Five key tips to designing an efficient cannabis extraction facility

The layout of extraction equipment can have a big impact on operational efficiency. (Photo courtesy of MedPharm)

(This is an abridged version of a story that appears in the March issue of Marijuana Business Magazine.)

How efficiently a marijuana extraction facility operates – or doesn’t – depends quite a bit on the enterprise’s design.

On the surface, extraction operations simply look as if they’re conceived to move product from one side of the facility to the other, with marijuana flower being introduced on one end and moving its way to the other end through the post-processing and storage phases.

“There’s absolutely a flow to this,” said Ankur Rungta, co-founder and CEO of C3 Industries, a vertically integrated Michigan marijuana company that also has operations in Oregon.

Of course, designers of extraction facilities must also take into account the impact of dangerous gases on the operation, the prospects of contamination and the need to repair the equipment.

In addition, here are five key tips that industry experts told Marijuana Business Magazine must be considered for companies designing an extraction facility:

  • Safety: “If you have the decisions vetted along the way, by the time we build something and put it into the field, there’s been a lot of work done already.”
  • Workflow: “You wouldn’t want the same workers in the raw material area working in the processing or post-processing room.”
  • Spacing: “The biggest mistake people make is measuring and leaving enough space for the machine but not leaving enough space away from the walls.”
  • Compartmentalization: “If you have a room where you’re grinding flower, you don’t want that in the same room as finished oil.”
  • Scalability: “You don’t want to be so crazy that your facility payments are too high.”

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