Exclusive Interview with Gold Flora CEO Laurie Holcomb
Gold Flora is a vertically integrated single-state operator. The company has cultivation, manufacturing, distribution and retail operations in California. Vertical integration, including its own brand, sets the company up for growth with higher margins, according to CEO Laurie Holcomb. Holcomb spoke with New Cannabis Ventures about Gold Flora’s focus on California and the West Coast, forming partnerships and preparing for mass consolidation in the cannabis industry. The audio of the entire conversation is available at the end of this written summary.
Holcomb worked with startups in the dot-com space of the 1990s, eventually selling companies to major players like Microsoft and Hewlett Packard. In the 2000s, she moved into California real estate development. It was during this phase of her career that she discovered a number of California cities were changing their general plans to allow for cannabis zoning. At this point, Holcomb decided she wanted to be an early mover in the cannabis industry.
Despite the challenges of being an early mover, Holcomb was able to purchase 28 acres to build a 620,000-square-foot cannabis campus in Desert Hot Springs. Next, she took a tour of the legal Colorado market with investors she had worked with for years in the retail space. She raised a $10 million friends and family round and launched the operating company Gold Flora four years ago.
In addition to Holcomb, the Gold Flora team includes COO Greg Gamet and CFO Chris Martin, both of whom have been with the company since its inception and were integral in the early success of KushCo Holdings.
Gold Flora in California
Gold Flora can scale to more than 500,000 square feet of canopy at its Desert Hot Springs facility, and its manufacturing operations with a full kitchen