happy, to be yourself, and to never let anything get in the way of your dreams. We are always capable of so much more than we ever thought we’d be capable of. If the younger version of ourselves could see us now, they’d never believe the amazing things we’ve done now, and that we were always capable of doing them.”

What makes you passionate about cannabis?

“The plant, the effects, the flavors and the advancement of the genetic biome, especially for hash. The people, the community, the scene, the industry and its inter-workings also keep me passionate about this plant.”

In your opinion, what’s the best way to consume cannabis?

“I’ll always appreciate the source (flower) over everything, and to me; smoking joints is the ultimate ritual in cannabis. Shout out to Handwraps for always keeping my joints in the best papers!

“I also undoubtedly love smoking hash! Water Hash – full melt, Rosin, and even solvent-based hash. I love terps, and I love trying new flavors while exploring the effects of different concentrates. My preferred delivery method is a heady rig, a puffco peak or proxy, or inside a fat joint – donut. My SpunChun heady chillum can always be found close by as well!”

What makes your products unique in this space?

“Our team. We have one of the most passionate and talented teams in all of cannabis. From the cultivation to our lab and everywhere in between. We focus on quality as much as possible from step to step.

“When a consumer gets our Rosin in a jar, they should know how much love went into that jar. We take extreme care with every product we make, and we are so passionate about this plant as well as making hash. We seek to always advance the field when it comes to solventless offerings, and we are one of very few cultivation facilities that is cultivating specifically for Solventless production.”

What is the top-performing product you produce?

“Our Cold Cure Batter is very popular, but it is just the tip of the iceberg in the field of solventless. Our disposable rosin vapes also have been gaining traction. We are bringing many new solventless offerings to Missouri very soon! Look for Fresh Press, Jam, Danish and many other new things on the Solventless spectrum.”

What’s your favorite product and why?

“Personally, to me Fresh Press Live Rosin is the best. It preserves the most terpenes, provides the freshest version of Live Rosin and is more difficult to curate. It also allows the consumer to enjoy their dabs both uncured and cured, over a period in which they can whip the concentrate themselves at room temperature or preserve it at its freshest point by storing it cold. Putting the experience in the hands of the consumer is huge. They get to be their own version of a hash maker and curate their own experience by choosing if/when to whip the concentrate.”

As we closed out the interview, Platt left with us with a few rules to live by.

“Rule number 1: Never take yourself too seriously.
“Rule number 2: Always have fun.
“Rule number 3: Safety third… just joking, always try to be safe, always hug your loved ones and tell them you love them.”

“Love unconditionally, be happy, and enjoy our very short time on this planet. And for the love of the plant, smoke something fire today! Maybe some VIBE.”

The post Manufacturing Success: Max Platt of VIBE appeared first on Greenway Magazine.