Christina Lake Cannabis Corp. has completed an eight-week controlled testing period for a Cosolvent Injection System (“CIS”) add-on developed by Vitalis Extraction Technology, Inc. (“Vitalis”) for its CO2 extraction machinery. This installation of the Vitalis CIS is the first of its kind in the cannabis industry. The Vitalis CIS add-on is designed to enhance the extraction process for cannabis and hemp by using an ethanol-powered mechanism to significantly reduce runtime and operational costs as well as to improve winterization, both of which are important considerations in the Company’s extraction operations.
The baseline throughput rate and extraction times of the Company’s Vitalis R-200 extraction machine is approximately 30 kg / 66.1 lb of biomass in a period of seven to eight hours. Over the course of Q1 2021, the addition of the Vitalis CIS resulted in approximately 90 kg / 198.4 lb of biomass being processed in the same timeframe. Moreover, an analysis of extracts completed using the Vitalis CIS showed an improvement in the overall quality of the extract. Such results included greater than 90% efficacy with a crude extract consisting of less than 10% fats and waxes; properties which reflect a favourable level of purity requiring less refinement for a finished product.
More information about Vitalis’ CIS technology can be found on its website: https://vitaliset.com/marketing/co2-extraction-with-vitalis/.
Joel Dumaresq, CEO of Christina Lake Cannabis, explained how the Company’s growth ambitions as an innovator in cannabis production will be expedited with CLC’s recent purchase of the new Vitalis CIS technology and its continued partnership with Vitalis.
“At the end of 2020, we found ourselves in a situation in which we were limited to completing only three production runs on a given day, which translates to approximately 90 kg / 198.4 lb of biomass per day or 450 kg / 992 lb per week,” said Mr. Dumaresq. “It became very apparent that there simply wouldn’t be enough hours in the year to be able to effectively process the yield from our 2020 harvest season. Being approached by Vitalis as the first customer to bring the new cosolvent injection system into our operations was very timely as it enabled us to economically improve our efficiency in producing cannabis extracts. We can now consistently process upwards of 250 kg / 551 lb of biomass per day or 1,250 kg / 2,755 lb per week with ease, and that’s a significant improvement for the Company. It also supports the shift we are making from our wholesale-only model to new downstream initiatives that lends to expanding both our cultivation and production capabilities.”
“Engineered as a plug-and-play add-on rather than an alteration to CO2 extraction equipment, the Vitalis CIS design allows for continued operation with the option to operate CO2 as a mono-solvent if desired,” commented Vitalis co-founder and CEO, Joel Sherlock. “By injecting a controlled amount of ethanol into the CO2 extraction process, the cosolvent system leverages the benefits of CO2 extraction (capturing terpenes, targeting desired cannabinoids, lowering operating costs) and the power of ethanol. Technical solutions for our customers to keep pace in the cannabis industry of today means delivering on flexibility, reliability, and most importantly… quality. What we’ve proven with the Vitalis CIS is that optimized ethanol use at the discretion of our customers does not need to come at the compromise of product quality or cost. We’ve already seen incredible results at Christina Lake Cannabis with preliminary extractions – a little over 20 L of ethanol per extraction for each run and getting greater than 90% of cannabinoids out of it. An ethanol-only system of equivalent size would mean using more than 100 L of ethanol in one run, so you can see the business rationale.”
Mr. Dumaresq added: “One thing CLC will never compromise on is the consistency and quality of our products, and we are pleased to say that the Vitalis CIS upholds that promise. Our efforts in perfecting our process and protecting the purity of our plants this year will mean driving resources into building out new genetics in our seed bank, refining our strains, and delivering that bumper crop that will keep our teams busy and continue to strengthen those seed-to-shelf relationships we have with our customers.”
Christina Lake Cannabis Corp. is a licensed producer of cannabis under the Cannabis Act. It has secured a standard cultivation licence and corresponding processing/sales amendment from Health Canada (March 2020 and August 2020, respectively) as well as a research and development licence (early 2020). CLC’s facility consists of a 32-acre property, which includes over 950,000 square feet of outdoor grow space, offices, propagation and drying rooms, research facilities, and a facility dedicated to processing and extraction. CLC also owns a 99-acre plot of land adjoining its principal 32-acre site, which enables the Company to grow at a much larger scale. CLC cultivates cannabis using strains specifically developed for outdoor cultivation and in its inaugural harvest year produced 32,500 kg (71,650 lb) on its existing facility before developing an adjacent 99-acre expansion property. Such an expansion will ultimately bring CLC’s annual cultivation footprint to over 4.35 million square feet, which could enable at least 150,000 kg (330,693 lb) of low-cost, high-quality, sun-grown cannabis to be produced annually by the Company.
Vitalis Extraction Technology Inc. (Vitalis) is a privately owned, Kelowna, BC–based engineering and manufacturing company, producing industrial supercritical CO2 extraction solutions for the cannabis, hemp, pharmaceuticals, F&B and essential oil industries. The company’s core focus on innovation and design around reliability, scalability and continuous operation has vaulted it to the forefront of the global market. Visit vitaliset.com for more information.