You guys win. EtOH is the way to go, I see the light..kind of. Now what?

I made a post a few weeks ago about opening my own lab and was told by the fine folk here to basically breathe and become one with the search bar - I did that. I think I’m ready to take the next step and for that I need some information the search bar might not be able to provide.

Originally, I was looking at a throughput of about ~30 pounds a day when I was set on CO2. I can see now that EtOH can produces exponentially more product in less time without messing with quality. So, now as you guys can imagine, that 30 pounds in a 8 hour cycle is up to about ~200-300 lbs in an 8 hour shift. Currently, I’m leaning more towards Delta Separations CUP-15 and I’m also looking into Ace Spinner. I didn’t like what I saw/heard about Capna, so I ruled them out.

Some questions, and if these questions venture into “spoon feeding” or “consulting” territory. I’m sorry in advance. You can just choose not to reply :slight_smile:

  1. If I go with the CUP-15 from Delta and produce 200-300 lbs in an 8 hour shift - how /easy/ is it to sell all that product? I’m looking to open up 40 minutes east of Chicago.

  2. The facility I will have is going to be decently big. What other processes can I do once I have the distillate out of the EtOH extraction? I believe I will have room for some more post-processing.

The questions I have left are more about the numbers rather than the equipment/processes. I’ve done plenty of research about how EtOH, CO2, Hydrocarbon, etc. extraction works.

Thanks, guys. Also, if these questions and this post appealed to you and you knew all the answers right off the bat, feel free to send me a DM and we can talk about consulting. Bonus points if you’re familiar with Illinois cannabis market.

You guys are awesome. Super glad I found Future4200. Learned stuff I didn’t even know I needed to know. Haha.


:joy::joy::joy: your asking will you be rich !
The fact that you asked already doesn t sound good


Good to see you back again! Glad we didn’t scare you off with that first thread lol.

First question - if you are running 200-300 lbs of dried biomass per day in a Delta you are looking at anywhere from 8-14kg of clean dewaxed crude on your hands per day. The CUP-15 won’t take it all the way to a finished distillate form on its own, you will need to purchase a distillation apparatus as well. With a short path and crude with decent potency, you should expect to get 50-60% of your input crude weight back as first pass distillate. The rest of your yield will likely need additional passes to clean it up further. So maybe 4-7kg of distillate on a daily basis. The easiest way to sell it will be forming partnerships with established brands in your area that produce cartridges and edibles. Edibles companies typically use bulk distillate for all of their products and most are set up as food processing facilities not as cannabis extraction labs.

Second Question - if you have room for more post processing and are technically minded, you can set aside some space for chromatography columns to do pesticide remediation, or potentially THC remediation for hemp biomass. There will be a big spike in demand for toll processing services like that soon with all the cbd that’s going to market. You can also use the additional space to set up a packaging/warehousing area and hire some hands to fill/pack/ship cartridges. Depends on what you want to do.

Third Question you didn’t ask - do you have the partnerships to source 4,000-6,000 pounds of cannabis material per month? Working 9-5 M-F that would be your monthly biomass need. I don’t know how much Illinois is currently growing, but that seems like a steep demand to meet.

I think it would behoove you to start trying to build relationships in your local cannabis community out there, and see where the market demand is before you go building out a facility to service this market. Not trying to discourage you, but rather encourage you to keep doing your homework before diving in head first.

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I’m not familiar with the Illinois market but a few questions to think about…

  1. Do you have access to 200-300lbs of biomass to process each day?
  2. Do you have filteration and solvent recovery set up?
  3. How do you plan to distill the crude?
  4. Distillate is pretty much a final stage input product. Put into carts? Make edibles? Not sure how licensing is set up in IL for these processes.
  5. Is your building going to pass all coding requirements? I’ve dealt with two labs in two different states who thought they were all set, but then ran into $80K+ of renovations before they could legally operate. They got a great deal on the lease but alot of times, CHEAP IS EXPENSIVE.

@SauceBossNW That’s exactly what I was looking to hear! Thank you. Going to take everything you said into consideration and implement. “[…] most are set up as food processing facilities not as cannabis extraction labs.” :o That’s a VERY good point.

@Roguelab Actually, no. I would be lying if I said I didn’t care about the numbers, but there’s a lot more I need to know even before that. Nice try, though. Good thing there’s a lot of other helpful members here on Future4200 :slight_smile:

@yoshi Thank you. Those are exactly the questions I needed to ask myself. I’m not perfectly sold on this yet, but I believe we were talking about using Delta for all 3 systems - Extraction/Evap/Distil. Still looking at other options of post-processing once the crude is extracted from the Delta CUP-15. Thanks!

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@yoshi made a really good point about code inspections. Make sure its up to code and passes fire marshall inspection and all that. I started a job once in oregon, and a month later the lab was shut down due to non compliance. Stayed down for six months and cost about 100K to get back up.

If you’re goal is crude a Delta will get you there. Personally, I think the Ace Spinner is better engineered, has more capacity, and costs the same as a CUP15. Plus if you ever venture to ethanol products outside of crude you’ll want the extra cryo depth it provides.


LOL sounds like the exact lab I helped setup in OR… Eugene?

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Naw further any but still in OR

Every legal weed company i have worked for has had some kind of drama/SNAFU regardless of financial backing


That has been my experience as well, without fail. Even if you dot all of yours I’s and cross all them T’s you will still run into snags. Being able to roll with the punches is what makes you swim or sink.

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@saucebossnw knows,
Hey boss i still wanna grab a beer next time i visit family in the seattle area!

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Absolutely, just shoot me a message if you are gonna be in town and we can link up.

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WFE>Short Path

I absolutely agree, however I also feel that for someone new to extraction/just entering the space, short path distillation offers a much lower financial barrier to entry than WFE. I also think that learning about the process first on a short path gives someone a little bit more understanding about what exactly is going on, and will give them a better foundation for operating a WFE efficiently and effectively.

But yes, given the quantities that he is talking about (200-300 lbs biomass per day) a WFE would be a better match scale-wise.

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Well! The only reason I said “200-300 lbs biomass per day” is because that’s what I saw Delta’s CUP-15 could produce in an 8 hour shift, which is how long I intend to have the lab running. Again, I’m still learning and going along. I’m sure we won’t be doing 200-300 lbs considering we would still need to distill, etc.

Not sure if I should go with Delta for the evaporation/distillation machines as well, but that will most likely be the direction we go in … just so we can keep all the equipment under one umbrella in case there’s issues. Thoughts?

I mean this in no offensive way whatsoever. But I’m one of those people that’s baffled by the people that come up with huge plans for extract labs and such, and one of their questions is “how hard is it to sell”

Again, I mean no disrespect and admire anyone’s balls to try something. But it seems like a lot of people come here like “I have 2.5 million dollars, I’m building an extract lab… how do I extract, how much does extract sell for, I have no idea what I’m doing”

It’s like saying “I wanna become an artist, I just bought a 2 million dollar gallery, can someone tell me how a paint brush works”

With that being said, I wish all endeavors to work out. Just seems like with business on that scale, the fundamental questions being asked should already have been figured out


You can just choose to not reply y’know?

It’s alright if you don’t want to help. I’ll take your well wishes and run with them, but you could’ve skipped the whole “I don’t mean to offend you but I’m going to say something offensive anyway” routine and chill’d.

It’s alright, though. I got plenty of help from Boss and a bunch of others in here that don’t really care about the things you brought up. It’s almost like a lot of people here don’t want new people to get into cannabusiness - weird.


Rumor I heard today had three OR hemp farmers dead by their own hands already this harvest season (financial ruin)…

This game is fucking brutal.

We just don’t like seeing nice folk get crushed


“I have a boss and people that don’t really care about the things you brought up”

The things such as asking how much and how fast you can sell the product you are going to make? Ok… :slight_smile:

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With that being said, I’d be happy to chime in on any help you need. I had a lot of help getting a simple
And cheap etho setup going. I shall be more productive in any future replies :slight_smile: