Title: Chief strategy officer
Company: Jetty Extracts
From his early days spent rounding up the company’s sales force as general manager through helping redesign the company’s packaging and processes to building the launch campaign for the solventless vape cartridges that have become the company’s fastest-growing and most-distributed product line, chief strategy officer Rob Ferguson has been instrumental to the success of Jetty Extracts in California.
Through all the market swings, regulatory changes and supply chain challenges, he’s learned that the most important thing is to make sure your programs and systems are flexible.
“We’ve kept our strategy and company flexible through all the volatility, which allows us to pivot quickly as opportunities present themselves,” Ferguson says. “We’ve built nimble launch plans that allow us to test into new products and categories, which has been key for our success.”
Today, Jetty is a top-15 cannabis brand and a top-5 vape brand in California, according to BDSA sales data. In March 2022, Jetty experienced its first $1 million month of retail sales for the vape rosin category and has seen three consecutive years of topline growth. In May 2022, Jetty was acquired for $69 million by Canopy Growth Corporation, leading to the sale of Ferguson’s products in his home state of New York, a personal milestone.
Ferguson also created and managed the Jetty Shelter Project with the mission of providing low-income cancer patients with medical cannabis. After recreational legalization forced the project to shut down, Ferguson worked with the legislature to pass Senate Bill 34, allowing for donations of cannabis and the reopening of the Jetty Shelter Project.
“The California cannabis industry was made possible through the advocacy of medical patients,” Ferguson says. “Today the shelter project honors that legacy and keeps compassion at the core of the Jetty business.”
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned about the industry?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned in cannabis is the importance of building flexible programs and systems. Over the last 10 years, Jetty has seen more market swings, regulatory changes, and supply chain challenges than I can count. We’ve kept our strategy and company flexible through all the volatility, which allows us to pivot quickly as opportunities present themselves. We’ve built nimble launch plans that allow us to test into new products and categories, which has been key for our success.
Give me your top three components of Jetty’s longevity in California’s industry?
Company Culture – We’ve cultivated a culture of respect; for the plant, for each other, and for the industry at large. The key to this is remaining humble in everything we do.
Innovation – Since Day 1 we’ve been obsessed with creating products that give our consumers the experiences they are looking for. Today, Solventless is the best example of this. Consumers are looking for high-quality extracts, with simple, clean formulation stories. We invested 2 years of R&D into that product which has led to explosive growth in the live rosin vape category.
Tenacity – Through all the volatility, keeping our energy and focus, and cultivating joy in what we do has been essential to our long-term success.
What has been your biggest industry milestone thus far?
This biggest accomplishment for Jetty is becoming the #1 Solventless Vape in California. We have worked so hard over the years building up our sales force, our marketing team, and our supply chain. All of that work put us in a position to catch fire in this exciting new category. Since our founding in 2013, we have been obsessed with creating the safest, cleanest, and most flavorful products. We were one of the first companies to launch a vape cartridge free of fillers and cutting agents. Seeing Jetty claim the #1 spot in a category was always a dream, but we didn’t reach it until we released our cutting-edge Solventless Vape. A close second would be seeing Jetty products on shelves in my home state of New York. We just launched our High THC line there earlier this year and it has been very exciting, both personally and professionally, to see Jetty in another major cannabis market.
What drove you to make the Jetty Shelter Project successful?
In 2012, I was working with my brother, Nate Ferguson, at his medical dispensary, Trichome Healing. This gave me the opportunity to see firsthand how much people needed cannabis just to get through the day. Especially impactful were the patients with a severe or terminal illness that needed cannabis to survive. Many of these patients also lacked the financial means to buy the plant medicine they desperately needed. This gave us the idea to give back to low-income cancer patients through a donation-based program. The California cannabis industry was made possible through the advocacy of medical patients. Today the shelter project honors that legacy and keeps compassion at the core of the Jetty business.