Vitalis places No. 3 on Canada’s Top Growing Companies List

Testimonials Icon

Vitalis Extraction Technology, Inc. (Vitalis) is pleased to announce it has placed No. 3 on the Globe and Mail’s 2020 Report on Business ranking of Canada’s Top Growing Companies.

Canada’s Top Growing Companies ranks Canadian companies on three-year revenue growth. Vitalis earned its spot with a three-year growth of 8,090 per cent.

Vitalis is a world-class manufacturer of industrial-scale supercritical CO2 extraction systems for a broad range of industries, turning their organic materials into pure extracts. Vitalis builds for the future and continues to raise the bar for safety, service and performance to serve its diverse customer base that includes producers of cannabis, hemp, pharmaceuticals, F&B and essential oils.

"What an honour it is to be recognized on this list of great Canadian companies. It is truly a testament to our team and technological innovations, coupled with the trust of our industry-leading clients that has fueled our global growth from our proudly Canadian roots," said Joel Sherlock, co-founder and chairman of Vitalis.

"Vitalis was born on the premise of partnership – we believe that combining a customer-first approach with industry-leading innovation helps drive our clients' success, which in turn propels our own business. This belief drove our decision to build components in-house, from the initial fabrication of raw steel and customized control systems to live on-site installation and training. We stand firmly behind the quality of every system. We're proud to reach this milestone as we approach our 5th birthday, and excited to maintain this momentum of growth moving forward with our sights set on new products and new markets."

Launched in 2019, the Canada’s Top Growing Companies editorial ranking aims to celebrate entrepreneurial achievement in Canada by identifying and amplifying the success of growth-minded, independent businesses in Canada. It is a voluntary program; companies had to complete an in-depth application process in order to qualify. In total, 400 companies earned a spot on this year’s ranking.

The full list of 2020 winners, and accompanying editorial coverage, is published in the October issue of Report on Business magazine—out now—and online at tgam.ca/TopGrowing.

Join our mailing list

Subscribe to the Vitalis newsletter to keep up to date on the latest news.

Knowing when to Hold your Tongue // #2 – Kayla Mann


'Knowing when to Hold your Tongue' // #2 - Kayla Mann // The Extraction Insiders


"Camaraderie is the biggest thing. People trying to do this shit on their own - yeah you have the luck-ability to succeed. I think we're in this today, growing this industry and flying the plane while building it. The biggest thing for me is our relationships; they are everything….. "The people that are going to succeed in this industry, you hope it's all the ones that care and that we can all do it together." – Kayla Mann

 

Connect with Kayla Mann:

LinkedIn

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

 

Selected Links and People Mentioned from this episode:

Kaylamann.com

Extracted Podcast

The Valens Company

Habitat Life

Habitat Life on Twitter and Instagram


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[0:08] Jason and Joel welcome their next guest Kayla Mann as they chat a bit about how they know each other.

[0:47] Kayla recounts her journey from accounting to artistry in photography, from nude female models to bison models, cannabis start up to bison and back to corporate finance.

[4:05] Marketing in the cannabis space, where it’s been and where it’s heading. It can be risky, but it is a risk Kayla and her team were willing to take for their passion.

[6:42] Navigating uncharted territory, Kayla describes the process of creating from scratch Habitat Life, with no benchmark and no comparison. 

[9:15] Kayla explains the three components of the aquaponics system they are using, including a process unique to Habitat Life all while breaking a stigma or two along the way. Kayla also takes a quick dive into nutrient costs and Habitat Life’s current position at a zero cost.

[13:26] What are two distinct qualities Kayla has observed that can make one cannabis operation more successful than another? 

[17:23] Given the infancy stages in which this industry exists, one can also count on the fact that change is a guarantee.  Just ask the “Vape Queen!”

[19:18] Unpacking the vape topic. What the industry thought it knew, then what it learned from Kayla and her research and education. Kayla shares her hardware preference from a consumer standpoint.

[22:17] Using technology experts to cross-pollinate industries. Take tried and true technology from say a world-class vacuum company and apply it to vape technology – this could be a game changer. 

[23:18] Kayla, Jason and Joel talk about talent acquisition from big corporate pharma, tobacco or food and beverage over to the cannabis industry. It’s not a shift everyone can make where the consumer needs are so varied and particular profiles of end-use have to be considered.

[26:50] Furthering the consumer conversation, they discuss how similar industries like alcohol are going to need to adapt to keep their market share as cannabis demand grows and the industry moves into mainstream marketing for recreational use.

[30:12] Let’s talk regulations and the challenges pre-existing dispensaries now face as a result of the new legislation is 2018.

[32:00] Kayla explains the micro-cultivator licensing process and the relative ease with which they obtained theirs, plus a bit about getting their product out in the market and the basics needs for getting started in the cultivation business.

[35:49] With a niche, organic product in a relatively small-scale environment, Kayla describes how she sees scaling Habitat Life’s operation for expansion while retaining high quality standards. Low and slow.

[38:12] Funding and financial support. Kayla, Joel, and Jason have a robust conversation about current realities, investor confidence, integrity, and chutzpah.

[41:27] The Godfather of purchasing, Kayla’s edible of choice and hey! Why not market cannabis beverages that also taste terrific?

[47:31] US Federal Legalization: how it could change and affect the game globally and how the climate of the cannabis industry is changing overall. If you are a start up now, there are considerably more elements to factor in and having one or two seasoned players on your team is critical.

[55:18] Kayla’s scars and bruises: she talks about the environment within which she has received the most, learning and personal development plus the importance of establishing timelines that cultivate a space for success for all players.

[59:36] Kayla expands on the challenges that come with the journey she has chosen so far and how it has contributed to her personal growth.

[60:44] Looking forward, Kayla offers her take on what’s next in the industry over the next 24-36 months, plus the frustrations with current regulations for people whose lives have significantly improved with the use of cannabis for medical purposes.

[64:33] The missing opportunity for education in the physician community and the need for more data and research on how different strains and consumption of cannabis can be successful in treatment of illness and injury. 

[68:23] Working together to make a difference.

[70:10] Find Kayla on the social machine!

 

Listen to this episode of  'The Extraction Insiders' at GetXtracted.com.

Knowing when to Hold your Tongue // #2 – Kayla Mann


'Knowing when to Hold your Tongue' // #2 - Kayla Mann // The Extraction Insiders


"Camaraderie is the biggest thing people trying to do this shit on their own - yeah you have the luck-ability to succeed. I think we're in this today, growing this industry and flying the plane while building it. The biggest thing for me is our relationships; they are everything….. "The people that are going to succeed in this industry, you hope it's all the ones that care and that we can all do it together." – Kayla Mann

 

Connect with Kayla Mann:

LinkedIn

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

 

Selected Links and People Mentioned from this episode:

Kaylamann.com

Extracted Podcast

The Valens Company

Habitat Life

Habitat Life on Twitter and Instagram


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[0:08] Jason and Joel welcome their next guest Kayla Mann as they chat a bit about how they know each other.

[0:47] Kayla recounts her journey from accounting to artistry in photography, from nude female models to bison models, cannabis start up to bison and back to corporate finance.

[4:05] Marketing in the cannabis space, where it’s been and where it’s heading. It can be risky, but it is a risk Kayla and her team were willing to take for their passion.

[6:42] Navigating uncharted territory, Kayla describes the process of creating from scratch Habitat Life, with no benchmark and no comparison. 

[9:15] Kayla explains the three components of the aquaponics system they are using, including a process unique to Habitat Life all while breaking a stigma or two along the way. Kayla also takes a quick dive into nutrient costs and Habitat Life’s current position at a zero cost.

[13:26] What are two distinct qualities Kayla has observed that can make one cannabis operation more successful than another? 

[17:23] Given the infancy stages in which this industry exists, one can also count on the fact that change is a guarantee.  Just ask the “Vape Queen!”

[19:18] Unpacking the vape topic. What the industry thought it knew, then what it learned from Kayla and her research and education. Kayla shares her hardware preference from a consumer standpoint.

[22:17] Using technology experts to cross-pollinate industries. Take tried and true technology from say a world-class vacuum company and apply it to vape technology – this could be a game changer. 

[23:18] Kayla, Jason and Joel talk about talent acquisition from big corporate pharma, tobacco or food and beverage over to the cannabis industry. It’s not a shift everyone can make where the consumer needs are so varied and particular profiles of end-use have to be considered.

[26:50] Furthering the consumer conversation, they discuss how similar industries like alcohol are going to need to adapt to keep their market share as cannabis demand grows and the industry moves into mainstream marketing for recreational use.

[30:12] Let’s talk regulations and the challenges pre-existing dispensaries now face as a result of the new legislation is 2018.

[32:00] Kayla explains the micro-cultivator licensing process and the relative ease with which they obtained theirs, plus a bit about getting their product out in the market and the basics needs for getting started in the cultivation business.

[35:49] With a niche, organic product in a relatively small-scale environment, Kayla describes how she sees scaling Habitat Life’s operation for expansion while retaining high quality standards. Low and slow.

[38:12] Funding and financial support. Kayla, Joel, and Jason have a robust conversation about current realities, investor confidence, integrity, and chutzpah.

[41:27] The Godfather of purchasing, Kayla’s edible of choice and hey! Why not market cannabis beverages that also taste terrific?

[47:31] US Federal Legalization: how it could change and affect the game globally and how the climate of the cannabis industry is changing overall. If you are a start up now, there are considerably more elements to factor in and having one or two seasoned players on your team is critical.

[55:18] Kayla’s scars and bruises: she talks about the environment within which she has received the most, learning and personal development plus the importance of establishing timelines that cultivate a space for success for all players.

[59:36] Kayla expands on the challenges that come with the journey she has chosen so far and how it has contributed to her personal growth.

[60:44] Looking forward, Kayla offers her take on what’s next in the industry over the next 24-36 months, plus the frustrations with current regulations for people whose lives have significantly improved with the use of cannabis for medical purposes.

[64:33] The missing opportunity for education in the physician community and the need for more data and research on how different strains and consumption of cannabis can be successful in treatment of illness and injury. 

[68:23] Working together to make a difference.

[70:10] Find Kayla on the social machine!

 

Listen to this episode of  'The Extraction Insiders' at GetXtracted.com.

You’re Going to Need Clever Humans // #1 – Kiran Dayaram

 

'You're Going to Need Clever Humans' // #1 - Kiran Dayaram // The Extraction Insiders


“What GMP brings is confidence in the manufacturing process because you’ve got so many checks and balances along the way...in the long term you actually save money because you have less non-conformances to deal with because you’ve got so many systems in place to catch things as soon as they happen.” –
Kiran Dayaram

 

Connect with Kiran Dayaram:

GMP Systems @ Vitalis

 

Selected Links and People Mentioned from this episode:

Vitalis Extraction Technologies 

Gastropod Podcast – creation of the U.S. Federal Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

CFR 111 & 211 (US)

GMP Intro Video from Vitalis

GMP Overview Part 1 and Part 2

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[00:05] Joel and Jason get right to it and welcome their first guest Kiran Dayaram.

[00:10] Seeing the opportunity that exists in the cannabis industry, Kiran and his fiancée embarked on an adventure that brought them from New Zealand to Canada. 

[01:06] Kiran explains his role as the Guru of GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice), what GMP aims to achieve and why it is important for all consumers. Mishap breeds necessity.

[04:32] GMP compliance. Kiran sheds light on what is driving the current push and considerations for pivoting a non-compliant facility to compliant.

[06:55] Kiran’s advice for someone getting into the game of turning an existing manufacturing facility into a GMP compliant manufacturing facility. As with most undertakings, learn from the experience of others and engage the experts to guide you through the process.

[09:08] In the space of GMP compliance the importance of quality control and the integrity of each step in the process, from the origin to the end-product of the manufacturing chain, cannot be understated. From a risk perspective is it easiest to simply start from scratch vs. retrofit?

[11:00] Kiran gives examples of way to assess suppliers for GMP compliance and questions to ask in the important due diligence process.

[13:16] The thread of the GMP compliant manufacturer doesn’t rest with one, it weaves through every piece of the company and is reliant on the whole.

[15:30] Kiran explains the various levels of GMP and what products they apply to. A broad capability and forward-thinking facility generates opportunity to respond to evolving market demand.

[18:33] Expanding on the point of agility, Kiran, Joel & Jason talk about why setting up a one-horse facility that meets the minimum current standards won’t allow manufacturers to be nimble for the inevitable dance of changing rules and regulations.

[19:24] Ultimately GMP compliance inspires confidence in the integrity of the product for your customers. The checks and balances integral in the process from the raw material forward allow for the highest standard of quality control.

[23:24] Kiran provides examples of how hazardous it is without those process controls in place. Once those risks are attached to a product or brand, they may not be in business much longer!

[25:59] Consistent output proves far more difficult when the input material (in this case botanicals) is never the same. Kiran talks about automation in the hemp and cannabis space and the variance that needs to exist. Good news for clever humans, they are still vital in the process of extraction. 

[30:25] Hear Kiran’s thoughts on implementing GMP for a small-scale operation.

[31:16] Global cannabis laws, how it relates to GMP regulations and accreditation and the critical importance of knowing where you will be selling your product. Cannabis is a growing, evolving industry still in its infancy and there is so much more to do and learn.

[34:25] As the extraction industry expands, Kiran identifies some of the key questions people should be considering and asking themselves as they get into the business. Having a market focus will be far more efficient for the bottom line.

[36:08] Kiran offers his insights into where the industry is headed, guidance to those entering the extraction space and the role that the extraction method may play in the ease of getting GMP certification. It goes back to being nimble and flexible. 

[40:27] From the GMP perspective, Kiran shares the full-service experience a Vitalis customer can expect. The Vitalis GMP program is designed to educate their customers and offer a tailored experience based on their knowledge and user requirement specifications (URS).

[41:55] Providing tools like a URS template to give customers a head start and simpler equipment customization process for their particular extraction needs, is one way Vitalis strives to set their customers up for success.

[44:21] Kiran flips from interviewee to interviewer to talk about when Jason and Joel first heard about GMP, the difference in customer profiles from North America to Europe, the quality of questions improving with time and Vitalis’ forward-thinking approach.

[49:25] Ask Kiran! Reach out to him through the Vitalis website and check out not one, but two of Kiran’s GMP webinars.

Listen to this episode of  'The Extraction Insiders' at GetXtracted.com.

You’re Going to Need Clever Humans // #1 – Kiran Dayaram


'You're Going to Need Clever Humans' // #1 - Kiran Dayaram // The Extraction Insiders


“What GMP brings is confidence in the manufacturing process because you’ve got so many checks and balances along the way...in the long term you actually save money because you have less non-conformances to deal with because you’ve got so many systems in place to catch things as soon as they happen.” –
Kiran Dayaram

 

Connect with Kiran Dayaram:

GMP Systems @ Vitalis

 

Selected Links and People Mentioned from this episode:

Vitalis Extraction Technologies 

Gastropod Podcast – creation of the U.S. Federal Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

CFR 111 & 211 (US)

GMP Intro Video from Vitalis

GMP Overview Part 1 and Part 2

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[00:05] Joel and Jason get right to it and welcome their first guest Kiran Dayaram.

[00:10] Seeing the opportunity that exists in the cannabis industry, Kiran and his fiancée embarked on an adventure that brought them from New Zealand to Canada. 

[01:06] Kiran explains his role as the Guru of GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice), what GMP aims to achieve and why it is important for all consumers. Mishap breeds necessity.

[04:32] GMP compliance. Kiran sheds light on what is driving the current push and considerations for pivoting a non-compliant facility to compliant.

[06:55] Kiran’s advice for someone getting into the game of turning an existing manufacturing facility into a GMP compliant manufacturing facility. As with most undertakings, learn from the experience of others and engage the experts to guide you through the process.

[09:08] In the space of GMP compliance the importance of quality control and the integrity of each step in the process, from the origin to the end-product of the manufacturing chain, cannot be understated. From a risk perspective is it easiest to simply start from scratch vs. retrofit?

[11:00] Kiran gives examples of way to assess suppliers for GMP compliance and questions to ask in the important due diligence process.

[13:16] The thread of the GMP compliant manufacturer doesn’t rest with one, it weaves through every piece of the company and is reliant on the whole.

[15:30] Kiran explains the various levels of GMP and what products they apply to. A broad capability and forward-thinking facility generates opportunity to respond to evolving market demand.

[18:33] Expanding on the point of agility, Kiran, Joel & Jason talk about why setting up a one-horse facility that meets the minimum current standards won’t allow manufacturers to be nimble for the inevitable dance of changing rules and regulations.

[19:24] Ultimately GMP compliance inspires confidence in the integrity of the product for your customers. The checks and balances integral in the process from the raw material forward allow for the highest standard of quality control.

[23:24] Kiran provides examples of how hazardous it is without those process controls in place. Once those risks are attached to a product or brand, they may not be in business much longer!

[25:59] Consistent output proves far more difficult when the input material (in this case botanicals) is never the same. Kiran talks about automation in the hemp and cannabis space and the variance that needs to exist. Good news for clever humans, they are still vital in the process of extraction. 

[30:25] Hear Kiran’s thoughts on implementing GMP for a small-scale operation.

[31:16] Global cannabis laws, how it relates to GMP regulations and accreditation and the critical importance of knowing where you will be selling your product. Cannabis is a growing, evolving industry still in its infancy and there is so much more to do and learn.

[34:25] As the extraction industry expands, Kiran identifies some of the key questions people should be considering and asking themselves as they get into the business. Having a market focus will be far more efficient for the bottom line.

[36:08] Kiran offers his insights into where the industry is headed, guidance to those entering the extraction space and the role that the extraction method may play in the ease of getting GMP certification. It goes back to being nimble and flexible. 

[40:27] From the GMP perspective, Kiran shares the full-service experience a Vitalis customer can expect. The Vitalis GMP program is designed to educate their customers and offer a tailored experience based on their knowledge and user requirement specifications (URS).

[41:55] Providing tools like a URS template to give customers a head start and simpler equipment customization process for their particular extraction needs, is one way Vitalis strives to set their customers up for success.

[44:21] Kiran flips from interviewee to interviewer to talk about when Jason and Joel first heard about GMP, the difference in customer profiles from North America to Europe, the quality of questions improving with time and Vitalis’ forward-thinking approach.

[49:25] Ask Kiran! Reach out to him through the Vitalis website and check out not one, but two of Kiran’s GMP webinars.

 

Listen to this episode of  'The Extraction Insiders' at GetXtracted.com.

Cannabis-Derived Terpenes Versus Botanical Terpenes

Make a Good Product Great: The Difference Between Cannabis-Derived Terpenes and Botanical Terpenes

There is no subset of people who uncork a high-end bottle of wine and speak avidly about how ‘alcoholic’ it is, disregarding its flavors and subtle qualities. There would be no point – winemaking, like so many other creative processes, is an art, and creating cannabis products is no different.

While cannabis has a variety of medical and recreational uses, it’s the underlying flavors and smells known as terpenes and flavonoids that make a good product great. Extracting these volatile compounds from the plant is a delicate process, but well worth the effort in setting your business apart in a highly-competitive market.

Up until recently, adding unnatural terpenes back into a product went largely unnoticed across the United States where legislation around cannabis continues to evolve. News out of Oregon, however, could be the first of many other states to follow suit and cause a wave of disruption for many cannabis extractors. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission wants to stop manufacturers from being able to mix THC oil with any additive such as flavors and thinning agents. For extractors using methods or solvents stripping the plant of its natural terpene content, the potential ruling could mean a costly halt in production for those operating with harsh solvents and methods bound to non-cannabis derived terpenes.

Terpenes make or break your cannabis product

Cannabis producers typically focus on extracting CBD and THC from the plants – and it makes sense, as they are the “useful” parts. However, as research continues to uncover, there is far more to cannabis than THC and CBD. The full spectrum of botanical compounds in cannabis produce effects on the cannabinoid receptors, but the idea that they all work together is called “the entourage effect”. CBD, THC, terpenes, chlorophyll, and the various other parts of the plant all combine their effects to produce a more powerful benefit than if you were to extract them individually.

Terpenes provide flavor and aroma to cannabis and can vary dramatically and help you make a unique product, distinct to your business. They’re responsible for that incredibly fresh and vital smell and taste, especially with cannabis concentrates. With so many products opting to neglect terpene inclusion, finding a good method to extract them can add a brandable uniqueness that your customers can gravitate towards and keep you in the clear when regulations enter the question. Cannabis customers – your customers – want that smell and flavor.

Perfecting Terpene Formulations for Quality Products

The challenge of perfecting formulations using the proper balance of terpenes is what will set apart quality cannabis products in the market, which is why terpenes are in high demand for manufacturers.

Aside from the associated costs based on the extraction method, standardization, efficacy, and scalability are all deciding factors that have motivated manufacturers to source terpenes from other plant sources as additives, often rich in the same molecules of interest that cannabis contains.

Cannabis-Derived Terpenes

  • Cannabis terpenes are ideal for flavoring products intended to smell and taste just like the plant in its natural form
  • Cannabis terpenes allow formulas to remain completely derived from the cannabis plant

Botanical Terpenes

  • Botanical terpenes are readily available in bulk supply at reasonably low costs
  • Botanical terpenes can mimic the cannabis plant’s natural flavors and aromas

Choosing Your Extraction Method based on Terpenes

How quickly and cost-efficiently compounds can be removed from cannabis are often the first questions posed when it comes to deciding on the process, but it’s not that simple. Unfortunately, there are more compounds in cannabis than desirables like terpenes and cannabinoids. Chlorophyll, fats, and waxes are all co-extracted frequently and are ultimately unwanted. These undesirable compounds require additional refinement processes if they are to be removed from the extracted crude oil. Often, this refinement entails significant temperature fluctuations to separate out the undesirables for removal. For example, mixing your oil with ethanol and then placing it into the freezer (winterization) will separate out the fats and waxes for removal. However, the mixture then requires heat to remove the ethanol via evaporation.

Let’s say you used the strongest solvent possible for your cannabis extraction. Congratulations, you extracted (nearly) all the cannabinoids and terpenes! Unfortunately, you also pulled a ton of fat and wax, which is where things get tricky.

If heated excessively, terpenes can be destroyed completely. So, how do you evaporate out the ethanol added during winterization without heating and destroying your terpenes? In comes CO2.

With a low-temperature and -pressure CO2 extraction tuned specifically for terpenes, you can extract the terpenes first and store them safely. This process is called a subcritical CO2 extraction, which uses liquid CO2 below its critical point. The liquid CO2 is pumped through the plant material, dissolving terpenes and some oils. Then the CO2 is decompressed and returns to its gaseous state, allowing the terpenes and oils to precipitate out for collection. After the terpenes are safe, you can extract again, this time at a higher temperature and pressure. In fact, you can fine-tune the pressure and temperature to maximize your extraction efficiency by specifically targeting cannabinoids only and ignoring chlorophyll. Once your cannabinoids have been extracted, you can safely winterize them without worrying about damaging any terpenes. After refinement, the terpenes can be added back to the extract to produce a full-spectrum, natural product.

Your customers want flavor and aroma in their cannabis, so why leave it behind in your plants or use unnatural additives after? Use the best methods for terpene extraction and truly set your cannabis products apart from the competition.

 

With a CO2-based extraction system by Vitalis Extraction Technology, extractions can be customized with the fine-tuning of temperature and pressure to allow for precise extractions of nearly any desired compound. Have a few questions? Reach out to a member of our team.

Hemp Extraction & CBD: A Billion Dollar Industry


While the cannabis industry as a whole is expanding, it is the use of CBD extracted from hemp that is proving to be the perfect entry point into the industry for businesses both small and large. According to
Statista, the U.S. consumer sales of cannabidiol (CBD) are expected to reach $1.8 billion by 2022, while other studies find it is on track to grow to a whopping $2.5 billion by 2023. But the question remains, are there still opportunities available in the hemp industry? Absolutely.  Here’s our take on what the year ahead could mean for those in the hemp extraction business.


New Opportunities for Hemp Growers

At the end of 2018, the U.S. Congress passed the Farm Bill, a somewhat controversial distribution of aid and legal changes for farmers across the country. One of the most significant changes is that it opened the doors to growing a highly desirable cash crop: hemp. The bill removed hemp from the list of controlled substances and left it to states and territories to establish growing requirements or restrictions.

Another enticing change for farmers was new access to federal farm programs. With hemp no longer a federally illegal substance, farmers can grow and sell the plant without hindering their ability to receive federal aid.

The Farm Bill caused a ripple effect across the United States. CBD oil is suddenly in high demand as companies look to add it to a number of products: food, beverages, beauty, skincare products, and more. For growers in North America, this means a greater demand for high-quality hemp plants. 


Increase of Importance on Pure CBD Extraction

The changes caused by the Farm Bill also mean greater opportunity for extraction companies. As long as the CBD oil extracted from hemp contains less than 0.3% THC and meets the standards set by the Food and Drug Administration, it is legal to produce. 

The FDA has strict requirements regarding the purity and potency of hemp CBD oil. As extractors look to add the product to their list, they are also focusing on their methods to maintain the quality and purity regulated by the FDA. Every state is different in their management of purity, but those most concerned with producing the highest quality CBD are choosing CO2 extraction. Considered to be one of the most effective and safe methods of extraction for food, health, and skin products approved by the FDA, CO2 extraction has three major benefits when it comes to producing CBD oil. The solvent is environmentally safe and leaves behind no residue, making the extracted product safe for consumption and application. CO2 allows extractors to select the specific compound they wish to extract, producing CBD with only small traces of THC (if any) and meeting FDA requirements. Finally, CO2 is incredibly versatile, leaving extractors with opportunities in other industries outside of hemp and CBD oil, should the future market take a different shift.

As the desire for CBD products increases in the U.S., the FDA will continue to expand its efforts to clamp down on low-quality CBD oil, which will only reinforce the need to choose methods that deliver pure products.


More CBD Retailers will Join the Market

Once hemp CBD oil was legalized in the U.S., a multitude of products started to appear. CBD donuts, coffee, water, and a number of speciality sports drinks joined the more common products like balms, tinctures, and lotions. Now, consumers are even purchasing CBD biscuits and food for their pets.

Along with the expanding use of CBD oil is the growing list of retailers that are making these products available in their stores. CVS, Kroger, Walgreens, and Rite Aid are among the top brands that have already started offering CBD topicals and other products in many of their stores. Products are also available in over 10,000 gas stations.

As CBD oil products become more widespread and available outside of local pot shops, demand for high-quality CBD will continue to grow, adding to what analysts are predicting to be part of an $80 billion cannabis industry by 2030.


Accessing the Billion Dollar Hemp CBD Industry

What do these 2020 trends in hemp production mean for your extraction business? While the global cannabis industry is growing, the slow legalization of marijuana in the U.S. is contributing to more widespread use and acceptance of CBD. 

Regardless of where the numbers land the trajectory for CBD is headed upward, creating opportunities for growers, extractors, and investors alike. Legalization doesn’t only create consumer demand; it also opens doors for easier financing for those in production. Even the smallest extraction operations will have access to big opportunities in hemp this year.

 

Vitalis helps prepare farmers and extractors in the hemp industry. Our state-of-the-art extraction equipment, services, and financing lead to better partnerships, higher quality products, and cutting-edge opportunities. Contact us.

 


Sources

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/08/top-weed-analyst-on-wall-street-raises-sales-forecast-names-top-picks.html

https://www.statista.com/statistics/760498/total-us-cbd-sales/

https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-regulation-cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-products-including-cannabidiol-cbd

https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-regulation-cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-products-including-cannabidiol-cbd

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/is-cbd-legal-heres-what-you-need-to-know-according-to-science

https://www.fool.com/investing/2019/07/14/us-cbd-sales-to-grow-an-average-of-107-annually-th.aspx

High-yield CO2 Extraction

Vitalis high-yield c02 extraction

Making it Worth The Squeeze

When life gives you lemons... use them to improve your yield! Successful extraction, while a precise science, can be mastered using a little creative comparison. Forget the intricacies of the equipment and technical terminology associated with it for just a second. Instead, grab a lemon (for visual purposes), and a pen and paper for notes, as we explore three ways to achieve the all-important high-yield extraction you’ve been searching for.

You Can Never Have Too Many Influencers

We’re not talking about social media here. The only influencer that matters is Starting Material, better known as the mass of plant matter that is added to the extraction chamber, and one of the most intuitive variables of the process. Fussy as it seems, the amount of the material mass isn’t the only factor influencing the output; it’s the makeup of the material itself.

Here’s where the lemon, a starting-material mass made of peel, pith, pulp, seeds, and juice, comes in nicely as an example. Joe’s decided to go into the beverage business and set up a lemonade stand at the farmers market. He’s calculated costs for production, projected profits, and created a recipe for pulp-free, unsweetened lemonade that calls for 100 kg of lemons. Where to begin seems simple enough, just grab a bag of lemons, right? The tricky part is that a lemon’s components are more than just juice, and thanks to the mass variety filling the supermarkets today, one lemon to the next is not made equally. For this particular case, let’s assume that from the lemons Joe’s using, that juice is about 80% of the mass (80 kg), leaving 20kg of everything else. While it’s clear a squeeze won’t result in 100% juice, he can’t afford to go about the task blindly.

No matter what material is used for extraction before the process even begins, take a step back and approach it like a scientist. To know if you are achieving a successful amount requires setting a standard, one that takes into consideration all of the variables that matter most. The good news is there’s a formula for that called the percent extraction efficiency (%EE). One variation of it will produce a theoretical yield and the other an actual yield, which when compared against one another will help you gauge the success of your extraction results. Sure, you may not get that 80% yield you anticipated, but so long as the theoretical matches or is near your actual, you can pat yourself on the back.


Yield Hack: Never guesstimate
Don’t guestimate figures, take that formula and make it work for you, keeping in mind the use of correct parameters. It’s important to remember that %EE calculations are carried out with respect to the yield of the component of interest, not as compared to the entire mass of starting material. If you’re in doubt, refer to our zesty example that proves the mass of the lemon isn’t just juice.

Yield Hack: Take intuition out of it
Just because your output might feel heavier, doesn’t mean it’s the right output. Seeds, rinds, and pulp do not belong in a great lemonade, do they? Keep in mind that you have to identify the breakdown of the components of your Starter Material before you know what ratios you’re dealing with.

 

Size Matters

While mass and makeup are essential when considering the effect Starting Materials have on yields, so is size. If you’ve ever tried to fit two weeks’ worth in a carry-on luggage and succeeded, then you likely rolled your clothes so tight not one inch of free space was left. It’s a similar concept that applies to the particle size of material that’s added to the fixed-volume extraction chamber. The finer the texture, the more that can be packed into the tight space efficiently. Doing so also reduces the distance and increases the speed for the solvent to penetrate the centre of the particle. Sports analogies are also great in instances like these, so let’s talk baseball. You have two players running at identical speeds to home plate. One is coming from the edge of the infield (fine-ground particle), and the other is sprinting from the edge of the outfield (course-ground particle). It goes without saying which one arrived first. If that isn’t enough, take a look at how size affects the surface-area-to-volume ratio. The smaller the particle, the more paths of interaction per particle volume. This enables the solvent to interact with the matrix of the feedstock material (CO2) more quickly.

Yield Hack: Pack it in like a pro

To extract efficiently and effectively go for the finer-ground feedstock particles. Trust us when we say, size matters on this one.

 


Work Smarter Not Harder

In an industry where demand is growing, maximizing yields while minimizing costs is at the top of the priority list, but what that means isn’t as obvious as it may seem. Imagine a scenario where reaching 100% extraction efficiency results in a net loss of $8,000 due to the cost of running the equipment and facilities. Does 100% still hold the same value? Not if on the flip-side running three extractions to 70% efficiency turns a profit of $21,000. Seems counter intuitive, but what defines a profitable yield is more than just the extraction figures.

Time is a key factor, but there’s also the element of processing parameters that have a significant effect on extraction yields. System operators have to strike the right balance of temperature, pressure, and solvent to stock ratio in their quest for that sweet spot, while working against the clock. While extraction systems are built to do the work, there’s an invaluable human element that is needed to optimize results. Let’s revisit our lemon example from earlier for a bit of context. If the operator’s goal is to achieve an output of lemon juice and zest, he’ll need to apply the perfect balance of temperature, pressure and solvent. After multiple failed attempts he’s landed on using a low or medium temperature and to halt the extraction before the lemon peel is extracted.

Yield Hack: Ask yourself if it’s worth it

Just because 100% extraction is achievable, doesn’t mean it makes business ‘cents’. Instead, evaluate run-time efficiencies and outputs against operating costs first to determine value. Your 60% yields may be the 100% you’re looking for.

 

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach in the world of extraction, but with a stronger understanding of the key variables, and firmer grasp on the techniques, the path to generating successful yields are within reach. For the full research paper, click here.

Thirsty for more? Contact us to see how our team of experts can help make your yield work for your business.

For the full research paper, click here.

Join our mailing list

Subscribe to the Vitalis newsletter to keep up to date on the latest news.

GMP During Covid-19

Vitalis GMP During COVID-19

 

THE FUTURE OF MANUFACTURING

In the global race to combat the pandemic with medical supplies and vaccines, the role that manufacturing plays has never been more important. While the pace of production is where minds may go first, what’s proving to be an invaluable lesson in times like these regardless of industry, is ensuring operations meet levels of regulatory compliance, quality assurance, and safety.

Governments around the world are leaning heavily on manufacturers who have the capacity or the ability to pivot their operations to produce critical medical supplies from personal protective equipment (PPE) to ventilators and testing kits - and the inevitable pharmaceutical race to produce a vaccine. The common theme in the manufacturing of these items is that they must meet Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) to ensure the products are safe, effective and of high quality. While the time factor is certainly crucial, deviating from GMP standards and practices could mean the creation of defective products, and unsuccessful attempts to deliver life-saving support.

 

FDA Regulation & GMP Compliance

Even for the most unsuspecting of industries and companies, especially those in the cannabis space, what we are facing today, is a reminder that preparing for the future is not only smart, it’s good business practice. With cannabis classified as an essential service, we’ve seen a knock-on-effect of an increase in the distribution of licenses, including those in the pharmaceutical and consumable spaces. Edibles and topicals are the fastest-growing segment of the cannabis market - U.S. retail sales of cannabis and CBD products reached $14 billion in 2019, and are on pace to increase 18% a year to $33 billion by 2024, according to data published in “Cannabis and CBD: U.S. Retail Market Trends and Opportunities,” by market research firm Packaged Facts. 

The new trend in cannabis production has dictated that when it comes to producing products bound for human consumption, it isn’t about getting there first, it’s about getting it right. The FDA is close to implementing new standards for regulation of cannabis-infused products, especially within the CBD markets to patrol any misleading health claims. What’s important for cannabis producers in the USA to know is that while you can’t get FDA GMP certification currently, there are steps you can take now in structuring your businesses to be FDA compliant in preparation for new regulations coming in the future.

The billion-dollar cannabis industry is growing, even in economic periods of uncertainty like these, which means planning for the future has to start today. Gaining or at the very least preparing for GMP accreditation is not only a step towards accessing new cannabis markets, but it’s just as important to improving brand reputation. When consumers see a GMP-labelled cannabis package, they know the product is safe, high quality, and effective. GMP accreditation also fosters trust with supply chain partners (as can be seen in the recent COVID-19 manufacturing partnerships), which saves time and money in securing deals when new opportunities present themselves.

 

GMP Equipment Qualification

How exactly do you achieve GMP? GMP covers all aspects of a manufacturing operation, so it's important that your suppliers can support your GMP requirements, from raw materials and facility design, to equipment and packaging. And when it comes to your extraction machine - scrutiny for qualification is placed on the way it was fabricated, built, and tested, as well as commissioned. Extraction equipment must be designed and constructed in a way that is streamlined, safe, and reliable, reducing chances of contamination, and be able to withstand repeated use and cleaning.

How a manufacturer meets GMP regulations is entirely up to them as GMP regulations have been structured to allow such flexibility. While it is the responsibility of every cannabis product manufacturer to bring their production facilities into compliance with GMP regulations, it’s definitely not a journey that one should embark on alone. Given the massive scope and highly technical nature of GMP across every area of business operations, it’s vital to get the help of an experienced consultant or expert early to assist with the design, planning, qualification, validation, and manufacturing processes.

As experts on the design and construction of our equipment, our team of GMP experts are there to reassure customers that Vitalis equipment can be qualified within their GMP environment by walking them through a 5-step process towards achieving GMP Qualification.

As an international GMP-compliant equipment supplier to the pharmaceutical and recreational cannabis industries, Vitalis specialists not only have a deep understanding of not only Canada's Good Production Practices (GPP), but GMP regulations around the world and will ensure that the qualification of the Vitalis equipment goes smoothly. To join our list of customers enjoying successful GMP operations, reach out today.