Björn Fritzsche, Sweet Cannabis
Who are you and where do you work?
My name is Björn Fritzsche and I am the Processing Manager at Sweet Cannabis in Portland, Oregon. We’re a recreational cannabis processor and make a variety of products, including co2 vape pens, the Toko line as well as a variety of health products such as co2 THC capsules as part of our Nu line.
What do you do?
I manage the extraction lab at Sweet Cannabis and as part of that operate the Vitalis Q90 together with my lead extractor Zack.
Describe a typical day.
My day usually begins with getting the Vitalis run-ready, which means chilling the co2 down and removing any water from the system. We usually load the biomass the day before so that we’re ready in the morning. We usually top off the co2 tanks on the machine a bit and then start the run. Once the machine is running, we mostly supervise the machine parameters via the web interface. Other parts of my job are production planning and formulation of various cannabis products as well as research and development projects as well as normal management tasks such as assuring compliance with our local laws, i.e. MetRC.
How did you get into extraction?
I started in the medical industry and ended up working for an analytical testing lab for cannabis which also developed supercritical extraction equipment as my background is chemical engineering. After working with mass specs and an intense level of regulatory oversight on the analytical side for a few years, I wanted to switch to the production side and was offered the job here at Sweet Cannabis. Since this was a new company I was in the unique situation of designing the actual production facility down to the wall placement, which is something I could not turn down.
What is the best part of your job?
To this day, I still get a kick out of the scale we do everything at. In the analytical testing world everything is tiny; microliters and ppm. Now I work with 10-liter beakers and can round to the closest gram. That and of course “quality assurance”.
What has been your proudest accomplishment in this field?
My proudest accomplishment is actually not extraction related and by no means just my accomplishment, but I am very proud of the level of benefits that my company offers to all staff, including excellent healthcare and vacation. It seems that more and more of our competitors start to match those benefits, meaning that this industry is finally moving away from the no-benefits, hour-only model it has been for a few years here in Oregon.
Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
I got into chemistry because of Hofmann and Shulgin.
What was the last book you read?
I generally enjoy non-fiction, but my recent book choices would be too politically charged for this.
What was the last movie you watched in a theatre?
What is your favorite activity outside of work?
I build electronics projects in my garage and enjoy dispersed camping in the national forest here.
Millennium Falcon or Starship Enterprise?
Enterprise; more content and no bad prequels.
PlayStation or Xbox?
PlayStation, because better designed.
Cats or Dogs?
Cheeseburgers or Pizza?
You know they make cheeseburger pizza?
James Bond or Austin Powers?
Which James Bond?