In a microscopic 368-square-foot lab flanked by car mechanics on each side is the laboratory of Dave DeLuca. As the CEO of Babylon Company LLC, DeLuca is happy to live in the anonymity of his lab. Even his employees say they only have rare sightings of him, as he prefers to work in the wee hours of the morning.
“I don’t see him much, but we do talk on the phone all the time,” laughs Babylon’s General Manager, Kenzy Ellerbe.
It’s an eccentricity that some might find off-putting. Still, within a few moments of meeting DeLuca, it is clear that he is a brilliant, passionate, and caring person who prefers to let his work speak for him. Although sometimes, you might need an interpreter to fully understand the principles that guide DeLuca’s work.
“I’ll answer questions about what I do in quantum superstition,” says DeLuca with a wry smile.
If you’re wondering what the hell “quantum superstition” is, you’re not alone. Much of the work that DeLuca does is beyond the comprehension of the layman. But the process is less critical when it comes to understanding what makes DeLuca tick. At the core of his personality is a passion for humankind.
“I went to school at the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in geology and a minor in chemistry. At that time, I viewed Cannabis from a side point. Then when we started to see the legalizations across the country, that’s when I became more interested in the medical side of it. Firstly, looking at delivery methodologies and questioning how we can deliver THC in a more effective way,” explains DeLuca.
Initially, turning his focus towards finding safer ways to imbibe Cannabis seemed like a departure from his original life plan, which included spending a lot of time with rocks.
“Originally, I wanted to be a mineralogist so I could go out and just pick up rocks and study their molecular chains. As it turns out, the chemistry of Cannabis is very similar to a rock. We actually based a lot of Babylon’s methodologies, mission statement, and philosophy on the hermetic principle, which is to say, everything vibrates. That’s why we do the things that we do. When we do our extractions, we are looking at these things on their molecular level, their atomic level, their subatomic level. That’s how we are able to potentially make it better than what it already is,” says an excited DeLuca.
Without a doubt, making things better is the ethos that drives DeLuca, and that extends to every aspect of production – from the glass used to the heating mechanisms that cure Babylon’s concentrates.
“Where some people in the clandestine or black market might use whatever they can get their hands on, we won’t. We don’t use instrument grade or industrial grade or anything that comes in a small can, and could be mysterious in any way. Babylon’s focus is on purity and driving the science forward,” says DeLuca.
One way that DeLuca is fulfilling his mission for developing cleaner technologies is by quietly conducting research and submitting anonymous studies to dedicated research outlets around the world.
“Putting my name on a paper isn’t important to me. I want to see the industry continue to develop. I want to see other extractors continuously work towards improving their processes. Cannabis has the power to make a major impact on the overall health of its consumers. At the end of the day, that’s what I care about. It’s not about fortune and fame for me. I am very happy just being quietly behind the scenes,” says DeLuca.
While DeLuca is happy living quietly in the shadows, there is one area of Babylon’s business that he is very vocal about.
“I saw huge misrepresentations in the female populations within Cannabis, right from the beginning. Like it started to roll as a boy’s club only from day one. I knew I was not going to start a business that way. I want there to be fair representation. I want the feminine voice to be heard. Because it should be,” explains DeLuca.
True to his word, all of DeLuca’s staff is female.
“We want to be prevalent. We want to be at the forefront of all things that we are doing here. Moving things forward is something I am proud of,” explains DeLuca.
Though DeLuca’s staff is all female, when it comes to the production side, every gram of concentrate with Babylon’s name on the label passes through DeLuca’s capable hands.
“We keep telling him that he needs a female scientist prodigy to add to the team,” says Ellerbe with a laugh.
Until the right prodigal woman appears, Babylon’s loyal customers can be sure that they are helping further DeLuca’s explorations into the untapped potential of Cannabis with every purchase.