DIZPOT Jar Packages | Phoenix New Times
It didn’t bother John Hartsell that people didn’t necessarily understand what he did for a living.
“I usually say I make boxes and bags for marijuana,” he said last week. “And then I have to explain that I’m talking about retail packaging. It still takes them a minute or two to figure out what I do for a job.
What Hartsell and his business partner Jeff Scrabeck do is more than just pot packaging for dispensary sales. Their locally founded company DIZPOT has grown to include troubleshooting and branding services for would-be pot peddlers across the country.
Scrabeck is a former Phoenix Trails main store owner, while Hartsell is a former political campaign worker and owner of an ad agency.
“My only real talent in the world is knowing people,” said Hartsell, who moved here from North Carolina in 2002 to work on Janet Napolitano’s gubernatorial campaign. “I know a lot of people”
Many of them mispronounced his company name. “People usually pronounce the T,” he said. “But it’s really pronounced Diz-po, like in a dispensary depot.” It’s a double meaning because we do packaging and branding for the jar. See?”
DIZPOT makes containers for all kinds of items, but focuses on cannabis.
“We started out as a distribution company originally,” Hartsell said. “And we quickly realized that this industry needed a branding and packaging company to put personalized cannabis on a shelf in a dispensary.”
Hartsell believed he had special knowledge of marijuana packaging and that his knowledge of weed helped him customize the packaging of some major national cannabis brands.
“I’m a heavy cannabis user,” he said. “I smoke concentrates and flower all day, for my rheumatoid arthritis, so I know and understand the product in a way that’s special. Some of these things are $80 a gram, so you’re talking about wasting nothing. You lose a tenth of that gram by seeping through the threads of a jar or falling off when you open it, and that’s the price of a cheeseburger you just lost there.
In his work, Hartsell said, many jar packaging ideas were stolen from other industries. “We get good ideas from cosmetics companies. Jewelry packaging also applies to cannabis packaging.
But packing the product into a jar required ingenuity, he thought. “You have to think about how the consistency of a concentrate will vary. Or if you sell an edible product containing butter, sugar or sauce. Do these objects remain stable at different temperatures, so that they can be used safely by the consumer, but are properly stored in the meantime? »
Hartsell isn’t surprised that marijuana is legal these days and that cannabis enthusiasts can walk into a store to buy over-the-counter weed.
“My business partner is 60 and I’m 43, and we talk about it a lot,” he admitted. “We decided that it was basically attrition that got us to this point where we have legal cannabis. Most of the stigma of pot has disappeared because more and more people have been using it regularly for much of their lives. So I’m not surprised to see dispensaries opening up in ordinary neighborhoods, right next to Sprouts or whatever. It was unthinkable for a long time that we lived in a world where you could legally use cannabis instead of opioids for what hurts you, or just to have a more interesting time at the movies. But now we do. Now we live in this world.
Everyone, Hartsell said, wants to get into the cannabis business these days. “I always say, ‘Buy a time machine and go back ten years, and you sure can. Ten years ago, you had to be on the ground floor. Right now the industry is big. And it will triple in the next two decades. When I talk about what I do, there’s a ton of intrigue.
There is also some confusion. “But I don’t think people understand what I do for the job is what defines me,” Hartsell said. “My work transcends all the other important things about me. Like what I do on the weekends, how I feel about my kids and my partner in life. I make boxes for cannabis, but I’m not someone who can be, you know, boxed in myself.