COTATI (KPIX 5) -- One creative marijuana dispensary in the North Bay has changed how it packages its pot as a way to keep the product fresh.
The team at Mercy Wellness Marijuana Dispensary in Cotati has taken a common household item -- the can -- and packed it with something unexpected: high-grade medical marijuana.
Mercy Wellness director Brandon Levine says it's revolutionizing the way his dispensary does business. The dispensary packages the marijuana in its own Calyx Green canning facility.
"It's really changed the game for the dispensary itself," said Levine.
Every day, production manager Kyle Monday and his team carefully can cannabis in 1/8th of an ounce portions.
"We look through the product a lot. Make sure we have the right size buds in the cans we like," said Monday.
After careful selection, the cans are weighed and placed on a conveyor belt where liquid nitrogen removes oxygen from the container.
They are then sealed shut for freshness, labeled and shipped out.
"It preserves our product a lot longer we're able to have a longer shelf life for our product," said Monday.
The traditional bags historically associated with marijuana only keep the product fresh for 2 months, afterwards those bags head to the landfill.
The recyclable cans keep for up to two years, allowing Mercy to offer a far wider range of strains.
"The difference in the amount of product we have went from 30 varieties to over 100," said dispensary director Levin.
Levine says it also allows Mercy to bring in different strains that don't sell as quickly.
It was an admittedly expensive switch. The bags cost 11 cents a pop, whereas cans cost a dollar.
But Levine said it is worth every penny.
"I predict people will do this more and more," he explained. "It should be standard for packaging for California."
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