By Daniel Casciato
As a UK-based company, Liberty Herbal Technologies would like to reduce the risk for cannabis inhalation, more precise, simpler and sustainable for all patients and consumers of cannabis. That’s why the company created hapac®, a unique dry-vaping system that consists of ready to use filter-paper packs (or sachets) of pre-ground cannabis flower, specially designed for use in a simple, affordable, but highly effective dry-herb vaporizer device. The eco-friendly hapac®, sachets are made of specially engineered paper made from natural fibers, so after use they can be safely composted.
Liberty Herbal Technologies was founded by Simon Rucker, Mark Waterfield, and Domenico Ventura who worked together at British American Tobacco (BAT), in the area of ‘Next Generation’ vaping products. In July 2016, Rucker reached out to both Ventura and Waterfield with the intention to form a company to develop and launch an innovative ‘heat not burn’ vaping product for tobacco users.
“At that time, I was in contact with another ex-BAT colleague and friend based in Seattle who was developing disposable e-cigs containing cannabis concentrates,” says Ventura, CEO and Marketing Director for Liberty.
This friend’s many stories about the benefits of cannabis, its applications and the challenges involved in establishing the rights to commercialize a product that worked for patients with some difficult conditions got Ventura and his partners interested in cannabis.
“We researched the cannabis market, the consumer dynamics and we found it fascinating not only for the growing trend of this category but also for the curative and healing properties of the plant,” Ventura says.
One pivotal question came up during these talks, Ventura recalls. Why is a product that should heal people mostly smoked?
“We were aware of the many toxicants produced by combustion so we thought that the sort of ‘heat-not-burn’ system we were developing would be a really relevant innovation for cannabis consumers” he adds.
The result was hapac®, which stands for ‘herb and paper anti combustion.’ The reason for anti-combustion is because combustion or burning, which occurs at 1652 °F when a cigarette/cannabis is smoked creates significant quantities of toxins in the smoke. There is no combustion when a product is vaporized and heated to 410 °F. The effect of vaporizing the cannabis rather than smoking it, is estimated to vary significantly reduces the toxins produced, by some 80%.
“The hapac® system removes all the mess, fuss and fiddle normally associated with dry-herb vaporizers and makes vaporizing a measured dose of cannabis flower simple, convenient and consistent,” says Ventura.
“Our first trip to Seattle in December 2016 to test with consumers the first crude hapac® prototypes gave us the confidence to continue the development.”
The company worked hard to get hapac®to market and this past January, it launched its full marketing mix in Italy’s burgeoning ‘low THC cannabis’ (aka hemp) market.
“We are having positive responses from consumers who made repeat purchases and we are receiving daily requests from consumers in other countries who would like to purchase our hapac®system,” adds Ventura. “Unfortunately the law on cannabis in Europe is very inconsistent and way behind North America.”
Through other inhalation methods, hapac®offers the following benefits:
vs. joints / smoked herb:
• No combustion – reduced toxins
• No smoke – reduced smell
• Better value – doesn’t burn away between puffs
vs vape pens / e-cigs:
• Natural – not processed / no solvents or additives
• Full spectrum cannabinoids & terpenes
• More sustainable – no plastic packaging
vs dry-herb vaporizers:
• No grinding, no mess, no fuss, no wasted herb
• Easy refill on the go
• Reduced cleaning of oven
vs ingested / edibles:
• Fast acting – 2-5 minutes vs 30-60 minutes
• Quick & easy to adjust dose
• Less wasteful – bypasses liver
“These benefits are the key differentiators versus existing inhalation methods,” explains Ventura. “I would like to stress some key points for medical patients: a consistent measured dose, easy to use and affordability/value for money of both the inhalation device and the hapac®sachets.”
As the dose of cannabis is inhaled, the effect of the cannabis on the patient is very fast the patient can titrate the dose. This means that, dependent on the effect of the dose, the patient can easily adjust the balance of the dose by reducing or increasing puffs on the vaporizer.
hapac®is not currently available in the United States, however, Liberty Herbal Technologies has appointed an Area Sales Director in Florida, Leonello Araujo (firstname.lastname@example.org), and is currently seeking both U.S. and Canadian commercial partners interested in establishing a JV or licensing agreement to launch hapac®in Florida and North America.
According to Ventura, the benefits to a license producer include:
• Made on low CapEx automated machinery
• High hapac®output per man hour
• Low manufacturing costs
“The sooner we succeed in establishing a commercial agreement, the earlier we can launch in Florida and in other states in the U. S. since all the marketing and production mix is ready,” adds Ventura. “Our long-term goal is to build the leading global legal cannabis brand on hapac®, our patent-pending technology for vaping cannabis naturally.”
hapac® is a patent-pending technology innovation (UK Patent Application No. 1615359.5 / European Patent Office application No. 17767905.7 / Canadian Patent Office application No. 3034331 / US Patent Office application No. 16/331943) and the design is registered in the EU, USA and Canada. For more information, visit www.hapac.tech.