Midas Letter Films presents our visit to CannTrust. President Brad Rogers and his team show us around and reveal how science can give them an edge in such an uber-competitive landscape, specifically the company's bench system which increases its capacity significantly.
CannTrust President- Brad Rogers: It’s all about yield. It’s all about productivity. We are at the pinnacle of automation, we look for new technology every single day.
CannTrust Extraction Manager- Anna Yakobsmeier: This is called the F-80, it’s called the capsule-filling machine, and what we do is fill capsules with cannabis oil.
So in our tablets, we’re doing three varieties: our one-to-one, our THC and our CBD. I think this makes it more accessible to patients all around; it’s more understandable as a pharmaceutical or medical product, and easier for doctors to prescribe, instead of saying ‘Couple puffs of a joint’.
James West: Right, right.
CannTrust Mother Room Lead- Diane Dara: So our irrigation system is all fully automated. We do mix our own nutrients here.
CannTrust President- Brad Rogers: Yeah, we don’t use any pesticides. I mean, that’s a very important value proposition to us.
CannTrust Mother Room Lead- Diane Dara: Absolutely. So we use preventative nematodes in all of our feed.
James West: They eat the larvae of the predator bugs.
CannTrust Mother Room Lead- Diane Dara: They’ll eat the larvae of any predatorial insect.
CannTrust President- Brad Rogers: Completely benign to the growing process, but very advantageous to risk mitigation.
James West: Is there CO2 in this room?
CannTrust Mother Room Lead- Diane Dara: Yes, there are CO2 injectors in every room. That’s it…
James West: Ha ha ha.
CannTrust President- Brad Rogers: And the last yield, James, out of this room right here, was 400 grams per square foot. So we blew our 350 average away. It’s coming down to the horticulturalists and the real science about how to dial the strength in appropriately for the environment, and we’re doing that right now down in Niagara. So that’s going to be a very exciting time, to see what comes out of that facility.
CannTrust VP of Production- Michael Ravensdale: We purchased this facility in March, we had the cultivation license at the end of October; we’ve already harvested as well. I’ve done five different site licenses in the ACMPR, this is by far and away the largest site and the fastest to actually get to cultivation.
This is our smallest greenhouse range, it’s about 10,000 square feet; this is the entire size of the flower canopy at Vaughan. So Vaughan produces about 3,000 kilos on an annualized basis. The capacity of our facility is going to be 40,000 kilos.
The tabling system gives you the most coverage in your greenhouse range, and of course, all of the advantages of having the continuous batch as well. So now we’re talking about a downtime in a grow area in minutes to hours, as opposed to days to weeks.
So this is really the future of cannabis production.
CannTrust Production Manager- Brady Green: When we talk about THC, CBD, there’s a whole lot of micro-cannabinoids as well: THCV, you know, the pre-cursors, CBC, CBG…again, we’re one of the only producers right now that are actually testing all those micro-cannabinoids. Everyone thinks of cannabis and the munchies; well, THCV seems to that effect. So you know, that can be very, very valuable.
CannTrust President- Brad Rogers: Designer cannabinoids are coming.
James West: Designer cannabinoids designed to achieve specific psychoactive effects?
CannTrust President- Brad Rogers: Psychological or psychoactive effects, depending on the cannabinoid we’re developing.
CannTrust VP of Production- Michael Ravensdale: Welcome cannabis to the modern manufacturing world. Yes, it’s been sitting in isolation for 70 years, but great opportunity for us to take all of this existing technology, bring it to bear, just they use for every other raw material or finished product or consumer packaged good. Cannabis is no different. It fits into the modern manufacturing world – and let us help you get it there.
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