A Conversation with CEO and Founder of Howl’s Tinctures Peter Glantz
The newest tincture line to hit our menu is a collaboration months in the making. The Pass has teamed up with Howl’s Tinctures to make this limited edition Summer Tincture, using The Pass Flo flower. Howl’s prides themselves on simplicity, consistency, and purity, tying the beauty of nature into all of their products, so it was only fitting that a collaboration was bound to come down the pipeline. We sat down with CEO and Founder of Howl’s Tinctures Peter Glantz to discuss the origins of Howl’s, his personal ties to the product, and how this collaboration came to be. Here’s that conversation:
Q: What was your ultimate goal in starting Howl’s Tinctures?
Peter: I’m a patient and started Howl’s in 2012. I have a degenerative eye condition and had a surgery to try to stop its progress. Unfortunately it went sideways and the result was chronic pain in my eyes, which impacted my ability to work and take care of my family. This created anxiety. I was scared. Then a friend suggested cannabis. I’d been making tinctures with other plants for 15 years, so I made it with cannabis. It relieved my symptoms, and I was able to manage the pain, get back to work, and most of all reconnect with my family after I’d been so distracted from the pain.
I joined a co-op in Rhode Island and 4 other patients asked for some of my extra tinctures. I got it tested, made a label, and filled 4 bottles. A bit later I started getting messages from them asking for more. When I went into the co-op, a woman I’d given some to had a walker and threw it out of the way. She started laughing and dancing around the room. She said, “I cleaned my house for the first time in 2 years yesterday! I rely on this. I only have a tiny amount left. Please, when will there be more?” That’s when the mission was born — to make this valuable plant medicine available to everyone who can benefit from it.
Q: Do you see any of your background/roots playing a role in what Howl’s has become?
I have roots in herbalist and plant medicine communities, and as a patient. Howl’s takes a plant medicine approach to how we make it and communicate about it. This means we use a traditional method of infusion called “Whole Plant Infusion” that’s been how cannabis tinctures and infused oils have been made for at least 5000 years, since the Father of Chinese Medicine popularized it. The result is the full beneficial properties of the plant are infused directly into the tincture.
It’s also an important part of the plant medicine approach to recognize that the benefits of what’s in the bottle are impacted by the culture surrounding it. This is why Howl’s also focuses on education, community, and storytelling. We find it improves the efficacy of the tincture, and is aligned with how plant medicine is used in many different cultures locally and globally.
Q: What does it mean to be a reliable and reputable cannabis company? How important is consistency?
On every Howl’s bottle it says “Simple • Consistent • Pure”. Consistency is our middle name, and this is because of our roots serving patients. I know how important it is for people to be able to rely on Howl’s every day, so ensuring consistency in potency and effect in every batch is a core value. Of course, some people will take the double strength and drop in random amounts to go on a hero’s journey. That’s fine and fun for many, too! We just make sure that it’s consistent in every bottle for those who need it. That’s our job — make a simple, consistent, pure tincture.
In my opinion, reputable cannabis companies respect the plant, their communities, and their employees. Transparency, honesty, and sustainable practices should be core values, and a respect for the deeper value of the plant beyond simply extracting capital from it.
Reputable cannabis businesses are also conscious of the impact of the racist drug war and actively doing restorative justice work. Howl’s is a healing company, and believes that cannabis can’t reach its full potential benefits for our community at large until the harms of the drug war are healed. This is a multigenerational project because there is no quick fix to something so damaging that has roots that go back 400+ years to slavery, and continue to this day because the drug war is ongoing. So, a core part of being reputable for any cannabis company, in my opinion, is determining how it can actively participate in this effort, infused in their every decision.
Q: How does Howl’s tie in with nature?
Howl’s has a plant medicine approach, which means that we fundamentally work with nature to create the tincture. This is reflected in why we make seasonal tinctures, and why we’re particularly happy to be working with The Pass and its outdoor cultivation of the flower Flo grown in sun and soil. Our effort is to infuse the power of the sun, soil, and the plant into the tincture and provide it to people. Many people report when using seasonal tinctures that it tunes them into the rhythms and transitions of nature, which makes them better aligned with their own true natures as people and members of their communities.
Q: Why do you think Howl’s and The Pass can make a successful collaboration?
We already have! The Pass grew extraordinary flower in the sun and soil. We have collaborated by Howl’s infusing it into the tincture. Now we can be successful by sharing it with people and supporting their journey during the summer!
Q: How did this collaboration process work?
Our production manager Dave Kuma, who is also an organic farmer, and I met the cultivator and saw the plants growing. We discussed the different strains available and used a combination of intuition and listening to reports on the effects to determine which strain to use.
We chose Flo in particular because both the cultivation and retail team at The Pass organically kept mentioning how they loved its effects the most. I could hear their passion and desire to share the special experience of Flo. Since Howl’s is made in a way that results in the same effects as the source flower, it seemed like a good opportunity to share this special strain. Because we formulate the tincture to the same potency — available in both single and double strength — people can choose their potency and control to get those unique effects. Flo is known to be creative, energizing, and supports people “catching the waves” of time, heat, and light — all things that say summer to me.
Q: What does the future look like with Howl’s? More collabs?
Howl’s is part of a 5000+ year long legacy of people who have made tinctures like this, and so the future looks like we’ll continue to work to ensure a place in the market for products like this for another 5000 years. This means we move with deliberation, and focus on quality and consistency rather than rapid growth for its own sake. Our mission is about access, so we expect to continue to grow and support that mission.