Choose Wisely, Grasshopper
FeaturedTrending Stories December 12, 2021 MJ Shareholders 0
Often the best inventions and innovations are born out of necessity—which is exactly what sparked the creation and development of the Grasshopper. Grasshopper Co-founders Luke Daly and Jesse Bloomfield shared why they had to build the tool they needed—because it didn’t exist yet.
The Grasshopper is an all-in-one tool that sets a higher standard for the bulk packing process, designed for maximum efficiency. The Grasshopper saves time and protects the quality and integrity of product—i.e. cannabis—during the crucial bulk packing stage, preventing spills and cutting labor costs. This allows you to perfect the process and create a stronger finish for your product—an asset in any cultivating, processing, and/or provisioning facility small or large.
The Grasshopper came from humble beginnings and has been a few years in the making. Working in the cannabis industry is a constant learning process with unique challenges due to the patchwork of state laws. A lot of the weight falls upon the shoulders of processors, cultivators and dispensary workers.
“[It] was a problem many in the industry didn’t even realize they had—the weighing, managing and packing process,” said Daly. “With over a decade of cultivating experience, one thing that was seen as a constant was that every grower had their own makeshift ways of weighing, managing and packaging final product. [They often are also] balancing mixing bowls, Tupperware, buckets and anything else on top of a scale that was too small, finding ways to see the digital reading on the scale getting covered by these bowls and buckets, then awkwardly filling bags and often spilling product on the ground.”
As you can imagine, cannabis industry workers are great engineers when it comes to nearly every type of handyman problem that comes along during production, but they needed a more permanent solution, especially when dealing in bulk flower.
So the two began to engineer their own device. Initially, Daly, Bloomfield and their team constructed a stationary hopper made from wood, screws, ductwork and tape. It was heavy, large, cumbersome and with sharp edges. “It was not pretty but it made all the difference in the world when it came time to getting product into the bag,” Daly said.
“It saved us an enormous amount of time, and kept product from being spilled on the ground. For the longest time we viewed our makeshift hopper as just another random tool to make our job easier and was not something we envisioned manufacturing.”
Embrace the adage, “work smarter, not harder.” This leads to the other proverb that you need the right tool for the right job. Bagging product with the wrong tool can cost a business a fortune, especially when bulk amounts are involved.
But the hopper generated a strong response from people who witnessed it in action, and Daly eventually had the realization that this is something that every grower could benefit from. He decided to seek out a product development team to refine the design and work towards a product that his team could manufacture and make available to help everyone.
“We spent the first few months expanding on this idea and how to potentially turn this into a product line,” the co-founders shared. “We broke down the process and looked at everything we could design to make life easier. We looked at different styles of buckets, scales, scale stands, scoops, bags, etc., anything and everything. After thinking on this for a while, a new thought came to mind. Instead of creating a line of products separate from one another, how could we consolidate these different ideas into one unique product?”
This led to four major adjustments: Make the bucket large enough to comfortably hold one pound of finished product—as most cultivation facilities have their own custom bags for shipping product to dispensaries and processors in one-pound increments; Design an attachable funnel lid that fits most every type of packaging; Make the funnel lid capable of flipping over to use as a scale stand to prop the bucket up and easily see the readout; and finally, Keep it lightweight, portable, easy to keep clean, comfortable and fun to use.
“At this point, we started the product development process over from scratch to refine this new concept,” the duo said. “We spent time looking at every detail: how the lid attaches, how the bucket rests on top of the funnel, measurements/angles, handles, thumb caps, colors, logos, etc. After a few 3D printed prototypes and working through all the details, the Grasshopper was ready to move into manufacturing.”
The name appears to be self-explanatory. A hopper is a pyramidal or cone-shaped container used in industrial processes. Add the bulk flower material, and voilà—we present to you the Grasshopper.
The Grasshopper is designed to be versatile, allowing the user to find how to best incorporate the product into their operation. The largest inherent benefits are time savings, preventing spills and cutting operational labor costs. Specifically, it can benefit the following three types of workers:
Cultivators – Weigh and package product faster and without spills. This way, they can standard operating procedures to employees and/or packaging managers tasked with packaging final product for distribution.
Processors – Weigh and manage flower and biomass. It’s useful for filling 6” and 8” extraction columns.
Dispensaries – When breaking down large quantities of flower into smaller prepackaged amounts, it is helpful to transfer bulk product from bag into the Grasshopper to work out of. Easily keep track of weight, and transfer any remaining product back into bag when finished.
Small Scale Growers – Weigh, manage and determine where a dry process is, or determine how much a yield is. The Grasshopper is handy for any amount of cannabis.
The Grasshopper is compatible with bags, extraction columns and scales. This includes vacuum seal (11” and 15”), Ziploc (1 gallon and over) and turkey bags, to name a few. It’s also compatible with 6” and 8” extraction columns. Use it also with most scales, as long as they can handle the weight of the Grasshopper (roughly 800 grams).
The Grasshopper is made using FDA food-grade High Density Poly Ethylene (HDPE). Its ergonomic thumb-cap provides comfort with a textured finish for a reliable grip.
“When we launched the Grasshopper, our vision was to help others in the industry by offering a simple solution to standardize the bulk packing process—a lasting product in an ever-evolving industry making easy work out of a task that was once awkward, time consuming, and messy.”
Daly is Michigan-based with over 10 years of experience working with cannabis under his belt Cultivating started as a hobby and quickly turned into a passion. “Consistently producing quality product poses many unique challenges and I’ve dealt with a lot of them firsthand, gaining comfortability and expanding to larger gardens while maintaining the same high standard of quality,” Daly said. “I love helping others who share the same passion of growing that I have. I have helped design and set up a number of indoor gardens, equipment installation, drip systems, nutrient regiments, pest and mold preventatives, etc. I am grateful for the years of being able to work with such a beautiful plant and am excited to continue learning, networking, and growing with the industry as it evolves over the coming years.”
Before Daly’s entrance into the cannabis industry, he optimized workflows in a large-scale factory setting. Later on, he launched his first grow operation, producing humble yields as a caregiver.
Bloomfield is a Michigan local with around five years of experience working with cannabis as a caregiver. “I have helped in many successful cultivation facilities before starting my own,” Bloomfield said. “It is rewarding being able to provide patients with the quality medicinal cannabis they need.” Bloomfield’s diverse, hands-on background prepared him to provide cultivators with the tools they need.
Before starting his own ventures, Bloomfield served in various roles and helped develop several successful operations. He helps both new and veteran businesses to identify opportunities that would otherwise go unnoticed.
The two hope to transform the world of cultivation, processing and sales with the boosted efficiency in production processes, made possible by the Grasshopper. Find the Grasshopper online on the company’s website, or call your local hydroponic shop to see if they carry the Grasshopper. Help spread the word by telling others how they can streamline the processing and packing process of bulk flower material.
The company plans on rolling out a full product line of products. Until then, the Grasshopper makes a great gift idea.
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