As the cannabis world churns out a new stream of entrepreneurs to be sacrificed at the altars of capitalism and shitty weed on a monthly basis, celebrity jeweler and cannabis enthusiast Alex Todd has leveraged his expertise in all things boutique to jump out of the pack and serve up one of the most palatable pot startups of the moment, Saucey Extracts.
Saucey Extracts kicked off to much fanfare in April. After Post Malone’s Shaboink line, Saucey Extracts was the most celebrated launch at Northern California’s Hall of Flowers event. The pairing of flashy branding and Todd’s reputation had people wondering what was up. When you looked at Todd’s past work, you understand why one might expect he wouldn’t let it see the light of day unless he felt it was up to snuff.
Prior to dabbing his toes into the cannabis industry, Todd was known for being a New York-based jeweler for a wide spread of A-listers. Early this year he again made waves when word got out it took 3,000 hours just to customize a watch case for Jay-Z. Complex reported the watch was said to have sold for $2.5 million and even described Todd as “the Roc Familia’s personal jeweler.” Kevin Hart and Rihanna are also included among Todd’s clientele.
Todd’s even got some celebs going from ice to sauce, as seen when he brought veteran rapper Jim Jones under the Saucey umbrella to launch his CAPO line of products. They kicked off the relationship with a $25 pre-rolled blunt. It’s loaded with oil and a lot of kief.
The most promising thing about Saucey, regardless of Todd’s background or the names tagging along, is the product. In a world flooded with distillate you’re better off calling dirtstillate, Saucey is going a different direction. They’ll be using chromatography that will preserve a lot more flavor, which is what it takes to contend with the sauce pens that make up the highest echelon of the current vape market.
“I would say 90, 95 percent of the companies on the market, they do a distillate THC extraction where they’re taking out all of the THC in the flower and basically re-adding or reintroducing terpenes or different types of additives to the carts,” Todd told L.A. Weekly in a phone interview. “What you’re basically getting there is just smoking THC.”
Todd notes this lack of natural terpene profile is one of the reasons people who enjoy flowers don’t find most cartridges to be comparable.
“So the method of extraction we use called chromatography is all of the cannabinoids, all of the flavor profile,” said Todd. He believes the experience Saucey is providing is a lot closer to the full-on entourage effect of consuming flower.
Now a few months since launch, we asked him for his take on what the actual boutique marketplace in cannabis looks like at this moment.
“I think that there a couple companies out there right now that are really high end,” Todd replied, “Just like any other industry, there is something to that. We are on the more expensive side, in terms of our flower and in terms of our vapes. But the reason for it is because of the quality in the end.”
Todd pointed to his own personal standards when it came to quality flowers as dictating the bar for the brand, and that ethos carried over to the extra mile Saucey is going with the extracts to preserve the flavor of those flowers.
“Whether it’s the packaging, whether it’s the quality of the materials we want to use to create our finished product, everything for us is triple-A grade top of the line. We want to make sure the final end user gets the best possible version they can get,” Todd said.
With the amount of trash oil we are seeing sold to consumers these days, we asked Todd to weigh in on the number of bad actors in the cannabis industry compared to his time in high-end jewelry.
“Honestly there is a lot more bullshit going on in the jewelry business than there is in the marijuana business,” Todd replied, “Unless you’re actually a real professional and understand diamonds and the gold price, understand the value of these things, it’s a lot easier for people to take advantage of somebody.”
Todd thinks with the way cannabis is set up right now with the laws and labeling standards it’s harder to trick someone buying pot than jewelry. “You’re getting an understanding of what you’re paying for,” he said. He said one of the reasons he was so successful in the jewelry business is because of the level of trust he has with clients.
The further the sleeves are rolled up, the deeper the personal connection with marijuana tends to be with folks who own pot companies. Todd seemed pretty hands-on from the outside looking in, so we wanted to hear about his relationship with weed.
“Pretty much since I realized I wasn’t going to be a professional athlete I’ve been indulging,” Todd said, “When I was about 15 years old I realized I wasn’t going to make it to the NBA. I started smoking marijuana and I haven’t stopped since. It’s been helping me with all different levels of my life, whether it’s for my stomach to just keeping myself on track for the day.”
Todd says he is constantly working to prove the stigma of the marijuana smoker sitting home all day doing nothing to be false.
“Pretty much, I’ve been smoking marijuana my whole life,” Todd said, “I’ve been very successful. I’ve seen the wave of what’s happening. I see a lot of people, a lot of these suits, a lot of these corporations that have no idea what cannabis was before so much money was involved. And I seen a lot of people that have been grinding in cannabis the last ten or twenty years.”
In the end, Todd hopes he can fill the void between those grassroots folks and the larger corporate entities.