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Case Studies

My mentoring services are based on real-world experience in the Oregon cannabis industry. I've been through the ups and downs of the legal industry from the very beginning, and I will translate my mistakes and success stories into an actionable plan that, while it can't guarantee the outcome you're hoping for, will make it much more achievable.

Epic Productions

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The Specs:
  • Hemp Oil Processing Lab 

  • Oregon Dept of AG hemp processors license, v1.0

  • Retrofitted an existing warehouse to suit needs.

  • Spray-Vap ethanol extraction machine, Roto-vap

  • Produced and sold gallons of oil

Main Customer Base/ Revenue drivers


  • Hemp farmers interested in making biomass into oil for easier storage and sale. 

    • Worked for hire and for splits

  • Sold hemp oil to early CBD ventures

Epic Productions Oregon Cannabis Process
  • Sold the entire thing for $100k.  Paid debts. Broke even

  • Grew from 160 sq ft to 3,000 sq ft

  • Learning was continuous

  • The Market changed the product as we went. 

  • Standards raised overnight, we changed with it and learned how to create in-demand product

Differentiated Success:

This extraction lab and processing facility was created by people who don’t know chemistry. The origins of a majority of the extraction products available at the time, in 2017, were still garages and kitchens.  I was, again, just the operations guy. I didn’t need to know the chemistry, I just had to facilitate the getting of all the pieces and the putting them together. I had to make sure the lead processor had what he needed to make it go. 


Our goal was to make RSO. We decided to use ethanol, as it was safer, cleaner, and left less solvent residue in the end product than BHO. And it was way less involved than either CO2 or BHO, and had a much lower barrier to entry.  We built the lab around a Colorado based ethanol extraction machine, the Spray-Vap. My business partner actually found a used version up in Corvallis, a 4 hour drive away, and we rented a U-Haul to go get it. We loaded this guy’s entire lab, which he had built in an aforementioned garage, into the U-Haul and gracefully rolled it down to Southern Oregon. 


It was a graceful machine, with bright pink condensers and a large, glass, main chamber. It seemed to be scalable, as it had a good pass-through rate, and as long as you could keep it running all the time you could move a decent amount of product through it.  Its major drawback: glass. While it makes for an impressive looking machine, glass breaks. Pretty easily as it turns out. On top of that, custom pieces of glass, such as those for spendy lab equipment, are challenging to get. They are expensive and it takes time. So you break a piece, you’re down, maybe for days/to weeks. 


We brought in a very intelligent individual to run our lab. He was not a chemist, but he dove in wholeheartedly. The science on this was evolving rapidly at the time. There were a lot of forums happening, and there was a robust discourse. The process, while sophisticated, is not overly complex. His education grew rapidly, and he showed great competency. 


The project did see some initial success. We began making and selling oil. Enough to where we were worthy of a larger facility. We found a warehouse in Talent, in the proximity of all of our other projects and rented it. We slowly pieced together our lab. We learned about exciting things like air exchange rates and roto-vaps (an exciting machine!), and terpene extraction and reintroduction. All genuinely geek-tastic and exciting stuff. But I’m no chemist, and thankfully wasn’t responsible for those things.  


The market in the early days rapidly changed around us. When we started it, all we were aiming for were pucks of black, sticky Concentrated Cannabis Oil. Then It needed to be amber and see-through. So we figured that out. Then it needed to be clear. That required another expensive machine.  And it became hard to sell our beautiful amber oil. Almost overnight, the price went from $8 per gram to $4 per gram, if that. 


We assumed that the hemp thing was on. But we were a year too early. In hindsight, we got lucky to get in and out the way we did. We came in way too small, with a lot of inferior equipment, with no real sales outlets. We were attempting to bootstrap it and with extraction, bootstrapping will not cut it. If we had not taken the opportunity to sell, we would’ve been crushed by it all. 

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