The Bloom Brand business model stands alone in New Mexico in that we haven’t seen many brands that exist in other states or utilize a “franchise model” for their cannabis company. In speaking with Byron Butcher (CEO – Bloom New Mexico), we were able to delve into some of the challenges they faced during the inception of the company and the current issues for expanding into the recreational space.

“Customers thought all of our employees were shipped in from California and that we had financial backing from California, which is not true. We have supported California by taking on research and development with new programs, processes, and products. Although we did not create the concept behind Bloom, we have had a large hand in making it what it is today”, says Butcher.

When hearing this from Butcher, we took it a step further to ask some questions:

Byron Butcher Owner:
HI Extracts LLC, Bloom New Mexico

“We notice that the majority, if not all of your employees, are from New Mexico. Obviously, we love this aspect of your business. Being a “national brand,” people may not realize that you are so embedded in the local communities here in New Mexico. What would you like to say to native New Mexicans that may be hesitant to try brands that are seemingly not locally sourced?”

“We are Hi Extracts first and foremost. This is who our staff is. The owner, management, and production team are all New Mexican natives. The owner is a locally born and raised native New Mexican and has been a local business owner providing job opportunities for other New Mexicans since 2003. We spent years making sure that Bloom was reaching near its full potential in the New Mexico market before introducing other products. In doing this, we learned a lot about what not to do and a lot about how to improve efficiency and productivity for our next project. We’ve implemented a strict training program that has a rigorous standard operating procedure in which step-by-step instructions were made by the lab manager. Our training programs are always growing and changing, which we implement towards continuing education for the employees.”

It is clear that Bloom New Mexico has worked hard to maintain its brand and product consistency in such a competitive and economically troublesome environment. From raising funds for equipment, packaging, hardware per Bloom Brand Specs to dealing with the limited amount of Biomass available in New Mexico, they have proven that they can treat all of their retailers and partners with unconditional support and branding to make it a mutually beneficial relationship. This aspect alone makes Bloom such an essential player in the cannabis landscape here in New Mexico.

Before bringing Bloom to New Mexico, Butcher felt that patients’ options were slim when it came to vapor products (currently the most popular delivery method of cannabis), and he saw a need for a vapor product that had high quality and high standards, as well as ease of use. After visiting California to try Bloom for the first time, he was blown away! “I had never tasted anything like that with cannabis. I was also very attracted to the clean, high-quality branding”.

Staff at work inside the Bloom extract facility

Vapor products have faced many challenges with negative publicity, misinformation, and a lack of testing for products in general. Within the industry, this time is sometimes referred to as the “vapor crisis.” Companies selling devices that had not gone through the appropriate testing and safety protocols were suffering tremendously in trying to find products that would not have Vitamin E Acetate and other cutting agents in them. When this reared its head, Bloom was ready. Although sales declined by 30-40%, during pop-ups and demos, they would let customers know that the illicit market vapes were the problem and that theirs were clean and safe, even down to the fact that they use a triple distillate process – leaving no linger- ing chemicals in the product that the customer consumes. In addition, they even took the extra step to work with a testing lab and be the first company in the state to get their products tested for Vitamin E Acetate and other cutting agents to share their negative results with the public.

Another exciting challenge Bloom has faced as a company is explaining why they use food-grade terpenes instead of canna- bis-derived terpenes in the majority of their products. Many times they were compared to people using artificial flavoring, which can be harmful to inhale. To combat this concern, staff members made an insider guide for budtenders to help every retail location better understand and explain their product. Cannabis vapes with terpenes come from two sources; cannabis terpenes (also called cannabis-derived) which are the original terpenes from the plant, and natural terpenes, also known as food-grade or botanical terpenes. It is essential to understand that terpenes are volatile compounds that can be easily changed or damaged. In using certified pure food-grade terpenes, we can ensure consistency throughout all of our strains. As a result, Bloom’s oil tastes much more vibrant, consistent, and can be standardized. By standardizing each strain’s terpene content and profiles, consumers can enjoy Bloom products safely and reliably across all strains no matter where they purchase.Bloom

Moving into the recreational space, Butcher, and Bloom, New Mexico, have big plans for us here in the “Land of Enchantment.” Included in this is a rebranding for the entire look of Bloom that is happening just in time for the recreational market; new products to cover more styles of cannabis use, and the evolution into a recreational use brand to market to the new customer while remaining to be there for their beloved patients.

We think Bloom will fit into a recreational market in a significant way. They were forced to fight some pushback in the medical market when they first introduced pop-ups to give away swag and batteries, which is more appealing to the recreational market. Bloom has been making the transition to appeal to a more recreational market since 2016 when legalization passed in California, so they are ready to fully make that transition here in New Mexico. This has also been proven through their use of classic strains and tried-and-true genetics. Bloom likes to stay with recognizable, popular, ocean-grown strains that have stood the test of time. It takes up to two years to decide on a final strain based on their research and development process. Al- though they can’t disclose any future strains, we’re sure that they will continue to produce strains that we all know and love. For the recreational market, this choice will no doubt benefit them.Bloom

Here at NM Cann, we’re all very excited to see what this means for the recreational cannabis industry and how Bloom will fit into it. One thing is clear, though; they are ready and have the power, branding, and native New Mexican roots to make sure they stay a significant player in bringing quality products to our beloved state.

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Photography by Kori Kobayashi