The Extraction Issue
Extracts are quietly taking over the cannabis industry. While flower remains the top-selling product category at retail, products made from extracts — including edibles, vapes, concentrates and topicals — now account for almost 60% of legal cannabis sales in the United States. It’s a sector of the market that is only getting bigger, particularly as the scientific understanding of cannabis and extraction grows.
From the various methods of extraction and refinement to the latest innovations in products, Marijuana Venture takes an in-depth look at the market trends, best practices, equipment manufacturers, leading minds and scientific process of extraction.
Cannalicious and its sister company, Detroit Fudge Company, are poised to become powerhouse brands in the rapidly growing Michigan market.
President Tim Schuler says the company is already the leading supplier of RSO in Michigan with distribution in about 85% of the state’s medical cannabis retailers and more than 60% of the adult-use stores.
“We’d be at 100% if we had more product,” Schuler says. “We’re literally selling everything we can make right now, which is a great problem to have.”
Claim to Fame: Schuler is no stranger to selling a highly regulated product. In his previous life, he sold tens of millions of cases of beer as a manager and sales director for Anheuser-Busch.
“So the transition to selling a licensed, legalized product was natural and a perfect fit,” he says.
Cannalicious produces a full range of concentrates for the consumer market, including the only cherry, grape and lime flavored RSOs in Michigan. The company also ships distillate to Detroit Fudge Company, which manufactures chocolate bars, brownies, fudge and peanut butter.
Methodology: The extraction lab is Cannalicious facility manager Devin Deford’s home away from home, where he gets to combine his passion for cannabis and his background in engineering to create new products and refine the company’s processes.
The investment in an XT-70 hydrocarbon extraction unit from ExtractionTek Solutions has greatly expanded the company’s production capabilities. Deford says the first run with the new machine produced 2,300 grams of crude oil — a significant jump from the previous system’s 100 grams. The company may add an ethanol extractor to its repertoire by the end of this year.
Deford also uses a color remediation column to remove unwanted colors and constituencies during the extraction process.
While Deford says CRC is too often used to mitigate low-grade or contaminated cannabis, that’s not his approach.
“I use CRC to scrub out the molecules, to take great material and turn it into an amazing output,” he says. “I don’t take boof material and make it into a good product. We’re really trying to pull greatness out of a good biomass.”
Philosophy: “You build a company through culture, brand integrity and consistency, and I think we’ve got a lot of that going in our direction,” Schuler says.