By Bobby Nuggz 4/1/2019 Releaf Media
For a long while we’ve called what we all do in the world of cannabis, “the movement.” Few others have impacted the direction and flow of this cannabis revolution over the last ten years than the legendary hash maker, Selecta Nikka T. Whether he’s rocking stages among the biggest names in the music business, or changing the game, Nikka T is a prime example of what you can accomplish with passion, drive and ingenuity in the cannabis business world.
Nikka T, how has your love for reggae music allowed you to harness your passions?
One of my first passions in life was and still is reggae music, really music in general. Learning to promote and market myself as a new reggae DJ in the Bay Area (a very competitive DJ market) back in the day as a youth taught me a ton about self promotion, promoting for events and utilizing word of mouth, social media, the stage, print ads and radio advertisements in order to spread mixtapes to the masses and pack out my events to the brim with friends, family and followers of the culture and my works. Similarly to the music industry and promoting myself as a DJ, I transferred what I learned from my past marketing experience to the cannabis industry where I was able to market myself and promote myself as a passionate hash maker and market my brand Essential Extracts.
Coming up with the term “Solventless Wax” changed the world we know and started a movement, how has your mission evolved since you first established your brand? What have been your biggest challenges that you did not see coming?
When I coined the term Solventless Wax, it was to compete for shelf space with the newly discovered butane hash oil consistencies such as “Earwax.” When the term, and therefore the product Earwax, gained popularity in the early 2000s, my goal was to recreate a similar consistency, but without chemical solvents. Via mechanical separation, ice and water we created Solventless Wax, which looked, melted and had the terpene preservation of the earwax we were seeing permeate the market.
As the industry developed, new consistencies and terms were coined for butane extracted products like “Shatter”, “Badder” and more recently “Sauce” and “Diamonds.” After realizing we were able to create a higher quality water extracted product than that of the black to brown mildew smelling “bubble hash” we were accustomed to seeing by controlling more environmental variables, utilizing clean ice and water, forming methods to dry the product more thoroughly retaining more terpenes and lighter colors using new tools to us such as the freeze dryer, we set off to recreate the new consistencies we were seeing in the hydrocarbon world.
To this day, we have been able to completely change the perception of mechanically separated products in the United States and worldwide by recreating all of the consistencies we desire and pushing the boundary of what Solventless means and can achieve. The advent of Rosin Tech has allowed us to create even higher quality commercial products. We have even learned to separate the THCA from the rest of the cannabinoids and terpenes leading to the new consistencies such as Solventless THCA Diamonds and Solventless Sauce by manipulating the pressure and temperature used in the Rosin pressing itself. Moving into present time, thanks to other pioneers in the space, we are seeing even more advances in the Solventless processes such as utilizing low heat and pressure after pressing in the Rosin press to achieve mechanical separation of the THCA from the terpenes and actual THCA crystal growth within a pressurized vessel.
One of my biggest challenges has been scaling up the Solventless processes, while retaining quality control, which we have managed to do. Coming from being a hash maker and DJ with a background in psychology, starting a company and running a legitimate business with all the added regulations the states put on us in the cannabis space has deemed to be slightly difficult as well. I have learned a ton though from running my own business in one of the tightest regulated markets in the world. The largest challenge I have faced is finding like-minded partners with the same goals I have. As big money comes in, we have to compete with entities who have unlimited resources. Finding a proper financial partner in order to survive this ever evolving industry is the toughest challenge I’ve faced.
What are some common mistakes you see when you are consulting for hashmakers?
In order to make Solventless financially viable there are a lot of added steps and variables not everyone thinks of. Genetics and your source material being the main one, but how you utilize your byproducts of the process is huge too and we often times see new hash makers failing in these realms.
You have a lot of experience in medical and recreational cannabis markets, what do you think is the trick to keeping things balanced among regulation?
Compassion and treating both medical and recreational cannabis the same as they both promote “Wellness.” The only differences between medical cannabis and recreational cannabis are small dosage requirement differences, but mainly the tax brackets and added costs to produce and distribute the products. The cannabis is grown the same whether it’s available at a medical dispensary or a recreational dispensary. The trick is all about education and busting the myths. Recreational cannabis and the laws governing it actually allow me to treat more actual true pain patients, cancer patients and other debilitating conditioned patients throughout the world, whereas before when it was medical only, out-of-state patients in need were not legally able to be helped.
It’s known you love your Og Kush varieties, tell me about your favorites.
Clone-only OGs like Ghost OG, which is a crazy appetite stimulant, SFV OG, Skywalker OG, Triangle OG and the other clone only varieties. Lately I’ve been loving a bunch of the OG and Gelato crosses as well as all the super citrus flavors like The Lime and Lemon Tree aka Lemonade.
Traveling all over the globe to sample and smoke different hash must be a really fun job, is there anywhere you enjoy visiting the most? Which place has the best cannabis culture?
Jamaica and Barcelona Spain! I enjoy visiting Jamaica for the weather and reggae culture and Barcelona for the people and the accepted social consumption atmospheres within social clubs.
How are you able to match the techniques and evolve with the market of solvent extracts so well?
Paying close attention to the trends, staying relevant in a brand-new industry that threatens to eat you up and spit you out if you don’t keep up, as well as teaching and learning daily. Don’t stop learning. Keep pushing the boundaries of what Solventless Extracts can achieve and try new things.
Where can we find Essential Extracts on dispensary shelves?
At this very moment, we are rebuilding and restructuring my company in Colorado as I build out a large new facility in California. So definitely stay tuned for more announcements from the Essential Team and me in these coming months. Lots of great news and movements on the horizon!
You can, however, find collaborative efforts on shelves throughout California from the North to the South right now such as the Field Extracts X Essential Extracts California and THE SERUM, an amazing topical formulation using peptide cultures and stem cells from cannabis and organic apples. Plus, I’m just recently starting to help curate a delivery company based out of Marin County, California so stay tuned for more info regarding that endeavor.
I’m sure that a few people reading this want to learn your techniques, what’s the best way for them to connect?
@Nikka__T (2 underscores)