Cameron Forni Pushes Innovation With Rolling Stone Cannabis Collab

Pulling up to entrepreneur turned cannabis mogul Cameron Forni’s Las Vegas home feels like driving up to the entrance of a Las Vegas Strip hotel. In his driveway, a custom-decalled Ferrari stands out with a monopoly-esque art themed wrap. The wrap showcases his consulting company, an eco-friendly crypto currency, and also pays homage to the brand that started it all—Select. Parked next to it is an all-black Rolls Royce Ghost. On first impression, Cameron Forni has built quite a life as an entrepreneur.  

“I’m glad you found the house!” He says jokingly as I hop out of my car and walk up his impressive driveway to the door. The 35-year-old can’t be any taller than 5-foot-9, and his unassuming black t-shirt and navy-blue shorts suggest that, even with this level of success, he’s still relatable.

We are greeted by a pair of medium-sized Pomsky’s, Meso and Cali. We make our way through the striking entryway to the kitchen where we all sit together to become more acquainted. Forni passes around a plate of avocado toast for us to snack on while we discuss his latest device for Select in the cannabis space.  

We’re here to talk about the recent partnership Select launched with Rolling Stone magazine on co-branded vape pens and Select’s first-ever pre-rolls. Forni explains that his goal is to create a smooth, enjoyable experience for all cannabis users. Further, he is excited about the reach and cultural alignment between the Rolling Stone brand and music. 

Rolling Stone’s president and COO Gus Wenner also speaks to the larger purpose driving the new co-branded product line.  

“There’s a mission here that’s been a part of our DNA since the beginning. Music and cannabis are so connected, and we set out to make a product that is A) really good and B) strikes right at the heart of what makes experiencing great music so special,” Wenner told Cannabis Now, adding that the Rolling Stones team has spent the past three years exploring ways to create this opportunity.

“In CuraLeaf and Select, we found a perfect partner who could design innovative and exciting products that elevate the music listening experience and so much more,” he said. “We both recognize cannabis’ place in music and in history. We’ve covered the health benefits and some of the incarceration issues around how cases are treated for non-violent crime offenders in our reporting and will continue to do so.”

If legal cannabis was a baseball game, Forni insists we’d still be in the second inning of a typical nine-inning game. The black market remains too powerful for the legal industry to reach its full potential, he says. Forni also comments on the tumultuous hemp-based Delta-8 market, which he believes “is finally being cracked down on.” 

The Select founder contends legal weed’s biggest boon will happen when Congress passes the SAFE Banking Act and the STATES Act, opening the way for cannabis companies to list on the New York Stock Exchange. 

“It’ll change the entire financial landscape of the cannabis industry,” he says. “That’s what we’re waiting for.” 

The legal cannabis Green Rush has been good to entrepreneurs like Forni, who got involved early and worked tooth-and-nail to earn significant market share. Forni founded Select back in 2015 after puffing on a marijuana vape and coughing his lungs out. This experience inspired his first business venture, and he set out to develop a smoother cartridge. Select was born. 

Forni built this company from the ground up and filled his first cartridges by hand. From his living room, Forni managed to turn Select into the fastest growing cannabis brand in history. This caught the attention of the world’s largest cannabis company, Curaleaf, which purchased his company for $948 million dollars in 2019. Since the sale, Forni has stayed on as a special advisor to Curaleaf’s CEO Joe Bayern. Expanding the product line beyond its staple cartridge products, Select now also offers THC oil, gummies, tinctures and drink mixers.

Forni brings us to his office and hands over a pack of his newest edibles, “Nano Gummies.” The citrus-flavored edible is made of strain-inspired terpene formulas and are infused with cannabis oil. They are also water soluble which allows the THC to digest quicker. Their new gummies will surely be a hit across the 2,000 dispensaries in 21 states that carry Select’s products. However, Forni isn’t completely satisfied quite yet. “You can taste hints of cannabis, we can make it better,” he says. 

How does a guy in Forni’s position not let all of this get to his head? We ask him how he’s changed, besides the new house and luxury lifestyle. The answer? Not much. Forni says he’s always had a bit of an edge to him. But in a good way. 

“You got to keep it,” he says of his ego. “I always try to be myself; I always try to be kind to everyone around me, and I always try to teach and mentor people to bring them up to the next level. Success follows success, and I always wanted to follow the people that had success before me. I just hope I can inspire people—whether that’s a role model or a mentor—to do and achieve incredible things for themselves, their family and the planet.”  

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Rolling Stone and Curaleaf Partner On New ‘Rolling Stone by Select’ Cannabis Brand

International cannabis powerhouse Curaleaf announced on Tuesday that its Select brand will market co-branded cannabis products under a new strategic partnership with pop culture and music authority Rolling Stone. The deal will initially bring “Rolling Stone by Select” branded vaporizer products and pre-rolled joints to Nevada, with plans to expand to other regulated cannabis markets in the future.

Rolling Stone and Select are creating a groundbreaking partnership that will showcase our next generation hardware [and] America’s best-selling premium cannabis oil while curating an exclusive relationship between music, cannabis and culture,” Select founder and president Cameron Forni wrote in an electronic message to Cannabis Now.

The new line of Rolling Stone by Select products will include Select’s newest proprietary cannabis oil vaporizer pod system, The Cliq, as well as Select’s first ever pre-rolled joint. Both product formats will feature three different “strains and flavor profiles hand-selected by Rolling Stone to celebrate some of the most well-known and genre-defining artists and sounds in music history,” Curaleaf wrote in a press release. The line includes Overdrive, berry-forward sativa; a complex and full-bodied indica known as Reverb; and a fruity, calming hybrid marketed under the moniker Phaser. The products will be distributed through Select’s wholesale partners and at Curaleaf dispensaries, including Acres by Curaleaf and Curaleaf Las Vegas Boulevard.

Rolling Stone by Select Cliq Vaporizer

“Music and Cannabis go hand in hand,” said Rolling Stone president and chief operating officer Gus Wenner, noting that the company has a legacy of celebrating this connection and a history of covering cannabis policy reform efforts.

“We are thrilled to have found a perfect partner in Curaleaf who gives us the opportunity to design a product that elevates the music listening experience and celebrates the deep connection between the two.” 

Music Icon Teams with Cannabis Powerhouse

Curaleaf and Select made headlines in 2019 when they joined forces in what was at the time the cannabis industry’s largest merger deal in history. Today, Curaleaf operates in 23 states with 106 cannabis dispensaries, 23 cultivation sites, and more than 30 processing sites, with a workforce of nearly 5,000 in the United States. Curaleaf International is the largest vertically integrated cannabis company in Europe, conducting pioneering scientific research integrated with a unique supply chain including cultivation, extraction and production, as well as a distribution network across the European market. 

“Part of my job at Curaleaf is building brands people love. Select is a brand built around the relentless pursuit of progress and going to great lengths to create the best possible experience for our consumer,” Curaleaf CEO Joe Bayern said in a statement from the company. “This is a synergy we are honored to share with Rolling Stone. They are known for having one of the most authentic and discerning voices in modern journalism, and, as part of that, they’ve included cannabis in their coverage for the past 50 years – something many other publications are only just starting to do today. We’re honored and thrilled that the Rolling Stone team believes in our vision, our products and our people to create and deliver the highest-quality cannabis products and experiences in the industry.”

Putting Social Equity into Practice

Bayern told Cannabis Now in an email that Rolling Stone and Curaleaf have an opportunity to use their combined platforms to advance social equity issues including reducing mass incarceration and ensuring that all entrepreneurs, especially those belonging to communities adversely affected by the War on Drugs, have an opportunity to participate in the legal cannabis economy.

“Since our inception, Curaleaf has been dedicated to putting its best foot forward for each other, our customers and our communities. We truly believe in shaping a healthy, inclusive, well-regulated cannabis industry that provides for social, financial and environmental benefits shared by all,” Bayern said. “Throughout Curaleaf’s network and supply chain, we’re constantly looking for ways to support equal access and opportunity for communities impacted by the War on Drugs so that everyone has the chance to participate in the regulated cannabis industry.”

Bayern noted that Curaleaf’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, called “Rooted in Good,” is grounded on three core pillars: social equity; sustainability; and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I). Through the program, Curaleaf strives to deliver social impact through focused efforts that match the company’s capabilities and prioritize resources for social equity programming that deliver real opportunities.

“As a part of that work, we engage in strategic partnerships activating programs that foster opportunity and remove systematic barriers for communities most harmed by the War on Drugs and cannabis criminalization,” Bayern said. “Regarding our partnership with Rolling Stone, we are excited to explore conversations with their CSR team around future endeavors to further advance cannabis social equity issues and bring about change in a positive way.”

Curaleaf also revealed that the partnership would launch a new retail concept inspired by “Select’s commitment to enriching communities and creating inclusive, meaningful experiences and Rolling Stone’s world class storytelling and culture-defining content.” The retail location is expected to open in Las Vegas in 2022, with further details to be announced later.

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