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A Golden State Reaches New Milestone In California With Flagship Retail Store Launch

We take an inside look at A Golden State

Every great brand begins with an even better origin story. For Californian cannabis brand A Golden State, the story begins back in 2019. I was browsing the aisles at the second ever Hall of Flowers and was just about ready to finally finish my Day 1 walk through. Halfway down the final aisle I ran across a small scrappy startup brand with clean branding aesthetic and a lot of positive energy from the booth employee. “Hey man, this is A Golden State, come check us out!” We began to talk about the brand and what he believed his differentiating factors were, his first marketing statement made me stop. “You do what?” I asked again, slightly confused by the statement. “We use snowmelt from Mount Shasta for our plant watering.” the person said confidently. I had to hear more.

Once I was in the booth, I asked a bit more about the brand and the minds behind it. He introduced himself as Nishant Reddy, CEO and Co-Founder of A Golden State, and proceeded to tell me about how he came into the cannabis industry. Nishant used to be a quantitative analysist (i.e. super smart math guy) on WallStreet, but that his true passion was growing some of the finest cannabis in New York. Nishant said to me that he finally decided to start a cannabis brand after looking around him and realizing what actually made him happy in his life. Now any seasoned cannabis industry insider will tell you, 99% of WallStreet people whom they have ran across get into cannabis from a venture capital standpoint, almost never from a cultural or direct plant touching perspective. Or, if they do, it’s generally incredible branding with below average boof. Nishant was keenly aware of this stereotype, and I believe that is what helped make him a better cannabis entrepreneur. He went out of his way to ensure things weren’t half assed to save a dollar. His passion was cannabis, and he wasn’t about to shortchange his passion.

Co-Founder and Head of Cultivation Robert “Bear” Masterson (Left), Co-Founder and CEO Nishant Reddy (Right)

Nishant wasn’t just proud he had a brand; he was proud of his product and of being part of the industry he cared deeply about. He didn’t show me his cannabis like some rando ‘trying to sell me on it’, but rather more like a proud parent at a sporting event, pointing out his kid on the field. “We’re not a cheap price point, but I firmly believe we’re worth it.” He proceeded to show me between 4-5 different strains that he had brought with him, each being frostier and terp laden than the last. He knew he had a premium tier product and was right to be proud of what he had accomplished.

But it isn’t just the cannabis that built A Golden State, it was also the dedication to the culture and the customers they served. A prime example, the very next year during the global pandemic, A Golden State curated an incredible lineup of workout coaches, wellness trainers, a chef, a comedian, and closed out with a full set from Krewella to promote staying home during the pandemic. Using the hashtag #StayHomeSmokeWeed under the moniker ‘A Golden Escape‘, they were one of the first cannabis brands to do a full marathon stream dedicated to keeping people mentally, physically, and emotionally healthy during that trying time in our history.

A Golden State launched ‘A Golden Escape’ April 18th, 2020

Nishant and his team, which includes Co-Founder Simmon Saraf as well as Co-Founder and Head of Cultivation Robert “Bear” Masterson, took the pandemic to plan and process their next venture, launching a secondary line in late 2020 called “PHASES”. When I linked up with him at the next Hall of Flowers and asked why he was creating another line of flower, Nishant told me it was for great cannabis that didn’t need to meet all of the bud structure and aesthetic criteria as the ‘A Golden State’ brand, focused more on the mid-tier consumer looking for insanely good cannabis at a reasonable price. I proceeded to walk an ounce of PHASES strain ‘High Frequency’ around Hall of Flowers in an unmarked bag to get an unbiased take on the brand from the industry itself. Everyone agreed that the flower was unbelievable for the price point and was wondering which brand it was from or if it was simply connoisseur grade ‘legacy’ flower I got from a personal grower.

PHASES flower as seen on a display at A Golden State retail

The next major milestone for the brand didn’t come until mid-2022 when they launched their first ever Live Rosin vape pen. The pen, which included a vegan leather sleeve, was something that the California connoisseur concentrate market had been waiting for. A vape that not only didn’t clog but contained true platinum tier fresh frozen live rosin. Like everything before in the brand, the pen was an instant hit.

But A Golden State wasn’t just content with doing categorical expansion to extend their line of offerings, rather, they were preparing for their most personal and largest venture to date, verticality via retail in their hometown. Earlier this month on February 2nd, A Golden State launched that flagship retail location right in front of their new grow facility which is constantly expanding. The new retail outlet wouldn’t look out of place in Los Angeles or San Fransisco proper alongside other upscale looking retail outlets. With exposed concrete and wood expanding a very chic and clean aesthetic, the buildout itself was unlike anything I’ve seen in Central to Northern California outside of the bay area.

A couple takes a selfie in front of the exposed window into the grow facility attached to A Golden State retail
The bookcase and couch in the back of A Golden State retail
A happy couple buys products at A Golden State retail

Throughout the dispensary, A Golden State flower is plucked right from the stem and set in multiple display cases highlighting the superstar of the brand, the flower that started it all. The beauty of the dispensary was also highlighted throughout by large scale windows letting in TONS of natural light into the showroom. On the opposite wall from the windows letting in natural light, is one of the main highlights of the dispensary, the MASSIVE viewing windows that look into the final stage of growth for A Golden State flower production. This behind the scenes allows those who are purchasing the flower to get a firsthand look at not just some display plants like some other retail operations, but the actual production facility from which the flower in the packaging on that showroom floor originates.

Now I know what you’re thinking. If you have a final stage of a grow room viewable from the dispensary retail floor lit by massive windows, how do you prevent UV or contamination light from getting in? The trick is in the timing of the show room, UV treated windows, and massive shutters that black out the room when it’s time for the plants to go to sleep. After taking it all in, I was granted a private tour of the very grow facility located on the other side of the dispensary.

Trimmers at A Golden State
A Golden State’s early stage grow

Immediately entering the production facility, I was greeted by the view of the trimmers hard at work helping to curate some of the finest cannabis in the Californian market. “All of our genetics are proprietary.” Robert explained. “What we curate here (at A Golden State) is what we consider to be the finest cannabis in the state, we compete with ourselves day in and day out to always do better by refining our processes”. Indeed, refine they have. Coming from a smaller facility where the brand first launched, their newest facility attached to the retail operation is absolutely state of the art.

Featuring a mixed light setup, I inquired about what the methodology was for them in deciding their setup. As more and more facilities transition to LED and move away from HPS or MH for cost saving measures, having a mix was interesting. “It’s better for the plants to do mixed light.” Bear explained. “We listen to the plants by seeing how they respond and adjust.” From sapling cuts all the way to the cure room, A Golden State has perfected their process to a point.

Another look inside A Golden State’s grow facility
Flowering stage at A Golden State
A look under the plants

Make sure to check out A Golden State’s newly launched retail location for yourself at 6744 Lockheed Dr. Redding California, 96002 daily from 10am to 8pm PST. If you are dispensary that is interested in carrying A Golden State, contact them by clicking the link here to fill out the contact form on their website or by hitting them up on their social media @AGoldenState.

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Marijuana Retail Report, is a national daily online trade publication serving retailers of marijuana products and accessories. News and information are geared strictly to select retail channels, with distribution limited to licensed collectives, recreational retailers, accessories retailers, and wholesalers.


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