Elyon and Feelz are available at a few different New Jersey cannabis dispensaries like the 1634 Funk dispensary in Jersey City (which Heady NJ has an ad deal with, full disclosure), Valley Wellness dispensary, which converted to adult-use cannabis sales along with medical, and Nightjar dispensary which just opened, among others.
It is a significant issue in the New Jersey cannabis market. Few cultivators are operating, while there are about 80 dispensaries licensed to operate in the adult use market. The lack of cultivators due to costs and town issues makes the price of legal adult use cannabis too high while the quality is often poor.
Bango Distribution is based in Santa Rosa, California, near San Francisco.
“Bringing California strains and flower will reshape the market,” Ferraro declared.
Choosing New Jersey
“I’m so happy we chose New Jersey and not New York,” he explained. “I never realized how big the state is. It’s just like town after town after town.”
He is from Valley Stream on Long Island in New York and moved to California in 2014 with his brother Ron. He has some cousins in Manalapan and Marlboro in Monmouth County and periodically visited.
“New Jersey, they’re operating smarter than any state I’ve seen,” Ferraro said.
Many here feel differently. It’s all a matter of perspective.
“These things take time to develop,” he added.
Building Bango NJ
Matthew’s brother Ron is the CEO, while he is the President of Bango Distribution. Ron came up with the name Bango. It comes from the Hindi language word Bhang which in India is a sort of edible.
He sought to stress their humble roots.
“Me and my brother are just kind of a bootstrapped company,” Ferraro explained.
“It’s a family-run business. We are the largest cannabis company in California that hasn’t received funding. We made it happen with our capital,” he explained.
Ferraro said they have been battling larger companies that raised more money.
“We’re always going to be 30 percent cheaper than any cannabis farm around because we don’t have any investors,” he argued.
Cannabis has been a passion of his.
“Everything happened for a reason. Everything aligned,” Ferraro added.
He said he has been in the cannabis industry his whole life.
“The East Coast was just so far behind,” Ferraro noted. “I’ve been cultivating for a very long time.”
In 2014, the Ferraro brothers launched in California in the Emerald Triangle in the medical cannabis industry. They later transitioned to the adult use cannabis market. Bango does a lot in California besides growing, like writing license applications.
“We’ve been writing applications in California. We scored excellent on our application,” he explained regarding opening in Jersey.
Two NJ Cannabis Flower Brands Available
Bango NJ operates two brands that reflect the quality of the cannabis. There are multiple strains under every brand.
Elyon cannabis is their most potent brand. In Hebrew, Elyon means most high and is used to describe God.
Elyon cannabis usually has 20 percent THC, the cannabinoid that gets you high. To be branded Elyon, it also has to look good, taste good, smoke well, and make the consumer feel good.
The lower THC cannabis is sold under second-tier Feelz cannabis brand.
“We are trying to have everything for every person,” Ferraro said.
He explained most of their cannabis is a hybrid between Sativa and Indica.
“It’s really what your body reacts to,” Ferraro argued.
He claimed someone could fall asleep or bounce off the walls with the same cannabis strain or type.
“It really doesn’t mean a lot. But that’s what people do,” he noted.
Ferraro said Bango Elyon is the best weed for the best price.
“We really are weed for the people,” he declared.
Ferraro said they also can deliver cannabis across the state fairly easily.
While they do try to price cannabis affordably, he explained there are still several costs factored into the price, like licensing fees, start-up costs, and the fact that they cannot deduct expenses due to Section 280 of the IRS tax code.
“When this goes federally legal, it will be cheaper,” he added.
Growing Bango Elyon and Feelz Cannabis Flower
Ferraro said they found their New Jersey cannabis cultivation facility three years ago. The landlords liked them since they were also two Italian guys from New York.
He noted they were ready to plant once they won their official New Jersey cannabis cultivation license in December 2022.
“We planted right away,” Ferraro noted.
He said their cannabis is soil-grown and sun-grown in a light-assisted greenhouse. Growing in a greenhouse versus a warehouse reduces the cost and, thus, the shelf price. Ferraro noted the greenhouses are climate-controlled.
“It’s basically indoor with a glass roof,” he added.
Ferraro noted that the high electricity costs associated with pretending lightbulbs are the sun are common in legal and underground legacy cultivation operations.
“The sun produced better terps than any lights could ever produce,” he added. “The LED lights are trying to emulate the sun. But it’s not. It’s not sustainable on the power grid.”
‘We’re really putting the extra effort in. We’re like hand selecting everything that goes into a bag,” Ferraro explained.
It took about 4 months for Bango NJ to grow the weed.
Ferraro said their New Jersey-grown flower is as good or better than their California flower since the greenhouse keeps out unwanted elements.
In California, they don’t grow in a glass house. Instead, they grow outside under a tarp.
Bango NJ is planning to debut pe-rolled joints next month.
They are also planning a line called “The Lid,” which will be pre-ground cannabis flower or shake.
Next, Bango NJ plans to roll out extraction-based products. They plan to debut rosin and infused joints in the 3rd Quarter of the year around autumn.