Marijuana Business Magazine October 2018

C arbon dioxide is the most expensive extraction method, industry executives agreed. The technology has the steepest price tag compared to hydrocarbon and ethanol units. Hydrocarbon systems, by comparison, are the cheapest. Albert Gutierrez, CEO of Med- Pharm in Denver, can attest to the steep price tag for a CO 2 system. His com- pany is running a 25-liter CO 2 extrac- tion machine that cost about $400,000. The company produces pure oil, and CO 2 creates a high-potency concentrate. “For us, it’s a better decision,” Gutierrez said of the large investment. At Puffin Farm, a cannabis cultiva- tion and extraction company in Seattle, Director of Extracts Jeff Wilhoit said if he wanted to save money on equipment, he would have chosen hydrocarbon machines over CO 2 extraction units. “The machines really cost a lot,”Wil- hoit said. His company’s 5-liter CO 2 machine cost about $100,000, while a starter hydrocarbon machine would run about $20,000. Ryan Abernathy, CEO and president of Xtracted Labs in Seattle, said cost was one of the reasons his company went with hydrocarbon extraction. “When you look at CO 2 equipment, there’s a huge initial cost of entry,” he added. Makoso of Lucid Labs agreed: “The most expensive equipment commonly used are CO 2 extraction systems.” VERDICT: Hydrocarbon extraction machines have lower starting costs, while CO2 equipment is the most expensive. ◆ – Bart Schaneman Jim Makoso, co-owner and vice president of Lucid Labs, points out some CO 2 extraction equipment at MJBizConINT’L in Toronto. CO 2 machines are some of the most expensive extraction equipment in the cannabis industry. Photo by Jules Clifford/Soliman Productions COST OF PRODUCTION AND EQUIPMENT EXTRACTION SMACKDOWN Machines like Waters Supercritical Fluid Extraction equipment, which uses CO 2 to extract compounds from cannabis, are some of the safer options. Photo by Matthew Staver 58 • Marijuana Business Magazine • October 2018