The ‘why’ behind our ridiculously high-quality cannabis products

Silver State Trading came about thanks to one simple question: “Have you tried medical marijuana?”

That question was posed to our Founder and CEO John Sutton one Friday evening in 2012 by a co-worker, who knew of his son’s very rare and very painful genetic disorder. He knew that after years of seeking treatment all over the world, John’s teenage son had been given a death sentence along with advice from medical professionals to load up on opioids to keep him comfortable.

The bold co-worker proceeded to give John a quarter ounce bag of marijuana and a handshake. Overnight, John and his wife decided it was worth a shot. The next morning, they found a YouTube video on how to make a pipe from a soda can, and let their son smoke.

Within five minutes, John’s son’s crippling pain level went from a nine to a three, and he was able to go down the stairs for the first time in a long while.

Cannabis was an absolute game changer.

Thirty days later, John quit his high-level position at a technology company and founded Silver State Trading.

 “Silver State Trading is a proprietary blend of professionalism and passion. Tremendous care is infused into everything we do.”
—John Sutton, Founder & CEO

The belief, the passion moving forward

Obviously, a lot has happened in the cannabis industry since 2012 when Silver State Trading was born—including the realization of the medical marijuana market followed by the recreational market in a handful of states. But no matter how big we get or how widespread our medical and recreational products become, our success will always be because:

  • we’re extremely passionate about cannabis
  • we believe in its goodness
  • we are professional to the core
  • we adhere to the highest standards, not minimum standards
  • we recognize the importance of quality AND value

We believe this is the only way to truly earn customer loyalty.

Meet our team.

John Sutton

Founder, Board Member, CEO

John is Silver State Trading’s beacon of light. He is primarily responsible for guiding our strategic direction, aligning the entire team with that vision, and balancing resources to remain a successful, dynamic company. He makes sure that strategic partners, customers and new hires alike understand our brand, company culture, belief system, and our overarching commitment to quality. John manages expectations and deliverables for all external stakeholders, and he also oversees compliance. He doesn’t sleep much.

Prior to starting Silver State Trading, John spent more than two decades as a consultant in market positioning, sales messaging and team alignment. His clients have included Fortune 1000 companies including SAP, Chevron, Google and Schlumberger.

John and his family live in northern Nevada. He attended both the University of Southern Oregon and the University of Oregon, graduating with a B.A. in Political Science with a primary focus on Business Law.

Matthew A. LaBranch

Chief Operating Officer

With over 40 years of global operations experience, Matthew LaBranch has led large teams consisting of manufacturing, services, supply chain, order fulfillment, logistics and quality assurance in several major international corporations. Matt’s primary responsibilities included focus on revenue growth, cost saving/ reduction while delivering quality products with flexibility and responsiveness to exceed customer expectations. Matt started his career in the computer industry and completed 18 plus years of service with Digital Equipment Corporation (Now part of Hewlett Packard Corporation). The last 24 years was served in progressively responsible positions with the gaming industry for International Game Technology based in Reno, Nevada. In his most recent position he served as Senior Vice-President of Global Operations with 2500 plus employees world-wide under his leadership. Now as Chief Operations Office for Silver State Trading, Matt will oversee all cultivation, harvest and production operations with emphasis on improving cost management, improved product quality and product delivery.

Dr. Kenton Crowley, Pharm. D., FAARFM

Director Of Research & Product Development

At SST Dr. Crowley is the Director of Research and Development, overseeing the production of Trokie™ products and future patents. Dr. Crowley is the founder and creator of Trokie™, holding the licensed IP technology. After Dr. Crowley developed and patented these two U.S. patents for the treatment of neuropathic pain and a method and process patent-pending for cannabis buccal delivery, he joined with SST to bring Nevadans the Trokie™ lozenges. A highly trained pharmaceutical executive and consultant, Dr. Crowley has over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and clinical medicine. He obtained his Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of California, San Francisco; completed an ASHP Accredited Residency with Kaiser Permanente. He is an Advanced Fellow and Diplomat of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. An inventor, drug developer, professor, author, clinician and entrepreneur, Dr. Crowley continues to offer cutting-edge approaches to solving the problems faced by established as well as emerging new business models in medicine and the pharmaceutical industry.

Nicholas A. Malmquist, PhD

Director of Research & Product Development

Dr. Malmquist, a Director of Research & Product Development at Silver State Trading, has a rather long to do list. He is tasked with improving and optimizing existing product offerings, and on-boarding products from strategic partners for production at Silver State Trading. He also takes on new product development with a focus on meeting unmet needs in the medical and adult-use markets, and preparing those products for sale in other jurisdictions.

Dr. Malmquist earned his undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Whitman College in Washington, and his doctorate in pharmacology from the University of Texas Southwestern. He received a post-doctoral fellowship to perform research at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, where he led a small research group. His experience, in addition to his extensive training, helps Dr. Malmquist take a measured approach to the tasks at hand—from project planning and formulation development to equipment acquisition, facility build-out and production scale-up.

A native of northern Nevada, Dr. Malmquist worked in a multi-jurisdictional cannabis operation before joining Silver State Trading. He brings perspective and a get-er-done attitude to the party.

Shane A. Johnson, M.D.

Founder, Board Member, Advisor

This Fulbright Scholar completed a B.A. in Studio Art and a B.S. in Neuroscience with honors from Brown University, and received an M.D. from the Stanford University School of Medicine. His impressive education, along with his experience in business strategy primarily in the healthcare industry, has been instrumental in the start up, consequent growth and ongoing success of Silver State Trading. Here, he serves as both a valued board member and all-important business advisor.

Previously, Shane has served as a Principal at Hamilton BioVentures (a Life Science venture capital firm), an Engagement Manager at L.E.K. Consulting (an international strategy consulting firm), and held operational roles at a couple of early stage biotechnology companies. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of several early stage companies and non-profit entities. He is actively engaged in his community in northern Nevada, and does volunteer search and rescue with his trained search dog.

Ronald Versteppen,

Board Member

Ron is a semi-retired investor of companies within industries as varied as video game software, vaporizers, spec home construction and automobile financing. As one of the largest investors and lenders to Silver State Trading, Ron’s role on the Board is to provide input and feedback on strategic decisions facing the business. The investment in Silver State Trading is of particular interest to Ron, having known several people who have benefited from medical marijuana to manage pain and to address other medical symptoms. Ron is the founder and former CEO of Wombat Financial Software Inc., a company specializing in low-latency software for high-frequency trading solutions. Ron left the company when Wombat was acquired by NYX-Euronext in 2008. Ron received a B.Sc.(Math.)(Hons.) from the University of Adelaide, Australia.