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Jason Navarrete has been growing cannabis for nearly two decades. To say he knows a thing or two about the plant, and the industry, is an understatement.
Raised poor and sometimes homeless, Navarrete started growing vegetables at age 8 to help his mother put food on the table. That background planted the seed in him about the importance of hard work, perseverance, and taking control.
It also helped him realize opportunity. When Navarrete’s home state of California legalized recreational use of cannabis in 2016, he quickly set out to obtain a license for cultivation, distribution, manufacturing, and retail sales. He built a cannabis conglomerate in Southern California worth more than $250 million, he says, with 120,000 square feet across three industrial warehouses.
Navarrete sold that business last year and started a new venture specifically in CBD: Pure Craft. Sticking to his mission for Pure Craft to be “Pure Till The Last Drop,” Navarrete says he worked with a team of scientists to develop CBD that is 90 percent bio-available (they enter the body at a much quicker rate that’s more effective), where most CBD companies offer products that are no more than 18 percent bio-available. Today, Pure Craft’s product line includes nano-optimized broad spectrum water-soluble CBD tinctures as well as soft gels, gummies, CBD with melatonin, CBD pet tincture, and CBD broad spectrum oil.
Here, Navarrete talks about his journey as an entrepreneur and where he sees this hot industry in the coming years.
You’re the founder of Pure Craft. What does the company do?
Navarrete: Pure Craft focuses on purely crafting the best CBD from the farm to the finished product, with the highest bioavailability in the marketplace. Pure Craft does this by nano-optimizing cannabinoids down to as low as 5 nano meters while still preserving the block chain for effectiveness. We are all about quality with max absorption.
You went from growing vegetables to help feed your family to growing cannabis as an adult and building a $250 million brand. What has that journey been like?
Navarrete: The journey has been fun and very tough at times — losing whole crops, being robbed and raided by law enforcement multiple times. You question yourself a lot. If it wasn’t for my true love for this plant and perfecting every aspect of it, I would have thrown in the towel long ago.
At what point did you realize that you might have a legit chance at creating a successful cannabis company?
Navarrete: I realized I had a very legit chance when I was able to consistently cultivate all 19 of my hand-selected phenotypes at the time on a very large scale for quality, yields and potency all while testing clean for any molds, harmful pesticides and heavy metals in the lab.
What was your biggest obstacle getting started and how did you overcome it?
Navarrete: On the cannabis side, I would say finding a building in the right zone where the city allowed cannabis and then jumping through so many hoops with the city all while bleeding money to obtain a license and permitting.
With Pure Craft, it was finding a chemist that could nanotize the cannabinoids down to a crazy low nano meter, then being able to keep it stable in the solution. That took a couple years to find.
As the founder, what’s one thing you’re particularly passionate about?
Navarrete: I’m hyper passionate about every aspect. But the R&D and creation of the products to actually serve the end user is where I truly shine. Without that, Pure Craft CBD would be just another, regular, CBD company selling the same thing with a different brand.
What’s something you wish you’d done differently when starting up?
Navarrete: I don’t think there is anything I would have done differently. This industry is a constant learning curve. Being in the industry already for so long, I was very prepared for what I was getting into again.
What are you working on right now?
Navarrete: We are working on creating different tinctures with our nano optimized broad-spectrum CBD mixed with different proprietary blends that partner very well with CBD, creating power houses focused on added immune support, inflammation, anxiety, recovery, and sexual wellness.
Where do you see the industry in five years?
Navarrete: I see the CBD industry becoming what the cannabis industry is now. The companies that are focused on creating high-quality products to completely benefit the end user at a fair price will remain and all others will be gone.
Pure Craft will be creating very complex, custom blends with certain tailored levels of many different cannabinoids and hopefully with higher levels of THC also for the ones who prefer it. Pure Craft will be the number one brand consumers trust and rely on.
What was your best day so far as a business owner?
Navarrete: I would say getting the R&D right for a stable product. Looking at the science and seeing how much more of an impact it can have on the end user.
What’s one piece of advice you can share with an aspiring entrepreneur in the cannabis/CBD industry?
Navarrete: There’s so much! Don’t think you’re gonna hop in and get rich. This is just like any other business except way harder because of high regulation and startup cost.
But the most important thing would be making sure you truly love this plant, because you will be tested down to your core from every angle possible. It’s that true love that will push you through.
Click here to learn more about Navarrete and Pure Craft’s variety of high-quality CBD products.