April 2019: Flora - California Prime
Darin Carpenter, Senior VP of Operations Flora – California Prime
Tell us about Flora - California Prime and your role? Flora – California Prime is a cannabis business on the cutting edge of the industry. Flora – California Prime is a health and well-being lifestyle brand. My role is to manage and operate the manufacturing process from start to finish. What was your very first introduction to the cannabis industry? 2012 was my first introduction to the cannabis industry. I was working in commercial agriculture at the time, and was afforded an opportunity to jump into the industry by helping dispel bad growing habits and develop good agricultural practices to the top cannabis businesses in Arizona at the time. What is the biggest lesson you've learned since you've been in the industry? One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that nothing is routine in this industry. There is plenty of innovation yet to be discovered. This industry is extremely unique in terms of culture, markets, and compliance. What has been your biggest risk you've taken in your career? The biggest risk was to leave a promising career path and to stop pursuing my master's degree halfway through the program; and then to dive into the cannabis industry when legalization was still very new. What is your proudest moment since you've started down the path as a cannabis entrepreneur? I have successfully operated several extremely successful brands in the Southwest. I have been awarded 100% of the applications for licensing that I have written and bred some cultivars of cannabis that are extremely popular in Arizona and Nevada. I am proud to have built some of the most professional cannabis operating teams in the Southwest. How would you describe the cannabis industry in Monterey County? Monterey County has some of the most ideal growing conditions in many regions and is poised to possibly be one of the top suppliers in the state of California. How do you think people in the cannabis industry should think about the value of marketing and where should they focus their marketing budget? I believe that branding and marketing is extremely important. The trick is living/projecting your story and brand as genuinely as possible. There are a lot of brands out there that have slick imagery, but fall short, which I think consumers recognize. What is your advice for hopeful cannabis entrepreneurs? Remember that things always take twice as long and cost twice as much. This is not an easy industry to enter. There is a lot of competition, and having products that are unique and meet the expectations of the customers should not be underestimated.