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Curio Wellness: Making Cannabis Less Generic and More Precisely Formulated

Wendy Bronfein and Rebecca Raphael have made their company a resource for products tailored to specific needs.

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This week, Wendy Bronfein and Rebecca Raphael of Curio Wellness join the Cannabis Equipment News podcast to discuss how they've built Curio into a resource for consumers looking for cannabis products tailored to specific needs — and less of a generic experience.

Bronfein, a co-founder of Curio, started in TV doing on-air marketing and original productions. But when she heard that Maryland was opening a medical cannabis market, she decided to apply for a license. Her father was already working in pharmaceutical distribution, so he had a health care regulatory background, which combined well with Bronfein's marketing expertise when it was time to launch a cannabis business.

Raphael, Bronfein's sister, approached the cannabis industry from a much different background. She had worked in fine arts sales, including jobs at galleries in New York City and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Prior to Curio, she ran the collector relations team for a website called Artsy.net. She admitted that the art world is basically the polar opposite of what she deals with now at Curio, but when CEO Michael Bronfein asked if she could sell an eighth of cannabis as well as she could sell a piece of art, she jumped at the chance. She left her job in art on good terms just in case things didn't work out in cannabis, but it's been more than six years, and she's still the chief revenue officer at Curio.

Curio Wellness was founded in 2014, and the company's philosophy has always been taking cannabis and using it to make things that improve people's quality of life. The company's stated goal is to create precisely formulated, condition-specific products using cannabinoids and terpenes as the active ingredients. Bronfein said her company has great flower that turns into great vapes, but it also has several extraction-based products that are tailored to specific wellness goals, like chewable pills that help with sleep, tablets that relieve inflammation, or topicals that can enhance intimacy.

Curio Wellness has several retail locations in Maryland, where it also serves as a wholesale partner for many of cannabis companies. It also has cultivation and manufacturing facilities in Missouri, where it is very active in the cannabis wholesale market.

Jump around:

  • Approaching cannabis like a pharmaceutical company. (4:38)
  • Evolving their automation strategy. (9:07)
  • Curio's expansion in Missouri. (10:55)
  • Why Curio went after cGMP certification. (13:57)
  • The changes required for certification. (17:19)
  • Benefits of launching in a medical state. (23:35)
  • Do cannabis operators get the same respect as other manufacturers? (27:43)
  • Current cannabis equipment and whether it fills every need. (40:36)
  • Using a scientific advisory board. (44:13)
  • Hits and misses with product development. (47:38)

Please make sure to like, subscribe and share the podcast. You could also help us out by giving the podcast a positive review. Finally, to email the podcast or suggest a potential guest, you can reach David Mantey at [email protected].

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