Airgraft Debuts Its World-First Membership Program and Airgraft 2 Vaporizer: Interview With Mladen Barbaric, Founder and CEO

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AUTHOR: Heather Allman

PUBLISHER: CANNABIS LAW REPORT

 

Airgraft Debuts its World-First Membership Program and Airgraft 2 Vaporizer

 

Membership offers access to premium cannabis brands for up to 50% less  

 

Airgraft, Inc., the technology company on a mission to democratize the best possible cannabis experience, today announces the launch of its world-first membership program and breakthrough Airgraft 2 vaporizer system.

A major facet in the vibrant market for concentrates and extracts for producers and consumers alike is the obsession with quality and efficiency.

Yet, the vehicle for consumption of concentrates in the form of vaping simply doesn’t match up — quality products are often compromised by leaky cartridges, unregulated temperatures and low-quality materials. 

 

Airgraft, a purpose-driven technology company that engineers and sells vaporization hardware and software designed for the effective, efficient delivery of medicinal and recreational extracts, has created a modern and safe solution to these issues. 

The company just launched an exclusive membership program as a precursor to the launch of their Airgraft 2 device and user platform, giving consumers access to their smart technology, science-backed practices and premium pods with some of California’s finest producers for a fraction of the usual cost. 

Details of the Airgraft membership and Airgraft 2 technology include:

  • Exclusive access to purchase pods from premium, well-loved brands at up to 50% the cost of  competitors, available at participating CA dispensaries + for delivery
  • The membership program is powered by MagicKey, Airgraft’s proprietary QR-activated light signature that unlocks pods for members’ use — watch “How to unlock a pod” demo here
  • Airgraft 2 technological features include a heat solution to bypass filters commonly used by current products on the market, allowing for 5x more vapor per draw; the vaporizer’s heat algorithm avoids burning oil and wasting quality product, freeing up 40% more oil per pod. 

 

Airgraft 2 membership was made available to the general public starting May 15 for a monthly $10 fee.

By signing up at Airgraft, members gain access to Airgraft’s premium pods from California’s most respected producers. 

Airgraft 2 pods will be available at dispensaries across the state, priced up to 50% lower than competitors. The membership program is powered by MagicKey, Airgraft’s proprietary QR-activated light signature that unlocks pods for members’ use.

Backed by a team of designers and innovators, Airgraft applies its ‘pursuit of perfection’ approach to set new standards in how devices are designed and engineered.

Airgraft believes smart technology, science-backed practices and platform innovation have the potential to bring positive change to the world of cannabis and beyond.  

 

Airgraft 2 represents an upgrade to the brand’s market-leading Airgraft vaporizer, delivering oil-specific heating for a purer, more flavorful and effective experience.

Airgraft’s unique vapor engine combines FDA-recognized, heated-food safe materials with sophisticated heating algorithms to eliminate filters and oil-traps for up to five-times more vapor per draw.

Other systems burn a proportion of the oil, destroying valuable natural compounds, degrading the flavor and creating harmful byproducts. Airgraft delivers a purer, more effective vapor while liberating up to 40% more oil from every pod.

 

“We believe the cannabis user deserves the best possible journey, from plant to pocket,” says Mladen Barbaric, Airgraft founder and CEO. “We’ve taken a holistic approach, completely upgrading the cannabis experience — from accessibility to efficacy, flavor and feel, and most importantly, value too.”

 

Mladen Barbaric is a recognized leader and innovator in product design and technology. He has earned an enviable reputation assembling lean, dynamic teams of outstanding designers and engineers to develop effective solutions to complex challenges, it was this less but better approach that led him to found Airgraft in 2018, refining technology, materials and performance to upgrade the cannabis experience from plant to pocket.

Barbaric cut his teeth as an industrial designer in automotive with an early start at Ford where he developed a keen expression of brand through design. In 2008, he founded Pearl Studios in Canada to innovate for the health and wellness sector.

Under his direction, the organization became one of the world’s most respected, boutique product and brand firms across industry categories

Mladen has designed, engineered and launched dozens of groundbreaking products for top-tier brands in the luxury to health categories, including Johnson & Johnson, LG, Gucci and others.

Through partnership with Qualcomm, he eamed notable distinction as a pioneer in wearables and later helped build the breakthrough activity tracker Misfit.

 

In late June 2021, Cannabis Law Report talked with Mladen Barbaric, Founder and CEO of Airgraft about the debut of its World-First Membership Program and Airgraft 2 Vaporizer.

 

Mladen Barbaric, Founder and CEO of Airgraft

 

CLR: Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about where you work and what you do. 

 

Mladen Barbaric: I’m the founder and CEO of Airgraft. I’m also a serial entrepreneur and a design geek.

I started my career designing cars, then decided to make just about anything but cars. Thirteen years ago, I founded Pearl Studios, a renowned product development firm, where we created and made upwards of 100 million consumer, health and medical products that solve various problems for different kinds of people. 

 

CLR: How did you get started working in the cannabis sector?

 

Mladen: I don’t come from a cannabis background.  I was a competitive swimmer, so early on I didn’t even take cold medication because it might have tested positive during screening, let alone use cannabis.

While I’ve developed and shipped millions of products in consumer and medical industries, I’d not ventured into products for cannabis until a few years ago.

A few investors that always support projects Pearl Studios works on pointed out that our team just happens to be perfectly suited to solve some glaring problems in the cannabis industry. 

It was only then that we started paying attention to cannabis. While the industry is an up-and-coming market, and many see profit potential and jump in for the money, for us it was different.  

 

To get involved, we wanted to be certain that we could meaningfully contribute to the industry and create a positive impact;  and we really believe we can do that here. 

We fully believe that our creative use of technology can help improve the way cannabis is delivered, improve the experience people have with cannabis, and also bring this improved, cleaner, better experience to more people by making it more affordable.

 

CLR:  Tell me about your initial launch of this membership program at Airgraft — the idea? the execution? the response to date?

 

Mladen: We didn’t start with the intent to create a membership program. We saw that there are few vaporizers out there that are able to actually vaporize. 

A vaporizer cartridge is a simple device with a heater and extract. The heater is turned on, ramps up temperature and like a stove set to high, reaches boiling – which is what vaporization is – then quickly surpasses that point to burning. 

We used technology to identify cartridges and create dynamic heating profiles that perfectly vaporize the extract. This resulted in better tasting vapor, better delivery of that vapor and, most importantly, it didn’t create the unwanted contaminants in the vapor. But, what it did was create a more expensive cartridge. 

In the industry, a hardware maker like us sells the cartridges to an extractor who fills them, then passes them on to distribution, then retail, where they’re taxed and then finally in consumers’ hands. But the supply chain amplifies the cost to the consumer four to five times. 

As a result, more expensive cartridges become prohibitively expensive to the consumer and are therefore a luxury item instead of accessible to all. 

We created this membership model as a way to solve this problem. We give the cartridges to extractors for free, and the extracts, as a result, cost significantly less than even the extract in simple cartridges at retail.

We then collect a membership fee that is smaller than the cost savings and voila! Consumers get the best vaporizer technology for less than what they’re currently paying for other devices that aren’t as advanced. 

We ran a pre-launch, which surprised us and we sold out in the first week. We’ve had incredible feedback from customers and an outpour of appreciation. We will be launching across California July 1st and systematically across the U.S. in the next year.

 

CLR: Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

 

Mladen: It’s cannabis, there are so many! Solving the big tech-cannabis curveball is probably the highlight. After all vape apps were banned from the App Store, we were faced with a Bluetooth showstopper.

Namely, our inability to publish a native app meant that we’d lost a critical method of connecting and authenticating our pods. 

 

 

For the membership model to work, not to mention all the safety features such as correct extract heat settings and fake cartridge prevention, we needed a way to connect to our pods.

After weeks of being locked in our room, banging our heads against the wall, we had an idea:  what if we could communicate with a pod using a mobile phone’s screen? We could use light and colour to communicate.  

Magic Key was born – a light signature that is passed by placing an Airgraft directly on the screen. It works extremely well, and it’s actually fun to do. It is a bit of a crazy idea born out of frustration, but became a technology that we can’t wait to use in solving many other problems.

 

CLR: There can be two distinct kinds of cannabis industry players: (1) people-centric, and (2) profit-centric. How do you reconcile the two in order to maintain a balance at Airgraft?

 

Mladen: At Airgraft, we find that we’re more focused on solving meaningful problems. There’s a glaring issue for people who inhale cannabis and we are here to fix it.

We believe that so long as we focus on great products and create magical experiences for millions of people, the profits will come, near automatically.

That’s not to say that we are ignorant of fiscal discipline and profits, or lacking compassion, but we believe that when we create value for people, solve real, wide-reaching problems, we’ve also built a good, sustainable business. 

That’s our north star, and that’s how we keep the balance.

 

CLR:  Let’s go beyond Corporate Social Responsibility — talk to me about “positive impact” and what that means for Airgraft? 

 

Mladen: Having a constant and clear intent to be a positive influence on the world is core to everything we do. 

One of the first things I ask when evaluating what we’ll do next is: “Can we make a meaningful difference, and are we the right people to do it?” 

I’ve worked on projects that got millions of people to move more.  I’ve worked on projects that help people monitor their health better.  

With Airgraft, I believe we can create a safer, better way to consume cannabis for millions of people, help transition more people from illicit products to legal ones, and overall improve the standard of inhalation; the most important aspect of cannabis.

 

 

CLR: Is intellectual property the future of cannabis?

 

Mladen: Intellectual property, or innovation, is the foundation of progress. Whether we are talking about cannabis or any other industry, getting better requires creative solutions others haven’t considered or implemented yet. 

In cannabis specifically, because the industry is so fragmented, regulations aren’t consistent. Innovation and intellectual property will be separating good businesses from the great. 

Just having portfolios of patents, however, isn’t the key to success. Innovating to find meaningful solutions in an industry that still has so much to solve will be key.

It’s not so much about having patents, it’s creating the right ones.

 

About Airgraft Inc.

Airgraft Inc. is a purpose-driven technology company headquartered in Montreal, Canada. The company engineers and sells vaporization hardware and software designed for the effective, efficient delivery of medicinal and recreational extracts. Airgraft was founded in 2018 by a multinational team of designers, scientists and technologists with a rich history of global brand and product launches.

The leader in responsible vaporization is supported by top-tier cannabis and consumer industry investors, along with leaders of luxury fashion, alcohol and CPG brands. Visit Airgraft for more information on products and membership..

 

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