Utopia Sparkling Water is another innovative creation from the same company that brought you other Sorse-based products like Happy Apple, Pearl2O Water, Velvet Swing and Vertus. The KushKrew linked up with Daniel Wathne of Tarukino to get the ins and outs of their newest cannabis-infused beverage, Utopia Sparkling Water.
*This interview was shortened and edited for clarity*
KK: What is your official position at Tarukino and what are some of your job requirements?
DW: I’m currently the Senior Sales and Accounts Manager. I build and maintain relationships with stores across Western and Northern Washington. I also have the pleasure of being part of event coordination and education as we spread the love for our products.
The work is not always rainbows — lots of emails, phone calls, meetings, driving, long days, and late nights, but at the end of the day, I work for a company trying to create something different for the industry. That makes the work worth it.
KK: Tell me more about yourself and your background with cannabis?
DW: My name is Daniel Wathne, I’ve lived in Washington for most of my life. My first experiment with cannabis was in my early teens. I still remember the first time I smoked, my friend had snuck a pipe and some weed from his dad. We fumbled with the lighter but managed to get some smoke out of the thing.
I dabbled a bit more through the years, but I never found a strong connection with cannabis until after High School. Flash forward one year and a serious motorcycle accident I was involved in gave me the desire to get a medical card as an alternative to opioids. In a few months, I built a strong relationship with a medical store, and by 2012 I was working there as a budtender. I was exposed to thousands of medical customers through those years, which helped me get a broad understanding of how people receive benefits from cannabis.
I left retail to get involved in growing and processing edibles and concentrates. When Washington’s medical system was rolled into the recreational system. After I started working at a recreational store, I met a gentleman named Howard Lee who was involved in the tech industry. He received a proposition to be a part of a cannabis, edibles, and topicals startup and was looking for a team. In January of 2017, I started working for Tarukino, that very cannabis startup. I worked in production until the launch of our first two products, Happy Apple and Velvet Swing.
KK: Was Utopia Sparkling Water created for a specific customer base?
DW: Not at all! We wanted to offer a healthy alternative for any edible consumers out there, or any newbies wanting to try it for the first time. If you are a new cannabis user I think Utopia is a very approachable way to consume cannabis.
KK: Why should people try Utopia Sparkling Water?
DW: Because it’s a delicious sugar-free and healthy way to consume edibles. Its kind of like a LaCroix except it gets you high. Utopia has basic ingredients like carbonated water and natural flavoring. Most people feel results around the 15-minute mark, and the effects wear off in a more predictable manner. We offer 10-milligram, 50-milligram, and 100-milligram potency options.
KK: How many flavors are there and which one is your favorite?
DW: So far, we have Grapefruit, Lime, Cherry, and Original. My personal favorite has to be Grapefruit, although the competition is stiff.
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Play the Utopia Sparkling Water Dating Game and figure out what your dream flavor is! #drinkutopia #linkinprofile . . . #thc #higsociety #420life #marijuana #highsociety #highlife #maryjane #cannabis #weedstagram420 #420 Warning: This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. For use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of the reach of children.
KK: Have you used Utopia Sparkling Water as an ingredient in something like a smoothie or alongside anything else?
DW: I am not a big consumer of alcohol, so I will use Utopia as a replacement for tonic water and vodka in mocktails.
KK: Who are the people you see typically consuming Utopia?
DW: From what I have seen Utopia is consumed mostly by people who are looking for an alternative to sugary edibles, or folks who consume a lot of sparkling water products in their daily life. Basically, people that want to get their high from something light and refreshing.
KK: What are some creative ways you’ve heard people using Utopia?
DW: My favorite recipe so far has been the waffles that use the sparkling water to make the batter airy. I substituted a LaCroix for a 100ml cherry Utopia.
KK: What is your favorite part of your job?
DW: Having the opportunity to meet all the people who keep this industry spinning on a daily basis has got to be number one for me. Seeing how hard people work to legitimize an industry that has been looked down on for so long puts a smile on my face, I hope the wave of legalization continues to grow!
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Don't know what dosage is right for you? We created a guide to help you understand milligram doses in our cannabis drinks. #drinkcannabis . . . #thc #higsociety #420life #marijuana #highsociety #highlife #maryjane #cannabis #weedstagram420 #420 Warning: This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. For use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of the reach of children.