Focusing on Quality: An Interview with Sean Killen of Quil

What does Quil do?

Quil is a platform for on demand cannabis delivery.

What gave you the idea for Quil?

I had been paying attention to the cannabis industry for a few years and I saw that we were on a path towards legalization in CA and across the nation. There was also a technology gap that presented itself as an attractive target for business. The idea was to create a platform that would give us the ability to address the many deficiencies in the industry, such as proper testing of cannabis and cannabis based products and proper measurements to ensure proper dosing. We decided to build a system to address where the industry is going, not necessarily where it is now. We believe that more and more people will begin to educate themselves on the science and merits of medical cannabis and will be looking for a trusted source of consistently safe, high quality cannabis products that meet their specific needs. Our platform helps understand and aggregate data from the industry to lead to improvement down the line.  Understanding how the medicine is being used and how it is distributed are crucial to bridging the gap between the patients and the source of their medicine, thus enabling growers and extract producers to better understand how to best meet patients needs and guide the industry toward a much safer and respectable place within the national consciousness.

How is the Quil system different than other delivery services?

At face value Quil is not all that different from other delivery app companies.  We provide an on demand service in San Francisco that enables patients to order and receive their medicine within 30 minutes in most cases. We also have near term plans to serve the greater Bay Area.  It’s our commitment to safe, quality medicine, along with the quality of our partnerships that set us apart.  By taking extra steps to qualify our partner network, we are building the foundation for us to grow into a leadership role within the cannabis market as it continues to grow and mature. For example, our decision to partner with HelloMD ensures our patients are receiving the highest quality medical recommendations in the most convenient and discrete way possible. That commitment to quality extends to everything a patient would find on our menu. We go above and beyond to ensure our flowers, wax, oil cartridges and edible products are free of pesticides, mold, solvents, and chemicals. All of which are unfortunately prevalent in the industry. We have focused on better lab testing for cannabis because there is a huge need for understanding what is in cannabis products beyond just THC and CBD. Instead of trying to mark up the cheapest product for the most profit we want to be a source for quality and trustworthiness in the industry. We want our products to be safe for our patients above all else.

How does the delivery service vary from a traditional dispensary? Does it offer the same array of products and advice that a traditional dispensary can provide?

Yes and no.  We don’t carry as wide of an array of products as a dispensary does, but we do carry the most sought after product categories a patient would expect to find on a menu.  Instead of providing a wide selection, we focus on high quality products that meet the price points that patients expect.  We cover all of the bases when it comes to strains of oil, wax, and flowers, and our products are all solvent-free, particularly our completely organic wax and wax derived oil cartridges for vape pens. Many oils are made with additives, sometimes even nuero-toxins, to gain the right consistency in the products.  Our products are organic, pure medicinal cannabis.

What sets your products apart? Are there any particular standards you have for your products?

All flowers are free of pesticides and mold and grown to meet a set of standards set by our collective partner to qualify for consideration. All wax is produced using a completely organic process, leaving it free of solvents like Butane or CO2 that most other waxes contain. Our oil cartridges are made from the organic wax mixed with a pharmaceutical grade plant based solubilizer that is free of any chemicals that are found in any other oil cartridges. Everything is tested through a full spectrum analysis that provides data on 100% of the organic makeup. Our collective partner ensures every product that would be considered for the menu meets the standard of quality we believe should be the standard of the industry under regulation.  They do quarterly inspections to make sure all protocols are being met in both the growth and processing of medicine, all before the products even meet our own testing phase.  We share a commitment with our partners for quality products from people passionate about making sure our patients are being taken care of.

Do you offer your customers advice on particular products based on their conditions?

We offer advice based on patient preference not their condition.  Our partnership with HelloMD gives our patients access to the people who are best equipped to recommend based on conditions: doctors.  Once people know what they are looking for by what doctors recommend, we can guide them based on their preferences.  For new patients we can help educate them on the differences between methods of consumption, flower types, dosing options, and a general understanding of the science behind the product.

Do you have any advice or tips for first time medical marijuana users?

Proper dosing for is key, and it is something we at Quil are trying to solve for.  Most new medical marijuana users do not have smoking at the top of their list, however, sometimes vaporizing can fill that gap.  There is a serious problem with the dosing of edibles. We do not have any pre-made edibles on the menu, only medicated olive oil and sugar.  The HBC wax used to make the olive oil goes through two rigorous sets of lab testing, including full spectrum analysis.  The wax tests at over 96% purity, which is the highest you can find, then it is pressed into olive oil.  That way each teaspoon of olive oil can be accurately dosed, unlike many mass produced cannabis butters you find in the market.  Because of the purity of the wax base, HBC edible product doses are extremely accurate so patients can accurately dose themselves.  They can exchange one teaspoon of regular oil for our cannabis oil in a brownie recipe and they will know how many mgs of medicine are in that batch of brownies.  We are looking for confidence in proper dosing because one bad experience can cause people to turn away from medical cannabis for good.  The industry standard, as put forth by medical officials, is starting with a 10mg dose and incrementally moving up from there. When it comes to most edibles, you can’t just trust what is on the bag.

How do you see the industry evolving over the next five years?

I see the industry marching toward legalization state by state, both medically and recreationally. I see increased regulation across the industry, which is positive because there is so much mystery right now in terms of what patients are getting.  Many people think weed is just weed, but there is a lot of depth and difference to different strains and delivery methods.  Medical marijuana has an unbelievable amount of applications as the industry continues to grow and mature.  More education is necessary and becoming available as more people desire to learn about marijuana as medicine.  I see the industry getting safer, too, which is going to allow it to be more accessible to people who wouldn’t necessarily think to use marijuana as medication.

How will Quil stay relevant in this young and changing industry?

Quil is addressing problems we see for the future, not just looking at todays problems.  We do, of course, look at the small things, like building systems to ensure an “on demand” delivery experience.  That’s important, but it is more important to make sure our products go through proper testing and we’re doing the things behind the scenes to ensure what is being delivered is consistently the highest quality available.  We want to get ahead of the regulations that are going to come with legal cannabis policies so everything is done safely.  We strive to create a foundation for the future over relevance today.  We want to become a trusted source for education and information in the medical marijuana industry.  All of our work is being done safely and responsibly, to build trust in the community and market as a whole.

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