Michael Forest

40 Under 40

For the past five years, the Marijuana Venture staff has compiled an annual list of some of the brightest young leaders and influencers in the cannabis industry. As in past years, we have narrowed the list from hundreds of worthy candidates to present 40 individuals from the vast and ever-changing business in the United States and Canada.

It is our honor to share their stories.

Michael Forest

Age: 35

Company: Forest Pharms

Title: Owner

Michael Forest is the type of man who appreciates artisan products, whether it’s an expensive cut of meat, a fine bottle of cognac or a hand-crafted CBD lotion.

“I enjoy people who put love into their products,” Forest says. “It really goes a long way.”

Forest has done a bit of everything in the cannabis industry, from cultivation to breeding to manufacturing.

He started Forest Pharms in 2011 to supply Washington’s medical marijuana dispensaries, but moved into hemp as the state shifted to a licensed, recreational industry. He no longer grows commercial cannabis, but produces a variety of CBD products and works with cultivators on genetics and breeding projects. The company sells about 75% of its products online through its website.

A breeder at heart, Forest credits the effectiveness of his products to the Harle-Tsu strain from which they’re manufactured.

The first product Forest Pharms made was a CBD-infused soap that helped with his knee pain and has been part of his daily regimen for nearly a decade. He then made a lotion to help his grandmother’s arthritis. Today, Forest Pharms sells more than 40 CBD SKUs and also does white-labeling for other brands.

“We’ll make custom products for companies and package them as they see fit,” he says. “That way they can handle the marketing on their end and still have a product they can trust. I’m not a marketing expert; I’m more of chemist and a behind-the-doors guy.”

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