Retail Authorizations for Cannabis Concentrates and Extracts

Retail Authorizations for Cannabis Concentrates and Extracts

April 3, 2020 By

In the initial stages of legalization, consumption of dry cannabis flower, the part of the plant containing higher concentrations cannabinoids such as Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or Cannabidiol (CBD) drove industry demand.

However, as the industry matured and innovated towards more efficient harvesting and processing techniques, the overall cost per gram of dry flower decreased, opening the door for new types of products called cannabis concentrates or extracts. It became a race for LP’s to release strains with higher potency and explore different techniques in extraction. In the end, it all came down to yield. Those LP’s that could produce a product with a higher yield while keeping costs down would scale their revenue. As a result, we’re seeing competition heat up for cannabis extracts in our industry, hot off the heels of the second wave of legalization.

Extraction in our industry isn’t a new concept. Traditional ways of extracting cannabinoids from cannabis plants include CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) and ethanol extraction, each having their own benefits and drawbacks. While CO2 extraction offers more in the way of targeting specific terpenes and compounds, ethanol is viewed as a more balanced approach, due to its nature as a bipolar solvent, and because many of the flavor terpenes are removed during the ethanol removal from the final product, which can result in less of a “weedy” plant taste. In addition to its less targeted approach, ethanol allows for a much more efficient and cost-effective process with higher yields.

As the second wave of legalization continues to build, the competition is heating up to provide a range of new products to meet the growing demand for cannabis extracts. Many companies may be looking to leverage ethanol extraction in order to extract varying levels of THC and CBD for use in their Cannabis Products such as cannabis concentrates and extracts.

However, for facilities who wish to work with ethanol extraction, there are additional considerations that come in when deciding to amend their licence to include this activity. These include:

  • Type of extractor
  • Registration with the CRA Excise as a licensed ethanol user
  • Ensuring that the ethanol storage and extraction rooms meet applicable Health & Safety and Fire Codes
  • Written procedures detailing how the ethanol usage will be tracked and accounted for in the facility
  • Procedures for returns or destruction

dicentra Cannabis Consulting can work with you to develop Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) unique to your facility to satisfy the CRA Excise requirements and advise on procedures to ensure that all ethanol handling and usage is safe, efficient, and compliant.

For more information on this article or any other Cannabis related regulatory matter, contact dicentra Cannabis Consulting.