Americanna to expand distillation program after initial success with cannabis puffed gummies
The program that is integrated into the company’s dosing methods is the “the first of its kind for the edibles industry,” according to Americanna’s co-founder, Frank Falconer.
The distillation process takes food grade decarboxylated cannabis oil and removes impurities – ingredients like lipids and decomposing terpenes, Falconer explained.
Tripling the size of the distillation equipment
Falconer said the traditional methods of extracting edibles concentrate by using CO2 or hydrocarbon do not change, because the distillation process happens only after the cannabis oil is decarboxylated and activated for edible consumption.
“CO2 oil and hydrocarbon oil can both be distilled,” he said.
When Americanna’s first round of products, the Americanna Gummies, entered the market, they were sold at a low price point with the company’s “proprietary cannabis juice, but it was not distilled,” according to Americanna.
“Our wholesale price came in 20% below average wholesale prices,” Falconer said. “We wanted to be competitive.”
“The distillation program was introduced through our new line of Jet Puffed gummies called CannaPuffs. The CannaPuff's are a little more expensive than our gummies due to the distilled oil that we use. The feedback has been extremely positive.”
Americanna has invested over $40,000 in its house distillation equipment, but Falconer speculated that the prices of the equipment have probably gone up to $140,000 on the open market.
“Due to the high demand of our products, we need to triple the size of the distillation equipment to keep up with orders. That's a good problem to have and we are happy to invest more into the program,” he added.
Aligning with cannabis testing regulation
Edibles manufacturers unanimously said they often find themselves reinvesting their profit due to the constantly changing regulatory environment, according to a recent education session at IBIE in Las Vegas.
The State of Oregon even changed its law on how many cannabis samples should be tested for three times last year, after multiple local businesses reported sales decline.
Falconer said the Colorado-based Americanna is mandated to test its products through state-approved testing labs, and the distillation process ensures the products’ “potency and cleanliness.”
“We test our juice for microbes and other impurities before we are allowed to release our edibles into the market.
“The distillation process, like any other process we use, is compliant with state testing regulation,” he added.
Americanna currently has a total of 18 SKUs of edibles products for dispensaries to purchase, and the company said the growth strategy for 2017 is largely dependent on how many licenses it can align within new states.
“A reasonable goal for 2017 would be for Amercanna to be operating in five new states by the end of the year,” Falconer said.