The Flowery: Florida’s Solely Household-Owned Marijuana Dispensary Is in Miami-Dade

Nestled amid the rolling farmlands of Homestead, within the coronary heart of Miami’s thriving hashish cultivation scene, sits an enormous facility the place, at any given second, roughly 20,000 marijuana crops are rising. Think Willy Wonka’s manufacturing facility, solely with weed.

The roughly 100,000-square-foot constructing homes almost 30 propagation and hashish develop rooms in varied sizes, plus just a few areas devoted to extractions, cannabis processing, and packaging. The facility is run by the Flowery, a Miami-owned and family-operated medical marijuana enterprise.

The Flowery is one in every of Florida’s 22 vertically built-in medical marijuana operators — which means it handles each facet of the hashish course of from seed to sale, as required by the state’s so-called vertical integration rule. As New Times beforehand reported, this regulation has typically led to the formation of hashish oligopolies, during which a small variety of large corporations wield management over the hashish market and go away little area for smaller companies.

That’s why the Flowery has gained reward in Florida. Though the small-scale firm has been quickly rising prior to now few years — from a single worker to roughly 60, and from a 6,000-square-foot, environmentally-controlled indoor facility to at least one greater than 15 occasions that dimension — it has managed to stay aware of its roots. The firm continues to hand-deliver merchandise, together with marijuana flower, prerolls, and kief, to sufferers’ houses throughout the state, from northeast Florida to the keys. The firm has prided itself on producing high-quality items domestically, and never counting on backing from massive companies.

But because the years have handed and hashish giants like Trulieve and Surterra Wellness have expanded throughout the state, plenty of South Florida mom-and-pop CBD and medical-marijuana companies have caved to company strain or closed down. In the previous two years, at the very least 4 smaller companies in Miami-Dade and Broward –– Lav CBD, HempXtra, Green Treets CBD, and Dr. Stern’s CBD –– have shuttered. Meanwhile, Trulieve has grown from three to 12 dispensaries, Curaleaf from one to seven dispensaries, and Liberty Health Sciences from one to 5 dispensaries.

“Had he been able to use medical marijuana, we believe we would still have him here today.”

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In order to compete with the most important gamers in Florida’s multibillion-dollar hashish trade, the Flowery has begun to deviate from its small-scale roots. Over the previous few months, the corporate has introduced on at the very least 40 new workers, moved into a bigger develop facility to handle its operations, and employed a handful of big-shot trade executives — all of whom beforehand oversaw operations on the hashish firm One Plant, which final yr bought to Cresco Labs for $213 million.

In a latest interview, the Flowery’s new chief working officer Mike Smuts and its director of innovation, Matti Marshak, defined to New Times that regardless that the corporate is increasing at a speedy clip — there are plans to open 4 new dispensaries and rent one other 100 workers within the coming years — it is targeted on preserving what Smuts calls its “family vibe.”

“We’re really kind of growing up in terms of an organization,” Smuts says.

click on to enlarge Cloning bench at the Flowery - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE FLOWERY

Cloning bench on the Flowery

Photo courtesy of the Flowery

The Flowery’s enterprise workplace is positioned in a transformed warehouse on NW twenty fourth Street in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood that sports activities a mural of a pink flamingo painted throughout its storefront. That’s the place New Times met up with Sabina Osman, the corporate’s gross sales and advertising and marketing coordinator and its first-ever worker.

“I started out helping with compliance and a lot of licensing with the department of health,” Osman shares. “You basically have to communicate with the department of health on everything — it’s so highly regulated.”

Until 2016, when Floridians voted to legalize medical hashish, state regulation required medical marijuana growers to have at the very least 30 years of expertise within the plant nursery enterprise. So the Flowery partnered with former Virginia Gardens police chief Steve Garrison, who owned Bill’s Nursery, a longtime almond farm in Homestead, to kickstart its operation.

Garrison had been impressed to interrupt into the medical marijuana trade after his son Matthew sustained a mind damage in the course of the Iraq War. In January of 2017, as Garrison was persisting in his years-long push to acquire a state license to develop medical marijuana, his son died of an overdose of his sleep medicine. (The reason for dying was dominated coronary heart failure.) When the state did not difficulty ten new pot-growing licenses by October 2017, because it had promised, Bill’s Nursery sued in federal courtroom. The Garrisons have lengthy maintained that medical hashish might have helped their son.

“The VA [U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs] loaded him up with pharmaceuticals,” Steve Garrison tells New Times. “Had he been able to use medical marijuana, we believe we would still have him here today.”

Finally, in 2019, the household was awarded a Florida Medical Marijuana Treatment Center license by a settlement settlement. Osman remembers receiving information of the accredited license on April 19, 2019 — mere hours shy of the 4/20 celebrations.

“They [state officials] were messing with us,” she jokes.

The Flowery has since grown from the small-scale operation the place Osman herself hand-delivered medical marijuana to shoppers to an outfit led by a number of the highest-profile marijuana executives within the enterprise. None of that has modified the corporate’s spirit, says Garrison, who at age 77 nonetheless visits the ability almost on daily basis; his three surviving kids and two grandchildren are lively within the Flowery’s day-to-day operations.

“Everyone sold out to the Canadians,” Garrison tells New Times, referring to the variety of Canadian-based companies which have obtained medical marijuana licenses in Florida. “We got offers, but it’d be awfully hypocritical if we took the money and ran. We said we were doing this because it is the right thing to do and to help people. We’ve taken investors because we have no choice — the burdens the DOH [Florida Department of Health] puts on you are serious. We have bled cash for the past six or seven years. Eventually, this will be a moneymaking operation, but we are proud that we are able to ease pain and suffering.”

Asked in regards to the prospect of turning into the following Trulieve or Curaleaf, the Flowery’s chief government officer, Elad Kohen, exclaims “Hell no! We are doing everything we can to be the exact opposite.”

click on to enlarge The Flowery's cloning room (left) and indoor grow facility (right) - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE FLOWERY

The Flowery’s cloning room (left) and indoor develop facility (proper)

Photo courtesy of the Flowery

The Flowery is on observe to open its first brick-and-mortar dispensary in June, in a transformed financial institution in the course of what Smuts refers to as Miami’s “Green Mile” on Biscayne Boulevard — a stretch between NE a hundred and fifth and NE one hundred and twenty fifth streets in North Miami that boasts plenty of medical marijuana dispensaries. An “Opening Soon” banner is draped throughout the entrance doorways of the shop, positioned throughout the road from the favored Steve’s Pizza joint. Smuts says the corporate intends to transform the previous financial institution’s drive-through ATM lanes right into a drive-thru ordering and pick-up service.

Medical sufferers with a medical marijuana card in Florida can count on a “high-end” expertise on the dispensary, which can be embellished with colourful, neon lights. The retailer can have a backyard, a big claw machine, self-ordering kiosks, and even a speakeasy-type expertise whereby clients can enter a secret door in a cellphone sales space to search out “hidden products.” Weed choices, akin to flower and kief, can be on show on picket tables and touted on plasma TV screens.

“I do not know if you happen to’ve ever been to a Surterra or something like that,” Marshak says, referring to the sanitized and fluorescent vibe of rival chain dispensaries. “But think exactly the opposite.”

“We got offers but it’d be awfully hypocritical if we took the money and run.”

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Over the following two years, the Flowery expects to open at the very least 4 further dispensaries throughout Florida, in Inverness, Clearwater, Ocala, and Venice. The firm can also be engaged on a partnership with West Coast hashish manufacturers akin to 710 LABS, Backpack Boyz, and Packwoods.

Despite the accelerated development, the Flowery’s principals insist on remaining true to their roots. Smuts goes as far as to match the corporate Flowery to David within the biblical story of David and Goliath, noting that they’ve already come a good distance from being the underdogs within the trade.

The mindset, he maintains, has at all times been high quality over amount, they usually’re persevering with to work to create higher flower, new flavors, and so as to add to their menu with merchandise like edibles and solventless hash.

When requested what’s going to separate the Flowery from its opponents, he does not hesitate.

“Our product will speak for itself,” he says. “The pot will be different.”

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