Cannabis  February 3, 2023

Green Dot Labs expands into flower

BOULDER — Green Dot Labs has spent the past decade mastering the art of cannabis extraction, but now, as the company prepares to step beyond the Colorado border for the first time, its focus has expanded beyond vapes with the recent rollout of a line of limited release premium flower sold by the ounce. 

“I’m a flower smoker myself; it’s something I’m passionate about,” Dave Malone, who founded GDL with his wife Alana Malone, told BizWest. 

Malone said he’s “been a genetics hobbyist and nerd for two decades now,” and, in recent years, customers have shown increasing demand for flower versions of the strains GDL has developed for its extract products.

With the recent opening of a new grow house in Denver, Green Dot Labs now has the ability to scale its flower production and release its line of Black Label flower strains. 

GDL launched 10 years ago with a “small, 50-light grow,” Malone said, and now “we have more than 20,000 square feet over four separate grows here in Colorado.” 

Cannabis might seem like a simple industry, Malone said. You just grow a plant, put it in a bag and sell it, right? Well, if the industry was ever that simplistic, it certainly isn’t now. 

“The real science right now is happening in trace-cannabinoid studies. Every plant has very trace amounts of certain cannabinoids [in addition to marijuana’s main psychoactive ingredient THC], and when you combust these things simultaneously with THC, creates a very profound synergistic effect,” he said. “… Being able to really drill down on why [certain strains create certain effects for users] has really changed consumers’ perspectives,” creating a demand for higher-end flower like Black Label.

Green Dot Labs takes “robots and machines [to] do a large percentage of the work” looking after the company’s plants and collecting data, Malone said. 

The grow operation features “a big computer system that integrates your lighting, environmental controls, all of your air-conditioning equipment, and nutrient delivery,” he said. “These things are all integrated into a big, beautiful data-collecting platform that helps you to analyze and measure every single variable that goes into the plant.”

Green Dot Labs had a bit of a head start over newcomers to the flower market due in part to “all of the data that we do in the extraction world about what causes the plant to produce more terpenes, more resin, more trace cannabinoids,” Malone said. “… In the extraction world, we see cannabis through a different lens. It’s helped us reverse engineer our cultivation practices.”

He added: “I’d almost say we’re a data company first and a cannabis company second.” 

The result of GDL’s data-centric production process are “big, juicy voluptuous flowers that are just pristine,” Malone said.

Traditionally, the choicest and largest of those buds have been hard for customers to get their hands on. The realities of production capacity and shelf-space availability mean that premium strains are often sold by the gram or by the eighth of an ounce.

“We’ve finally hit the scale where we can offer ounces, which is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Malone said. 

Not only do ounces allow for larger buds that can remain intact for the end user, the larger package allows for more marketing opportunities for GDL.

“We put a lot of work into the branding, and on an ounce jar you just have a lot more real estate,” Malone said. Consider the difference in the amount of branding that’s possible on a single beer can versus the front and back of a case of beer. 

As Green Dot Labs continues its push into flower, it’s doing so from an expanded base of operations, as the company is on the precipice of opening a production facility in the Phoenix area. 

“We’re just about finished with our design work [for grow operations] in Arizona. We have a building, we have a license, we’ve raised capital,” Malone said. “Everything is lined up and green-lit for our expansion” into a growing market where recreational cannabis is newly legal, where infrastructure is newer, and where competition is less fierce than in more mature markets such as Colorado, California or Washington.

BOULDER — Green Dot Labs has spent the past decade mastering the art of cannabis extraction, but now, as the company prepares to step beyond the Colorado border for the first time, its focus has expanded beyond vapes with the recent rollout of a line of limited release premium flower sold by the ounce. 

“I’m a flower smoker myself; it’s something I’m passionate about,” Dave Malone, who founded GDL with his wife Alana Malone, told BizWest. 

Malone said he’s “been a genetics hobbyist and nerd for two decades now,” and, in recent years, customers have shown increasing demand for flower versions…

Dallas Heltzell
With BizWest since 2012 and in Colorado since 1979, Dallas worked at the Longmont Times-Call, Colorado Springs Gazette, Denver Post and Public News Service. A Missouri native and Mizzou School of Journalism grad, Dallas started as a sports writer and outdoor columnist at the St. Charles (Mo.) Banner-News, then went to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch before fleeing the heat and humidity for the Rockies. He especially loves covering our mountain communities.
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