The Flower Shop Reimagines Retail Cannabis In Multiple Markets

February 23, 2023 · Forbes

Women-led multi-state operator The Flower Shop is focused on curating a larger selection of cannabis flower and products in a growing number of state markets. The company showcases artisan and craft cannabis products in a reimagined retail setting tailored to appeal to both men and women.

“We operate in Arizona, Utah, New Jersey, and we will be going to Florida—hopefully soon,” says President of The Flower Shop Greta Brandt, as the company is currently securing licensing in the newer states. As president of The Flower Shop, Brandt oversees all operations and financial matters for the company. “Our enterprise currently employs around 350 employees between all of the states,” she says.

Brandt came from a legal background before she came into the cannabis space, working as a corporate transaction and M&A attorney.

Previously, Brandt—a mother of three—served as general counsel for Sky Dispensaries before stepping into the role of president and rebranding the company as The Flower Shop in 2019 and expanding it into Utah as True North Organics of Utah.

“Having a background in compliance and legal, I have found has been extremely beneficial,” Brandt says. “As we maneuver with all of the different rules from state to state, all the different compliance components of each state program, whether we’re running it as a medical or a recreational program, the nuances are pretty significant.”

Operating in Arizona versus a relatively new medical cannabis program in Utah, where rules are still being ironed out, means the legal know-how comes in handy.

Brandt became active in shaping the cannabis industries in several markets, serving as president of the Utah Cannabis Association and a member of the Arizona Dispensary Association. She frequently engages with regulatory bodies such as the Arizona and Utah Departments of Health Services and the Utah Department of Agriculture.

She’s active in the media space as well: In 2021, Brandt discussed navigating cannabis in Arizona and Utah with Montel Williams on his podcast, Let’s Be Blunt with Montel.

Empowering Women in the Retail Space

The Flower Shop was previously named Sky Dispensaries before the rebrand. But “dispensary” wasn’t a word that seemed to resonate for everyone.

“When I took over operations, I found that the name and the aesthetic of the brand was very masculine—something that really was put off towards women,” Brandt says. Obviously, me being a woman, and trying to bring more women into the industry, it was paramount to me to rebrand to a name that not only didn’t have the name ‘dispensary’ in it.”

She explained how the name change was important to rebrand to allow for a more holistic approach to cannabis and attract both men and women, as well as both the younger and older generations. Having the name “dispensary” seemed to project a more utilitarian, masculine tone, so Brandt instead changed the name and softened the look.

The company took a different approach with the natural wood tones, lots of greens, and marbles—going for a high-end spa storefront look versus the smoke shop feel that was previously attached with the former brand. The new look radiates in the remodeled Ahwatukee location in Arizona.

The Flower Shop cultivates in southern Arizona in a 100,000 square-foot indoor facility, and grows in Utah in Brigham City in a hybrid indoor greenhouse, in a space of about 27,000 square feet.

But operating in Arizona’s adult-use cannabis market is a bit different from Utah’s medical program from a legal standpoint.

“What I’m finding is a key difference is the level of involvement of the [Utah] Legislature,” she says. “I would say a lot of it has to do with marketing advertising, which are vastly different between at least Utah and Arizona, the medical program in Utah is truly that—a medical program. And the Legislature is working extremely diligently and hard to ensure that it remains in medical program, not only in function, but also aesthetically. So the packaging, the advertising rules are very, very restrictive. And that I think, is a vastly different approach than Arizona does.”

While Arizona is essentially the Wild Wild West, the state’s Legislature mostly stays out of the the program, and there are relatively few rule changes—quite a change of pace from Utah, where changes in the language are constantly rolling out throughout the year and large changes to the program happen annually, she says.

Utah is currently finishing its legislative session, and being in cannabis in the state requires having representation at the Capitol and advocating for the best interests of the program, versus Arizona, where it’s not quite as necessary, she says.

“So I find like the most the difference between the two states is really the involvement of the Legislature and the power that they have over the program, because that, that in itself lends itself to, I would say, multiple changes of the program and additional rules that are being rolled out monthly, if not quarterly. It’s very, very vastly difference between the two states,” Brandt says.

The Flower Shop is rolling out several products with a few new offerings up their sleeves. The first things that stand out on the shelves are Shorties.

“Shorties is or pre-roll brand, and this was purely a born out of the need for smaller pre-rolls. I could not finish! When we found that consumers just didn’t want to finish a full, one-gram pre-roll. And there wasn’t a lot of options on the half grams, it was typically just one grams. And so we created a smaller pre-roll brand called Shorties.”

Shorties come as 3.5 gram-packs of mini pre-rolls, 10 of them to a container, equalling 3.5 grams total weight, and they are also strain-specific. Shorties are popular in Arizona, however pre-rolls are not approved for medical use in Utah, (flower and concentrate vaporization only) so they’re only available right now in Arizona. They’re ideal for people on the go, who don’t have the means to smoke a bowl on the fly.

“That one is one of my favorite products on the market right now,” Brandt confides. “What’s also coming to market next week is our infused cannabis drink line called High Tide. It comes in a 3 mg and a 10 mg offerings, in five different flavors. It’s delicious, very excited about that, where I think this fills a void in the market is the flavor profiles are really typical to what you would see for mass manufacturing.”

Brandt added that the flavor profiles are something new, a little bit more botanical leaning, providing a little bit more unique flavor profiles compared to what you’re used to seeing on the market. The Flower Shop infused it with THC versus alcohol, and it could be available in the market within weeks.

“We have also another line that I’m personally most very, very excited about,” Brandt says. “It’s a female product line called LadyLike. Here in Arizona, we really don’t have in in Utah, we do not have a female-specific brand that really was developed by women, for women. And this is what LadyLike is, it is a smaller dosage, really highlighting the ailments that women particularly are three times more disposed to have, which is obviously anxiety, depression and insomnia, we are multitaskers. So we are we always have a lot of things that we need to get done.

These product offerings allows you to effectively go about your day without feeling high, but it allows you to function at a higher level.

Last but not least is a product line called High Variety—an effects-based brand, based on three effects. “Those have a full category of product offerings, strain-specific that is cultivated at of our two cultivation sites, our Brigham City, Utah one and then our Southern Arizona cultivation sites,” she says. “And we’re excited to bring those to market.”

Finally, The Flower Shop app provides a loyalty program. Every dollar spent is $1 as a point that is added to the loyalty program, and it’s tracked on your app. That’s where deals arrive via push button notifications due to the restrictions with text messaging and advertising.

“Because of the restrictions elsewhere, to receive daily deals, giveaways, contests, notifications, and your loyalty points—all of that lives on our mobile app, Brandt adds. “So I encourage everybody to download those ones for the most updated information. And again, it allows you access to the deals and the discounts that are being offered that day that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to promote on other social media platforms.”

The Flower Shop is creating a space with an entirely different appeal factor compared to what you’re used to seeing in the retail cannabis space. (Full Story)

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