There’s a new ‘luxury’ cannabis company run by former car execs — and they’re using jet engine tech in production

February 2, 2023 · MarketWatch

As a long-time car executive for high-end brands such as Bentley, Mark Del Rosso knows what luxury car connoisseurs would want from a cannabis company — and they don’t seem to be getting it now.

There are a lot of people that are not being spoken to…regardless of income,” Rosso said. “It’s all about the notion that cannabis people are into that level of status and sophistication and culture that they want the very best.”

To reach this target, Rosso and fellow car executive and co-founder Dustin Teuscher are launching LBTRE (pronounced “liberty”) as a cannabis company and offering more product differentiation for the premium audience starting with how it processes its cannabis oil. Rosso is CEO of LBRTE and Teuscher is chief operating officer of the company.

LBRTE has developed a proprietary method for processing using Teuscher’s engineering experience to apply methods in jet engine fuel mixing. The process uses water instead of paddle agitation and solvents for washing hash.

The company said that it was delivering its own flavor and cannabis experience with only ice, water, heat and pressure, without use of harmful chemicals such as butane.

The result is a “whole plant” experience for LBRTE’s line of products including a solventless disposable vape pen, edibles, and hash-infused pre-rolled cannabis cigarettes.

“If a brand doesn’t create a differentiated product, then you can’t create pricing power,” Del Rosso said. “We’re going to be craft, small-batch, with not a lot of volume.”

LBRTE’s brand logo features a bear and the phrase, “Back in 15 Minutes” which is the time it typically takes to smoke cannabis to generate a high.

To be sure, LBRTE is not the only company in the solvent-free cannabis business, as high-end brands offer natural cannabis products to differentiate themselves from the pack and generate wider margins from premium-priced goods.

But LBRTE said it stands apart not only because of its hash-washing process but also because of the luxury market expertise of Del Russo and Teuscher.

“We are a highly competent, highly professional group of people that are taking an industry that might not be at our level and can really benefit from our professional approach,” Del Rosso said. “We see that as a clear differentiator as we move forward whether it’s tomorrow or in five years.”

For cannabis products, LBRTE said it is initially focused on the California market, with plans to win state licenses for manufacturing and distribution of cannabis, with plans to sell cannabis accessories across the country. Packaging for the company was being designed by Kenton Parker, a well-known contemporary artist,

The company said it is planning to do direct sales and deliveries starting in Los Angeles, rather than selling through dispensaries, though it did not reveal any pricing information.

LBRTE has raised $1 million in seed funding from family and friends, with plans to start selling products by the end of May. The company said it plans to increase its staffing to 10 people by the end of the year from five now.

While the California market remains saturated with product and is fighting against lower-priced competition from the illicit market, LRBTE still said it sees a big market opportunity.

“A lot of people got in and thought they’d make a quick buck in the green gold rush,” Rosso said. “That’s a trap. We’re being methodical in our approach.”

Prior to launching LBRTE, Rosso was CEO of Genesis Motors North America; also president and CEO of Region Americas for Bentley Motors Inc., the largest sales region in the world for Bentley.

Teuscher is also chief operations officer of Parallax Ventures, a cannabis manufacturing firm, and a former production line manager and strategy lead at Genesis Motor America, where he worked with Rosso. (Full Story)

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