A new kind of company
A company based in Twin Falls, Idaho, has found itself front and center in The Technology Headlines magazine, Gizmodo and Packaging World thanks to a patented nitrogen packaging process designed to extend shelf life, prevent damage and improve transportation. By hermetically sealing their premium-grade cans, N2 Packaging keeps contents fresh, but what exactly is in the can?
“N2 Packaging is a cannabis packaging company,” said Scott Martin, N2’s president and CEO. “We have intellectual property around packaging controlled substances and our packaging works well with preserving the terpene profile and freshness of cannabis.”
Since 2013, N2 Packaging has created jobs in Twin Falls ranging from graphic designers to machinists to administrative workers, but one thing you won’t find at N2 is the product their packaging is meant to preserve.
“People think that we package product here in the state and send it out, but that’s not the case,” said Scott. “We create containers and that’s what our customers get from us.”
Sustainable by design
In order to utilize this one-of-a-kind packaging, customers must first sign a supply agreement giving them access to N2’s intellectual property. Then, N2 sells and services the packaging equipment, and distributes empty containers and supplies to the customer on a monthly basis.
Although they’re now thriving in an industry that continues to grow, N2’s initial success wasn’t an overnight achievement.
“When I first looked at the industry, all I could find were products that rapidly degrade,” recalls Scott. “I reached out with a better solution, but nobody wanted to be a part of it. The reception to putting cannabis in a can was very negative.”
Influence from a legend
It seemed their sustainable packaging wasn’t catching on, until Scott and his company caught a big break.
“Willie Nelson came to Nampa,” he said. “I created packaging with Willie’s Preserve on it and got it delivered to him. Not long after that we got to meet Willie and his family and we moved forward with official packaging. For our little company that nobody knew about, it was a big deal.”
Once N2 fell into the hands of this country music legend, people began to take another look at the small cannabis packaging company in Twin Falls, Idaho.
“From there, we had a foothold,” said Scott. “We were able to start establishing more accounts and hiring more people. Now we have employees in Idaho, California and Arizona and customers in almost every state in the U.S. and Canada.”
But even with the support of Shotgun Willie, Scott and his employees have faced a hard-fought battle to earn respect among the Idaho business community.
“The city has been supportive of us, but the reality is, we’ve had difficulties becoming a business, remaining a business and staying in Idaho,” said Scott. “Even in Twin Falls, very few people know of us even though nationally and internationally we’ve been featured in all types of news outlets focused on technology and packaging.”
Scott doesn’t anticipate they’ll be out of the spotlight anytime soon. N2’s unrelenting focus on innovation has led to the launch of a fully-certified child-proof lid, and the company continues to refine their technology to make way for tracking and tracing, while meeting their high standards of sustainability.
“We are developing safe, more sustainable packaging options that exceed our customers’ expectations, but the cannabis industry really doesn’t have many packaging standards,” he said. “We’re trying to lead the charge in developing those standards so that once new federal regulations are passed there will already be standards in place.”
No better place to be
Leading this charge from Idaho can prove difficult, but to Scott, there’s no better place to be.
“People here are grounded. They care about their jobs, they work hard and they care about the outcome of the company,” he said. “Every time I come back to Twin Falls, there’s a feeling that this is where we belong.”