Karli Miller-Hornick, Florist Farms:

US (NY): “The demand has already been incredible"

As one of the first licensed cannabis growers in New York, these past weeks have been a whirlwind for Florist Farms. “The Housing Works Dispensary opening was very successful. We have been working very hard keeping up with the demand,” says Karli Miller-Hornick, Co-Founder and CEO of Florist Farms. The company started in 2010 as an organic vegetable farm, after which the company also started to grow organic hemp in 2017. “Our Co-Founder Allan Gandelman turned to cannabis medicine to help manage his symptoms of Lyme disease. That is when we realized how much CBD products were helping people. It was a perfect opportunity for us to start growing hemp, as we were running into challenges with the vegetable farm, where we were forced to take winter breaks due to the cold New York weather. After success with our CBD brand, Head & Heal, we are excited to now also enter the adult-use cannabis market this year with Florist Farms.”

Karli Miller-Hornick 

Growing appropriate genetics
At their 200-acre location, 30 acres is reserved for their organic vegetable production. As with their vegetable and hemp production, Florist Farms continues to grow their cannabis using organic practices. “We practice regenerative farming, where we work to improve the soil rather than degrade it. So we take the time to let the fields rest and plant cover crops.” 

This year, Florist Farms grew cannabis genetics from Proceed and Purple City Genetics. “We were all shocked at how great the production turned out. Of course, legal adult-use cannabis at scale has never been grown in New York before, so we grew over 60 varieties to find which ones would work best in our climate. We went to market with 5 of the strains, which had great quality, potency, and terpene profiles, and will be releasing over 20 new strains throughout 2023. There is a common misconception in the industry that outdoor-grown cannabis is inferior. Yet, with the right genetics and care, you can achieve great quality in a much more sustainable manner. Therefore, we are trying to change these misconceptions.”

A new major market
The first legal adult-use cannabis dispensary in New York opened on December 29. With just one dispensary open, Karli mentions that things have been extremely busy. “The demand has been incredible, and we are keeping up. The most difficult parts have been slow testing lab turnaround times and delays on packaging. While some people were being skeptical about the success of the legal New York market, as there is a lot of availability on the illicit market here, there was a four-block line to get into the dispensary on the first day. Consumers want to know what is in their product and want to be able to trust the source, which is proven by that line. More dispensaries will be opening soon, as we have over 200 farmers who want to get their product on the market.”

Karli explains that, partly because of New York’s tourism, this new cannabis market is expected to become one of the biggest. “They are expecting this to become a $1 billion market in 2023, which is an exciting prospect. There will be at least 150 dispensaries at the end of the year to service this demand.” Karli also expects the consumers to be especially focused on high quality. “New York customers are discerning. In other states, the consumer may not always be very educated. New York has had delivery services for years, so the customers are already familiar with cannabis and want a high-quality product.” Karli believes that there is space in the market for everybody, as the demand is there. “New Yorkers are very proud of their state and loyal, so I expect they will want to support local cannabis companies operating in the legal market.”

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Florist Farms

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