With legalization looming, and October 17th just around the corner, just about everyone in the cannabis industry is ramping up for the end of prohibition, of marijuana that is. And there’s no better way to market your product if you’re a licensed provider than kicking off a contest, of sorts. AHLOT made the announcement last week that they are hiring five cannabis connoisseurs, individuals that have experience with the so called ‘Devil’s Lettuce’, and it’s key characteristics into what makes for a good product.
We chatted with Greg Pantelic, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, and Martin Strazovec, Executive Vice President & Chief Creative Officer of AHLOT about this unique opportunity.

Libby Roach– Legalization is finally upon us. What are some of the things consumers should know about when it comes to strains and usage?
Greg Pantelic & Martin Strazovec– With the dawn of legalization nearing, consumers should understand that they’re going to be inundated with choice. There are hundreds of different licensed producers, each with their own brands and own strains. In some Provinces, such as Ontario, sales will only be available online, so the ability to speak to a live human to help navigate this ‘tsunami of choice’ will be non-existent. When October 17th comes, consumers will be throwing darts, figuring out what works and what doesn’t work for them on a purely trial and error basis. This will have negative cost, as well as convenience consequences to the customer experience. Don’t get me wrong; we’re profoundly proud and inspired by Canada’s pioneering move into legalizing recreational cannabis. It’s simply that we’re assessing the onslaught that will meet consumers on October 17th and figuring out a creative way to ensure that the experience is as positive and inspiring as possible.

LR– You’re offering a sample pack- what does that entail?
GP & MS– Our inaugural product, the AHLOT Cannabis Collections: Discovery Series Vol. 1, has been curated to solve the problem of choice for cannabis consumers in a new legal environment. It is the first legal cannabis sample pack to feature strains from different Licensed Producers from across Canada. Like any product we develop, it takes a strong understanding of new cannabis consumers and endless research and feedback from our community of “Thinkers” as we like to call them.
Our product is able to function as a point of convergence within the industry, something that we felt was missing from the landscape. With every producer focused on creating their own brands, our Discovery Series Vol. 1™ compliments these efforts by providing a platform upon which these brands can be showcased. This is further enhanced by the curation element, which is seen in our ability to bring different LPs’ brands together within the same product. Only a trusted, neutral third party can help forge relationships between different brands to benefit the end consumer, and AHLOT is delighted to be the company leading the way.

The 5 strains we’ve curated for the AHLOT Cannabis Collections: Discovery Series Vol. 1™ are:
• Edison Cannabis Co. | Rio Bravo (Wabanaki) | Sativa
• Saturday | Saturday Afternoon (CBD MediHaze) | Sativa
• Symbl | Solar Power (Sour Kush) | Hybrid
• Haven St. | No 405 (Blueberry Kush) | Indica
• 7ACRES | Sensi Star | Indica

LR– You’re creating a lot of buzz around your CCC members. How do you vet someone who says they are a connoisseur?
GP & MS– This question should be fairly simple to answer, but given the sheer volume of applicants we’ve received, it’s no easy task. All this said, the CCC members are being trusted with two critical responsibilities: curating the best strains and experiences for Canadian cannabis consumers and helping shape future AHLOT Cannabis Collections™ products. Given the trust required for these roles, we’re treating our hiring process as any other critical role in our company, with a twist. We’ll be analyzing the applications for accuracy, then whittling down to a top 20 for live interviews, and hopefully receiving input from our community of Thinkers to select the top 5!

LR– How long have you been working on your product? What goes into curating a line of ‘the best cannabis strains?’
GP & MS– This product has been in the works since the beginning of the year. It takes countless amounts of customer interviews and “sessions” to really understand the rituals, preferences, pain points and desired experiences of Canadian cannabis consumers. Parallel to this, we sought to understand the brand visions and strain portfolios from many of the different licensed producers across Canada. Armed with this knowledge, we curated the AHLOT Discovery Series Vol. 1, a well rounded experience that allows consumers to discover everything from Sativas to Indicas, to high THC strains and high CBD strains. We wanted to empower Canadians to discover the perfect strains for the experiences they seek!

LR– Post legalization, what changes do you expect to see in the marketplace? What are you most excited about?
GP & MS– We’re excited to see legalization. Period. Progress is a process and we’re honoured to be a part of the ascendance of this new culture. As thinkers and dreamers ourselves, we’re excited to see future innovation and the eventual normalization of this beautiful plant.