Imagine a science fiction story that would have been inconceivable even ten years ago but is a reality today – a large scale, legal cannabis edibles factory! The Db3 facility south of downtown Seattle is cranking out Zoots to fulfill massive demand. Yes – Zoots. Not sci-fi fi but a very real brand of cannabis infused Zootdrops, Zootrocks, Zootblast and Zootbites. The largest selling brand of marijuana edibles in Washington.
The word zoot originated to describe the flashy outfits that gangsters wore in the 1940s. It also can mean “joint” or “spliff.” The makers of Zoots have grasped a new concept in the world of marijuana – branding. For example – after reading the last word of this sentence you will never again forget “zoots.” A zoot is no longer a grubby, smelly joint. It’s a professionally produced and packaged product, tested and licensed by the State!
Kelly Devlin – one of the three Devlin brothers who started Db3 – gave us a tour. I won the golden ticket! Devlin is no Willy Wonka – he’s a normal-looking, not phantasmagorical professional and a pleasant guide. It’s easy to give a tour when everything you show is so amazing.
The scale of the Zoots operation became apparent when we walked past the nondescript lobby to the massive warehouse, where pallet after pallet of boxed Zoots and other products awaited delivery to recreational pot shops across the Washington. Imagine a cop in a non-legal state stumbling on to this kind of operation – the kind with forklifts! It would be the bust of a lifetime.
The workers seemed content – all smiles. Db3 has over 30 employees and is growing. Happy folks making products that will produce more happiness. An exciting startup atmosphere. Anything is possible if you’ve already successfully created a vertically integrated factory for the mass production of marijuana products. This is brand new territory.
In “grow room two” a sea of flowers ready to harvest – the sweet smell and the bright lights overwhelming. Confession: this hard boiled pot shop writer had never seen a grow bigger than a few plants before this joy-filled moment. We were in a room crammed with hundreds of gorgeous, sweet-smelling females. Heaven.
I took some pictures of the giant colas on the plants (purple jolly rancher), and then some pot selfies. In another grow room – hydroponic blue dream – with stems as thick as a can of Red Bull.
Kelly showed us the trim room, which sported a massive walk-in freezer inherited from the building’s previous tenants – a vegetable wholesaler. Inside the freezer were barrels and barrels full of ten pound bags of frozen bud.
Db3 is under contract to produce the Goodship Co. line of edibles. Goodship was created by the folks who started the non-cannabis Cupcake Royale chain in 2003. They helped invent the cupcake craze, and are now helping to bring the relatively new concept of cannabis-infused cookies into the mainstream.
In the large industrial kitchen workers clad in lab coats, hair nets and gloves were using a machine to measure out exact portions of cookie dough. Large bowls of flour, sugar and spices stood at the ready. Other cookies were coming out of the oven. In one area freshly made Zoots lozenges were being taken out of molds.
(Unfortunately, State law prohibited us from sampling the products. We’ll go to a pot shop – Uncle Ike’s, of course – and buy some to test out for a follow-up to this article.)
Across the room a gas spectrometer was being used to self test extracts. Db3 uses the “Cypress Extraction Method™, a proprietary plant essence extraction process that results in cannabis oil rich in natural compounds of THC, cannabinoids and terpenes.”
A container with 20 pounds of extract sat in a freezer. I made a joke about “getting that to New York and making a million bucks.” Well – no need – there are millions to be made, legally, right here. Two words: green rush.
They didn’t want me to photograph their distiller units, but it’s safe to say they were custom built by Seattle’s Eden Labs, and that even more high end gear is coming to the facility soon.
A room full of steel tables and industrial blenders … and then another room full of expensive packaging equipment. The tour ended. Zow.
If they ever make Willy Wonka (again) they should do it as a reality TV show. They could get a few low level pot dealers from a non-legal State, like South Dakota, and bring them to the Zoots factory for an internship. Introduce their brains to the beginning of the end of prohibition.
High Times founder and wild man Tom Forcade once said that there were only two kinds of people in the marijuana business. “Those who need forklifts, and those who don’t.”
Zoots has forklifts. Welcome to the future.