Former Wall Streeter Sees Future in Cannabis Pills
Nuka Enterprises founder Peter Barsoom left the finance industry in 2015 after he saw an opportunity to reach people like himself: high-functioning adults seeking high-quality cannabis products.
"Many people use cannabis not to get high, but to feel a particular way," said Barsoom. "They might use it to help with sleep, anxiety, pain or to relax."
Nuka, maker of the 1906 line of cannabis offerings, creates products with a consumer’s physical and mental wellbeing as the end goal, Barsoom told THCnet.
The company first gained traction in the Colorado market with its high-end edibles by adorning packages with explanations of the intended mood or effect instead of advertising how high users would get. Its newest product line, 1906 Drops, pushes this concept a step further by delivering proprietary blends of THC, CBD, adaptogens and herbs in pill form.
The pitch is simple: 1906 Drops are convenient, fast-acting pills that come in tins of 20 and have onset times of 20 minutes or less. They aim to deliver physical and mental experiences such as cognitive enhancement, relaxation, energy, happiness, arousal and better sleep.
Barsoom's effect-driven approach to product creation, coupled with his outlook on the future growth of medicine-minded cannabis products, has helped attract interest from investors. The company recently landed $18 million in a round led by Navy Capital, an early stage investment firm that backs cannabis businesses.
The full line of Drops, which include Genius (cognitive performance), Chill (relaxation), Go (energy), Bliss (happiness) and Love (sexual arousal), are set to launch in Colorado later this month.
Speaking to THCnet, Barsoom said he is confident in his choice to offer cannabis in pill form, particularly because one of his goals for 1906 Drops is to help people with conditions usually treated by prescription medications.
"Instead of Ambien [consumers] can take Midnight; instead of Ritalin they have Genius; instead of Xanax, take Chill," he said.
1906 products are sold at over 200 Colorado dispensaries, the company’s website states. Cannabinoid dosages in the pills vary, but most contain between 2.5 mg and 5 mg of both THC and CBD.
Expansions to Illinois, Massachusetts, and Michigan are forthcoming, a press release noted.
While taking cannabis pills could be a leap for traditional marijuana connoisseurs who prefer flower, Barsoom believes a broader consumer base will relate to the cannabis tablets because "pills are the predominant way we get our medicine."
"This is what consumers do in every other area of their life,” he said. “Why should cannabis be different?"
According to Barsoom, the goal of producing a pill with medicinal cannabis and plant medicines is not to compete with traditional products sold at recreational dispensaries. Instead, Barsoom said he hopes the 1906 brand will help normalize cannabis use through simple and effective products that enhance lives.
"We don't even think of it as recreational," he said. "These products are made for functional adult use."