Among the hustle of expo goers, we managed to find a quiet corner to sit down with Vertosa’s Director of Operations Lita Cenali to find out how the company is innovating cannabis technology and what their long-term vision and growth plans are.
Based in Oakland, Vertosa engineers infusion customized solutions for the needs of food, beverage, health, beauty, and other partners. Vertosa supplies partners ranging from startups to industry giants with the tools they need to reach the mainstream. Among their brand partners are Vita-Coco, House of Saka, Tinley, Good Day, and Zola.
Lita is tenured in the cannabis space and has seen the explosive growth of the industry. She has also witnessed a new group of consumers enter the market and noticed the way they choose to experiencing product evolving.
NUGL: What do customers look for in products right now?
Lita: What is most relevant to consumers right now, is the seed to hand story and knowing the quality of the product they are purchasing. That’s why Vertosa’s company values are the thread of every partnership they have. We are hyper-focused on quality products that are shelf-stable and can scale consistently in an inconsistent environment. We are creating products for the cannabis and hemp markets, and that means that Vertosa and the brands they are working with need to know the intention of the product they are creating and the audience that is consuming it. Because of this commitment, Vertosa has very quickly become the go-to infusion partner to both mainstream and niche brands.
NUGL: Why do you think there is such an interest in CBD foods?
Lita: Consumers are becoming informed about CBD and more familiar with it. Accessible at mainstream retailers help to establish CBD beverages and CBD liquors as a social product and creates connections for consumers.
NUGL: Are there any product categories you are excited about or would like to venture into?
Lita: Sexual wellness would be exciting! As conversations become more open about cannabis and hemp, you will see more health and wellbeing products coming to market.
NUGL: Are there any partnerships in hospitality that you have where consumers can get your products?
Lita: Not at the moment, but it is on our radar. It is such a natural fit, especially for travelers looking to relax and have a great night’s sleep. We are looking to a hospitality partner that is willing to be the first to create toiletries, health tonics, minibar products for travelers.
NUGL: With the recent funding, what type of growth can we expect from you in 2020?
Lita: Identifying improvements within Vertosa and allocating funds to improve and grow our team as a whole. We are looking to support our infrastructure and scale strategically. It is essential to keep the stability of our brand. What brand partners and consumers have come to rely on, and that is that Vertosa’s and consistent and stable – our infusions do not separate – they stay homogenized.
At the end of 2019, Vertosa went through a $6 million Series Seed Funding Round co-led by the California-based AFI Capital Partners and the New York-based Welcan Capital. The company will use the new capital to continue to scale, solidify their integral roles within the infused products supply chain, and assist their partner brands in growing both nationally and globally.
If you are interested in cannabis or hemp products, Lita encourages everyone to go to local events and ask questions. Learn more about Vertosa at vertosa.com and connect on with them on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.