Manufacturing Success: Q&A with Chad Seward of Heya Wellness
It’s no doubt the sales of marijuana in Missouri have jumped up since legalization. Chad Seward, Regional Director of Manufacturing for Heya Wellness, says the impact has been huge. Sales and traffic, as well as product demands, have definitely increased. Production, however, hasn’t really. Pre-planning for adult use sales in advance ensured out-of-stock issues wouldn’t happen.
“Nothing really changed in terms of production because we base product manufacturing around on-hand minimum quantities. We also have a great relationship with our lab so testing time frames are factored into turnaround times. We are building out staff at facilities to also help reduce any fires that may come up.”
Seward worked in the pharmacy retail world as District Manager of 7 CVS pharmacies before entering the cannabis industry in Michigan where he became COO of a small company overseeing multiple facilities including 3 retail, 1 cultivation, and 1 MIP. Seward has also consulted on 30 different projects, both national and international, in the cannabis space, winning multiple cannabis cups and awards in edibles along the way.
How did you find your way to working with cannabis?
“I was looking for a change of view after working in retail management for 20 years,” Seward laughed.
What does cannabis mean to you?
“To me, cannabis is an emerging industry with a unique opportunity to be creative with brands, products, and marketing.”
What products or brands does HeyaWellness produce?
“Currently, Heya Wellness has a branded line of concentrate products that include RSO syringes, vape carts, dabbable products, pre-rolls, and we manufacture a national brand of tinctures called Marqaha. We will be dropping 2 solventless products and RSO 500mg gummies in the coming weeks.”
Tell me about the process, or processes, used to create your products.
“We have the ability between our 3 MIP locations to do a bunch of different processes. Solventless (live rosin and Water hash) at 1 and ethanol / distillation at the other two.”
What is the biggest obstacle you face in a manufacturing facility like this?
“I don’t really look at things as obstacles but as opportunities to get creative.”
Can you talk at all about how you’re sourcing biomass or plant material and how that has changed in recent months?
“We are very fortunate to have a cultivation license and it is operational, so biomass needs have been filled. I have heard of some needs due to shortages, but we haven’t been affected in our facilities as of yet.”
In your opinion, what’s the best way to consume cannabis?
“I’m straight old school and prefer flowers. But I also still call it reefer soooo…”
What makes your products unique in this space?
“A lot of our products are what you would expect from a company with an eye toward Medical usage. Clean, accurate dosage etc. The products we are developing and rolling out in the coming weeks are more focused on people looking for something a bit better than what they can get currently. More toward connoisseur types or creative types.”
What is the top-performing product produced by Heya?
“We currently are seeing great growth from both our dabbable concentrates and tinctures.”
What’s your favorite product and why?
“My favorite products are the ones we have not done yet. I have some crazy ideas for infusions and dabbables. I like to think way out there as opposed to just what people see in a dispo.
Be bold and adventurous. Think outside of the norm. Everyone is doing the same things. If you’re a consumer give suggestions on what you want to see. Communicate.