In just two days, cannabis companies Zenco and Prëst will officially launch their partnership at MJBizCon in Las Vegas. Honeysuckle had the opportunity to sit down with Wendy Forwell, creator, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Zenco, a tabletop vaporizer allowing users to “vape by the glass.” Joining her was David Z, co-founder of Prëst, a luxury cannabis concentrate brand that features exotic, high-quality terpenes infused into Liquid Diamonds, a pure THCa extract.
Attendees to MJBizCon, the biggest international cannabis conference of the year, can celebrate the Zenco x Prëst collaboration at the Shangri-La afterparty event taking place in Las Vegas on Thursday, November 17th. Hosted by Farechild, the ultra-high-end event production and marketing platform developed by industry pioneers David Tran and James Zachodni, Shangri-La promises to be an experience like no other.
What is MJBizCon?
Undoubtedly the world’s largest cannabis industry trade show, MJBizCon brings cannabis leaders, innovators, businesses, and users together from around the globe to showcase their cannabis-related products. The conference typically hosts over 1,100 exhibitors and 20,000 attendees representing 75 countries each year; the city of Las Vegas even officialized a “MJBizCon Day” and the whole week is referred to as Las Vegas Cannabis Week. MJBizCon gives people in the industry the opportunity to connect with other leaders and thinkers in the industry.
What Is Zenco?
“The concept behind Zenco is normalizing cannabis consumption, one glass at a time,” comments Wendy Forwell. She describes the brand, which launched in February 2022, as being able to combine the consumption experience with the social gathering experience, like that of a restaurant or lounge - something that’s more accessible than the standard dab rig or bong, and inviting to a group with people who consume at different levels.
Forwell views the evolution of cannabis hospitality as inviting to new technologies and devices like Zenco. “Two years ago, we had private member clubs; it was very underground,” she recalls. “Now that’s all opening up. I see lounges and restaurants really looking at the opportunity to have their signature vape for their location, which we can serve in Zenco units. Some of them are doing vape by the glass, some are connected to dispensaries or retail where they can purchase the [cartridges] and then rent [the unit] to have at their table.”
What Is Prëst?
Prëst is an ultra-luxury cannabis concept created in NYC for consumers looking for a new type of plant based intoxicant. The founders noted that everything considered "luxury" in the cannabis space was focused on exotic, high potency strains of flower, but “that’s almost like saying there’s no such thing but wine. Where’s the single-malt whiskey? Where are the exotic cocktails or the Louis XIII cognac of cannabis?”
David Z and head chemist DocTree started with liquid diamonds - pure THCA - and then infused exotic terpenes, both from cannabis and botanical sources to create flavor profiles that are familiar and accessible. “We wanted to provide a luxury experience that was smoother and produced a cleaner, more cerebral mental experience. Feedback from initial users is that it’s a more focused feeling than other forms of consumption.”
Bringing together culinary and laboratory experience led to the development of Prëst’s Culinary line of cartridges and vape pens, with blends that compliment food and recreate the cocktail experience in a way that is perfectly suited to the consumption lounge and dining experience of the future. Prëst is hoping to launch in Nevada in partnership with CLS Holdings, which has large scale manufacturing under their City Trees and other brands as well as operating Oasis Dispensary.
“The timing couldn’t be better,” says David of launching in Nevada, “The new consumption lounge laws open a lot of possibilities for this kind of creative partnership.”
What Does the Zenco x Prëst Collaboration Look Like?
Both brands look to normalize the social usage of cannabis as a replacement for drinking: Zenco, with its sleek tabletop rendition of a vaporizer that makes social smoking commonplace, and Prëst with its ability to curate flavors that blend cannabis with familiar cocktail flavors.
Prëst and Zenco team members met at a cannabis-infused dining event in New York, where Zenco glassware was placed on the table and attendees were drinking the smoke from the device like it was a glass of wine. During that dinner, David realized “the Zenco glass is just such an elegant way to transition to that destigmatization [of cannabis].”
“Society has spent a long time and a lot of money stigmatizing the act of smoking,” he continues. “But the act of picking up a glass and taking a sip of a mild intoxicant is not only intuitive, it’s a very normal part of socializing and dining. So a glass of aromatic vapor that mimics a liquid shifts that paradigm and moves cannabis consumption closer to the mainstream.”
The partnership between the two brands aims to create a way to truly replace alcohol with cannabis, while maintaining the ability to pick and choose the flavor profile of your experience, just like you would when ordering a drink at a high-end cocktail bar. According to David, the two “envision mimicking that wine or cocktail experience, where there’s a menu, a range of flavors, and it’s on point.” Also, by utilizing custom blends of cannabinoids and terpenes, Prëst is able to offer cartridges customized for the Zenco device, with THC percentages ranging from 10% up.
Wendy and David agree. “We want to be able to provide an experience that is more like having a glass of wine. So many products focus on high THC percentages, but many consumers, especially those new to cannabis, will want a milder and more flavorful experience.”
Launching Zenco x Prëst at Las Vegas’ MJBizCon
Zenco and Prëst are launching their partnership at Farechild’s renowned afterparty to MJBizCon in Las Vegas this next week. They’ve worked together to curate a one-of-a-kind experience : a trip to Shangri-La, taking inspiration from the famous folktale of a mythical utopian land far in the Himalayas.
“It’s going to be in true Vegas style. Think neon lights, Nirvana,” says Forwell. Guests will have the opportunity to walk through the village, choosing to hang out in outdoor space, mingle under the Tree of Life, enjoy music at the Main Stage, or relax in The Den where sponsors’ offerings will be on view.
“They’re going to be able to see what the concept of the lounge is like, with a cocktail-style glowing bar with displays in neon lighting to the beat of the music,” Forwell states, describing the Zenco x Prëst activation. For this event they will be featuring existing approved products from manufacturing partner City Trees.
“In keeping with the theme of ‘The Path to Shangri-la’, we will display 8 flavor profiles,” explains David. “The Path of the Flower will feature fruitier, sweeter profiles like Mango Haze and Peach Cobbler and The Path of the Root with earthier, more herbaceous flavors like Jet Fuel and Dragons Breath.”
Both companies are hoping to have the full line of specialty flavors approved and live in Nevada in time to support the coming consumption lounge market as well as retail packages designed to be sold in dispensaries next to the Zenco device for home use. Other states where the Zenco is already being used in retail and consumption environments are next on the list, so hopefully consumers across the country will be able to try this innovative and approachable combination at a lounge or dispensary in their state.
Don’t hesitate to check out the brand new partnership between Zenco x Prëst should you find yourself in Las Vegas this week.
MJBizCon will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center November 15-18, 2022. For tickets and information, visit mjbizconference.com.
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Featured image: Promotional postcard for Zenco x Prëst at Farechild's Shangri-La at MJBizCon (C) Farechild, courtesy of Zenco x Prëst