Solventless Seminar 2 Recap

If you follow along with our blog or Instagram page, you know how dedicated we are to education here at Hashtek!

From day one, we’ve sponsored grassroots events that support the hashish community and bring the most innovative makers together to learn from each other. From Legends of Hashish II and III in LA to Smoking Jacket in Portland and Heady Happenings in Vancouver, we love traveling around to see the techniques and terps that different regions have to offer.

We’re also always testing out the latest tech and trends — whether it’s playing with different solventless edible recipes, making ice water hash on a frozen lake in Canada, or evaluating seal integrity in our jar experiment.

So, it was only a matter of time until we started our own events to teach people about the art and science of solventless extraction!

We were incredibly excited to launch our lineup of Solventless Seminars in late 2023 and just held our second one. Hosted at the state-of-the-art Rosin Tech Labs facility in LA — currently cranking with 3 Hashtek units — the class was taught by the legendary Kaya of Pacific Northwest Roots.

After spending the weekend learning, networking, and smoking on some phenomenal hash, I’m here to recap the March 2024 Solventess Seminar!

Solventless Seminar Day One

Day one began by getting to know each other over a breakfast of coffee, bagels, and terps. We had attendees travel all the way from Arizona to Vancouver to be with us at the seminar, and it was so cool to be reminded of the way this community can bring people together!

Kaya’s welcoming talk kicked things off with the positive, uplifting vibe he brings to every occasion. It centered around how we can build up our community through passion and knowledge sharing — lifting others up and supporting each other’s successes rather than allowing competition and profits to overtake the spirit of the plant.

With everyone feeling inspired, it was time to head over to the lab! Kaya started the class with an overview of hash history, covering the evolution from old-school techniques to modern methods and the differences between ice water hash and rosin. He then dove into his own relationship with the plant, talking about why he started working with cannabis in the first place and how he grew his passion into a successful growing and breeding enterprise.

Kaya pioneered some of the first brick-and-mortar Cannabis collectives in Washington and established the PNW Roots brand in 2010 just as the state’s medical market was gearing up. Since then, he’s developed hash genetics known nationwide such as Kaya’s Koffee and Hamma Hamma, and won awards for his six-star melt extracted with our commercial Hashtek system. Speaking of his six-star, the next thing he covered was the star rating system for hash which we have talked about here on the blog.

Next, Drew — Lab Director at Rosin Tech — came in for session two on running a solventless lab. He talked about the challenges of operating in this industry, how he’s developed efficient and effective SOPs, and why cleanliness is so essential in solventless production.

My key takeaway from this session was one word: consistency. Drew spoke about the importance of having people on your team who come to work every day with a positive attitude and who you can always rely on. He also mentioned how these standards and expectations should extend to cleanliness and SOPs in the lab. Basically, being consistent with your team and your processes.

Kaya came back to lead the next session on cultivation and grow tech, talking through the pros and cons of various growing methods and feeding regimes. He also discussed how cultivators can adapt to “pest pressure” in more proactive and environmentally friendly ways. Finally, he covered one of my favorite topics: regenerative farming. He spotlighted different methods including Korean Natural Farming, compost teas, hügelkultur beds, and what the Dragonfly Earth Medicine Certification entails.

Then he shifted to what solventless extractors should look for when breeding new genetics. The main point here was looking for unique flavors and finding your own thing to focus on instead of doing what everyone else is doing. Kaya said something that stood out to me here along the lines of, “If you’re just following trends, you’ll always be a step behind trying to catch up to them and never actually ahead.”

After a little dab and lunch break, we came back for an afternoon of hands-on washing and pressing workshops. We got to check out the material Rosin Tech is working with in the cold storage room, and then see how they actually run a wash in one of their A-series units. For most attendees, it was their first time experiencing a Hashtek in action and seeing their jaws drop at the tech is always the best moment! We washed some Lemon Limez from Luma California Farms, one of Rosin Tech’s cultivation partners, and then got to see how Drew preps for and executes pressing.

Next, special guest teacher Tom (Humphrey Hashish) came to drop some facts about freeze-drying. This seems to be the one area of hash making that trips people up the most so everyone was really excited to hear from an expert. Tom shared his SOPs for filling trays, pulling trays from the freeze dryer, cleaning protocols, and more which you had to be there to be lucky enough to hear!

Then we got to see Kaya’s method of air-drying which absolutely blew my mind. There’s a lot of debate about air-dried vs. freeze-dried hash but regardless of which you prefer, it was such a unique opportunity to see two of these masters in their respective methods do their thing. Finally, our seed sponsor Masonic came by to hang out and hand out some Candy Shish (Shishkaberry NS22 X NS23) beans which he said are full of bubblegum, peach, and melon terps.

Throughout the afternoon, Tom was trying out some new speed drying tech on the batch of Lemon Limez we had washed. This process involves wicking and sieving the material to remove as much water as possible before freeze drying it, reducing the total time of drying from 8+ hours to just 1 hour.

Day one wrapped up with a fire dinner of street tacos and churros and of course, tons more hash — including what we had made in class that very afternoon. Everyone was so hyped to be smoking something we had seen being washed just hours before. The hash looked incredible in the jar and had some seriously loud Sprite terps. If you’re interested in learning more about Tom’s techniques and SOPs you can take one of his online courses!

Besides our Lemon Limez, one of my other standout jars from the day was also a lime terp: the Key Lime Pie from 1904 Provisions, which is Hashtek extracted with a soft lime flavor and hint of cinnamon. The third was the Honey Dew by Waving Cat Hash, a relatively new brand out of Arizona. Bred by Dammit Bobby, I tried this flavor at Smoking Jacket and have been on the hunt for it ever since. This jar was such a wonderful expression of the strain with an initial flavor of candied banana and juicy melon then some pine-fuel and lemon underneath.

Solventless Seminar Day Two

And just like that it was day two! After a quick recap of key learnings from the day before we jumped into it with Sam, CEO of Rosin Tech. He talked about the evolution of the brand and how it has been “running towards solventless since 2015” with a lineup of extraction equipment and award-winning products.

I’d say the overall theme of his talk — and the entire day two of the seminar — was efficiency and waste reduction in the lab. We discussed about the importance of scalable SOPs and using every part of what you produce in the extraction process. Then, spent the afternoon diving into some out-of-the-box ways to actually do so with hash-infused products.

First, we got to see how HashCru uses the 25u material that producers often throw away to make his hash wraps. These things not only look dope but burn so smoothly and taste absolutely delicious. Here at team Hashtek, we’ve been saying 2024 will be the year of the hash wrap!

Then we got to watch Mendo Budsmith roll one of his infamous Cannagars from start to finish, which are handcrafted with 7 grams of indoor-grown flower, 2 grams of WPFF hash rosin, and 0.5 grams of 159-73u bubble hash. He even warms up a little drop of his rosin with a candle to hold the canna leaf together rather than using a premade blunt glue. Talk about the epitome of a truly single-source product!

After breaking for In-N-Out (when in California, right?) we heard from Dave of 1904 Provisions. With a single-source farm out in the hills of San Diego, he talked about what he looks for when growing for resin and some of the unique harvesting and storage tech he uses. He also prioritized the importance of soil testing when growing outdoors.

Then we broke for another afternoon of hands-on workshops on hash holes, packaging, and gummies with the Rosin Tech Labs team. In the gummy group, we experienced the entire process from decarbing to pouring gummies into molds. We tried a few flavors and man are those Rosin Drops the perfect texture and consistency! We all had to stop ourselves from grabbing handfuls and of course, the infamous Whitethorn Rose flavor from Huckleberry Hill Farms was my personal favorite.

Talking to the packaging team, we got insight into how Rosin Tech uses labels to maintain compliance and educate about their products. Their branding is super sleek and they use two different colors to differentiate between tiers which can be a really simple way to keep things clear for the consumer. Next, we went into the rolling room to see how the brand’s award-winning hash holes come together. They use fresh press instead of cold-cure in their hash holes since it can be an easier consistency to work with for rolling. We got to try the tech for ourselves and rolled up some Gush Mintz flower with Starburst 26 fresh press. Such a killer combo.

After wrapping up the class portion, we headed back to the lounge for a “graduation” where all the attendees got their goody bags and a certificate for completing the seminar. Then we did a seed swap and had a huge sesh to wrap up the weekend!

One of my favorite jars from day 2 was Red Zushi fresh press by Mendo Budsmith. I don’t normally smoke much fresh press but this had such a wonderful consistency that was actually workable with a dab tool. The Z was definitely hitting with a strawberry smarty candy note on the exhale. I also really enjoyed the Poochie’s Papaya from Open Source Solventless. It was honestly giving me more mango than papaya but I wasn’t mad about it, with a fruit purée vibe that coated the mouth with creaminess on the exhale.

See You at The Next Hashtek Solventless Seminar!

Overall, the solventless seminar was a marathon two days of learning, networking, seshing, and enjoying the sights of Los Angeles! Some of my favorite parts were hearing Kaya talk about his passion for the plant and our community and getting to pour gummies and roll hash holes the Rosin Tech way.

If you’re currently a solventless extractor or a producer looking to move into the solventless space, we’d love to have you at the next one. It’s truly such a unique experience to see this state-of-the-art commercial facility in action, gather with makers of all sizes and skill levels from across the country, and learn from experts in their respective fields.

I came home feeling informed and inspired and can’t wait to be back with the team for the next one. We hope to see you there…sign up for our mailing list for first access to future seminar info, and check out my recap reels of both days below!

Hashtek at The Smoking Jacket

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