Company Name: Kush Bottles
Year Founded: December 2010
Ownership Structure: C-Corporation Incorporated in Nevada
Management Team: Nicholas Kovacevich, CEO; Ben Wu, President; Dallas Imbimbo, Board Chairman
Headquarters: Santa Ana, California
Industry Segment/Category: Packaging Supplies
Current Markets/States Served: National
Current Number of employees: 20 plus
Distribution Centers: Service centers and warehouses in the Orange County, Seattle, and Denver areas.
2014 Revenues: $1.8 million (Sept-Aug Fiscal) expect to double in the next FY
Current Retail Product Mix: Child resistant bottles, barrier bags, custom packaging, labels, ancillary products, consumption gear
Expansion Plans: Distribution facilities in California, Washington and Colorado. Moving aggressively into new medical and retail markets like, AK, IL, OR and NV
Financing strategy: Kush Bottles was largely self-funded, and is now exploring all opportunities to attract capital investment to fuel growth and expansion, including private placements and the public markets.
Torn ACL, Basketball’s loss, Cannabis Industry’s Gain: Kush Bottles…
Raised in Santa Cruz by a county prosecutor, Nick Kovacevich was always a competitive guy. While his Dad was convicting criminals, including those dealing in illicit drugs, Nick was growing into a terrific multi-sport athlete and honing the skills that would eventually lead him to a scholarship to play college basketball. A torn ACL changed his path and began the journey that would eventually become a growing business empire with his friend and partner, Dallas Imbimbo.
The two entrepreneurs started a business while still in college, Pack My Dorm, a company that transported a college student’s stuff back and forth between seasons. In December 2010, they decided to open Kush Bottles as a pharmaceutical bottle distributor serving the large California cannabis dispensary market. The two traveled door to door to dispensaries to generate sales while growing a large inventory of pop-top bottles and barrier bags from a supplier network of local and global manufacturers. The company was able to grow quickly and serves over 500 dispensaries in California today, with the lion’s share of sales coming from child-safe, medical grade containers for the legal and medical cannabis industries.
The company has grown to provide packaging products in all 23 states that permit adult-use or medical marijuana, as well as in Canada. With over 50 million bottles sold to date and generating $1.8 million in gross revenues in fiscal year 2014 (Sept-Aug), they now employ over 20 people with distribution centers and warehouses in California, Colorado, and Washington.
The expansion into Colorado is a reflection of their entrepreneurial zeal; the two were looking for a like-minded set of partners to handle product distribution in Colorado. Greg Gamet and Justin Jones opened a 6,000 square foot warehouse to start Kush Bottles Colorado, and have grown it into a major distribution network.
The company plans on moving aggressively into new markets like Oregon, Illinois, Alaska, and Nevada, and will use a similar strategy of finding local partners. They will focus on having a local presence while building the brand nationally as a leader in certified, customized packaging solutions. The company is now well respected for their premium quality, exceptional customer service, quick deliveries, and innovative solutions.
To manage their growth, Kush Bottles hired Ben Wu as president to handle all aspects of their operations — which means building out their supplier network in the U.S. and abroad, as well as warehouse facilities, to serve their broadening market base. This frees Nick up to pursue the branding and financing strategies to support Kush Bottles growth in the U.S. and abroad and to compete against the likes of CoolJarz, Cannaline, Funk Sac and hundreds of local entities selling packaging and branding services to cannabis businesses.
The two friends and partners have also been busy simultaneously building BigRentz.com, where Dallas is CEO. BigRentz.com is located in Irvine, California, about a mile from Kush Bottles’ Santa Ana headquarters, where it has grown to become a 100 plus employee company, renting construction equipment nationwide via an online platform. Nick and Dallas also sit on one another’s boards.
Kush Bottles carries a wide range of certified child resistant products, which have been tested and have passed requirements for child safety as set forth by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. This portfolio of packaging solutions meets all requirements for child-safe packaging in every state with a legal cannabis program.
Kush Bottles has expanded their product offering mix to include consumption gear, accessories like rolling trays, labels, and fine glassware, which will allow them to provide a greater range of products to producers, processors, dispensaries, retail stores and even consumers directly through their website.
Being a former baller, I can just imagine how Nick thinks of his and his teammates future, “Kovacevich dribbles down the left side, shakes his defender off the pick, shoots from just behind the three point line and scores!”