This week, Interchim President Geoff Todosiev and account manager Michelle Armstrong discuss how the company makes products used by cannabis manufacturers to purify cannabinoids.
The company, through a strategic partnership with mass spectrometer manufacturer Advion, makes instruments for THC and pesticide remediation, as well as dewaxing and liquid chromatography.
Cannabis processors and manufacturers are Interchim's primary clientele. After extraction, for example, companies run the distillate through one of Interchim’s remediation products -- though pesticide remediation can run on crude, as well. The high-speed solution can make crude extract or distillate pesticide-free in about 25 minutes; other solutions performing the same process take about an hour.
Interchim caters to both full-scale and smaller process scale operations in the recreational market, in which products need to be certified as pesticide-free. Currently, the CBD market is still self-regulated -- which is a nice way of saying, “It’s still the wild west.”
The company, based in Southern California, started developing applications in the cannabis business about five years ago. Todosiev wanted to take the company’s years of experience in pharmaceutical R&D and apply it to the emerging cannabis market. Really, both industries had the same goal: to produce a pure product -- just with a different feedstock.
Todosiev worked with small growers before California went legal, and built a rapport with growers through garage-style R&D that blossomed into more professional relationships as more states joined the recreational sector.
This year, the company felt the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As an emerging market, the cannabis industry has many external investors who become more cautious when times are tough. As a result, Interchim had many large-scale installations scaled back to more conservative, proof-of-concept installations.
However, with Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota legalizing use in some form this year, the prospect of new companies starting from scratch has been exciting. Although they are smaller states, with potentially smaller demand, many are a great fit for Interchim’s smaller systems. New players are in the market for everything, and Interchim’s smaller instruments, particularly the THC and pesticide remediation systems, offer a quick ROI.
In 2019, the cannabis industry was a significant part of Interchim’s U.S. sales, even larger than the pharmaceutical industry. This year saw more the same -- just at a smaller, pandemic-weakened scale. Still, the company devised a three-year strategic plan to focus specifically on new cannabis applications, including hiring more support personnel and addressing emerging markets in Latin America and Asia.
As Todosiev says, it’s time to double down on the cannabis industry.