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This week, Nicolas Guarino, founder and CEO of Naturae joins the Cannabis Equipment News podcast to discuss his challenges as a New York operator and how his company became the largest producer of CO2-extracted cannabis oils in the state.
Guarino has a legacy staked in agriculture. With his family firmly invested in the Venezuelan water buffalo dairy game, the fourth-generation farmer graduated from Baruch College in New York City and decided to pursue a different agricultural path when he set up a CBD operation in Hoosick Falls, NY.
An avid consumer with a passion for cannabis, Guarino co-founded Naturae in 2017 and took the helm as CEO in 2021.
Naturae is the largest producer of CO2-extracted cannabis oils in New York, and the company's brand, Jaunty, is the top-selling cannabis vape brand.
Still, the state's cannabis market has proven challenging, and Guarino hopes to survive as he watches his peers fall along the wayside.
In this episode, Guarino talks about:
- How he founded Naturae with "very little experience." (4:00)
- His bad bets on equipment, including using CO2 extraction for CBD distillate to make a quality product for a commodity market. (6:56)
- The transition from CBD to the adult-use market. (16:06)
- The current state of cannabis in NY. (20:44)
- What it will take to survive and reach profitability. (22:37)
- Why he insisted on a GMP-certified manufacturing facility. (26:10)
- How his company became the largest producer of CO2-extracted cannabis oils in New York. (31:49)
- His material vetting processs to maintain a consistent level of quality. (36:10)
- His plans for expansion and vertical integration. (38:50)
- The effort it took to launch new gummy and tincture product lines. (40:30)
- Why he is the first to be trained on all in-house equipment. (44:54)
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