Marijuana Business Magazine February 2019

Marijuana Business Magazine | February 2019 42 M arijuana is largely thought of as an agricultural industry serving medical and recreational consumers. But that image belies the technological advances that are revolutionizing every sector of cannabis. In this issue, we look at “10 Killer Technologies” in the marijuana space. Not the “10 Best Technologies,” but engineering feats that represent the spirit of innovation, high-level science and entrepreneurship sweeping through today’s marijuana industry. Many companies could have made this list. “Cannabis is still a new industry that’s just getting out of the shadows, so people see there’s huge potential to develop all sorts of new technologies,” said Meghan Larson, co-founder of Adistry, one of the companies featured here. Selections were made to represent the main marijuana market sectors—from cultivation and extraction to manufacturing and retail. Some of these companies are established and growing, while others are upstart ventures. Some of the technologies were cre- ated by cannabis industry veterans, while others come courtesy of non-cannabis businesses. Indeed, the marijuana industry is drawing a growing number of Ph.D.-carrying professionals who have worked at places such as NASA and MIT and now want to lend their expertise to an industry that, from scientific and technological standpoints, remains largely unexplored. The advances profiled in the following pages represent a sampling of the innovative technologies that are transforming the cannabis industry. Pressing Matters COMPANY Access Rosin | WHERE Los Angeles | FOUNDED 2015 PRODUCT The Access Rosin Machine has incorporated patent- pending plates, a rocker arm and other innovations that promise to quadruple the production of other commercial rosin presses. TARGET MARKET Cultivators and processors | PRICE $11,999 Rosin is fast becoming a cannabis consumer favorite, with its promise of a solvent-free concentrate product. Yet rosin production is still a new craft where the technology to produce it on a large commercial scale remains relatively primitive. That may be changing, thanks to a veteran grower who became enamored with rosin about three years ago and set out to create a technology that could produce it in unprecedented quantities. The result is the Access Rosin Machine, which creator Spencer Sitnik unveiled at the 2018 MJBizCon in Las Vegas. Most conventional rosin presses use high heat and pressure to squeeze oil from flower between two metal plates with surface areas of just a few square inches. The biggest commercial presses, by comparison, have plates with about 50 square inches of surface area. Sitnik’s first innovation was to replace the two smaller square plates with larger, upside-down pyramid plates with four sides and 120 square inches of surface area. The design allows operators to process four times the amount of flower as other large commercial rosin presses, Sitnik claims. By being upside down, the pyramid plates also allow the oil to drain directly into a catchment, while conventional rosin presses use parchment paper or similar materials to catch the oil, which must then be scraped off the paper. “Other companies focused on the electronic components and digital features controlling the heat temperatures; we directed our focus on innovating the size of the heat plates,” Sitnik said. The machine, he noted, can be scaled to include as many as eight plates—or two sets of four. While most presses can apply about 1,000 pounds of pres- sure per square inch, Sitnik added a rocker arm so the Access Rosin Machine can apply about 1,900 pounds of pressure per square inch, enabling it to process more flower at once. The Access Rosin Machine features four-sided plates. Courtesy Photo