Seattle-based tech company binds itself to cannabis industry

May 9, 2016, 1:43pm PDT  Coral Garnick

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    Kelly Ogilvie is CEO of DeepCell Industries, a new company that licenses technology to… more

Through a new licensing agreement between two Washington-based companies, cannabis-infused sugar and salt can make its way to the state’s recreational retail marijuana market.

Seattle-based DeepCell Industries developed a technology to fuse THC from marijuana with crystals, like salt and sugar. Now, Green Labs, a licensed producer/processor in Raymond, have inked a deal to manufacture and distribute DeepCell’s brands.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

DeepCell has three brands so far, Ruby (THC-infused sugar), Sapphire (THC-infused salt) and Emerald (THC-infused no-calorie sweeter). Ruby is currently in the process of being approved by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, and DeepCell CEO Kelly Ogilvie expects Green Labs to submit Sapphire and Emerald for approval in the fall.

The industry standard right now for pot-infused edible products is butters and oils. Though infusing those products changes their flavor, Ogilvie said.

“What we are trying to do is unlock a new corner of edibles by allowing not just candies, gummy bears, cookies and brownies,” Ogilvie said.

Dosed packets of the DeepCell branded products will be available at recreational pot stores for use in say lemonade and coffee or to season a steak or pasta sauce. They could also be used in baking so a brownie can taste like a brownie.

The names and design of the products are marketed toward women and people who would drink a glass of wine or sip a scotch, versus taking shots or chugging a beer. This means no pot leafs on the packaging and a focus on quality ingredients.

One thing Ogilvie is sure to make clear, and it says it on almost every page on the website: DeepCell does not ever touch the marijuana.

The reason: Ogilvie actually left his job as senior policy advisor in Gov. Jay Inslee’s office in November to become the CEO of DeepCell. So, he knows the rules and regulations of the industry better than most.

A friend of Ogilvie came up with the technology to infuse crystals with the THC from cannabis, but Ogilvie saw the market possibilities to go beyond what started as a sugar tablet for the medical marijuana industry.

Because DeepCell can license its technology to regulated companies across state lines, it has even bigger market potential than just Washington’s recreational scene.

“So, we forgo some of that margin,” Ogilvie said about not producing the products within DeepCell itself. “But, it allows us to keep an arms distance from the licensing process and it allows us to cross state lines.”

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