Laval, QC, Canada—Neptune Wellness Solutions is moving forward with its hemp extract business—in one press release, it announced that its Sherbrooke, Quebec facility is now producing hemp extracts, and in another, it announced that it is going to provide hemp extraction services to a U.S.-based farming services operation.
The cannabis extracts will be produced using cold ethanol technology, which could be up to 5x faster than existing CO2 equipment and consumes up to 2x less energy than the CO2 technology, positioning Neptune as a low-cost manufacturer in Canada. The release also notes that Health Canada has granted Neptune’s production personnel additional security clearance, which should alleviate operational constraints.
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Michael Cammarata, CEO of Neptune, said in the release: “The Phase II cold ethanol production was completed on budget and is another important milestone in our capacity expansion strategy. We are currently working on Phase IIIa which will bring total annual extraction capacity to 1,500,000 kg. This capacity expansion is necessary to support the execution of Neptune’s growth strategy to become a global leader in cannabis extraction and purification while meeting the growing demand from consumers for natural products.”
On the U.S. side of the business, too, things are taking off. The second press release states that the company’s North Carolina facility will receive hemp biomass to be processed and transformed into crude oil extracts, as per a 2-year agreement that could reach a total value in excess of $20 million.
Cammarata commented: “This large contract will support our capacity expansion at our North Carolina facility and better position us to serve the growing United States market. Our expansion in North Carolina is on time and on budget with extraction capacity expected to reach an annual run-rate of 1,500,000 kg of biomass by December 2019. Demand for extraction and formulation services in the U.S. is currently strong, with the ongoing harvest season, and our tolling and formulation pipeline to deliver high quality full- and broad-spectrum extracts remains robust.”