Celebrating 710 with Colin Palmer from PAX

July 10 aka 710 also known as OIL Day (Turning 710 Upside Down…) is widely considered a holiday to celebrate cannabis concentrates. Extracts, oils and molasses – commonly called hash by OGs like myself – are the most innovative sectors in cannabis at the moment. Sauce, cracker, crumbs, diamonds, flan, distillate, rosin and a lot of terms I didn’t know existed yet are being sniffed at by a new generation of weed lovers. I’m excited to see what comes next. 710 is a day for all of us to reverently enter the Temple of Cannabis and savor the sacred mysteries so that we may get on our knees thanking Goddess Ganja for granting us such joyful blessings. Give thanks to growers, freezers, installers, extractors and retail masters, patients and stonemasons for showing this special day.

In honor of the occasion, I had an interesting chat with Colin Palmer, Head of Formulations at PAX, as he leads the development and formulation of the brand’s consumer products, including the recently launched Fresh Conifers with Natural Diamonds and Diamonds.

With over 20 years working with hemp, Collin has established himself as an industry leader through his proprietary solvent-free extraction, and his deep understanding of cultivation and production across sectors. Cullen has compiled an extensive genetic library spanning four decades and offers a comprehensive knowledge base across the spectrum of the regulated cannabis industry, having provided advice on engineering facility design, genetics, agriculture, good manufacturing practices, proprietary extraction methods, and more.

Weeds make people adventurous and curious. It takes them to remote and unexpected places, and they do all kinds of awful things that most of them wouldn’t even think of. These cannabis tribe stories never cease to amaze me. Not many surfers do a world-class hash and use cash to travel around the world to surf, buying collected ganja seeds to make more cannabis so additional adventures to distant lands with big waves can be enjoyed. Say what you will about high performance stones, they sure have good stories to tell. Getting to know Colin was like getting to know a true Renaissance person who created a wonderful life. I really admire his adventures and secretly wish he would hit me with some homemade weed on a beach so far away.

Colin, where are you now and how did it all start?

Colin PalmerI am the president of PAX Formulas, a leading cannabis brand that creates exceptional consumer experiences. From a very young age, I always knew I wanted to do something creative – I grew up outside of Philadelphia in Wyeth Country, a cultural hub for American art. Growing up, I had many creative interests from painting to music to films, gardening and beyond. I’ve spent a large part of my adult life in and around New York working in and around theatre, television, music and on the creative side of some of the major international brands – Canon, Sony Music Group, Samsung and Viacom alongside artists Theophilus London, Audio Tribe Sector 9 and MachineDrum. Little did I know that I would one day have the chance to turn a lifelong passion into a creative career, but here I am, based on the East Coast, making cannabis for a living.

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What are you working on now and why PAX?

CP: We just celebrated the really exciting launch of our fresh pinecone pressed with natural diamonds. Not only is PAX’s first ever consumer product (the company’s first foray into factory touch), but our formula is truly new – there is nothing else like it on the market in terms of quality, purity or flavor.

I was really excited to join the team at PAX because of the shared spirit of innovation. PAX launched its first vaporizer over a decade ago and continued to innovate when peers were all using generic ready-made devices. I’ve worked hard to improve my own expertise in cannabis extraction and formulation over the years, bringing a creative lens and passion for the processes I’ve created, so I knew we would be a really great team. As is the nature of the cannabis business, we’re already in the depths of crafting our next several products, so we’ll definitely have more to share in the field very soon.

This industry is full of challenges. How do you deal with them, and do you have any guides who guided you along the way?

CP: I hate to say it, but I am one of those people who like to be put in tough situations. I thrive when I can draw on all my past experience and creativity to solve a problem – and my philosophy has always been that those are the moments we learn the most. Fortunately or unfortunately, that is exactly what this industry stands for, almost every day. Challenges you wouldn’t expect pop up. But the one thing I love about hemp is that we all learn together.

I have been fortunate to have some wonderful guides in and out of the place. Music, art and cinema have always been a huge inspiration to me, as I have been a musician and artist for many years, they have shaped the way I approach my work. I’ve been fortunate to have some incredibly inspiring people in my life, including Marcus Richardson (Babelman) who has always encouraged me to pursue my passion in farming and retail, and who shared his thoughts on solvent-free extraction at a time when there was nothing we could talk about frankly. He is also an incredibly talented extractor and photographer. Dave Watson was the inspiration for his project Hortapharm, and it showed me the importance of science, gardening, and fixtures. and Kevin McCall, with whom I worked closely at MTV on production, media, and music. Travis Stewart is my best friend and longtime visual and music collaborator. They have all played such formative roles in my career and way of life. I have a lot of respect for their expertise, which really helped me hone my profession and hone my skills.

However, my most important teacher so far is my father. He was in the Army (101st Airborne), but later worked in technology and was always incredibly thoughtful. It was really a driving force, and encouraged me to explore my interest in therapeutic alternatives, long before they were widely accepted. He continues to be a great motivator and source of inspiration for me today. I try to push that amount forward and be a mentor to others – I think it’s one of the most important ways to be successful in this business.

What is your favorite growing method?

CP: Honestly, any method of growing is great if done correctly – it all comes down to the variety and who grows it. It’s definitely equal parts art and science. If I had to pick one, it would be an organic, renewable greenhouse cultivation. It has produced the best resin and flower I have seen so far.

Favorite items?

CP: There are so many amazing strains right now that it’s hard to highlight just one, but one of my favorites has always been Lemon Cake (it’s no coincidence that one of PAX’s new Live Rosin strains is Lemon Cake).

Favorite foods to pair with weed?

CP: Sushi and of course a great snack, Pirate’s Booty! But if I have my way, I’m at a decibel in New York drenched in a dim late night. This is the dream.

What inspires you the most?

CP: Music, art, and cannabis making have always been my biggest interests – collecting cannabis seeds, brewer, drums/cymbals and rare instruments have always been my passion as a musician. I love finding those subtle and inspiring voices and tools to use in songwriting/production. Throughout my career, I have worked and collaborated with artists from Theopolis London, MoonTaxi, DJ IEmerg, Metronomy, The Killers and Machinedrum. I also play drums for the music group, New Villager, and was lucky enough to play in the 2010 High Times Cannabis Cup with Cypress Hill – the perfect juxtaposition of two of my favorite things. I’m also a passionate surfer and have traveled the world in search of great waves – my surfing trips have taken me to some of the most beautiful places in the world and have allowed me to experience new cannabis communities, waves and communities and collect some of my favorite cannabis seeds along the way…

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