Company: Advanced Vapor Devices
After spending the first half of his career as a cultivator, Alex Kwon came to a stark realization: No matter how high quality his flower was, his extracts could only be as good as the vaporizer holding them. That moment led Kwon down a rabbit hole, investigating overseas manufacturers, working with distributors, then manufacturers, then owning his own factory and finally controlling his own supply chain as CEO of Advanced Vapor Devices.
“It was a serendipitous path,” Kwon says. “It was a problem that we noticed because we’re customers. If you’re selling to a retail store and something goes wrong, the retailer doesn’t care about the hardware, it’s a problem with your brand.”
Kwon dissected the major issues surrounding common vape pens, which were primarily e-cigarettes filled with cannabis extract, and in developing solutions to those problems, he says he ultimately found a better design for cannabis vaporizers.
“We asked ourselves, ‘What are the 12 components of this device and how is it inconsistent?’” he says. “So it was about knowing and then also controlling these problems that gave us a better understanding of how to make these devices more reliable … and then it just took off on its own.”
Advanced Vapor Devices’ products can now be found in nearly every North American cannabis market and the company supplies some of the biggest names in the industry including Cookies, Trulieve and Moxie. While the company has found massive success, Kwon says its biggest achievements are the talent the company has attracted and managing to stay self-funded through its explosive growth.
“I believe our greatest asset is our people,” Kwon says. “They are the DNA of our organization.”