Andy Joseph, CEO at Apeks Supercritical

Thinking Outside The Bud - 018 - Andy Joseph

Andy Joseph, CEO at Apeks Supercritical

Andy is the founder and president of Apeks Supercritical, a leading CO2 extraction system manufacturer, established in 2001 in Johnstown, OH. He is an engineer and skilled fabricator with experience in engineering and operations management. Andy and his team continually work to improve the processes and capabilities of Apeks Supercritical systems to increase processing efficiency for faster extractions requiring less energy consumption.

Andy is the inventor of five patents, including the Valveless Expansion Technology featured on all Apeks CO2 extraction systems. He received his bachelor’s and master’s of science degree in Welding Engineering from The Ohio State University.

Andy founded Apeks Supercritical while serving as the Director of Welding and Testing Labs for Edison Welding Institute (EWI), developers of manufacturing technologies. He first learned about mechanical operations and principles during his six years in the Navy operating nuclear submarine reactors. He is a two-time Navy Achievement Medal recipient.


[00:00:01] You're listening to Thinking Outside the Bud where we speak with entrepreneurs investors thought leaders researchers advocates and policymakers who are finding new and exciting ways for cannabis to positively impact business society and culture. And now here is your host Business Coach Bruce Eckfeldt.

[00:00:31] Welcome everyone this is thinking outside the box on Bruce Eckfeldt. I'm your host today we're here with Andy Joseph and he is founder and president of Apeks Supercritical which is of CO2 extraction system based in Johnstown Ohio. We're going to talk to him a little bit about the extraction process the technology his professional background. Andy welcome to the program.

[00:00:49] Happy to be here.

[00:00:52] It's always a pleasure. So I always like to start with just kind of getting people's professional background and I was curious how people got into the cannabis space. So why don't you give people a sense of what you were doing and how you got into cannabis and then we could talk a little bit about the company and what you're focused on what supercritical.

[00:01:08] I guess my career started in the Navy graduated high school in six years. Nuclear submarines out of Pearl Harbor was a nuclear mechanic essentially where I worked on the mechanical portions of the nuclear power plants and the propulsion systems on the submarine. After I was in the Navy and got out I started my engineering career at the university where I got my master's and bachelor's degrees and welding engineering while I was doing that. I started a fabrication business you know the Navy gives you an opportunity to pay for school but they don't necessarily pay for all of it. So I decided you know I need to make a few extra bucks. And yeah I started a fabrication business I actually met a customer who needed some botanical oil extraction equipment made a small glassware line and needed some metal devices made for larger capacity. So I started working with that customer. And you know things progressed along graduated and took a corporate job as a engineer and then quickly moved into management and trauma itself as management where I wasn't getting my hands dirty anywhere and I like to I like to get my hands dirty and that kind of stuff so I missed it. So I kept doing effects on site and a picture was a side job for me way from about 2001 until 2012 and during that entire time I worked with this customer kind of designing and building different types of extraction systems. Most of them CO2 but also some ethanol and extraction systems as well.

[00:02:33] 2012 came along in two full time jobs rather than a choice.

[00:02:39] You know when I'm working corporate it you know my quote unquote day job and then at the same time I got to go home and then on weekends and evenings build these and design these extraction systems. So 2012 was kind of the point where I said I got to make choices I have to do one or the other. And so I made the leap Canibus had found us in 2008 2009. You know it started to really pick up and Canibus found CO2 extraction as a great alternative to the butane propane that were being utilized at the time and causing you know explosions and dirty extractions. And it was a great option for you know a need that you turn on each other.

[00:03:17] So the work we were doing in botanicals extractions were not counted as up until then.

[00:03:21] That's right they were flavorings food products not essential oil extractions things like that. So you know once the cannabis industry kind of started to take hold of the CO2 extraction technology then the equipment that we were designing manufacturing started to take off by 2012. Like I said I had two full time jobs so I quit my real job and decided to focus on apex full time. And unfortunately the relationship that I had built up over the last 11 or 12 years kind of fizzled out very quickly. We did everything wrong. From an entrepreneurial standpoint so you're talking about learning entrepreneurship and learning lessons. We did everything wrong we didn't have a single piece of paper between us even though we worked for 10 or 11 years. You know a couple of million dollars in business together we never had a single piece of paper. And once it got to the point where I wanted to focus on a full time we had some disagreements on ownership disagreements on intellectual property disagreements on technology direction. So we decided to go our separate ways and we're still competitors today. But you know from 2012 standpoint here I am I quit my full time job focusing on apex I for kids another one on the way. And also I lose my only customer.

[00:04:26] Right. And so I had to build up APECs almost from scratch essentially I had had a product design had a manufacturing capability but I didn't have a website it didn't have branding it as a logo. And so I had to really start from scratch and Google Edwards was my friend at that point Batterson. So yeah it really worked out well. And APECs you had you know you showed a little bit before we get on the call here with pronouncing APECs we spell it differently and I'd love to say it was intentional we spell it differently because there were too many AP Xs out there already. So we were uncreative and said All right let's just spell a different letter. Yeah. Back in 2001 you know being starting with an aim it's because you put you in the front of the phonebook here in 2018 spelling your name differently puts you in a higher ranking profile on Google outwards and Google searches.

[00:05:12] I'd love to say I was you know had all kinds of forethought. I'd rather be lucky.

[00:05:18] Yeah exactly that's what happens. But anyway so since 2012 until today you know a pick supercritical has been building and delivering CO2 traction systems primarily canvas space 95 percent roughly of our systems go towards Canibus operators throughout the country as well as international and in October of last year we ship our 500 CO2 extractor. Wow. So we're proud of that.

[00:05:43] Maybe give people a sense of a let's just talk about extraction a little bit.

[00:05:47] You know I think some people kind to vaguely know what this is but let's let's not define what the extraction process entails from a mechanical technical point of view. And then what the different Treffert processes are are technologies are and then why is CO2 mostly overset to be attained in some of these other ones. So it's all about extraction when we talk about extraction what is essentially involved what are we trying to do in the extraction process.

[00:06:08] So basically refrigeration will be concentration. So when you think it was were essentially removing the plant material from the oil or or waxes or fats or whatever but basically the oil that is contained within the plant that has the cannabinoids in it. So all your thc cbd CBD RGV and all the canned avenue that are contained generally within these oily fats and waxes that are inside the plant. Most of them are concentrated in the trike homes of the plant material but some are within the plants and the leaves and the stems and that kind of stuff and lowering concentrations. Essentially all extraction is separating those oils from waxes and adenoids them from the botanical plant material or their organic material itself. Another way to look at it is concentrating so by removing the plant material you're increasing the percentage of Cabinet over the total amount of material that they're contained within Gaza you're increasing the concentration and so you're basically taking raw plant material got the process a little bit so are preprocessing that at some level so you can make it extractable and then what.

[00:07:10] How does the process work in terms of getting the oils or removing the plant material getting the oil out and you want to look at it yet.

[00:07:16] It's complex really you know there's not just a black and white one process does all kind of thing. As you can imagine there's there's several different variations but generally the extraction process starts with a preprocessing stuff like you said you're going to dry and grinding material. There are other extraction processes you know particularly a method called Libe resin that uses wet material basically material has been harvested directly into a shell Gretton into the extractor. We talk about most extraction processes even if you know CO2 butane propane most of them will start with dried or cured clam material they'll grind it to get a smaller particle size so that one you can get more material into the vessel. It also increase your surface area exactly Ms preprocessing steps can also include declare box Malaysian's. Some people will choose the docker box blade or essentially convert the acid form THC a THC prior to extraction CO2 in particular its beneficial to the herb oxalate because going faster extractions as opposed to bigger boxes laying on the other side and Dresch Well once you've got your material preprocessed dried ground and potentially even degrade oxygenated you'll put it into an extraction system that can be CO2 could be butane. The protein could be hexing and Taine could be ethanol. There's a lot of different extraction technologies but they all fundamentally do the same thing because that separates the botanical oils from the plant material that's there once the extraction done a lot of people refer to this step as the crude extraction because a corollary would be oil and gas like you know gasoline that you extract extract crude oil out of the ground and then you refine it into different breeds of propane and gasoline gear oil and that lubrication or whatever might be a similar thing happens here once the extraction done the crude extraction is done.

[00:08:53] You can do several different types of refining steps that allow you to create a different product types and most people are familiar with dispensaries whether it be chatterer crumble honeycomb or damning applications they Pennzoil. Now look where there's sometimes it's just wholesale oil that subsequently gets winterized and then utilise distillation winterization is just a process to separate the fats and waxes from the oils that are the cannabinoids are in distillation as a tertiary or third step refining process. The question a lot of people usually have at this stage as well. So what do we do these different things and generally it's concentration level as well. You know when we talk concentration not yield this is how much oil I got out of the plant material because it's concentration if you look at most extractions most people are going to extract from trending towards more flour extractions. But for the most part people expect trim because TRM otherwise is useless.

[00:09:46] Exactly.

[00:09:48] Yeah. And so rather than throwing away it because it does still have cannabinoids in it lower concentration levels to every 10 maybe 15 percent contaminant level maybe even down to 5 or 6 percent depending on the quality of the trim but whether it's you know five to 15 percent range for your starting plant material the bulk extraction of the crude extraction step generally increases that concentration level to 40 maybe 50 percent. Now your crude oil sitting there 40 to 50 percent if you winterize it that's going to take you up to probably 60 maybe 70 percent and that's because you're taking off some of the watches. And that's the reason that leaving behind it can happen and you're further concentrating and then if you go to the next step you know which a lot of people refer to as distillation the short path distillation might assume distillations film desolation. There's several ways to do it but they all fundamentally do the same thing which now you're actually boiling this cabinet. It's right at the high temperature boiling them off and distilling them right just like your regular finery.

[00:10:41] That's about it. Exactly.

[00:10:43] So now you're distilling and that allows you to get up and the concentration levels of 90 95 98 even per can Abimelech concentration. So you know that that's kind of the overall process to go from one end to the other end some people will stop. They won't go all the way to distillation and they'll take their winterized oil and reintroduce turbines. Sometimes they're cannabis derived turbines come from the extraction process which you can do great with CO2 or they'll be artificial or non cannabis based turbines. Either way if you take winterized oil and you put these turbines back into it it does two things One it adds flavor to the process if you lost through the extraction or through the secondary processing but also then it decreases the viscosity which is a rule for vaporizing fems a lot of times.

[00:11:28] Interesting and I know in the edible world I know it's a lot of that. The trick is how do I figure out how to remove and then add back in the terpenes that I want either kind of a space or an icon of space terpenes for flavour profiles and sort of flavour textures that you're trying to achieve from a culinary point of view right into different schools of thought.

[00:11:48] You know some people want their food products to taste wheat. Some people don't want their food product to taste like wheat and you know the decision on whether or not you're gonna use an oil that has a lot of Europeans in it or not can be done in the processing stages. For instance if you are Bogalay prior to extraction that's going to essentially burn off a lot of beans that you're extracting oil doesn't have a lot of flavour or taste or aroma and your chocolate can taste like chocolate instead of your chocolate tasting like wheat.

[00:12:14] So you can get through the Attracta process you can get a very high concentrate THC or a kind of chemical one of your high contracts without a whole lot of flavour.

[00:12:24] Yeah and that's in particular the distillations are going all the way from extraction through distillation but it will produce you know kind of a single compound effect where we've got just THC for instance and very little of anything else. 90 percent THC there's not really room for anything else in there that that a lot of times is a great a great way for Shoshan and you know the Colma world to be able to utilise THC without having to affect the rest of their flavors of their food.

[00:12:49] So describe this equipment all of them and this is not like a little table top sets right like to do this you know reasonable scale. What do these things look like.

[00:12:57] What's involved in actually doing know industrial level extraction process.

[00:13:02] That's really the key point. These are industrial systems. They're not table top systems are not home use systems are not personal. We do have a tabletop extractable that we made and we've since discontinued it originally made it for small collectives and things like that. Beyond that tabletop unit these are industrial pieces of equipment. They use two hundred thirty three phase power. They're fairly large. They require heavy industrial movers and equipment motors things like that. But basically you know the extraction platform if you're familiar at all with an air conditioner basically the extraction system works like an air conditioner right. And it sounds like a strange correlation but you know extract the air conditioners have you know a high Sri on essentially decompression create this cooling effect that then you run it and pass those heat exchangers get the cooling and it cools your house. CO2 does exactly the same thing. What we do is we'll take liquid CO2 or sometimes supercritical CO2 because the difference between them is just the solvency power but CO2 as the ability to change some sea power through pressures and temperatures. Nonetheless whether it's liquid or supercritical the same thing happens you take this liquid CO2 you push it through that plant material it dissolves the oil out of the plant material then carry that over into a secondary vessel where you decompress to CO2 CO2 from a liquid into a gas. When it does that it loses its ability to hold that oil that it extract it out. So it separates once you've done that and you take that gaseous CO2 you decompress it and then you recirculate and that's what a lot of people refer to as a closed loop extraction system meaning that you take the CO2 or butane or propane or ethanol or whatever but the CO2 case you take CO2 in and you wreak impressive reuse it just flows in a circle the same exact way an air conditioner does.

[00:14:36] It's like the CO2 is like a sponge that goes into the plant material absorbs the oil you take it over the compressing side or decompressing side it loses its absorbing believe it's like squeezing out the sponge and then you send it back over and you decide.

[00:14:48] And that's a great analogy. It's exactly what's going on. The biggest difference is you know unfortunately when you have these changes in these gases you get cooling and heating up right airconditioned your air conditioners do it on purpose they want that cooling eating. We don't want it right. And so we actually have thermal management mechanisms to offset the heating and cooling so that you know they're byproducts of process.

[00:15:09] So you've got to you've got to be able to handle root remove the heat that's generated on the compression side so I can you know so that you're regulating the temperatures.

[00:15:19] So it's basically a loop loops system for transporting the oils between the material and your collection device. And so the system of maintaining the thermal kind of condition or thermal stability of of ever that frankly you actually want to close loops ones the CO2 and it's thing you just described.

[00:15:35] The other is the thermal management system which is a water water regulation system where we port the heat from compression and use it to offset the heat of the or the cooling that happens on decompression got made if you didn't do that you would create a much dryish exactly how to make dry ice essentially. We don't want the.

[00:15:52] We know what the secondary business on the side is so we don't want dry ice we want gas and so we actually have a heated up a little bit to prevent it from turning into dress.

[00:16:01] So in terms of you know if I'm running one of these industrial systems what does my cycle time on this look like as a my doing like an extract and every ten minutes does it take me six hours like what does the actual production process look like for someone who's operating one of these are our newest system called the duplex it processes about eight pounds per hour.

[00:16:20] And so you can you can do about it on the table you can put a rubber stamp so eight pounds of raw materials you can process in that timeframe for our right to new about 175 pounds a day.

[00:16:31] The vessel sizes are going to vary and you know there's very few different models and theories and stuff but generally you can process about 175 pounds per day raw plant material the extract you know the next question and how much you'll get out of that hundred pounds and yields are going to be heavily dependent on the plant material quality of the plant material. So it's the age old shit and shit out. So you know in this scenario if we take our 10 to 15 percent trim for instance we'll conveniently get about 10 12 maybe 15 percent yield on that trip.

[00:17:01] We're going to get about a pound for pound and you're going to get about a pound of oil coming out.

[00:17:08] It is a better way to say that than that. You said about 35 40 percent would be higher to be 40 maybe 50 percent so and concentrate them further and further refine it from there.

[00:17:18] I want to realise that every time you refine it you lose weight removing the non non active ingredients in this decreasing volume but increasing the concentration.

[00:17:30] Okay that's excellent because I think that gives me actually a much better sense of the outfall sort of distillation process just mentoring briefly. You said you know this is all based on CO2 your technology is focused on CO2. You mentioned that there are some other ones. What are some of the pros and cons or what what these other ones exist. Is it more kind of it was easier to do the technology was easier than us. The CO2 in the more advanced degree what how do these methods compare.

[00:17:55] Yeah I'd like to start this conversation with kind of a disclaimer one I'm mostly biased towards the right. So that's what we make that's what we do. That being said I try to really heavily emphasize with people that there isn't one extraction technology that's better than the other right. There's pros and cons are there's a reason to use one's opinion. They all depend ultimately on what you're trying to do at the end of the product stage. So if you look at CO2 it's proves that because of the energy aspect that we talked about before it's tunable you can change its solvency characteristics over the over the course of pressures and temperature changes that allow you to be selective. So we talked about extracting terpenes for instance in low temperature low pressure extraction parameters and you know very very liquid extremely fragrant or aromatic terpenes.

[00:18:40] Increase the temperature and pressure and you start to get into more than Avonwood extract out know kind of lower and higher and so you have this suitability tunable capability of CO2 extraction. The other benefit of CO2 is the fact that it wants to be a gas at room temperature and pressure so residual solvents are never a problem. Think about a gas you think about a beer or a soda flat. Same thing happens with the extracted oils of CO2 outcasts so you never have any residual gas or residual solvents yet the biggest Qantas CO2 is in order to get it to be a liquid or supercritical fluid you have to operate it pressures 6000 or 5000 sound. So the equipment becomes very expensive as a result. Compare and contrast with butane propane right another solvent based mechanism that's popular in the cannabis industry and propane has you know the Preller that it's a very fast and strong cell and it works quickly relatively inexpensive because operates at low pressure so the equipment can be significantly cheaper and create some very unique products shatters and honeycombs crumbles the kind of the dabbing products and does a really good job of making those drawback. The first obvious drawback is exclusivity right.

[00:19:42] And so the equipment itself is relatively minor minor drawback it's pretty much a contract.

[00:19:50] It is a big drawback it really. And the biggest problem with that other than the obvious obvious issues of it being well let me say it this way there's two problems that come with being schoolish. One is the costs of dealing with the explosive nature is an ongoing process safely with inexplicable exclusive solvent. You have to have an explosion proof class one division one facility. So now you're inexpensive equipment has to go into a very expensive facility and that's when it starts to offset the savings that you might get the other one is of perception the perception of you know hydrocarbon extraction solvents is some came out of the ground at one point. And so while you can refine it to a certain point you can never get all of the heavy metals out you never get all of the residual Salento you can get it lower than detectible but it's never all gone. It's just physics demands you can never get rid of it all. So there's perception issues in the marketplace in particular in the medical side and utilizing products that come from hydrocarbons. So the other big drawback for beyond the exclusivities issue there is hydrocarbons. The one and done right so you don't have the ability to solvents CO2 so you lose the ability to be selective.

[00:20:53] You kind of get everything you can. Now you can try to defeat that and a lot of people will run what's called cold extractions around minus 40 Fahrenheit or sometimes even colder than that. And what they're really doing is just suppressing the power of the solvent. So it's not a strong cap and that and that that minimizes the amount of chlorophyll and waxes that are brought out during the extraction process. But obviously it takes a lot more energy input and to make that happen. So you can you can kind of treat it that way in order to mitigate that problem. But it's still a problem. Now compare and contrast that with ethanol right ethanol trash is becoming very popular particularly California lately since they categorized it in a more favorable category than you change of propane. So alcohol is all the rage right now in California particular ethanol or alcohol if you had a proof of alcohol it's got very similar qualities to butane and propane without the exclusivity. So it's very very powerful solvent. FDA generally regarded as safe approved by the FDA utilized and lots of food flavoring extraction checked not you know applications throughout the country besides cannabis. The biggest problem with ethanol is the fact that much like butane propane is one and done right and you know no real capabilities to it other than treating it much like butane a propane making it cold to suppress its capability.

[00:22:07] You know it's suppressed its powers initially and you get out less chlorophyll less waxes fats but you also lost your tune ability of getting turbines out of the beauty appropriate system we're getting turbines separating chirping somebody said that way. Separating Turpin as well as a stint as an isolate attraction is nearly impossible with butane propane or ethanol extractions. CO2 is really shines in that area but ethanol is ten times probably faster especially warm ethanol is ten times faster than either butane a propane or CO2. So you know if your goal is distillation starting with ethanol makes a ton of sense because ethanol makes a lower quality extract. But through sheltering and then ultimately the distillation process you can have a very high quality distillate that you started with low quality extract. Right. So which one you choose really makes no more sense on what is your end goal digital versus on the ground versus you know winterized oils that are great the PAN flavor. You know they all live there. What we see the trend among our larger processing customers is they've got at least two if not all three.

[00:23:08] Yeah. Because because of the trade offs and the nature of it all depends on what your outcome is going to be.

[00:23:13] You may want to have multiple tracking capabilities exactly and integrate your products into and if you want to diversify your product line you really need to have all three technologies available in order to produce the different product types that the dispensers are demanding.

[00:23:27] So let's talk a little bit about your business because I think I see sort of the market or I see this whole kind of distillation sort of segment of the market you know possible different ways of approaching it. You're looking at it from what it sounds like your doubling down on the CO2 technology. Where are you looking to play or are you looking to expand out. How are you approaching this from a business point of view or do you see your opportunity as well.

[00:23:51] So CO2 is really never had an opportunity to find itself into the what I call the mid-market application. Prior to 2012 or 2010 or within the last 10 years which is only found its way into smaller scale laboratory university applications and very very few very very large scale applications for coffee or tea decapitation pops hops extraction. You know there's a few very large plants but generally the mid-range just didn't have any place to play CO2 hadn't found its way in there because it needed a low volume high value product in order to allow companies like ours to really have enough momentum and inertia to do research and development innovation on the process to increase its speed and efficiency and decrease the cost. So along comes Canibus right. The perfect high value low volume product that has a need for a clean extraction method like CO2. Kind of the perfect storm. So that allowed our company to start to really do a lot of innovation research development on CO2 extraction systems. So here we are today in a situation where you know the extraction technology has really progressed very rapidly over the past five certainly five years if not the last 10 years. Almost corollary to like an iPhone you are right where you know you can have an iPhone 4 from five years ago our Longo's it still works still mix calls still text and nobody uses them because you know it's easily my knowledge. It's ancient technology. The unfortunate reality is CO2 extraction systems are evolving at that same pace right now and it's great because the technology is pacing so fast. It's terrible because customers are finding two years after making a 15 year 100000 150000 dollar purchase they've got antiquated technology that still works but it's not as efficient not as fun.

[00:25:35] So you know where we're going from a business standpoint is we're genuine focused on CO2 that is our niche. Right. We've got a 17000 square foot purpose built manufacturing facility to do nothing but build CO2 extraction systems. We've got manufacturing capability to build our own vessels Boolaroo control systems built around CO2 extractors we only outsource two components at the moment and that's our compressor as well as the chiller which are kind of their own animals. Everything else it's made in-house. But you know our focus is Utu and you know cannabis has been the growth mechanism for our company over the last five maybe 10 years but it's starting to plateau right we're starting to see the rate at which the expansion of new states coming on is slower and those new states come on with smaller a smaller number of larger licenses larger operators. So you know the opportunity for extraction platforms and the US is starting to plateau or it's not going down but it's just kind of leveling off. So you know where's CO2 find its place in the world. Well one is Canibus internationally we're look at Canada. We're looking at Europe now looking at South America looking at you know Australia all of these places that are starting to come online to bring canvas applications online through licensing our new opportunities for CO2 just the same way you had opportunities here in the states five 10 years ago. So that's you know one growth mechanism that we intend to continue to follow.

[00:26:54] It's a little bit more challenging than doing it here in the U.S. because the certifications that are required to the company's CEO for instance in Europe Canada require she or in Australia has its own set of codes and then there's also the additional electrical voltages or different language barriers and things like that. But nonetheless the international opportunity is certainly the next big thing beyond Canibus is kind of the next area we're reversing as well. So looking at getting into applications for extracting were kind were started play playrooms natural products essential oils with the push towards more natural products and fewer harsher chemicals and you know the beauty world the make up world the cosmetics. There's definitely a push towards CO2 extraction as a cleaner alternative. What are some of the nasty chemical processes that are being used now like hexane or Penn State. So you know that move is a little bit different in that instead of introducing CO2 into a environment like cannabis that it's already been accepted getting CO2 into an environment where we're displacing a current technology that is you know it's a different kind of challenge different marketing and sales challenge CO2. I believe the reason it hasn't happened before is because CO2 wasn't fast enough it wasn't efficient enough. The evolution of the CO2 technology is now at a place where it is fast enough and it is sufficient enough to start to displace some of these other nasty chemicals that are being used in essential oil applications and natural product applications. So that's that's been the next bigger play and that's a longer you know three to five year kind of plate rate.

[00:28:17] No that's good I think having having a strategy and having a plan for how this how this is going to evolve or they just go about it take a lot of people are in the space of making hay while things are busy and crazy and there's a lot of money flying around. But I think as the mark of a tourist things are consolidated a little bit like knowing what seat you want to be in the music starts to change if not it right.

[00:28:40] So you know like I said alcohol is all the rage right now. It's been real tough you know for us to stay focused. You know you read leadership books and you go through all that kind of stuff and they all talk about you know focus on your niche focus on what you're good at don't get distracted. Now I've got to tell you that it's are multiple conversations were said Should we build a new team or group you know should we be building an ethanol extractor. And you know we could do those things. But I don't think it will but I think you know there's always limited resources. I think we would ultimately becoming a master of none and jack of all. Yeah. And I don't think that's where we want to be. So we resist the urge we stay focused on CO2 and then a bit of a bumpy ride here in the last couple of years as the other technologies are not training that place. But nonetheless it's still I think the right move.

[00:29:26] Well kudos to you for having me get a bigger picture in the foresight on that occasion too and I think that's one of things I coach I'm constantly trying to get the confidence when leadership teams do remember as they say focused on it because it is a longer term game and there's a lot of distractions and a half the job is just keeping your eye on the ball you want to focus on so so good. And it has been great.

[00:29:46] If people want to find out more about it that's about you. About technology is the product's secret.

[00:29:53] What's the best way to get a hold of you and find out more information to you if your depends on how old you are but it also it's somewhere between you know five and probably about 30 and you're going to go straight to the Internet on your phone and a pick supercritical dot com APV K.S. that's supercritical dot com. There's a whole slew of videos on there talking about our business talking about our dogs talking about you know a whole bunch of stuff maintenance on the equipment. So we think supercritical is a great resource. You tend to be in the 65 to 85 range which you know a number of those folks as well. The phone is typically the mechanism that they choose to use which is 7 4 8 0 9 1 1 6 0. Alternatively feel free to e-mail us info at APECs supercritical dot com or email me directly it's ENTJ at supercritical dot com.

[00:30:42] Awesome and I'll make sure that all those all that information in the show notes people remember it and click on things and it was a pleasure. I'm curious to stay in touch and hear how things develop. It's a fast moving market.

[00:30:53] Maybe one last question if you were an ingenue or getting into this space these days if you're interested in kind of the cannabis world where we just started you're going to start a new business where do you see the opportunity or where do you see the need that needs to get addressed.

[00:31:07] Well you know I've got two things I'm going to say to that. One is find your niche so you know don't chase whatever is popular whatever's on the news. Find your niche find out whatever you're good about and what you're passionate about and ultimately drive your passion into the marketplace because if you're not passionate about it when things fall when things are bad. Oh my god it's terrible. So you have to be happy to have that passion that drive cause that's going to help you weather the storm. The other piece of it is I'll tell you it's a different marketplace than it was just five years ago. You know as an entrepreneur that's experience fast growth in the cannabis space. We were lucky we were in the right place at the right time. Nowadays you know looking back on it I think my biggest mistake is we didn't grow fast enough. Cream. I mean we were we were the 24th fastest growing private company in the U.S. and 500 in 2015.

[00:31:54] And I'm telling you we didn't grow fast enough. It was not fast and it should've been.

[00:31:59] Well exactly. Well you know it ultimately what happened was because the market is growing so fast we weren't able to position ourselves to prevent the competition. And so even though we were growing actually transfer doing everything we could to hang on. And I resisted the urge to bring on capital and Recio you know I would still own 100 percent of the company. And you know what. Looking back I think in this marketplace with a fast growing environment I should have looked to bring more capital and faster so that we could have been bigger so that more of that new market and provide the competition and take more of the market share while sage advice.

[00:32:33] This has been a great conversation and great insights. I'm curious to stay in touch and see how the next 12 24 months play out for you and for the industry.

[00:32:41] And I really appreciate the time. Thanks for being on the program. Thanks for having me on.

[00:32:46] You've been listening to Thinking Outside the Bud with Business Coach Bruce Eckfeldt to find a full list of podcast episodes. Download the tools and worksheets and access other great content. Visit the Web site at And don't forget to sign up for the free newsletter at