Just a three-hour drive from Phoenix sits one of the largest adult-use and medical cannabis farms in North America. Copperstate Farms, located in Snowflake, Arizona, began operating in September 2016. The farm initially produced medicinal cannabis and grew to include the growth of adult-use cannabis when Proposition 207 passed in November 2020.

Copperstate Farms and the 40-acre greenhouse are owned and operated by Fife Symington IV, the son of former Arizona governor Fife Symington III. Symington IV spent 15 years working in greenhouse agriculture, growing tomatoes, cucumbers, and colored bell peppers, he told ABC15.

“After about 15 years, I was looking for my next project, so to speak, and, and it was right around the same time that the, what they call the Green Revolution was starting to happen in the United States, and specifically in Arizona,” Symington IV said. Symington IV began putting together a business plan and looking for land to build a greenhouse in Arizona.

“I came across a 40-acre facility here in Snowflake that was already built and was sitting empty. And it was as if the stars had aligned,” Symington IV said. The 40 acres of empty greenhouse space was previously used to grow tomatoes and cucumbers by Nature Sweet. But in 2015, the company moved its operations to Willcox, Arizona, leading to job loss within Snowflake.