Brands | Vertical

Brands | Vertical


The first brand we started with this round is Vertical.  When you think vertical, some of you might think about a line that is up and down in direction, but if you’re familiar with business jargon, a vertical is basically a group of companies and customers that are all revolving around a specific niche.  Such is the case in cannabis, where a vertical is typically a license holder in multiple parts of the supply chain – so in the case of Vertical in Missouri, they hold cultivation, manufacturing, and dispensary licenses.

The Vertical team, led by Chris McHugh, wanted to use the name because they take pride in the fact that literally, from seed to patient, they control the quality at every step of the way.  We aren’t just talking about procuring the best and highest quality seeds, although that’s true.  It’s not just the extremely proficient manufacturing processes they’ll use to make your concentrates, also true. No, these guys are building a state-of-the-art facility that ensures that not only do they plan to grow and manufacture luxury products that are unlike you’ve ever seen but that their footprint on the Earth in terms of harm to the environment is as small as possible.

Some data suggests that cannabis producers in the US use 1% of the nation’s power – that’s significant.  Vertical is doing that differently.  They’re using LED lights, they’re using HVAC systems that are integrated with humidity regulation and they’re outfitting their facilities with the latest in cannabis cultivation technology because they are dedicated to the botanical integrity of the plant and they’ll do whatever it takes to make sure that isn’t compromised.

Understand that this is not a quickest-to-market, stand-up-as-fast-as-possible operation.  This facility will start later than many others with cultivation, but that’s deliberate.  Their plans are extremely detailed, and every single consideration for the facility and the cultivation and manufacturing must be flawless to produce the best product.  This is not ditch weed, not skunk weed, and not a value or mid-tier brand.  This is artisan, craft cannabis.


Not only will this high-end flower be the signature product of Vertical, but they’re planning to come to market in early 2021 with concentrates that are made in-house from their own flower and they bring street cred in spades.  At the time of our interview, several from the Vertical team were in Colorado at Clutch Extracts learning from the masters of extraction and soaking up best practices to bring back to Missouri’s patients.  Vertical will offer patients and partners concentrates like shatter, dabs, butter, batter, wax, diamonds, and live resin.  If you aren’t already schooled in what all of these are or how to use them, don’t fret – Vertical will be active in socials and on their website in the months to come with education about all of the above.   In their own branded dispensary, set to open in 2021 in St. Joseph, Missouri, they’ll offer all of these products, equipment, and many more must-have items.

Aside from the hype about the product lines and the premium flower, McHugh was genuine and passionate about the team and the brand representing a respect for the plant.  “We want to produce products that are consistent and exceed expectations, and we know that the plant takes the lead.  The plant is in control and knows best, we aren’t arrogant enough to think that we can deconstruct or recreate the plant.”  The patients’ dispensary visit they have in mind will be the ultimate in sensory experience and will provide education and consultation via telehealth in a private consultative setting.  Education is high on the priority list and they envision arming patients with the information they need about entourage effect, the contents of what they’re purchasing, and how to understand the best recommendations for each individual’s own conditions and needs.

This appeared in the September/October 2020 issue of Greenway Magazine.