Air Force veteran Rain Coleman, a cannabis business consultant, processor and owner of AmericanaCO2 Oils and Extracts in Denver, runs a tight ship. That’s the key to his success as a manufacturer of vape pens and supplier of CO2 oil extractions. He took time out of his usual 13-hour work day to shed light (or in this case Rain) on how to achieve high-quality, consistent results in post-processing production. In Rain’s words:
- Get proper training. Unless you have a staff of highly trained and educated personnel, learning proper secondary processing techniques can be daunting. Internet research and YouTube videos won’t address many of the variables and will never measure up to actual training and hands-on experience. Hiring a professional or taking classes can really make a difference in initial startup capability and reduction in costly mistakes.
- Establish SOPs (standard operating procedures) and make sure they are followed to the “t.” This applies to any successful business. Every employee making pizza at every Domino’s follows the same recipe to ensure quality control. The same applies to cannabis extraction and processing. Specific procedures must be set and enforced. For example, filtering oil — if not done properly, it could become contaminated.
- Purchase quality equipment. Functional equipment helps to ensure consistent results. Conversely, bad equipment is like playing Russian Roulette with your process. When you’re dealing with thousands and thousands of dollars in product, you want to have the best available tools for the job. Also, if you can buy all your equipment from one source, go for it. It will save a lot of time.
- Stock spare parts. Do you have a backup oven? Enough alcohol for winterization? You sure don’t want to be short a $7 O-ring after just getting a large order on a tight deadline.
- Keep your facility clean. The cleanliness of a MIP (Marijuana Infused Products facility) is absolutely imperative. Would you eat at a restaurant with dirty silverware? The same applies to your operation. The safety of your clients and employees is at stake, not to mention your image. Cannabis is extremely sticky and oil droplets attract dust. If your tables, tools and equipment are not clean, product is at risk of contamination. Keeping a clean environment will produce long-term results that your bottom line will appreciate.
6. Take your time. Patience is key to secondary processing. Creating great cannabis oil is not only a process, it’s a labor of love. If you rush, the chances for mistakes will increase. Winterization takes some time, so be sure your scheduling accounts for that