After one conversation with Dr. Harold Han – co-founder and Chief Science Officer at Vertosa – it’s clear that the chemist cares about people. Before entering the space, Dr. Han founded a company in Silicon Valley. But he was ultimately distressed to see the development of apps and devices that weren’t contributing good to humanity. He wanted to use science and technology to help people but at the time, wasn’t accomplishing that in his position. As he honed in on what was missing, he noticed that anxiety and stress were plaguing most people.
After California legalized adult-use cannabis, a coworker gifted Dr. Han a bag of cannabis and over time he realized the benefits of using cannabis products for general wellbeing. The chemist began attending events and meeting cannabis professionals to identify a need in the industry, and they all urged him to focus on emulsifying a cannabis-infused fat into liquid. There was not yet a stable, homogenous, dilutable cannabis emulsion for the production of edibles. What better problem for an emulsion chemist, right? Soon, Dr. Han and fellow Silicon Valley veterans Ben Larson and Austin Stevenson co-founded Vertosa and built a reputation for white-glove service helping customers bring their ideas to life. Vertosa produces emulsions that can be used in various ingestible cannabis products like beverages and gummies. The company has researched and developed beverages with a 5-minute onset, artisanal ingredients, and superfoods, among other products.
Dr. Han is excited to play a role in releasing precise, ingestible products because he believes such products serve a wide swath of curious consumers, specifically: those who are interested in cannabis for relaxation and relief but aren’t interested in inhalation.
Since their products often focus on newer consumers and require proprietary technologies, the service company is dedicated to education. Since then, the brand has built a catalog of emulsions that Dr. Han confidently deems proven and reliable. Each input and resulting emulsion are third-party tested for potency, microbial, heavy metals, solvents, mycotoxins, and pesticides which increases the cost of production but is worth it to the brand as it ensures that each batch is safe and consistent.
The team is hands-on throughout the R&D process when developing a new product. At the start, educated sales teams help clients find the perfect emulsion for the future SKU. From there, Vertosa learns as much about the product as possible, factors like pH density, packaging materials, ingredients, and details about the production facility. Many customers work with a co-packer so at this point in the process, Vertosa reps will go to that facility and ensure they know the nuances of using the emulsion. There can be factors to address once the product hits shelves, as well. The team stands by their customers for support throughout the product journey.
The science-first lab also publishes case studies, white papers, and educational videos. The research team most recently developed an emulsion formula for gummies that delivers a 5-minute onset. The formula is currently in pharmacokinetic (PK) testing to identify the time it takes to get into the bloodstream. Dr. Han expressed that the team would love to implement a more streamlined R&D process but, looking at the published case studies, it’s clear why they pay detailed attention to each customer.
“We love our customers. Our mission is to unlock the healing power of the cannabinoids and make it accessible to all. We can’t just sell the consumer just this,” Dr. Han said as he lifted a jar of Vertosa emulsion into the camera view and pointed at it. “We need them to fulfill our mission.”
On top of its overarching mission of helping more people access the benefits of cannabis and its tangible mission of creating perfect cannabis emulsions, the company is growing in all directions. Geographically, they’ll be moving into new state markets in the coming year, and horizontally, they continue to develop new SKUs and fortify new applications of their technology.
To learn more about Vertosa or dig into their research, check out vertosa.com.