Vaping technology elevates Phoenix’s Jupiter Research in cannabis industry
Vaping technology – Having a background running an electronic-cigarette company proved to be a big asset for Mark Scatterday, the CEO and co-founder of Phoenix-based Jupiter Research, a manufacturer and distributor of cannabis vaping technology.
But not exactly in the way one would think.
Instead of enabling him to transfer the knowledge he’d gained as senior vice president of manufacturing and product development for NJOY, a pioneering developer of e-cigarette technology, to the cannabis side, Scatterday’s insight told him that was the wrong move.
When Scatterday launched Jupiter with friend and business partner Bob Crompton in 2015, cannabis customers were implementing the vaping technology used in e-cigarettes and tobacco. The medical- and recreational-marijuana industries were just taking off.
However, the wick-and-coil device would overheat cannabis oils and create a burning taste. This method, Scatterday said, was ineffective and prevented delivery of cannabis in its true form.
“The hardware at the time did not work very well. We knew we could deliver and develop products that were optimized for high-viscosity oils or cannabis extracts,” Scatterday said.
Developer: Better quality vaporization
Research and testing yielded a new ceramic technology that was better suited to handling the viscosity of all-natural plant extracts like hemp and cannabis. The result is a better quality of vaporization that preserves the integrity of the intended flavor and efficiency, Scatterday said.
After a year and a half of product development, Jupiter entered commercialization in September 2016. What started in a two-bedroom apartment Scatterday and Crompton rented specifically as Jupiter’s headquarters is now in a full-fledged Phoenix facility that they moved into in April. There’s also an office in China.
Today, Jupiter’s three main vape pens are sold in a half-dozen countries including the U.S. They’ve generated an annual run rate of more than $50 million, and that statistic was projected to reach $100 million in 2017, Scatterday said.
It’s also put Jupiter in a vaping industry that’s expected to top $47 billion by 2025, according to Business Intelligence and Strategy Research.
“The vaporization segment is the fastest-growing versus the traditionally smoked marijuana, which we anticipated,” Scatterday said.
Clients tout Jupiter’s products
Jupiter’s clients are natural plant extraction companies that wholesale to the retail side of the cannabis trade. Scatterday’s company offers the technology and hardware, which frees up extractors to focus on what they do best.
Rickie Hendrickson, director of operations for Sublime Brands, has been working with Jupiter for more than a year and provided Jupiter products during its testing and research phases. Because Sublime’s cannabis oil is a bit thicker than most and more difficult to use in other vape pens on the market, Hendrickson said it was especially beneficial for Jupiter to use her oils to help develop its products.
Currently, Sublime, a Phoenix-based producer of cannabis products from edibles to vapes, purchases Jupiter’s devices and uses them in its wholesale brand. Hendrickson has received a lot of positive feedback from customers about Jupiter’s Liquid 6 pen, which she called probably the best vape platform available.
“The market was made to fit more cigarette oils. As a dispensary that uses cannabis oils, we see that (Jupiter’s product line) has more of a benefit to us and patients,” said Hendrickson. “In our business, we deal with a lot of overseas companies. But it helps so much to have a local office that you can call whenever you need something or have a question.”
‘It was just the beginning’
A lifelong entrepreneur, Scatterday’s decision to let that spirit guide him has positioned Jupiter at the head of a rapidly evolving industry as the medical- and recreational-marijuana fields continue to pick up speed nationwide.
And it started over cocktails and cigars on Saturday nights with his friend and neighbor, Crompton, who had heard countless stories over the years about what Scatterday was doing with his former company. The reality of the vaporization technology and inhalation delivery system’s role in the then-fledgling medical-cannabis industry powered through the smoke and buzz.
“We recognized what the future holds for this segment of the business. We saw the opportunity, and it was just the beginning,” Scatterday said.
What: Jupiter Research
Where: 3939 E. Campbell Ave. #130, Phoenix
Interesting stat: More than 9 million adults vape regularly in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Details: 480-867-6100, jupiterresearch.com