Although the Golden State’s regulated cannabis industry has yet to live up to its incredible potential, dozens of companies are setting new standards with their elegant branding, eye-catching design and groundbreaking consumer experiences.
Among these new leaders, companies like March and Ash, Calma and From The Earth have helped spark a resurgence of Southern California cannabis retail, combining business savvy and substance with the right amount of flash to appeal to a broader market. These forward-thinking businesses not only offer consumers a massive selection of products in a boutique retail setting, but have the infrastructure in place for expansion.
From The Earth
After opening two retail stores in Southern California and branching out of state to open a shop in Michigan, From The Earth’s CEO, Dan Zaharoni, was feeling stymied.
“You always feel like you should be bigger,” he says. “We want to have larger dispensaries with a much more luxurious environment, kind of like a Whole Foods vibe.”
So when it came time to open the company’s third store in California, Zaharoni wanted to break through and create something that truly signified who the company is and where it is heading.
And in Long Beach, From the Earth was able to do that because it built the 8,300-square-foot flagship store from the ground up, allocating 3,300 square feet for the company’s distribution hub and setting up the rest as a template for the retail chain’s future endeavors.
Through the wooden fixtures, abundant plants and a hanging wall garden, the store’s interior design illustrates the connection people have with their environment and the planet. The floral patterns along the walls that include pink, purple and fuchsia cannabis leaves embrace cannabis culture and are symbolic of the company’s reverence toward the plant.
“We really go back to an organic, hippy-trippy, retro vibe, like the flower-child days of the ‘60s and ‘70s, in our stores,” Zaharoni says. “As a company that really promotes the organic, healthy way of life that cannabis promotes, we wanted our environment to match that.”
The return-to-nature spirit aligns with the company’s mission of “Learn, Live and Grow” but behind the scenes, From The Earth has built an infrastructure geared toward expansion.
The company is already in the process of building two more Southern California stores and has a licensing agreement in place to rebrand another operator’s shop into a From The Earth location.
From The Earth is also licensed to open five dispensaries in Missouri, one of which is already built and waiting for the green light to open from state regulators. The Missouri shops will carry a similar aesthetic as their Golden State counterparts, while ensuring each location fits well with the personality of its community.
“When we go to new locations, we like to have local people as our partners,” Zaharoni says. “I don’t want to go to Missouri and try and do that by myself; I want to find Missouri people who know the Missouri way of life and partner with them.”
In California, From The Earth has licenses for retail, delivery, distribution, manufacturing and as an event organizer, as well as a proprietary delivery service it intends to bring to other states eventually. But its emphasis is squarely on the retail sector.
“All the ancillary pieces that we have are really to support retail,” Zaharoni says. “We have our own brands that come from our manufacturing facility. We self-distribute so that we’re working with the manufacturers to bring the products into our stores. All of it is leading up to the retail experience.”
Within the next year, Zaharoni expects the chain will have tripled in size to a total of 12 retail stores. And to fuel the company’s expansion, From The Earth has filed documentation to complete its initial public offering on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
“We are going to be the first American cannabis company to go public in Israel,” he says. “That’s going to put us in the position to access the capital market, and we’re going to become a very acquisitive group. We’re going to be doing a lot in the next year.”