“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.”