Who Put Paper in My Marijuana?

Cannabis Plant Break Down
Cannabis Plant Break Down

Who Put Paper in My Marijuana?

That’s right folks, Specialty Paper is showing up in the Medical Marijuana space.  Now of course not literally but Specialty Papers like Parchment, Glassine, PTFE are all being used in this new Medical Marijuana market.

Is It For Real

I don’t think there is a soul out there that is reading this blog posting that has not seen or heard of the Marijuana market space taking off.  The adult usage in regards to market sales in 2014 was $373,800,000 and then in 2015 in grew by 232% to $1,241,400,00. This is the fastest growing market area to date according to Leafly.com

Where Does Specialty Paper Fit In

I’m going to leave the actual marijuana 101 out of this article, there are tremendous sites out there that are incredible about explaining marijuana.  I highly recommend Leafly (www.leafly.com).  Just take a quick look and you will quickly realize this is not a “burn-out”, hippie, throwback hang out, and there are several other sites.

It is all about the process of extracting marijuana for the oils.  It is in this process that a Specialty Paper is used.  Growers will take the buds, heat and compress them causing a sap like oil (hash oil sometime it is known as) to be forced out.  But before this happens, they put a 6” x 6” square of Silicone Coated Parchment paper down, so when the oil starts oozing out, it can easily be scrapped and removed. (For the avid marijuana growers, please exclude the crudeness in the simplified explanation, we are targeting the Specialty Paper suppliers here – please don’t take offense).

Several Sizes Needed

There are several sizes that are used for this, anywhere from 4” x 4” to 12” x 12” squares.  Some folks are needing printing/branding, some need shapes similar to ring boxes, others need some type of folding pattern.  The most common request we see is for Silicone coated parchment.  This is your typical baking sheet that you would bake with.  For the small mom and pop growers, Costco and Bj’s have been filling their needs.  Also keep in mind, there is Quilon coated parchment, which has been around since the dawn of time.  Of recent it has received a bad rap due to the Chromium that is inherent in the parchment made with this due to the Quilon coating.  Before you think bad, just think, every cupcake you ate when you were a kid, was baked with a Quilon coated paper cupcake holder, and you are still here today reading this silly blog – go figure.

Also used is Glassine paper.  A very smooth paper that has a barrier resistance, not as good as parchment, but can work in certain applications.  But for true total 100% greaseproof, waterproof, barrier proof, and extremely resistant to all chemicals it would be Teflon coated paper, known as PTFE.  The drawback, it is the most expensive of the papers listed.

Markets Served

The Paper industry is just one industry that is benefiting from this growing market.  Medical and biological labs have transformed into extracting marijuana due to already having a lot of the gear and process in house.  The equipment to make extractions has revised several manufactures that were selling into the fragrance markets that were hunted down by marijuana expertise to “tweak” their machine’s for extracting the oil.  Farming – sort of no explanation needed here.  Just look at the areas in Colorado and Washington that were barren and is now being transformed into a rich paradise for growing.

Mircosoft is even in on the game – that’s right.  They are helping to write software that will monitor the growth of the plants and help monitor the whole process.  Think about this, Microsoft is putting energy into the Marijuana space. Heck even Whoopie Goldberg has her own company around a certain strain of marijuana.

Conclusion for the Paper Industry

So you get the point, this is not a fad, it’s not going away, you will see all 50 states in your life time be medical marijuana enabled – there I said, I will get off my pot box.

For Specialty Paper suppliers like myself, these are very, very exciting times.  We have already been dealing with several small growers, several medical labs, marketing specific companies and publicly traded companies with their only mission is around medical marijuana.  We have been helping companies find the correct parchment or correct size, as well as work on educating them about printing on certain materials, and what oils work best with what paper.

We have also in the last month partnered with a local mill in using their parchment like paper to create a very unique offering.  This is Nano cellulose fibers, using Nano technology to align these fibers which makes a barrier resistant parchment like paper.  Then we coat with Silicone both sides, creating  a truly unique Specialty Paper.  In our next posting will dive into this and the Nano craze taking hold in some areas of the Paper Market space.  Please visit us at www.cheeverspecialty.com or shoot me an email, would love to answer any question etc. – jeff.e@cheeverspecialty.com