State Flower: The Growing Pains of a Maturing Cannabis Industry

State Flower: The Growing Pains of a Maturing Cannabis Industry

For Nevada-operated cultivator State Flower, “premium” isn’t a marketing buzzword – it’s the ethos that runs their operation.

State Flower Cannabis on the Growing Pains of a Maturing Cannabis Industry

“What are you smoking?” 

A once playful innuendo to imply someone was acting erratic, now takes on a different meaning in 2023. 

About 53 million Americans, or 16 percent of the United States population, consume cannabis regularly. And despite the cannabis industry’s tight regulations on testing, seed-to-sale tracking, and even marketing, most consumers are unaware of what goes on in the gardens. 

It goes without saying that consumers aren’t solely responsible for this knowledge gap. Cultivators of all sizes promise premium quality, unforgettable highs, and better-than-the-rest terpene profiles, but try to find out the ‘hows’ and ‘whys,’ and you’ll likely come up dry. 

In an industry where the behind-the-scenes remain elusive, multi-state cannabis cultivator State Flower begs the question: why not be more transparent? 

Behind The Brand: State Flower

State Flower planted its roots in Santa Cruz, CA, in 2004 and has been expanding its operation since. They were one of the first to receive a municipal permit under prop 215 in San Francisco, and within a few years, grew to an 8,000-square-foot warehouse. 

In 2011, State Flower started growing for The Apothecarium’s newly opened San Francisco dispensary, reports Cannabis Business Times. That led to a 2014 partnership and a vertically integrated Nevada business comprised of State Flower Las Vegas, the Apothecarium Las Vegas (which was sold in 2022), and two additional edible brands.

Their mission from the start: creating products consumers could be confident in, believing in the philosophy that the healthier the plant, the more bountiful the final product.

“Those roots have never been forgotten,” Brett Bridges, the VP of Operations, told us in an interview. “We are all hell-bent on being meticulous here and ensuring that anything that makes it out to the consumer is safe and of top quality.”

This premium mindset has been the guiding force behind the brands’ success, and their secret? Having none. 

State Flower proudly shares what goes on behind closed doors, believing there’s no “secret sauce” to growing top-quality plants. The CEO has gone on the record with media giants like Buzzfeed detailing their indoor hydroponics cultivation, from their real-time crop data technology to the importance of genetics and how they manage scaling.

Suffice it to say; you’ll be hard-pressed to find any questions gone unanswered about them. But being pioneers in the industry, they know there’s still a way to go before this becomes the norm. 

Growing Pains

Any industry in its infancy becomes like the Wild Wild West. There are hopeful entrepreneurs looking to establish a legacy, newcomers intrigued by the novelty, and as always, a few looking to cash in. The cannabis industry was no exception when recreational use became legal. 

As the Nevada industry grew – in some ways faster than anyone excepted – many companies raced their way to the top. Price remains one of the most influential factors when it comes to purchasing decisions, so many cultivators scale with the intent of cutting costs and pricing out their competition to gain market share.

Inadvertently, that race to the top created a race to the bottom, Bridges explains. 

“We’re trying to battle against that,” said Bridges. “There’s space for all of us to operate together and have a harmonious environment and make a living off it.” 

State Flower prides itself on offering small-batch, sustainably grown, “boutique” flower. Each individual strain is given the environment and feeding structure needed for it to thrive – something that in scaled gardens can be missed, he explained.

Managing growth while remaining true to the brand’s ethos has been integral to its success over the last few years. 

“We’ve never wanted to sacrifice quality for scalability,” Bridges explained. “The profit at the end of that is not worth it. We’re in this for the long haul. We’re lifers in this industry; we’re legacy growers that are going to be here for the long term.” 

Looking Forward

Despite the hurdles, State Flower is optimistic about a more transparent cannabis industry in the future. “We all bring something different to the table, even though it’s all based around one plant. We all have an opportunity to course correct and get away from this direction we’re headed,” Bridges said.

A catalyst to this, they believe, is culture. When people care about the product, or they care about the community, they’re inspired to learn – or in the case of cultivators and brands, they’re inspired to teach. 

State Flower is eager to introduce new technology and genetics to its cultivation facilities in 2023. 

“2023 is a big year for improvements in the garden, a ton of new strains, and education.” 

Looking to try State Flower? Check out our menu for a full list of the State Flower products we carry, plus shop dozens of other popular cannabis brands. ​​We’d also love for you to follow us on Instagram to stay up-to-date on the latest Green news, events, and products.