Evolab has new leadership, but that leader has a familiar face in the cannabis industry. On August 28, the CO2-extraction company announced that it had hired former Mary's Medicinals CEO Nicole Smith to head Evolab.
Smith co-founded Mary's Medicinals, turning it into a brand synonymous with topical and transdermal products infused with cannabinoids in eight states. After stepping away from Mary's in November 2016, she's now bringing that experience to one of Denver's many growing concentrates brands.
“Evolab has established a set of unique and innovative processes,” Smith says. “I’m excited to work with the Evolab team to help expand this core technology into more product lines and markets."
Smith holds the first patent issued in the country's legal pot market, for her transdermal technology. Her expertise with consumer preferences and knowledge of the plant's medical benefits made her an invaluable hire, Evolab said in announcing the move, which comes just before the company is expected to release a new wave of products that will include topicals.
“This is the perfect time for Nicole to become Evolab’s next CEO,” Evolab managing boardmember Jeff Giarraputo says. “We’re bringing on a proven leader at a time when Evolab is growing at the fastest rate in our history."
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Giarraputo and founder Alex Cahoj had been serving as co-CEOs while looking for the right fit — "building out the dream team," as Evolab marketing director Graham Sorkin puts it. In March, the company created the position of chief scientist, hiring laboratory chemist Noel Palmer. Since then, Palmer and his team have created CBx Sciences, a branch of vaporizer and topical products to support the endocannabinoid system — and Smith is expected to push those past the 100-plus dispensaries in which Evolab is currently sold.
“Nicole’s experience and expertise will help take Evolab to the next level in the national cannabis market,” Palmer says. “Having worked together in the past, I feel that Nicole is ideally qualified to help us realize the vision of CBx Sciences and introduce these and future product lines to Colorado cannabis consumers, and eventually other national and international markets.”
Sorkin says the new additions will allow Cahoj to return to his comfort zone. "With our CO2 tech, Dr. Palmer’s new product lines and more potential opportunities in other markets, Alex and Jeff were looking for a new CEO for the next stage of growth," Sorkin says. "Alex is now able to spend more time in the lab, creating the next industry-leading products, hardware and formulations for the company."