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Kim Rael, CEO of Azuca, has an extensive background as an operating executive and venture capitalist. Follow Azuca on Twitter @Azuca_co.
Prior to her career in venture, she co-founded an advanced energy company and held numerous management positions at Intel, where she managed a $200 million capital budget, led planning for a $1 Billion expansion, and held roles in finance, operations and strategic planning.
Before joining Intel, she served as an aide in the US Senate focusing on foreign affairs and science and tech policy.
With broad experience serving on both corporate and community boards, Kim was the Founding President for a Montessori Charter School, and has been featured as New Mexico Business Weekly Power Broker and Top 10 Women of Influence.
Recognizing a gap in the cannabis industry for trustworthy and predictable edibles, Kim teamed up with Ron Silver to develop and launch Azuca.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Kim. Read on below to get to know more about her and her company.
What made you decide to get into the cannabis industry?
Kim Rael: I have had a life-long interest in nature-based wellness, though most of my prior career has been in technology and finance. A few years ago I took a sabbatical to discern what direction to take for my “second half of life” career.
I wanted to create a path where I could leverage my business, portfolio management and startup skills but deploy them in the sector that I am most personally passionate about. That sector is wellness.
I honestly never expected the process to lead to cannabis, but when I met my partner, Chef Ron Silver, and did my due diligence on the industry and the fast-acting edible technology that he had created, I was sold.
What are some trends shaping the industry? Where do you think it’s going?
Kim Rael: I believe that we have only scratched the surface of the application of cannabis for wellness.
I believe that “non-traditional” cannabis consumers will emerge as a major force in the industry, and, in particular, in the aging baby boomer demographic.
I hear story after story of cannabis helping people avoid opiods and addictive sleep aids, for example.
What I am passionate about is making cannabis helpful, understandable, approachable, safe, fun and predictable for all generations.
That is what we are doing at Azuca with our line of fast-acting edible products and chef-quality ingredients.
Edibles that kick in within 15 minutes? What’s the science behind this?
Kim Rael: Azuca has developed a proprietary process to make edibles fast acting and predictable.
Instead of using oils and fats to bind active ingredients, Azuca’s patent-pending process enables a hydrophilic, or water-friendly product.
This distinction is especially important for medicinal users, whose liver function may vary dramatically—oil-based edibles must be processed by the liver, impairing the predictability of the experience.
Azuca’s edibles bypass that lengthy trip through the liver to take effect in a groundbreaking 2 to 15 minutes—and the experience is predictable and controllable, every time.
What is your company’s strategy?
Kim Rael: Azuca offers both CBD and THC infused products.
Our THC products are produced through licensed partners in jurisdictions that have legalized cannabis for recreational and/or medical use.
A core element of our strategy is to enable other edible brands to incorporate our technology into their existing product lines.
Our CBD products are launching through traditional natural food retailers, on-premise food and beverage outlets and direct to consumers on our ecommerce site.
How are you innovating?
Kim Rael: We deliver the highest quality, fastest-acting, most stable edible infused THC and CBD products in the world.
Azuca’s infused sweeteners are also the most versatile. Because they’re water-friendly and not oil-based, they can be mixed into beverages without compromising taste and texture, and they’re free of any cannabis taste and smell.
Azuca’s syrups and sugars align with trends around elevated home-cooking and culinary creativity—they were developed to integrate easily into any consumer, culinary and commercial recipes.
We’re committed to partnering with forward-thinking brands to upgrade their products for the ultimate user experience.
Do you have any upcoming products you’d like to hint at?
Kim Rael: In addition to our traditional edibles and sweeteners, we will be launching highly innovative savory and zero sugar products in 2019.
We are very excited about these new products. We are a culinary company in our DNA and the emerging flavor profiles in our upcoming products are unlike anything on the market today!
Thank you so much for taking the time to do the interview Kim! To know more about Kim and her company Azuca, please head on over to their website, Azuca.co.
About Azuca: Azuca is a line of fast-acting, consistent and all-natural cannabis edibles and ingredients that leverage a three-patent-pending technology from renowned NYC chef, Ron Silver.
Azuca’s breakthrough emulsification process makes cannabis molecules more water friendly, thereby increasing bioavailability and effectiveness, and minimizing wait time for a more controlled experience.
The line consists of a variety of THC-infused goodies including shortbread cookies, chocolate coins and Pâte de Fruit sold in the Massachusetts medical market, as well as CBD-infused sweeteners being sold direct to consumer and to restaurants, bars and coffee shops around NYC.
In addition to ambitious national expansion plans, the company also has plans for international expansion, beginning with partnerships in Asia.