Flora Vega has more than six years of experience growing cannabis in Nevada. In that time, they’ve grown to one of the more recognized brands in the state, overcoming multiple obstacles along the way. Nevada Made sat down with Director of Sales & Marketing, Sam McAdam, for a Q&A to get some insight into Flora Vega.
NVM: Tell us a little about yourself, Sam.
Sam: I was born and raised in Portland, Maine. I went to college in Massachusetts, and moved to Las Vegas in 2018. I worked in the medical industry in Maine for a few years before making the move to the Nevada cannabis industry. In fact, I moved to Las Vegas specifically to work for Flora Vega.
NVM: What made you want to transition into the cannabis industry?
Sam: I experienced some personal health issues, which gave me a deeper insight into the state of medicine in the United States. Having had multiple abdominal procedures and surgeries, I was looking for relief that traditional medicine wasn’t providing. During one particularly intense episode that lasted more than a year, I turned to cannabis and found exactly what I was looking for. I implemented cannabis as a form of medicine. Cannabis along with a physical wellness routine allowed me to recover in a more meaningful and lasting way than traditional medicine had ever provided. It changed my life and I wanted to be an ambassador for this plant and the amazing benefits it provides.
NVM: What is something that you really like about being in the cannabis industry?
Sam: I like that I’m able to help people. A lot of young people want to be able to help others, but they are often forced to make a decision between having a career and helping others. Working for Flora Vega lets work in an evolving industry while giving back. They are very focused on giving back to the local community.
NVM: Tell me about some of Flora Vega’s community outreach work.
Sam: Flora Vega is very invested in giving back to the local community that supports us. We choose to work with local charities and nonprofits that directly benefit Nevada residents. The pandemic interrupted some of the projects we had going pre 2020, which included the Ink Ribbon Foundation. They provide no-cost, post-recovery mastectomy scar cover up tattoos and areola restorative tattoos. Not only are they helping to heal the body, they’re also focused on healing the spirits of breast cancer patients. We’ve also partnered with the LV Endometriosis Foundation, and Driven LV is our most recent outreach. They’re an amazing organization that works with able-bodied and differently abled individuals to improve their physical, mental, and emotional health.
NVM: Those sound like some great organizations to partner with here in Las Vegas.
Sam: They are and we’re so proud of the work we’ve been able to do with all of them. And we can’t wait to find new organizations to work with in the future.
NVM: When was Flora Vega founded?
Sam: Flora Vega was founded with a small team in 2015, in the early medical cannabis days here in Nevada. Since then we’ve grown into a thriving canna-business with a team of about 50. We truly care about creating a welcoming and caring work environment, which is why we promote internally, and offer health insurance.
NVM: How large is your facility?
Sam: We operate about 45K square feet, with about 15K square feet of canopy. We finalized an R&D room last year, which enables us to pheno hunt our own genetics. Also, we’re planning an expansion which would give us another 20K square feet of operating space.
NVM: You’ve got some tried and true strains that you’ve been growing for years. Didn’t Flora Vega just win a cannabis cup?
Sam: We did. High Times recently sponsored a Cup where the people who purchased specific High Times Cup bags were able to vote and select the winners. Each product type is bundled into a bag and whoever purchased the bags voted on their favorite products. It was a lot of fun, and we wound up taking third place for our Chernobyl strain. It’s a triple-cross Hybrid of Jack the Ripper, Trainwreck, and Trinity. We love growing it, and it’s a consistently potent tester with a great nose and effects. We also won third place in the Sativa category for our Tropicanna Punch which is Purple Punch crossed with Tropicanna Cookies.
NVM: Do you grow any proprietary strains?
Sam: We do. In fact, our Bettie White is one of our more popular proprietary strains. It’s an in-house cross of Desert Snow and Mai Tai. We also have our Primus, which produces a thick, chunky structure with beautiful calyxes. We’re very happy with the recent flower quality we’ve been able to produce. And that’s what we strive toward. Being better tomorrow than we were today. It’s about continuing to grow and improve.
NVM: Tell us about your head grower.
Sam: Our head grower is David Lloyd. He has more than 20 years experience in hydroponic cultivation and we’ve seen some marked improvements since he came on board. Better bag appeal, consistent testing numbers, and an overall improvement in plant health. Growing cannabis in a desert isn’t easy, as everyone who’s ever tried it can tell you. It really comes down to best practices for the facility. With our experienced and passionate team, we’ve been able to overcome a lot of those challenges that we faced in earlier times, and are able to put out a consistent good product that we’re more and more proud of every harvest.
NVM: What are some of your favorite things about working with Flora Vega?
Sam: As I’ve already said, I enjoy being in the cannabis industry for the opportunities it offers to give back. But I also really enjoy being around industry peers and guests. Going into the dispensaries, speaking with the teams, getting feedback from the buyers, getting insight from the guests. It’s great getting these diverse perspectives from both industry workers and the guests we serve. I also love being in the cultivation, as well as being able to educate others about this plant and the incredible value it can bring to someone’s life.
NVM: Are you locally owned?
Sam: We’re completely locally owned and operated. We have a mom-and-pop operation that translates to the workplace culture. Flora Vega is so receptive to change and growth. Our leaders are respectful, attentive, and always looking to improve.
NVM: What does the future hold for Flora Vega?
Sam: We always hope for big things. The team is open growth, and I would love to see us go multi-state. It would be great to be able to bring our flowers to new and emerging markets and implement the values we’ve established here. Especially regarding working with local charities, providing good flower at a reasonable price, interacting and educating communities, and treating industry employees with the respect they deserve. We’re still so early along in this industry that the future could hold all of that and more for Flora Vega.
Thank you to Sam and the Flora Vega team for taking the time to sit down with us and share some insight into their brand. Make sure to follow them on Instagram and find their delightful products at your preferred Nevada Made Marijuana location. Click here to shop now!