40 under 40 Krystal Kitahara

krystal kitahara head shot

Krystal Kitahara

Age: 30

Company: Yummi Karma

Position:  CEO

People always ask Krystal Kitahara why she isn’t growing cannabis or opening dispensaries in California. The 30-year-old CEO of Yummi Karma gave up cultivation to focus on producing lines of cannabis-infused potato chips, salad dressings, PMS-relief tinctures and several other products.

“I think that sets us apart, that we do target women,” she says. “Being from a more conservative area in California, we have a lot of people who would never smoke, but they hear about our lotions, bubble baths or our salad dressings and suddenly they don’t look at it as a drug.”

The demand across California has been so great for Kitahara’s products that the company is now relocating into a new facility with five times more space than the building Yummi Karma moved into just a few months ago.

“It’s a good problem to have,” Kitahara says. “But I would still consider us new to the industry for how large we’ve grown and for how quickly. A lot of the brands that are well known have been in the industry for five, seven years.”

Kitahara and the majority of the team at Yummi Karma all hail from marketing backgrounds. Over the past two years, Kitahara built the packaging, products and brand identity that she felt were missing from the industry.

She already plans to expand Yummi Karma outside of California, having begun negotiations with producers in Oregon and Colorado.

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