Even though the facility is surrounded by millions of euros’ worth of machinery, Somai Pharmaceuticals’ founder and CEO Michael Sassano is more concerned with the tiny scuffs he’s noticing on the walls and floor than the impressive technology.
“It’s a little rough,” he says, dropping down to his knees to examine the easy-clean epoxy surface. Sassano has spotted a tiny dimple in some of the sealant connecting two panels. It’s almost indiscernible to the untrained eye, but now, running his 16th cannabis manufacturing facility, he’s hyper-aware of anything that might slow the operation down later along the line.
“A bit of roughness like that: run a machine over it a few hundred times, that’s going to be a full-on scratch — a breeding ground for bacteria. Once that happens, you’ll have to shut the whole operation down while you fix it.”
This high level of attention to detail is understandable, given the stakes. Hundreds of startups are seeking to get their noses out in front in the European medical cannabis market, which is expected to grow from $4.96bn in 2022 to $13.4bn in 2027.
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