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A Journal of Cannabis and Culture

How Binske Is Paving the Way for High-End Edibles

How Binske Is Paving the Way for High-End Edibles

BY MARIE LODI

Colorado-based cannabis brand Binske was founded in 2016 when Jake Pasternack recognized a gap in the market—artisanal edibles containing organic, fair-trade ingredients were nowhere to be found. It was this realization that gave birth to the brand's modus operandi: “The Highest Standards Didn’t Exist, So We Created Them.” That slogan perhaps explains why everything about Binske is impressive, from its extensive inventory, which includes everything from flower to unique edibles like fruit leather and olive oil, to its appealing packaging. The products feature surreal artwork that resembles a mix of vintage-inspired zoology, botany illustrations, and tarot card designs. It goes without saying, Binske is in a league of its own. Want to know more? Below, Binske’s executive vice president, Alex Pasternack, fills us in on the company’s fascinating backstory (including the meaning of its moniker), its unique aesthetic and status within the cannabis space, and some ambitious goals on the brand’s #BinskeBuddketList.

How did you come up with the name Binske?
Funny story: So, my brother Jake [Binske’s CEO] and I were born and raised in Miami, Florida. We often heard the word “doobie” from our parents’ generation, and that word evolved into “doobinskie.” Over more time, we kept shortening that word, removing the “doo” and the “ski,” and what we were left with was “binske,” our word for a joint. It started out as an inside joke, a shared indiscretion between two brothers, which we never could have imagined we would share around the world. For reference, it’s pronounced binsk, and just like any other word in the English dictionary that ends with the letter “e,” the e is silent, like “smoke.”

What is your personal relationship with cannabis?
Despite my deep involvement with the industry and my genuine fascination with the plant, for me, I use marijuana to enhance my life, not define my life. I started out self-medicating in college after years of ineffective ADHD medications that made me feel even worse. I tried so many prescription medicines; nothing seemed to be a good fit for me, and I always felt like there was something wrong with my learning abilities. Now, I use cannabis regularly because it helps me with a variety of things: stress, anxiety, and insomnia; working out; opening my imagination and mind to be more creative; focusing and staying present; and for its overall anti-inflammatory and physical benefits, as I have chronic back pain.

How did your connection to cannabis continue to evolve after starting Binske?
Because of Binske, I’m able to explore the plant to a much greater degree. For example, before Binske, I never really understood the beneficial role that terpenes and cannabinoids play in both the flavor and experience of getting high. Being able to send everything to a third-party testing lab and to use those results was a game-changer. Furthermore, I’ve found relief through using many of these other cannabinoids—mostly CBD and CBN—that I wouldn’t have had access to otherwise.

What’s the inspiration behind Binske’s packaging?
A couple of years ago, a new hotel opened in South Beach called The Faena. The original location is in Buenos Aires, and this second location is on Miami Beach right near where Jake and I grew up. The Faena is renowned for these massive yet beautifully intricate murals. You can’t take your eyes off them. After seeing these, we knew we wanted to give people the same depth of experience with Binske. Jake took this inspiration, coupled it with the established building blocks of Binske, and then commissioned an artist who could bring this vision for the brand to life through a series of pieces based on the four elements: earth, water, air, and fire. We’re in the process of what I call “deconstructing” the murals, and will be launching “Binske 2.0” with a new logo very soon.

What are some of your personal favorite Binske products?
Personally, I love our hash. Our unique genetics, combined with our top-of-the-line extraction methods make Binske live resin hash some of the best concentrates on the market in every state. Binske is making some of the best hash in the world, hands down. As for edibles, I love our award-winning chocolates. Peruvian Nacional Cacao is truly such amazing cacao to have as our backbone of the chocolate line.

What sets Binske apart from other cannabis brands?
I hope what people really understand about Binske is our packaging is only a reflection of our desire to create an immersive, engaging experience that makes customers’ daily activities brighter, deeper, and more inspiring. Yes, our packaging helps us win customers on the shelf, but that’s only the beginning. We’re focused on spoiling the customer throughout the entire experience, from the moment they lay eyes on the packaging to the first taste of our products. We’re winning awards due to a combination of several factors: quality of the cannabis oil, quality of the raw ingredients, our genetics, the vertical integration we maintain, and, lastly, the beautiful packaging.

What changes in the cannabis industry do you hope to inspire through your brand?
As a thought leader in the industry, I love to help educate. I’m fascinated by the different stages of cannabis normalization throughout the U.S. and abroad. Having worked through a variety of legal circumstances to bring Binske to multiple states, I can really relate to the distinct considerations in every market. I recently returned from Spannabis in Barcelona, where I talked about the maturity of the Colorado marketplace and other changes and experiences I have dealt with as a multi-state brand. Europe is really an exciting market, and they’re very much hoping to absorb any lessons learned about building a brand like Binske. I’m looking forward to continuing to educate others about the industry and inspire those to allow Binske to “fuel your creativity,” as that’s what it does for me.

What’s next for Binske?
Binske is currently distributed in two states: Nevada and Colorado. Over the past few months, we’ve been working very hard to build out our California launch plans for the brand, and are extremely excited as we prepare to enter that market. Both Florida and California will have Binske on the shelves by this summer. We have a distinct licensing model that really ensures a quality experience for both the consumer and licensee regardless of location, and we’re looking for qualified partners in legal states and expect to enter more markets by the end of 2019. We are also looking at a few international deals, and hope to have Binske product sold outside of the U.S. by the end of the year.

Looking for more information on Binske in Las Vegas? Stop by your local MedMen cannabis dispensary!

A Journal of Cannabis and Culture
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