According to The Knot, as many as 17 percent of people meet their future partners in college. However, how many can say they’ve built a Cannabis empire with friends from their college MBA program? Likely, not many. But that’s precisely what Shaun Tacke, Brandon Emmett and Frank Berardi did.
“We met while me and Frank were in college, getting our MBAs at UAF. He pitched an idea of doing a weed business for a business plan project. The class and professor really loved that we were thinking outside the box, and it got me thinking. After I started running the numbers in my head, I understood how cool of an idea it was,” says Tacke.
A self-proclaimed “nerdy accountant,” Tacke got to work crunching numbers while Berardi came up with the big ideas. However, at the time, legalization had yet to hit Alaska, so the first iteration of Good Titrations was actually the Coalition for Responsible Cannabis Legislation. The precursor to the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association, the Coalition worked to pass Ballot Measure 2, bringing legal recreational Cannabis to Alaska.
“After getting the Measure passed, we began working with legislators to make sure that the developing laws were going to be safe and effective for the industry,” says Tacke. “From the very beginning, we knuckled down hard on the political side of Cannabis.”
Spending so much time working on getting the industry going didn’t leave a lot of time for Tacke, Emmett and Berardi to focus on putting their business plan into action.
“Our original business plan included a cultivation with an attached retail,” recalls Tacke. “But as we were getting investments, we were experimenting with different kinds of Cannabis consumption.”
In their first iteration, the trio used a closed-circuit butane extraction system they purchased online. With buckets of ice to keep the butane cold, they started playing with creating concentrates.
“We figured out that it’s actually a lot easier, not to mention faster, to produce concentrates than it is to grow plants. For us, the faster cash conversion cycle just made sense. So, Good Titrations started out as a manufacturing company,” says Tacke.
While their manufacturing business was booming, they still had hopes of realizing their original business plan.
“I remember going to Amsterdam and visiting shops there, and you could see the plants growing,” says Tacke. “I always thought that was so cool. There’s something really exciting about seeing the weed you’re going to smoke, grow. So, I never gave up on the idea of having a grow too.”
Now, the manufacturing company responsible for bringing Skywalker OG, Lemon Wood and Green Crack concentrates to the Alaska market is producing some of its own flower.
“For now, it’s just a little show grow. In time, we might expand to a bigger space,” explains Tacke.
For the moment, Good Titrations is putting its focus on the continued development of its on-site consumption lounge, which opened last year.
“There’s a whole lot of planning that goes into a project like a consumption lounge. One of the big things we had to figure out was the ventilation system,” says Tacke. “The lounge required us to install a completely separate ventilation system, so when we turn up the fans, you can have a packed room of people smoking joints and still not get a contact high. That was a big thing for AMCO – we had to make sure people could work in the lounge without being exposed to smoke all day,” says Tacke.
The lounge has been a major success and Good Titrations is continuing to make it into a community gathering place for stoners.
“We have people from all backgrounds that come in. We even have a Tuesday night chess club called Bishops and Buds. There’s also a group that comes in to play Magic. It’s turning into a really cool space for people to come chill and enjoy the plant,” says Tacke.
In addition to small groups, Good Titrations’ lounge has also hosted album release parties and comedians. Their recent 4/20 party was an epic night of tokes, finger foods and friends. All in all, Good Titrations is poised to become a mecca of the Alaskan Cannabis industry and is a must-see for every visitor and resident.