Updated: Sep 14
This one isn’t easy but is long overdue. It’s difficult to state how much 710 Labs has meant to me and cannabis in general the last few years. Maybe the very reason I love them so much is because their marketing is so damn good (Hence the same reason I hate them). If you had told me hey, "we’re making a hash company and it will market itself. Thousands of kids all over the country (and the world for that matter), will be hurriedly off to purchase our product at twice the normal cost of concentrates and then market it for us across Instagram. Thousands will fill IG with our product and content for us to re-post, with our account basically growing itself. With our insane media presence and a few loopholes in CA law, we will be big enough to sell direct to the consumer. We will cater to celebrities with monthly or bi-weekly home deliveries to only those who we choose," I’d have said, goodnight.
If it weren't for the revolutionary products of 710 Labs and my love of their cannabis, I probably wouldn't care like I do when things go poorly. For all the hype I hear, this company has never been anything but a mile ahead of the competition and anyone claiming it's all hype must be buying their BHO, or is yet to understand solventless extraction replacing chemical extraction with a process so superior, it leaves almost nothing to compare. Time and time again over the last three years they have delivered. Even when I expected shit to go south, thought the quality would decline, or thought they "sold-out" (whatever that means), they quickly proved otherwise and retained my full support. That is shocking from any company in any industry to do. I cannot stress enough how revolutionary 710 Labs has been and continues to be for the cannabis community. This is also why it has been easy to overlook some of the little things, without another option in sight.
The crack began with the pandemic, arguably a tough time for all and one we are still neck deep in. Cannabis sales sky-rocketed with unemployment benefits for everyone and an additional $600 dollars per week! Every cannabis company started to take off during a pandemic, leaving some producers I’ve spoken with feeling some guilt for their good fortune. With the whole country dying, people decided to look around and stop ignoring the constant and daily reminders that an armed force stands among us, terrorizing huge segments of American citizens. However, 710 did their loyal deed by attesting to the riots as any patriotic American would and recognizing the importance of protest (even when small fractions loot and riot) as fundamental to preserving whatever liberties and freedoms we have left. This, despite serious damage done to their Oakland facility. Seemed like a good time to start saving and slowing down on my hash consumption, but 710 Labs assured me things were cool and even celebrated the event (more genius marketing) by releasing “The Loot” and some other flavors left behind.
The Coveted (but public) LIST
They seemed to not miss a beat to be perfectly honest, until I heard the coveted List was open to the public. Seemed like a diligent way to show their appreciation to the 710 community by allowing anyone within Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Diego to get a drop. At the same time, I wondered how those already on The List would feel about it. I’m not sure if the List wasn’t selling out all the way and needed the public support, or if they did it out of the goodness of their hearts, but when semi-personalized email invites kept coming with passwords to order, their word began to not line up. So, for years they flaunted an insider’s List, one that requires an email with a password, that is no longer what it appears to be. I wondered when they would close the list to members only, but it never happened. Having collected as many phone numbers (hashline, text-drops) and email addresses as possible in the months prior to the List going public, anyone who has any interest whatsoever would receive passwords. They showed their hand.
Early 2018 Drops
Let’s go back in time to see how it started. A friend gave me word that 710 Labs was expanding to California and it seemed just that quick their product was hitting shelves. For their first 6 months to a year or more, 710 Labs would drop at a couple dispensaries in each town. Problem was, they never came back. It was almost a guarantee back then, if you had 710 Labs in your store you probably wouldn’t again. Maybe it was their way of feeling out the dispensaries and seeing who they liked and who to avoid, however if that’s the case they did a very poor job. I can’t tell you how many dispensaries selling 710 Labs hadn’t the slightest clue about the product, that is, if they even bothered to inform their workers that the products on the shelf. Despite dispensary outreach, training, and bud-tender tutorials, it absolutely did not show. For this and many other issues consumers are running into, it is a failure of the dispensary to not explain each and every product to their bud-tenders. Restaurants communicate the menu, the specials, what's new, and what's 86-ed (sold out) at the beginning of every night to their wait-staff. Dispensaries need to adopt this practice fast!
No, this was a genius way to drop their unrivaled products and bounce without a trace. As quick as real cannabis hash entered your life, boom it was gone, leaving everyone who had a taste literally hunting (@huntinghash) for more. Throughout the whole state of CA, I watched as the same towns would get the next drop, but always different stores. Seems they had made it a point not to drop at the same place twice. From the very beginning of 2018, almost no one carried 710 Labs, yet everyone had begun to hear their name.
This was around the start of 2018 when drops were shown on IG. Finally, a few stores started to become regulars and it was finally possible to locate, purchase, and consume hash the way it’s supposed to be. The gap in knowledge was so wide, I felt it a necessity to begin sharing everything I knew and everything I learned about solventless hash. Anyone smoking those early jars of Live Rosin could see what was coming… The Solventless Revolution of course!
Me, the ultra-critical consumer could find nothing bad about these hash gods. They have stayed on top longer than I expected and continue to produce phenomenal quality hash. That is, when they aren’t too busy making $500-dollar neutral-pastel faded sweatpants and three-quarter sleeve crew necks. The merchandise is great, but great when free. This is the kind of stuff they used to hand out in dispensaries after you spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars on the hash.
Whatever happened to the Hash company, that grows for hash, and only sells hash in order to keep #qualityovereverything? It’s bad enough seeing the amount of BHO 710 Labs released the last year or so, and the Vape Cart pods are no exception. I’m yet to buy 710 Labs cartridges, but I also wouldn’t recommend anyone else. Anyone selling BHO is profiting hand over fist, so despite the occasional batch of BHO badder for the phenotype that refuses to produce solventless hash, the rest is motivated by profit margins. The margin for profit is exponentially greater using chemical solvents to blast cannabis into the genetically-modified, profile-altered, reintroduced terpene products we have all consumed the last ten or so years.
Bad Hair Day
Had the looting of their facility really hurt, we would understand! After months of their admittedly bad hair problem, I found that no one had reached out to make things right. At least ten grams of my live rosin contained some sort of hair or these small black synthetic-looking fibers that my followers were quick to point out. After some brief dealings with 710 Labs before the pandemic, I was in no mood to pursue replacements. I’m not the kind of person who comes bitching for free stuff, but after seeing others have their hash replaced, it seemed only right to ask again.
I’d defended 710 Labs for months, assuming the hair was from my own dab tool or the like. I even thought maybe it was burnt cotton from q-tips, plant pistils, rosin bag strings, or debris from the new lids. Then I started to see it in nearly all of my grams and half my photos couldn’t be posted. I’d sent two or three emails and had gotten nowhere. They wanted receipts I didn’t have. That’s why I hit their DM’s hoping someone would look out and make things right, however they saw fit. I had asked that two or three grams be replaced and I would be happy. Aside from the hair, it was still incredible rosin that only two or three other companies can even compete with. I expected to be treated with some decency after showing so much support and understanding, but instead got lost in their bureaucratic bullshit over their own mistakes.
Getting Touchy Eh?
I made a comment somewhere that caused 710 Labs to finally reach out. It led to an all-day back and forth on I.G. DM’s trying to figure out the hold-up in service. Granted, I emailed the 710 Help rather than C.S. email I was unaware of, but had done the same last year with success. Anyone could have done the right thing and CC’d any of my three emails, or my DM's to the correct department. Several hours and DM’s later, they were still trying to see what went wrong, why there was a delay in service, or who messed up on their end, all the while being made to feel like I messed up. I was blamed for the delay after requesting to see my emails, open them, send screen shots etc., and then asked to send a fourth email so that “all 10 of my grams could be replaced.” That was three days ago, I still have not sent that email.
Let’s try this one on:
Get a tattoo club and you receive 20% off for life, until about 15 people got the tattoo and 710 Labs’ lawyers said pull the plug. Understandable, as I was shocked they offered it to begin with knowing it was bound to cause problems, but talk about your word becoming garbage real fast. Too bad the kid was a total asshole or that might have sealed their fate for me. I honestly felt horrible for the poor kid who got the tattoo and received no love. Apparently, those with the ink are grandfathered in, but the whole ordeal just left a bad taste in my mouth seeing them go back on their word.
This was right around the time their prickly sales crew started looking me up, not giving me credit, but wanting to see my #baddertech I assume. I was approached by this smug and disrespectful kid asking why I had their southern California Sales manager blocked. I wasn’t given a reason for why; I wasn’t even given a name. I informed him they weren’t blocked, but if he told me the name I would check, to which no answer came. Days later I asked why their sales manager was looking for my account in the first place and told: “You said you wanted to get to know us” and then he blocked me the next day. Instagram is weird.
I wasn’t taken care of. They asked to see emails, open them up, look for their employees’ faults or failure to pass the word along, all the while failing to pass the word along. After hours of this, I was blamed for not sending a 4th total email and instructed to do so. I keep forgetting it was me that fucked up, like it was my fault. Like I’m supposed to go through the work to fix something that should never happen. Sorry 710 Labs for you having hair in your hash and me being a huge inconvenience to the company because that’s exactly how you made me feel. And I know they have made tons of others feel the same way, which is hard not to do when you’re on top. We shouldn't have even had to ask. This was a fuck-up across the board. Rather than forwarding the word along for me at any point of this two month process, they bickered about logistics.
Tonight, as I was relieved and excited by some super quality tier 3 live rosin that just dropped, something caught my eye. The jars changed again and its probably the only reason I decided to take a closer look. A small sticker on one side says, “Cultivated by Valley Grove”. Outsourced from Valley Grove. The company all about single-source, the company that will only outsource or collaborate if it’s sold as a tier four, the company that didn’t take too much damage from the looting and would roll right along like it never happened, tried to sneak one by. Again, I feel deceived. I feel lied to. Had I not brought the question up I'm guessing it wouldn't have been mentioned. Had they come out and said, "Hey we were hit hard and are going to need others to help cultivate in order to meet the demand," I wouldn’t have blinked an eye. I would have said cool. Instead, now I’ve said all this.
One More Chance...
I never was good at breaking up regardless of the situation. I'm forgiving and reasonable and I think we can work things out. With competition rising and solventless companies coming out of the wood-work new options will appear. I don't love brands and I don't love companies, but I do love when they put out the highest quality hash. For years that company was 710 Labs and nobody else was even close, but I hope if nothing else, you hear what loyal fans and long-time consumers are saying. This Valley Grove Papaya X Layla is phenomenal. Is it sun grown? Hmmm.... Sun Grown Hash looks like the future...