The Stoney Moose in Ketchikan, Alaska, has long been the cannabis retailer of choice for residents of the “salmon capital of the world,” as well as for the annual 1.2 million tourists who dock at the popular cruise ship destination between April and September. The unmistakably Alaskan retailer, which sits just above scenic Ketchikan Creek, opened in 2017, with its massive success allowing the company to self-fund its expansion into edibles in 2019 and then into cultivation in 2020.
Owner Eric Riemer says the company moved into a vertically integrated operation to not only create products that were difficult to stock consistently from third-party suppliers, but to also save on the astronomical expenses of transporting products across the state’s infamously rugged terrain.
“In our second summer, we watched revenue go down because we were flying to Anchorage every two weeks to pick up edibles and coming back with backpacks full of edibles from another company,” Riemer says. “I just knew we could do it better.”
While the company has established its own supply of cannabis flower and manufactured products, it also sells products from other leading Alaskan brands. The company also wholesales its own offerings to other state-licensed dispensaries.
Stoney Moose Kitchen produces edibles with all-natural ingredients and full-spectrum extracts, using compostable packaging and recipes that match the Alaskan feel of the store.
“I wanted it to be a green company, literally green and healthy,” Riemer says. “I want to believe in my products and to be able to look people in the eye and say, ‘Yeah, we make everything with the best ingredients.’”
Riemer says Stoney Moose Kitchen has spent its fair share of time in research and development to figure out and perfect what Alaskan consumers want — and with great results, having recently won second and third place in several people’s choice awards for best edible and best gummy, respectively.
“It’s all about sticking to our initial game plan: delicious and fresh products, natural and organic ingredients, and green packaging,” Riemer says. “I think everything we make is delectable, and everywhere I go customers and budtenders love our creations. I can say with complete confidence that our products are among the best in Alaska, and we’ve got the awards to prove it.”
The company followed a similar game plan with its 3,000-square-foot indoor cultivation facility, using only high-end inputs. Stoney Moose Farms, located on a nearby island about a five-minute boat ride from its retail store, fills a gap in the local industry by using living soil to produce premium, all-natural flower. Riemer says not many people are using that cultivation method because it’s not the easiest way to grow, though it is in line with what Stoney Moose wanted to produce as a company.
“The flowers are able to fully utilize whatever they want to from the microbiome that we’re creating in the soil, all the bacteria and fungi from that biological process,” he adds. “It’s like a natural environment the plant can access easily rather than being overloaded and force-fed fertilizers.”
Praise from consumers quickly followed the launch of Stoney Moose flower. Just like with the company’s in-house edibles, Riemer believed Stoney Moose Farm was on to something, but it was tough to gauge the validity of consumer response in light of the coronavirus pandemic, which was in full swing when the farm launched. Now, with cannabis competitions finally returning, Riemer is putting his flower in front of local judges with the hopes the company will be recognized for its cultivation skills.
More information: thestoneymoose.com