Interview With Ori Bytton From Natura Life + Science
Ori Bytton is the CEO and Founder of Natura Life + Science. Born and raised in Israel, Ori moved to the United States when he was 21.
He settled in Los Angeles and dabbled in sales for a few months before he turned to what he knew best – the solar industry. Ori’s grandfather, a Holocaust survivor and member of the Polish Army, opened a solar factory in 1958. Ori’s father inherited the business and Ori practically grew up in the factory. Ori founded Canopy Energy, and within two years, it became one of the largest solar companies in California.
A serial entrepreneur, Ori then turned his attention to real estate. In that space, he met people who had needs for their cannabis businesses, and their challenges became obvious. Regardless of how good or popular their products were, regulations and supply chain issues were making it really tough for them to succeed. In 2016, he founded We Grow CA, a real estate management company specializing in providing legal cannabis operators with fully compliant and entitled industrial space for lease.
Ori Bytton – Founder & CEO of Natura Life + Science
During his time with We Grow, Ori dove into the real estate aspect of the supply chain, using it as an opportunity to learn everything he could about the complexities everyone involved was facing. It wasn’t long before he realized that, with the right team, he could build a solution. Natura was born, and Ori is now dedicated to building a world-class platform for cannabis cultivation, contract manufacturing and distribution as a solution to supply chain challenges for brands across the category.
Natura’s core focus is to create the world’s most sophisticated platform to launch and scale cannabis brands in order to commercialize the industry in the most responsible manner, and positively affect millions of lives. The two biggest problems in the cannabis industry, Ori believes, are knowledge and consumer trust. His plan for Natura is to solve that problem, starting in California, and then replicate that solution all over the world.
[Q.] Natura Life + Science is building a massive campus in California. What is the purpose of this campus and what services will Natura offer once construction is complete?
[A.] This is the first of many campuses, all designed to solve supply chain challenges plaguing brands in the space. We will be fully vertically-integrated, ready to help brands launch, scale, and thrive.
[Q.] Why Sacramento?
[A.] It’s the capital of the great state of California, home to an amazing and experienced agricultural and manufacturing labor base, two local universities, a reasonable cost of living – not to mention an ideal temperature profile and 300 days of sunlight per year.
[Q.] Ori, can you tell us a bit about your background in real estate and how / why you decided to take on this project?
[A.] My experience in cannabis real estate really served to help me see the issues so many entrepreneurs and brands are facing. And when I see a problem, I want to solve it. I believe in this plant. I want to be a foundational part of bringing it to a much larger audience through collaboration with the very best makers out there.
[Q.] You recently announced a partnership with Israeli cannabis company Cannibble. Can you tell us a bit about the purpose of this partnership and what it means for Natura?
[A.] Cannabis research and development in Israel has been far less restrained versus any other country for quite some time. And, they are holding themselves to the very same standards we do right here in the U.S. Edibles are an important and approachable consumption method that has suffered from a lack of innovation.
Our partnership allows us to take several steps forward in providing consistent, effective, enjoyable formulations to our manufacturing partners and consumers.
[Q.] Tell us a bit about your 10-year plan – what will Natura look like in 2030?
[A.] The goals we’ve set for ourselves are aggressive. There is no exit strategy, but there is a plan to continue to perfect our platform, and build multiple facilities, globally. We are in this for the long term.
[Q.] Why do you think co-manufacturing is so important for the cannabis industry?
[A.] The complexities of the supply chain, regulation, and taxation make it really difficult for any one brand to put all the pieces together in order to make quality products at even a small profit. Together, we can change that. We can provide quality and consistency while reducing complexity, giving these brands a chance to focus on innovation, and educating and reaching consumers.
Thanks for speaking with us Ori!
Thanks for having me team!