As Benzinga recently detailed, smoking is just one of many ways to consume cannabis. In fact, smoking is becoming less popular as other smokeless options continue to emerge. They include distillates, a kind of cannabis concentrate found in some vape pens or sold for use with dab rigs.
Much has been said about companies capitalizing on the smokeless cannabis consumption trend, but the focus is usually on the businesses making the actual distillates.
Little has been said about those “selling pickaxes,” those making the equipment needed to make the distillates in question. Benzinga reached out to Root Sciences, the largest cannabis distillery equipment maker in the United States and the producer of the Short Path Distillation system, which is used to make distillates containing tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol and other cannabinoids.
How Short Path Distillation Works
How does Root Sciences’ distillation technology work and how is it different from others in the market?
The company’s equipment “rapidly puts the cannabis oil in its final stage,” with THC potency in the upper 90s percentage range and no impurities, CEO Nenad Yashruti told Benzinga.
In a 2016 interview with Dope Magazine, Yashruti said that for medical patients to recreational consumers, "concentrates of this purity, potency and consistency will be the cornerstone of future cannabis consumption."
Interestingly enough, this statement remains valid to date.
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The Root Sciences Story
How did Root Sciences become a leader in the distillation equipment space?
Everything started in 2016, in Belfair, Washington.
“We had our sights set on ancillary parts of the business and knew we needed to be a practitioner first. We ended up building a state-of-the-art, first-of-its-kind facility that was featured in many industry publications and really established our management team as thought leaders in the industry,” Yashruti said in a conversation with Edibles Magazine.
In 2017, the company was using a short path, whipped film, molecular separation process, something other industries had been using for some time. Seeing an opportunity to build on the burgeoning market, Root Sciences stuck a deal with German equipment manufacturer VTA, a specialist in thermal process engineering.
“When we brought them out here [to our facility], they were impressed with the technology that we were using in all parts of cannabis,” Yashruti said. “They awarded us an exclusive distribution contract in North America for two years.”
The relationship exceeded expectations in just under six months, he said.
“We had so much success and became very close with a manufacturer that they extended the contract for a decade long and make it global. We are now the global exclusive distributor for VTA and the cannabis industry when it comes to purification plants.”
Root Sciences’ equipment now sells for more than $100,000 a set. “Our equipment is the most expensive, but it is by far better than anything on the market as it is being designed and updated continuously where other older technology systems have stagnated,” Yashruti said.
“Gone will be the days of making shatter or sugar concentrates that have to be individually weighed, packaged and processed,” Mr. Yashruti told Dope. “With distillate being in a liquid form, automation in the concentrate and edible market will be the clear winner. As more competitors pile into this industry, the lack of automation will be terminal.”
With the industry asking questions and market demand rising, Root Sciences' long strategy is paying off. Where it could go from here may only be limited by which markets open in the coming years. Stay tuned in for updates on this growing business.
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Photo courtesy of Root Sciences.
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