With a strong history in New York’s CBD industry, Naturae CEO Nicolas Guarino said the company was well-positioned for transitioning into the state’s adult-use market.
“The last two years the CBD market were so tough that that’s all we talked about,” he said. “At least we’re going to know exactly what we need to do when adult use comes around.”
Naturae was founded in 2017 with the goal of providing non-psychoactive cannabis products for the health and wellness space, but as what often happens in the cannabis industry, the company has pivoted several times over the last seven years.
As experts in distillate production, Naturae became a high-scale wholesaler to other manufacturers but the company couldn’t establish its own brands. That has since changed with adult use, with Naturae introducing the Jaunty and Rezinators brands.
“The business itself has forced us into quite a few different routes,” Guarino said. “Now, I think we’re finally getting to a stable point with the adult-use side because we’ve been able to launch Jaunty.”
The Jaunty brand builds on Naturae’s experience with distillate vapes, but last year, the company introduced Jaunty gummies in New York. Guarino said Naturae worked with Truffly Made to quickly hone the production process and bring SKUs to the market.
“Because of the history that we have and how compelled everyone in the management team is to make it happen, our philosophy has been that we have to get to market as quickly as possible with a new concept, a new product, and we’re going to be able to iterate and improve on it very quickly,” he said.
Jaunty gummies are available in three varieties: Sour Watermelon, Sweet Peach and Dreamberry. The Sour Watermelon and Sweet Peach varieties feature 10 mg THC per piece and 100 mg THC per pouch, while the Dreamberry gummies offer 10 mg THC and 10 mg CBN per piece, with 100 mg THC and 100 mg CBN per pouch. Jaunty gummies are also available in two-piece packs.
Guarino pointed to the importance of offering gummies — particularly distillate gummies — in the New York market.
“We want to excel in every oil-based category, and gummies in New York is absolutely critical,” he said. “New York has 55 million tourists per year that visit, and the most convenient way to consume is a gummy. A lot of the new consumers that are coming back into cannabis or have never consumed in the past find it to be the easiest since you don’t have to smoke.”
Nonetheless, Guarino said the Naturae team also wanted to introduce solventless hash gummies after experiencing and enjoying the effects of Massachusetts-based Hashables. The company introduced Rezinators gummies in June with two SKUs: Tropical Mango Indica and Sour Apple Sativa.
Guarino noted the Rezinator gummies have performed well, even without dispensary displays. The company aims to have the strain noted on packages this year, and there are plans to introduce vapes under the Rezinator brand.
While the New York cannabis market faced many challenges last year, Guarino said 2024 could be an “explosive” year. He added there is potential for expanding into the Tri-State area in a few years, but Naturae is focusing on building its presence in New York for now.
“If you come from a market that has enough of a population base, you should really develop yourself and establish yourself in that market and then go wide, versus asset-light models that are like go wide everywhere with your brand," he said.