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Yogesh Jhamtani, Buffalo Extraction Systems

Spreading the benefits of cannabis through technology and extracts

"Flower is mostly used in the recreational space. But to get into the other spaces, medicinal or pharmaceutical, that's where extracts are in the majority. That's why we see extracts as the next big step in the industry, especially in Europe," says Yogesh Jhamtani, Co-Founder and CEO of Buffalo Extraction Systems. The company supplies cannabis extraction equipment and has recently joined the Cultivation for Compounds pavilion at the World Horti Center in the Netherlands. "We want to research how we can optimize extraction techniques to get better results for the industry."

Challenges to overcome
Yogesh sees extracts as a way to further spread the benefits of cannabis. Yet that doesn't come without its challenges. "You'd think that it would be easy to extract and just sell the product. But it's a challenge to be compliant and also to find the right product-market fit," Yogesh says. "On top of that, controlling your supply chain and your sources so that it meets the international standards are also challenging but essential aspects. Lastly, as we see in any big industry, we see a lot of inferior products as the industry is evolving. So safety is a big challenge that is important for producers to meet." Therefore, choosing the right partner and technology is critical, Yogesh says. "The choice of technology partner should mostly depend on support, service, and experience."

Extraction technologies
So what about choosing between the different types of extraction? Yogesh explains that ethanol extraction is the most traditional technology. "You dip the biomass into ethanol and it extracts the necessary compounds. Then you evaporate it to receive the liquid. With the advent of technology, this technique has evolved into cold ethanol extraction, which is much more efficient. The temperature of ethanol is lowered and by using automation, it has become a very efficient and accurate technology."

The second most used extraction method is CO2. "It's especially used in Europe, because it's a green solvent. It takes carbon dioxide from the air and connotes it into water. Another benefit is that it doesn't have a residue, so it's safer to use. It works with high pressure and is highly selective for the pharmaceutical industry. Depending on the customer's final need, they will most likely choose between these two methods."

While those are the most used technologies, extraction technology keeps evolving. "A recent one is cold water extraction. It is mostly used for the recreational industry and is essentially a trichome separator."

So how to choose? "Clients go through a process of evaluating their vision, business plan, and the market they're catering to. Based on that, they'll decide on a technology that fits best. Some of our clients cater to two different markets and thus need two different extraction technologies. At a chemical compound level, extraction is all the same. But it's about how you want to get from point A to point B and what fits your business and market."

Supplying producers worldwide
Buffalo Extraction Systems' CO2 and cryo-ethanol systems are supplied globally. "I believe our services set us apart. We don't just sell our system and have the producer figure things out by themselves. We offer personalized support and have plenty of experience in the industry. For most clients, we try to create an ecosystem, connecting the dots and helping them build the business until the first few batches are out. That level of commitment is highly appreciated by producers."

When it comes to the future, the company is excited about Europe's potential. "Europe has a very formalized approach to legalizing cannabis. They thoroughly look at safety compliance and the sales side of things: how are products to get to the market? The approach that European countries have taken is starting to create a sustainable and long-term business opportunity," Yogesh adds.

For more information:
Buffalo Extraction Systems