Our newest addition to the Higher Yields Consulting California Expansion team is no stranger to West Coast living. I recently sat down with Michael Sautman to discuss everything from cashmere, to cannabis, to California. Mr. Sautman, Director of HYC California Operations, spent his childhood in Los Angeles and attended University of California, Berkeley. Mr. Sautman continued his education in Vermont, earning a graduate degree at the School for International Training, focusing his studies in the field of international development. Mr. Sautman’s academic training led to a career spanning over a decade as an International Development Consultant. During his time in Asia, Mr. Sautman began working with the Tibetan refugee population and created a development program in Ladakh, India producing cashmere fiber. As CEO of California Cashmere Co., he went on to create joint-ventures in Mongolia, Tibet, China, and the US, manufacturing cashmere for nearly 15 years.
About 10 years ago, when the cashmere industry experienced global shifts, Mr. Sautman switched gears. Through his own use of cannabis as medicine, Mr. Sautman recognized a serious need for producing standardized cannabis products on an industrial, regulated scale. He began researching where pharmaceutical-grade cannabis was being produced. Mr. Sautman connected with Bedrocan BV, a medical marijuana producer contracted by the Dutch government to supply standardized, pharmaceutical-grade cannabis. Shortly after, Mr. Sautman became the CEO of Bedrocan International, a joint-venture with Bedrocan BV. Bedrocan International was one of the first transnational cannabis companies. During this time, Mr. Sautman had the opportunity to visit many countries considering medical cannabis programs. He eventually landed at the Canadian Cannabis Research Institute where he led the organization's effort to become a Licensed Producer of medical cannabis.
Presently, Mr. Sautman is the CEO of Nutrawerx Inc. He redirected his efforts domestically upon the passage of Proposition 64. His new focus on the homefront and partnership with HYC promises to be a fruitful endeavor.
“There is a lot to be learned from Colorado’s experience. Colorado has now operated in a regulated, adult use market for several years. Cory has a great depth of experience across many aspects of the industry. His colleagues represent a wealth of knowledge and insight that can be translated here in California. Together, we can step up to the plate and meet the demands of a new market.”
Mr. Sautman offers invaluable knowledge to the HYC team and California cannabis companies. Expertise cultivated from his time working with cannabis-friendly countries has given him insight into the scale of California legislation and operations.
“California has looked to jurisdictions outside of the US in terms of how they created a regulated system. The new system in California essentially supports moving the industry toward good manufacturing practices, similar to that of the pharmaceutical industry.”
“In my opinion, if the US Supreme Court made the same decision in terms of medical necessity, we would have a federally regulated system in the US that very much mirror’s what has unfolded in Canada.”
As a California native, resident, and cannabis advisor, Mr. Sautman is closely monitoring the legalization climate. His work internationally, particularly in the Netherlands and Canada, has prepared him to work within the newly regulated, California market.
“With California’s current, loosely regulated market, new regulations will come with greater oversight. Generally speaking, the state takes authority and responsibility for the cannabis market, relieving the pressure and burden from local government.”
We welcome Mr. Sautman and his breadth of knowledge to our team!