Pot of the future

A rendering of Natura Life + Science's 12-acre cannabis campus, which is set to open on Oct. 1. (Photo courtesy of Natura Life + Science)

Natura Life + Science, a massive cannabis service provider, will open its 12-acre campus in Sacramento this fall

Is Sacramento ready to welcome one of the world’s largest cannabis campuses, spanning more than 12 acres with 200,000 square feet of canopy space dedicated to cultivation and the ability to harvest 1,000 pounds of sweet, sweet cheeba every three days?

That’s just a slice of what Natura Life + Science envisions for its massive operation that launches Oct. 1.

The campus is located out in the country off Elder Creek Road in southeast Sacramento next to a FedEx Ground receiving hub. In January, SN&R toured the extensive campus, which was bustling with dozens of construction workers driving trucks through the mud and trying to meet the projected soft opening date of Aug. 1.

When complete, Natura will be a vertically integrated manufacturing and distribution powerhouse with food- and pharmaceutical-grade equipment and practices. At its core, its essentially a service provider for cannabis companies that need help meeting the demand of their customers on a larger scale. Natura, which secured $91 million in private funding, applied for 24 corresponding licenses.

Companies that partner with Natura will choose from top-notch plant varietals grown on site and turn those flowers into edibles, wax, prerolls and topicals.

Companies that partner with Natura will choose from top-notch plant varietals grown on site and turn those flowers into edibles, wax, prerolls and topicals. A design and marketing team will help create packaging, then the products will be distributed to licensed retailers across California. Seeing the substantial operation even at this stage, it seems like a game-changer for the industry.

“We are the largest cultivation manufacturing center in California and the continental U.S. right now,” says Siddarth Gupta, chief revenue officer. The project is so large, he said, that founder Ori Bytton brought in his own construction company.

Plans for the campus also include a history museum, education center, co-working space, entrepreneur hub and a showroom for new products—and that’s just in one building. Gupta says that the co-working space will be the world’s largest cannabis educational center, and the greenhouses and manufacturing will be used for internships and fellowships.

Gupta also told SN&R that the growing standards meet Good Agricultural Practices and that the combination of sun and LED lighting during cultivation will mean gold certification from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

Darron Silva, CEO of Cali Kosher, a certified kosher cannabis company in the Central Valley, says that Natura will help him meet high demand for his products, found in more than 200 retailers.

“Our brand has grown very fast and we don’t have the capacity to supply kosher cannabis,” Silva says. Because there are few kosher cannabis companies, “we can’t just buy flower from anybody and put them in our packaging.”

Silva told SN&R he brought a rabbi to check out Natura’s campus and once the two saw the potential, Natura started its kosher certification process. Because there isn’t an “organic” certification for cannabis because it is still illegal under federal law, being kosher is one way that Silva assures his customers that his cannabis products are among the cleanest on the market.

“We make sure there’s not animal byproducts going into the soil, or dirty shellfish, or stuff that’s being transported with pig fat, anything like that,” Silva says. “The kosher certification ensures that it is being grown and taken care of all the way from the final harvest to the user’s hand.”

Gupta told SN&R that he’s passionate about educating the public about the medicinal qualities of cannabis. He also sees Natura’s education center as a place to train applicants to Sacramento’s equity program for the industry, with free classes taught by the chief marketing officer, head of cultivation and general counsel.

“I think what we’re experiencing in America, with this level of consciousness, there is no better time, opportunity or place to be able to add to that,” he said. “That’s what we’re looking forward to adding back.”

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