Company: Cura Cannabis Solutions
Title: Co-founder and CEO
For the past 12 months, the editorial staff at Marijuana Venture has compiled a list of candidates for our third annual 40 Under 40 feature. This year, we narrowed our list down from hundreds of worthy candidates to come up with a cross-section of personalities across the U.S. and Canada, from salt-of-the-earth farmers to tech savants. All of them have unique stories, successes and ambitions and all represent the excitement and promise of the cannabis business. We feel honored to share their stories and look forward to watching them push forward in our ever-evolving industry.
The Cura Cannabis Solutions home office may be in Portland, Oregon, but co-founder and president Cameron Forni spends most of his time on airplanes and in hotels these days.
“I’m very confused as to where I live,” he says with a laugh.
Along with the company’s six locations in Oregon, Forni has been splitting his time between three sites in California, a facility in Nevada, its newest location in Arizona and Michigan, where Cura has a potential partner for expansion into yet another state.
“Our goal is to be the global leader in cannabis oil,” Forni says. “We have very lofty goals.”
The son and grandson of entrepreneurs, Forni has always been business-minded. He has a degree in entrepreneurship from the University of Oregon and worked in venture capital and private equity after college. But he’s also been a “closet fan” of cannabis and was looking for a new direction when the Cole memo was released in 2013, paving the way for state-legal cannabis industries.
Forni says he looked at all aspects of the business, from real estate to retail and everything in between, but decided that “oil is by far the future” and set about creating a high-quality brand of vaporizer oils — Select Oils — as well as becoming a processor and provider for the burgeoning edibles market. Cura was built to be that provider.
“We’re going to do one thing and do it really, really well,” he says.
So far, Cura’s narrow focus has paid off with more than $40 million in revenue in 2017. The company was also named one of the top 100 companies to work for by Oregon Business magazine, above even Nike and Intel. Cura was No. 12 — just ahead of T-Mobile at 13.
This year, Forni hopes to triple last year’s numbers — a feasible target after $18 million of sales in the first quarter. It’s a long way from filling vaporizer cartridges in his kitchen with his wife just three years ago and a reminder to stay focused and keep working hard.
“Persistence,” he says. “Don’t give up. You’re going to take an incredible amount of beatings in this industry.”