This Q&A is part of a daily series highlighting the many medical and recreational marijuana dispensaries across Greater Lansing. Check back for a new post every day this week. And be sure to check out our 420 print edition, which published on April 14.
How long has your company been in business?
Skymint Brands (formerly known as Green Peak Innovations) was founded in 2018 with the establishment of our Lansing offices. Today we have 12 provisioning centers in operation with at least eight more planned for 2021.
Briefly walk us through the story of how (and why) your company got started.
In 2016, I was finishing up an apparel tradeshow in Las Vegas for the private equity firm that had recently purchased my company. I had spent the last 30 years in the apparel industry managing hundreds of brands, and I was ready to exit, retire and build a home with my wife in the Caribbean. And then I received a fateful text.
A colleague texted me saying that the end of cannabis prohibition was on the horizon. The hairs literally went up on the back of my neck. Cannabis was going to become recreationally legal in our state of Michigan, and reading this text was all it took to immediately re-ignite my start-up fire. I knew we could not pass up the chance to be a part of history in our home state and help build an industry from the ground up.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a type A personality and business person who believes in all of the fundamentals it takes to build a thriving and competitive company. However I also believe that it is possible to succeed in business while doing the right thing. I have always looked to Patagonia as a beacon for exactly that reason. Making money and making our world better do not have to be mutually exclusive.
Cannabis has the potential to change life as we know it, here in Michigan as well as beyond, and this potential continues to keep my flame lit.
Who is on the leadership team and what sorts of backgrounds do they bring to the table?
Our team amazes me anew each day. Previous to coming to Skymint, our Chief Brand and Product Officer Laurie Gregory helped to found Bath & Body Works, overseeing more than $2 billion in sales during her time there and is a true visionary for our company. Retail President Summer Ransom-Cleveland comes to us from Urban Outfitters, where she opened 140 stores, and her aesthetic coupled with Laurie’s drives the appealing look and feel of our provisioning centers. These two creative geniuses ensure that our dispensaries are the coolest, most unique and welcoming provisioning centers in Michigan and I’m extraordinarily proud of the work they do. Other members of our core team hail from Nabisco, McCormick, and other indelible American brands.
Briefly walk me through the scope of your company.
Our 12th dispensary opens in Portage on April 8. We currently serve two-thirds of the state, from Ann Arbor to Nunica, East Lansing to Bay City, and beyond, with plans to serve the entire state by year’s end. A full list of our locations is always available on our Skymint.com website.
How many employees do you have, both locally and across the entirety of the company?
We are one of the largest employers in Lansing and employ hundreds of Michiganders across the state at an ever-increasing rate.
How has business been lately?
As an essential business, we have continued to grow and open new stores to serve new Michigan markets even during the terrible pandemic. We are grateful to have seen a steady increase in sales and customer interactions.
What sets your provisioning center(s) apart from others on the local market?
Our dispensaries are one-of-a-kind experiences that reflect the neighborhood and communities in which they’re set. What they all have in common is support for local artisans, both in the handmade display items we use in each store as well as the unique items we offer for sale. Our stores are filled with natural light in order to be welcoming to adults of all ages. We use original art and unusual merchandizing to create an experience that is always intriguing and unique so that each time a customer visits, he or she finds something they hadn’t seen before — as well of course as the excellent cannabis we pride ourselves on providing.
What does this company hope to accomplish?
Skymint Brands celebrates a simple emotion: Joy. “Happy People, Happy Plants” is our motto, and from that we extend a brand ethos that embraces community, centers on individuals, and illuminates life’s best moments. As purveyors of premium crafted cannabis, Skymint grows, processes, promotes, distributes, and brings to market a full range of cannabis brands. Light and airy, Skymint provisioning centers are acclaimed for the beauty of the retail experience which always includes work by local artists and artisans as well as unique gifts, books, and clothing. We believe that cannabis should be a life-enhancing experience, which is why our cannabis products are essential for daily wellness, healing, or just getting high on life.
Where do you see this company 10 years from now?
We are always expanding, both in our scope of reach as well as our higher goals. As the largest fully vertical supply chain and license holder in Michigan, we are eager to serve the state as completely as possible. Ten years in cannabis is like 100 years in any other industry. All I know for certain is that in 10 years, we’ll still be in business and cannabis will be totally normalized with all stigma gone. I’m positive that even opponents of legalization will have embraced this healing plant by then if only for the job opportunities and economic engine it provides — but we’ll stay focused on joy.
Any exciting new products on the shelves lately?
Absolutely! We have an amazing partnership with DNA Genetics, one of the most respected cannabis genetics companies in the U.S. and Europe. We’re working with them to grow some of the most sought-after strains anywhere in the world both in our indoor facilities as well as on our 200-acre upstate farm, where we are perfecting sungrown cannabis. This month alone, we’re releasing a new live resin vape product with DNA, a new vaporized collaboration with Short’s Brewery, and both botanical-influenced vapes and gummies for our North line. We are always innovating and bringing new products to the market and personally — that always give me joy.