Here at VapeXhale, we take the extracts we like to dab with very seriously. That’s one of the reasons the good works of BHOgart have caught our eye. BHOgart (The BHO referring to Botanical Hydrocarbon Oil) is San Jose, CA based, but rapidly expanding with retail locations throughout California, Southern Oregon and Spain to service their growing base of extraction artists. Their closed loop extraction systems are used to produce a variety of essential oils, Butane, Propane and terpene extraction with an ethos driven by building a safer, more professional and progressive extraction community. What that means to dabbers and EVO users everywhere is that thanks to the efforts of the team at BHOgart, the world can consume a cleaner, purer, more consistent product every time. We sat down with Liz Lynch and Dan Steigman of BHOgart to learn about their story.
Liz is not your prototypical cannabis enthusiast, but her path to cannabis parallels many medical users: It was more effective at helping her manage anxiety and recover from stressful competitions as an athlete than the offerings from ‘Big Pharma’. Realizing the increased peace of mind it provided and the lack of common sense laws surrounding it, the medicine and the cause surrounding it became intertwined in her life path.
On the flip side, Liz was raised in a household with two parents working in law enforcement, regularly tasked with eradicating the crops of plants she was finding an immense benefit from; yielding unique and polarizing perspectives into many facets of the federal government’s inadvertent industry subsidies, land management and responsible cannabis cultivation arguments. Her father’s role was centered around protecting the public lands that were being poisoned by toxic, illegal grow sites, which made a strong impact on Liz wanting to keep her plants, gardens and extracts clean and green.
In her adult life, she’s openly championed it’s benefits, referring to cannabis as a cure-all, particularly for women, highlighting its effectiveness at dealing with nausea and cramps. It remains a daily staple of her life, enjoying it’s social, creative and medicinal benefits all the same.
Once a volleyball player at a Christian University, she shocked her teammates by imbibing before every game and practice, allowing her to stay focused and put the crowd out of her mind. “Most Californians were cool with it, the hardcore christians thought I was the devil.” She bounced around the country apprenticing, later managing cultivation sites and through a few degrees of separation, ended up running accounting and project management at BHOgart.
A few years ago, Dan came into BHOgart looking to buy an extractor, but was so happy with the environment and the ethos behind the brand, he never left. With a background in activism, he appreciates the professional, but still non-corporate mentality of the company. “People have come in at an entry level position, worked their way up and switched gears to become our production manager, for example. We’re in tune with one another and responsive to the needs of the team – everyone gets to contribute!” As BHOgart’s Director of Innovation, his energy rightfully matches his love for all things extraction. “We’re not trying to sell Apple computers where we’re releasing a new model every year, it’s more of a progression. We’ve been coming up with the technology needed for our extractors because it didn’t exist before.” Dedicated to creating a safer and more standardized environment, BHOgart sought and received ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) certification for the system’s pressure vessels (see specific models/sizes for details) and Pressure Safety Inspectors third party peer reviews. Daniel and his team passionately dedicated meeting the highest possible standard and stay ahead of whatever regulatory structure will end up in place.
With five stores between California, Oregon and Barcelona, and 10 distributors around the US and Canada, BHOgart is clearly doing well, which Liz and Dan attribute to a healthy, open and positive company philosophy. Dan sums it up as “a fun job, it’s a pleasure to come into work every day. We can make change”. They embrace transparency and consumer awareness, describing potential risks from open blasting, pesticide use, and even the mundanities of storage. And as with all cannabis consumers in California, they’re excited about the march towards legalization and the growing acceptance of cannabis that comes with it. Liz stated “People need to lead by their own lifestyle, their own life example. It’s really important to destigmatize the plant, be a positive, productive active member of society, the only way to change the perspective is to be the change.” She continued, “I think it’s important that consumers treat their medicine the same as anything else they put in their body…just like food. It’s important to know where it comes from and how it was processed. The disconnect in consumer awareness is debilitating to your body over time.”
“Colloquial awareness resonates deeply with me too. People speak casually with little foresight regarding women, sexuality, race and cannabis. Such as ‘marijuana’, I believe it’s a racist term, used as a propaganda meme so I try to avoid it.” Dan jumped in, “That’s an arbitrary term, it’s cannabis at this point, that’s what scientists call it. People who don’t smoke cannabis call it marijuana, my dad calls it that, people with a negative opinion of it call it that.”
With these two young entrepreneurs representing what cannabis users can accomplish, it’s hard to see how stereotypes about lazy potheads will stay standing for much longer.