Interview: Canndescent Lab Director
Green Mill systems are currently powering extraction labs across the market spectrum. Craft operators like Northeast Kingdom Hemp love its ease of use and consistent, quality output. But the SFE Pro’s advanced features of automation, custom-engineered pump, advanced triple fractionation, and robust customer support appeal to experienced technicians in large-scale labs like Canndescent.
market leader launching a new product
In 2017 Canndescent was the #1-selling flower brand in California and in 2018 became the first cannabis company to make the Red Herring Top 100 of North America list. They were also the first cannabis brand to reject strain names and instead categorize their products by the desired mood consumers want to achieve.
When they launched their Stylus line of vaporizer pens in 2019, they wanted to fill the cartridges with ultra-clear oil using natural terpenes and no artificial additives, from Canndescent’s renowned virgin cannabis. Lab Director Allen Larson was hired to lead the extraction effort and he knew what company he wanted to buy from.
“I’ve used a lot of different CO2 machines,” says Allen. “Most CO2 companies have one pressure regulator which may or may not be automatic, and then manual pressure regulators on the other collectors.”
The SFE Pro is special, says Allen, because each regulator is computer controlled, allowing the system to compensate for CO2’s natural tendency to drop pressure from one vessel to the next, and enabling the operator to do things that are impossible with other systems that are not automated in this manner.
automation and density
“The way the computer controls the needles in the regulators,” says Allen, “they’re always moving, always adjusting, and they keep the conditions in each vessel perfect.”
That stability in pressure conditions allows the SFE Pro to calculate and set the density of CO2. “And that’s the magic of CO2 right there. Once you can calculate your density — within your pump head, within your reactor column, within your collection vessels — you can do a lot of awesome stuff.”
One of the most important things such effective automation achieves is very precise triple fractionation — the extraction of three types of oil simultaneously.
“This system fractions really well,” says Allen. “I get beautiful separations of waxes in my first chamber, beautiful separations of lipids in my second chamber, and great terpene fractions in my third chamber.”
With the ability to extract three oils in one run comes massive optimization in the post-processing phase. “That’s a great benefit of this machine for us — it saves us a ton of time down the line.”
Allen is continually impressed with how dependable the SFE Pro is. “As an experienced technician who’s spent weeks, months, repairing seals, repairing fittings — I don’t have to do that with this machine.”
He says the technical support he has received has been top notch and anytime he has a questions he gets a response and representation immediately.
“It’s one thing to have a machine that works really well,” he says. “It’s another thing to have a machine that works well and to have a really nice relationship with your vendor.”
“Green Mill is in it to help us be successful, and this system really has been the backbone of our Stylus vape pen.”