Advanced Extraction Systems
Challenge: Being at the forefront of the fastest-growing market in North America
Solution: Positioning yourself as an industry leader before the market explodes
When David Campbell co-founded Advanced Extraction Systems Inc., two years ago, there was already an established market in the pharmaceutical sector for the specialized technology his PEI-based firm had to offer. However, he knew that when the laws regarding cannabis use changed, that market would explode.
“This is the fastest-growing market in North America,” says David, the company’s chief operating officer. “Canada is the first G8 country to legalize marijuana. All eyes are on Canada.”
Being the first company to launch in the Canadian market is a distinct advantage, he adds. “We realized we didn’t want to play at a small scale. We wanted to be an industry leader.”
Advanced Extraction Systems provides what is called supercritical fluid extraction, a process that allows a very pure,high-value product to be removed from materials. Traditional extraction methods are less efficient and usually involve the use of chemical solvents. “Our process, which uses carbon dioxide, creates a super fluid – it’s not a gas and not a liquid – that acts like an organic solvent. It’s clean and it’s green,” says David.
Today, he notes, supercritical fluid extraction is the gold standard.
Last year Advanced Extraction Systems signed a development agreement with Canopy Growth Corporation, the first federally regulated, publicly traded medical marijuana company in North America, to build a custom-made system to produce high-quality cannabis extracts on an industrial scale for the global medical marijuana industry. Now that the extraction system is fully operational, Canopy Growth can produce as much oil in approximately one month as it has produced since extraction activities began in 2015.
This year the company is getting help from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) to build a state-of-the-art supercritical fluid extraction system to produce high-value cannabis extracts for Canada’s Island Garden Inc., in PEI. Sales have also been made to companies in Ontario and New Brunswick. “Our goal is to be the dominant market share leader in Canada,” says David. “From here, we will branch out into the U.S. market, especially California.”
Partnerships focused on driving innovation and the development of new technologies play a key role in Advanced Extraction Systems’ continued growth. With support from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the government is helping Advanced Extraction Systems continue its work in cutting-edge technology. A recent investment of over $300,000 will go towards designing and manufacturing a fully automated supercritical extraction unit, which will then be sold to companies specializing in the production of high-quality extracts.
Advanced Extraction Systems is a prime example of how innovation and resourcefulness fuel Atlantic Canada’s economy, at home and beyond.
For more information on programs and services available to businesses in Atlantic Canada call 1-800-561-7862 or go to www.acoa-apeca.gc.ca
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