By: Bill Shehan CAMP is a brand born from the idea of connecting with nature, connecting with others and connecting with yourself. The award-winning brand is led by Aaron Nino, a production manager with more than 15 years of cannabis experience as well as a variety of accolades and awards for his products. Under […]
By: Bill Shehan
CAMP is a brand born from the idea of connecting with nature, connecting with others and connecting with yourself. The award-winning brand is led by Aaron Nino, a production manager with more than 15 years of cannabis experience as well as a variety of accolades and awards for his products. Under the award-winning CAMP brand, which is focused on solventless extraction and terpene-rich flower, Aaron and his team developed the first solventless rosin cartridge in the state of Nevada and they are dedicated to providing quality cannabis products, including flower, cartridges, disposables, and concentrates. I recently had the pleasure of touring the CAMP facility to check out their cultivation and production lab.
BILL SHEHAN: Thank you for allowing us to tour your facility. Are you the first company here locally doing solventless rosin-based products?
AARON NINO: Thank you for taking the time to visit. We are the first and only company in Nevada to create a solventless line of cartridges and disposables. We started our CAMP line two years ago, I’ve always wanted to bring a solventless line to our Nevada consumers.
BILL: I love the CAMP line. I am not usually a big fan of vape cartridges, especially when they have added botanical terpenes but when I tasted the CAMP cartridges, just knowing that no solvents or additives were involved made them that much better.
AARON: We actually used to introduce steam distilled terpenes into our vapes to get the rosin to burn evenly. But since our new Director of Cultivation Bill Campbell came on board, our flower has been much higher quality allowing us to mechanically separate the terpenes out of the rosin, cold cure, and reintroduce them. So basically, we take the rosin, press the terpenes out of it and then add them back into our vape cartridges giving them their strain specific, robust flavor. CAMP carts and disposables are 100% cannabis extracts – something we are very proud of.
BILL: That is awesome. Will we be able to see how the rosin is pressed today?
AARON: We will do some pressing for you today. We will also show you how we make our oil, how we separate terpenes and give you a peek into our cultivation.
BILL: Sounds good, let’s do this.
AARON: Let’s go into our extraction room, which by the way is only 800 square feet. The majority of our facility is for cultivation so what we are doing on the extraction side in this very small area is phenomenal. Working in such a small space allows me to oversee everything ultimately ensuring that good quality shows in our products. With our solventless products, the phrase garbage in/garbage out couldn’t be more true. The end result always relies on beginning with high quality flower. Since Bill has come on board, we have had some amazing flower to work with. We have been able to expand our variety. In the beginning we had a few staples but not the wide variety of strain specific cartridges we felt our customers wanted. Now, we have a diverse array of strain-specific vapes like our Andromeda and Bahama Mama which have been surprisingly flavorful and fruitful yielders.
BILL: You also have the ability to source good flower from other local cultivators who may or may not have a production license.
AARON: Yes. In the beginning, because we were having some challenges with our own cultivation, I sourced flower from the awesome team over at Green Life Productions. In order to produce great quality hash and rosin the grower needs to have the end product in mind from the moment they plant the seed. Quality hash comes from quality flower, period.
BILL: I can’t wait to see your rosin pressing magic. There are only three factors to consider: heat, time and pressure, right?
AARON: Exactly. And, you will see that when we press our hash, it’s just a little bit different depending on the starting material. To make rosin pressing more consistent, we use a Pure Pressure machine which saves all of the information by various strains and ensures consistency every time we press. We are hashing old school right now with the washer and bubble bags until our new commercial equipment arrives.
BILL: It’s awesome that the time tested method of using bubble bags to make hash is still being used.
AARON: Right, that’s the way we used to do it. That method will always work. As we expand our facility, we will bring in new equipment to make the process quicker and more efficient. I want you to meet our Extraction Specialist, Paul Ortiz. Paul is going to show you how we make our hash. He has a love and passion for this and really has the process dialed in.
BILL: It’s cold in here, what’s the temperature?
AARON: Between 30-45 degrees.
PAUL: It has to stay cold, and with the door closed, it gets even colder.
AARON: If it doesn’t stay cold, the resin heads will not be captured like we want them to. The hash likes the cold and once we started doing it this way, both our quality and yields increased. The trichomes and the resin want to collect and if it is hot, it just isn’t ideal. Paul, go ahead and show us what you are doing in here.
PAUL: I start with about 5 gallons of icy cold water here in a bucket. You don’t want too much ice in there, but you do want the water extremely cold. As you can see, the bucket is lined with a variety of different size screens. Once the buckets are fully prepared, I add my flower. As the flower moves through the various screens, finally making it through the smallest screen, this is where we catch the best stuff. Next, everything goes into the freeze dryer for about 24 hours. The end result is a beautiful batch of hash.
AARON: Most cultivation facilities are not growing specifically for hash. Since our facility is growing for hash, we have to make sure that our flower is high quality and that the strains we grow are consistently giving us a good end result. There are certain strains you focus on for hash. For example, GMO is a very heavy hasher. The yield is greasy and that’s where you get your full melt hash. Right now, Bill is growing a First Class Funk for us which is GMO crossed with Jet Fuel. We are also currently in the process of a pheno hunt for new strains. Before we go into the pressing room, step in here and let me show you how we make our RSO.
BILL: The fact that you guys are working in such a small space is commendable. It is deceiving from the outside because the building looks huge.
AARON: As in most facilities, the majority of the space is utilized for cultivation. Once I came on board here, our direction changed a bit as we started going full force towards solventless products. Here is where we make our RSO which is primarily used by medical cannabis patients. By using this Roto Evaporator, we are able to complete the extraction while reclaiming our ethanol. And, The Source+ has a special, needs-based program set up specifically for medical patients to purchase RSO in bulk at our cost. Medical patients also really like our 1:1 solventless rosin cartridge made with our Connor’s Comfort strain. This is one of our best tasting cartridges – the flavor is very robust. And, our 1:1 CAMP tincture which is also made using our high CBD Connor’s Comfort strain is another customer favorite.
BILL: It is so awesome to know that we still have companies that are equally as focused on our medical cannabis patients as they are on the recreational consumers. What is going on with that machine over there? Are you extracting terpenes?
AARON: Yes, steam distilled terpenes, in my opinion these terpenes are the purest terpenes to inhale, other than mechanically separated terpenes. Here, smell these Grapefruit Durban terpenes.
BILL: Nice! Those smell amazing.
AARON: The next room over is where we press our flower and hash.
BILL: Cool, let’s check it out.
AARON: Paul is going to show you how this press is used for hash.
PAUL: This machine stores the settings for each strain that we press to help maximize our efficiencies. We are just waiting for the machine to cool down because we were pressing flower earlier which requires more heat. Now that it has cooled down, I fill my bag with the hash and load it on to the machine. As the hash gets hotter, the trichomes melt. Keep in mind, this machine brings down 1,000 pounds of pressure when we are pressing hash. Now I just let it do its thing for about 3-5 minutes. The amount of time it takes usually depends on what strain we are using.
BILL: Yah, I have a small press at home and there have been times that I press my flower and get nothing out of it and assume that I did something wrong.
PAUL: You’ve probably not done anything wrong, it’s probably just the strain you are pressing that is giving you no yield.
BILL: Man, that looks great. You guys really have it down to a science here. I understand you had some issues within the cultivation which I am assuming have been rectified.
AARON: Yes, Bill Campbell has put a ton of work into making our cultivation top of the line. Take a peek into our grow room.
BILL: Wow! Your plants look healthy and smell amazing. I cannot wait to try these newly grown strains. Thank you for allowing us into your facility.
AARON: Thank you for coming by. Please plan to revisit in a month or two to see the facility after our expansion.
The 8|Fold and CAMP line of products can be found at The Source+ which has three locations throughout the state: 2550 S. Rainbow Blvd. in Las Vegas, 9480 S. Eastern Ave. in Henderson, and 5270 Longley Ln, Suite 103 in Reno. For more information about The Source+, visit thesourcenv.com. Follow The Source+ on Facebook @TheSourceNevada and on Instagram @thesourcedispensary. Follow 8|Fold on Facebook @8|Fold Nevada and on Instagram @8foldnevada. And, follow CAMP on Instagram @wheresyourcamp.