Over the past half century, the legalization of medical cannabis has gained undeniable momentum.
In the US, progressive Californians led the way in 1996 with the approval of Proposition 215, and this was soon followed by other west-coast states.
Over the following decade this trend worked its way across the Rockies and the Great Plains, as states incrementally permitted medical cannabis.
Fast forward another decade and by 2021 most US States allow not only for the use of medical cannabis, but have also broadly decriminalized the plant's recreational application.
This has led to a boom in cannabis product developers and distributors across North America (and soon Europe, too).
And with great business opportunity often comes great innovation.
In an increasingly competitive market, both nationally and internationally, producers of cannabis products for medical use need to find more efficient, sustainable, safer, and cleaner methods of isolating the usable elements of the cannabis plants.
Though traditional cannabis use has typically involved smoking of the dried leaves of the flower, today the massive variety of products and ways of consuming it demand new solutions.
Topicals, beverages, edibles, and “vaping" are all legitimate forms of consumable cannabis extracts.
With such heterogenous processing methods becoming necessary to produce these different goods, a multidisciplinary approach has been successful in the development of better procedures.
This multidisciplinary advantage is seen in the merging of efforts by two long-established equipment manufacturers.
TruSteel—creators of laboratory and botanical extraction processing equipment—and Western States—a food and pharmaceutical equipment manufacturer focused on vertical filtering and decanting centrifuges—joined forces and combined their respective expertise recently, and are now producing some of the highest quality machines for the market.
Nathan Radabaugh, Business Development Manager of TruSteel, told TBY that they “wanted to partner with Western States because they are known as the global leader in centrifugal equipment technologies. It is complicated to both build the machines and service them not only in the US but globally as well." Being more focused on ethanol and evaporation extraction, the partnership was a natural move for TruSteel.
As for Western States, with almost a century of providing support for users of centrifugal machinery, they know their business well.
“We have gained the experience and knowledge about centrifugal separation processes, and we understand customer needs in different industries", explained Ángel Paul Proaño, Director of Sales and Marketing at Western States, in a recent TBY interview.
Combining with a team like that of TruSteel, that already had extensive knowledge of the cannabis market, made sense.
Even more importantly, both companies share expansion goals, particularly in Latin America.
“With Western States, we are currently developing projects in Ecuador, and we have also installed equipment in Colombia as well. We are continuing to talk to more labs as we travel around South America," Radabaugh added.
As the industry becomes more and more refined, only running the best equipment will allow cannabis extraction firms to stay ahead of the competition.