California Cannabis Growers: An Analysis of the Industry’s Best

May 19, 2021 Cannabis Business, Entrepreneurs

California is a state that’s been at the forefront of cannabis legalization, and as such, many California cannabis growers and brands have become household names. With 2,592 cultivation licenses active in the state’s licensed system as of June 26 of last year, it’s become a pretty competitive space.

Fortunately, California’s appellations law, Senate Bill 67, gives marijuana growers opportunities comparable to wine producers.

What is California Appellation?

Cali appellation lets legacy farmers claim, market, and protect the unique characteristics of the marijuana they’re producing in certain regions, including the flavor, quality, and potency differences cultivated in each area.

Is this how recognized brands are forged?

While the market is adopting how plants in the region are produced and labeled while complying with state agencies, there’s more to becoming a recognized brand than that.

Even though the appellations law protects cultivation regions in Cali, certain growers and brands are doing it better than others. Some brands are even bringing smaller operations growing plants and manufacturing products to the market.

In this article, we’ll discuss five cultivation operations in California that are considered leaders in the cannabis industry. We’ll talk about each of these brands’ products and what they’re known for, as well as offer some interesting insight into their branding strategies.

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California Cannabis Growers: The Forefront of the Supply Chain

Some grow operations are prime examples of how everyone should be operating in the cultivation sector. These growers serve as examples of what businesses in the space should strive to become – dominant players with recognizable brands.

But what does it take to become a recognized brand?

Becoming the top California cannabis growers and brands operating networks of farms is no easy feat. The regulations put in place by the California department in charge of it all – the BCC – are nothing short of strict at the state level.

Companies, both big and small, try to stay compliant with regulations as they cultivate plants throughout the region.

Regardless of how responsible these companies are, there’s always a chance the owners will lose their investment if they don’t know the state and county rules regarding how they plant and manufacture marijuana.

Here’s a list of some of the best California cannabis growers and brands; the men and women who are doing cannabis right, despite the compliance costs and limiting legislation in place.

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Flow Kana: Sun Grown Cannabis Available on a User-Friendly Cannabis Business Platform

Flow Kana is providing cannabis grown using sunlight over artificial light in California’s Emerald Triangle. This family-run, small-batch, independent farm ecosystem operation focuses on bringing farms together to produce high-quality products through what they call “righteous farming practices.”

How is Flow Kana making an impact?

This cannabis business partners with small farmers to give them a scalable platform that encourages them to tell their stories, distribute their products throughout the state, and focus on farming sustainably. According to the Flow Canna site, this operation represents Woodman Peak Farms, Livicated Farms, and others in the Mendocino County region.

Flow Kana also partners with retail cannabis businesses, offering them access to various tested and graded products. The company is a one-stop shop for high-quality cannabis products with compliance leading the entire on-site process.

This company also serves consumers by offering a transparent supply chain for medical and adult-use cannabis. Medical and recreational consumers can expect consistent and reliable products that are carefully curated and pesticide-free.

The team at Flow Kana also promotes positive change, which includes missions growers, retailers, and consumers can all get behind. Its partnership with Bay Area-based Planting Justice fights for food equity, encouraging equitable access to healthy food.

Flow Kana’s branding is on-point.

Besides this brand’s promotion of exceptional small-batch craft cannabis grown in sunlight, the branding is equally impressive. One look at the company’s site and it’s easy to see what it does, the cost of its products, and how it’s always working to pay it forward.

The message is clear: if you want to sell, purchase, or consume high-quality cannabis that’s tested to ensure safety and compliance, Flow Kana is ready to help. The way this company helps others in the community is just an added benefit.

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Utopia Farms: Indoor Flower Cultivation Using Best Practices

Utopia Farms is a California cannabis brand that’s mission is to provide artisan-made indoor-grown cannabis products its team cultivates and manufactures.

What’s impressive about Utopia Farms?

Utopia Farms has been creating its products in-house since 2014 with an understanding of the importance of overseeing each step in production. This is the commitment it takes to develop and produce high-quality products that benefit the world.

Transparency in producing these products throughout its 16,000+ square foot production facilities is equally essential. Utopia Farms’ cannabis uses natural and organic ingredients throughout its process, and it includes test results for each batch, which outlines product flavor, aroma, consistency, structure, potency – with THC exceeding 30% in some strains –, and safety.

The company’s indoor cultivation is done in small batches with all-natural and organic fertilizers and OMRI-certified pest management techniques. Unique strain profiles paired with refined solvent-based extraction methods and post-processing procedures ensure its live resin concentrates are high in terpenes and cannabinoids without additives or distillates added.

Equally important to note is Utopia Farms does not use CRC or other color-changing techniques. CRC, or Color Remediation Column, is how other companies make low-quality cannabis look premium through a bleaching process. Since this exposes the products to harsh, untested, hazardous chemicals and strips flavor, Utopia Farms avoids these methods.

Utopia’s social media presence is impressive.

Besides its commitment to excellent products, Utopia Farms has an active Instagram. Its page features updates and product features, which include high-resolution images and videos of the products, as well as lifestyle photos.

The benefit here is that this is a way to verify that the grower is producing high-quality products. Anyone concerned about making a purchase can dismiss their worries after seeing this grower in action on social media.

Ultimately, Utopia Farms is committed to becoming established as an industry leader in organic and conscious cultivation techniques.

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Caliva: A Leader in the Cannabis Industry

Based in the San Francisco Bay area, Caliva is a premier cannabis dispensary and cultivation facility. After opening in July of 2015, this business was ranked the #1 dispensary in the country by Business Insider.

What makes Caliva special?

Caliva’s 100,000 square foot facility uses some of the most advanced pharmaceutical-grade cannabis cultivating, manufacturing, and dispensing methods in the country, which has made it a model for energy, efficiency, safe access, and compliance.

What’s the most interesting thing about Caliva, outside of its product line?

The buds are hand-picked. But what’s more, this company is promoting civic participation and engagement in the communities it’s present.

Caliva has also created a “SEED fund” that encourages employee-driven community engagement. The fund supports community engagement and volunteer initiatives in Caliva’s local communities, such as collaborations with local nonprofits or handing out water at protests.

Caliva is strengthening its connection to local communities using its employees’ personal networks, and this something any other large-scale grower can work on, too.

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Canndescent: A Pioneer in Sustainability Canndescent became a market leader in the cannabis space with impressive agriculture techniques. These incorporate solar power and sustainability.

What are Canndescent’s most impressive initiatives?

As an environmentally responsible operation, Canndescent completed the industry’s first commercial-scale solar project in 2019, enabling them to power its indoor production facility in Desert Hot Springs, CA with renewable solar energy.

While solar energy will reduce its cost of operating long-term, it’s really a long-term investment. Cultivating indoors with solar power comes with several benefits. Its indoor hydroponic cultivation marries energy efficiency, eliminating the need for soil in this first-of-its-kind solar project.

Canndescent’s GREENDOOR model is a first for the industry and has led to nationwide interest from other cultivators. It pioneered this model, which brings water efficiency, energy efficiency, and pesticide-free growing into an indoor grow.

Canndescent’s environmentally-friendly practices include:

  • Incorporating an integrated pest management system that’s using all-natural non-pesticide practices.
  • Utilizing products to help with irrigation efficiency.
  • Using a computerized hydroponic water system to vastly reduce water usage.
  • Harnessing natural energy from Palm Springs’ 4,000+ windmills, which is nearly 100% renewable.
  • Experimenting with LED lighting options to reduce energy usage.

What else is interesting about Canndescent?

Besides its sustainability, the business gives names to its buds. Packaging showcasing Calm, Cruise, Create, Connect, and Charge provides consumers with options that complement their lifestyles.

Regardless of whether an expert or newcomer in the cannabis space, this company gives consumers the ability to curate, control, and enrich their experiences by pairing strains with activities. And this is something that every marijuana cultivator and brand in each Cali city should strive to do.

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California Cannabis Growers & Regulatory Agencies

The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) is the California department in charge of cannabis control. Out of all of the licensing authorities and state agencies in Cali, the BCC is the one that handles all matters surrounding small businesses operating in the marijuana market.

From Humboldt County in northern California to San Marcos, cultivators interested in growing California marijuana need a firm understanding of responsible agriculture and the regulations in place.

Smaller growers and large-scale operations need state cannabis licenses; that’s a given. But the license types vary.

State regulators are continuously changing the rules, which makes it crucial to stay on top of licensing authorities and any updates they may introduce. In other words, if you’re in charge of distribution or have a grow space you’re scaling, you probably need help.

Need Help With Your Grow? We’re in the Know!

Looking for assistance navigating cannabis cultivation in Cali? Our team is here to help!

Contact us now to learn how we can scale your business to make you the most profitable grow operation in your city!