How Inanna Manufacturing is firing up the next generation of products for the cannabis market

When Raquel Origel launched Inanna Manufacturing, she had one goal in mind: to transform how people viewed cannabis. As a woman CEO in a male-dominated industry, she knew the road ahead to changing consumer perception would take some work. But she was ready.

Headquartered in Bellflower, California in southeast Los Angeles County, Inanna Manufacturing is helping fulfill the industry’s demand, working closely with cannabis brands by creating personal, transparent and service-oriented relationships, coupled with cost-effective pricing. Inanna offers a full suite of services to brands, taking them through the processes of ideation, flavor formulation, research and development, packaging and market launch.

Inanna has the capability to manufacture a wide range of cannabis and cannabis-infused products using THC distillate, water-soluble rapid onset THC, CBD and an array of minor cannabinoids such as CBN, CBG, Delta 8, THCa and THCv. Today, just a little over one year into the growing cannabis game, Inanna is a turnkey solution for brands looking to enter California’s burgeoning marketplace.

We sat down with Origel to get her thoughts on where today’s cannabis market is heading and how Inanna Manufacturing is helping meet the demand.

What does today’s cannabis market look like?
Today’s cannabis market is incredibly vibrant with a fast-growing consumer base that is discovering the benefits of cannabis and cannabis-infused products. Brands come to us seeking to manufacture a wide range of products, including gummies, drinks, topicals formulated with essential oils and herbs, tinctures in a variety of unique flavors, pre-rolls, baked goods, and more.

Consumers are growing savvier and expect sophisticated, quality, consistent products and we provide that to our clients through a cost-effective, white-label manufacturing service.

Give us a snapshot of your brand?
We are the brand that services the brands serving cannabis consumers. Inanna Manufacturing offers licensed, state-regulated white-label manufacturing and co-packing services in the world’s largest and most mature legal cannabis market in the world—California. With state-of-the-art facilities and a seasoned staff with extensive experience in cannabis and analogous industries, we take products from concept to production, ensuring they meet tight regulatory requirements and high-quality assurance.

What type of demographic do you target?
Our target is any consumer brand that is looking to enter California’s booming cannabis marketplace. We work with our clients through the supply chain processes of ideation, flavor formulation, research and development, packaging, and market launch. We do the heavy lifting of manufacturing the product in this highly regulated space so that the brands can focus on their IP and marketing.

Give us a rundown of your market’s layout.
We work with a variety of clients with distinct needs and goals. We work with brands who know what type of products they want, but need formulations for products such as gummies, topicals, tinctures, and more. We also work with clients who have a formulation or recipe, but need help either with sourcing ingredients, or with research and development, and meeting standards to bring their product to the legal market. We also have consulting chefs and a food chemist in our facility who can help create custom recipes from scratch for clients who desire to go that route.

What are the biggest trends happening right now?
As the benefits of cannabis become more widely known and consumer markets develop in more and more states, and globally for that matter, we see a distinct shift from flower, which has been the traditional way to consume cannabis, to cannabis-infused products like edibles and topicals.

Flowers used to represent more than half of all cannabis sales in legal states like Colorado, Washington and California two years ago, now it is less than 45% and trending lower. It is not that retailers are selling less cannabis flowers today—in fact state-sanctioned cannabis sales overall are growing by around 25% annually nationwide—it is that infused products are growing even faster.

As the demand for infused products grows, so will the demand for reliable manufacturing services, which in turn leads to more innovation. For example, we are beginning to see greater interest in minor cannabinoids. At Inanna, we already work with a wide array of cannabinoids, including CBN, CBG, Delta 8, THCa and THCv, to help our clients stay ahead of consumer trends.

What’s today’s consumer looking for?
They want the same things consumers have always wanted—whether they’re buying cannabis or frozen yogurt—they want quality products that deliver value and a consistent and predictable experience. You can’t deliver that without reliable manufacturing. The brands we work with count on us to deliver the highest quality products with ease, cost-effective pricing and transparency.

What’s the best piece of advice you can offer to other brands on how to deal with what’s happening right now?
My advice is to always be prepared to pivot. The pandemic has shown us how quickly things can change, and the cannabis industry moves even quicker. Brands need to stay educated and be prepared to adapt.

What’s your short-term strategy? Long-term?
We have only one goal—to be a world class manufacturing resource for cannabis brands.

Talk about sustainability. What are you doing?
The cannabis industry is still evolving, and sustainable options that are common in more mainstream industries like food and beverage are making their way over to the cannabis space. Ensuring we have sustainable options starts with creating partnerships with brands that share our values. For example, we’re currently vetting and creating partnerships with companies that provide sustainable material for packaging so that we can offer such options to our client brands.

What type of opportunities do you see moving ahead?
The cannabis industry is the fastest growing industry in the world, and that’s creating business opportunities, creative opportunities and opportunities to forge new paths. Federal legalization is no longer a question of if, but when. We feel fortunate to be in this dynamic space and helping brands launch new exciting products that will help consumers discover the great benefits of cannabis.

Tell us what makes your brand so unique?
We are focused on providing clear, transparent pricing and on-time deliverables for our clients, which is still relatively rare in our industry. We focus on empowering brands and being a trusted partner from start to finish, providing quality and cost-effective service so brands can focus on marketing themselves.

Describe a typical day.
There is no typical day in the cannabis world—that’s the fun part about this industry. Every brand is different or is creating something unique for the market. We have standard processes and workflows, but the products themselves and the journey to market can be very unique.

One on one with …
Raquel Origel, CEO, Inanna Manufacturing

What’s the biggest item on your to-do list right now?
Innovation is a big thing to do for us daily. This is a fast-moving space, and innovation is not a luxury, it is a necessity.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Creating products for our clients, seeing a brand go from concept to a finished product on retail shelves, and seeing their success. That is the ultimate reward.

What was the best advice you ever received?
The only one stopping me is me.

What’s the best thing a client ever said to you?
The best thing a client can ever say about us is not the finished product, but how much they appreciate our team.

How do you like to spend your down time?
There isn’t a lot of downtime in my current role, however when I do have free time, I spend it with my family.

Story by Michael J. Pallerino, editor of Commercial Construction & Renovation magazine. Over the past 30-plus years, he has won numerous awards, including the “Jesse H. Neal Editorial Achievement Award,” recognized as the Pulitzer Prize for business-to-business magazines. He can be reached at mikep@ccr-mag.com.

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