Kelowna cannabis extraction equipment manufacturer set to expand
KELOWNA - The largest manufacturer of cannabis extraction equipment in North America is hoping to open a new facility in Kelowna within 18 months.
City council agreed today, Dec. 10, to grant a development permit to Pier Mac Petroleum/Birchwood Heights Holding Corp. to construct three buildings for Vitalis Extraction Technology on Optic Court, across Highway 97 from the Kelowna airport.
“This is a great example of a local company doing a lot of work around the world,” Mayor Colin Basran said.
Kelowna-based Vitalis is now working out of three scattered buildings that offer only about 20,000 square feet and the new facility would be 47,000 square foot in size.
“On Neave Court, that’s where we do our fabrication, so we’re doing our welding, cutting and drilling and all that kind of fun stuff,” chief operating officer and co-founder Pete Patterson told iNFOnews.ca today. “Then we ship all our parts down to Gaston Avenue and do our assembly here.”
The company only started selling their extractors about two years ago and, Patterson said, are about to be named the largest manufacturer in North America by U.S. based Cannabis Business Executive magazine.
Their extraction machines are not actually limited to the cannabis industry since they are large-scale machines that can extract fluids from any biosolid. For example, Patterson said, they could be used to extract lavender oil.
Most of Vitalis’ sales of the $620,000 extractors are for the cannabis industry with 65 to 70 per cent being sold into the U.S. Another 15 per cent are sold in Canada and the rest to South America and Europe.
Right now, Vitalis has 62 employees and are in the process of hiring another 19. Patterson expects another round of hiring in the manufacturing sector as production ramps up from two a week to a target of five.
The new plant will also give the company the opportunity to more easily produce larger scale machines.
No cannabis extracting is done by Vitalis, just the manufacturing of the equipment.
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