Taima Extracts Inc. is a cannabis extraction company at the licensing stage with Health Canada, looking to focus on a culture-based, high quality approach to cannabis extracts for the consumer market in Canada.
Philip Carnovale and the Femia Family, who own and operate a federally regulated food processing facility, have a history in the highly-regulated food manufacturing industry. Together, they saw the opportunity to move into the cannabis space, selected a location and spent the last year constructing their 20,000 ft2, purpose-built, GMP-ready extraction and processing facility.
Through the last forty years in the food production industry, Carnovale and the Femia Family have developed and mastered good-manufacturing-procedures and standard-operating-practices that they say will be vital to Taima’s success. Carnovale says they built the facility as if it was a food processing facility, ensuring the highest quality materials were used in construction.
“Being a family-owned facility, it’s imperative to us that we develop an incredible culture within our own, where everyone is treated like family. That will be the difference between Taima and everyone else.” says Canovale.
It’s extremely important to realize that Health Canada should not be looked at as police or a task force, but rather as a guiding hand to enable you to create the highest quality of product while both learning from each other.
The first step was to obtain all of the requirements to be issued a cannabis license. In order to obtain a license, they needed a QAP. Wade Harmidy, who holds a Bachelors of Chemistry, was recruited directly from the vaporizer industry, providing strong knowledge of not only quality assurance, but most also processing, formulation and GMPs.
“It’s extremely important to realize that Health Canada should not be looked at as police or a task force, but rather as a guiding hand to enable you to create the highest quality of product while both learning from each other,” says Carnovale.
The next step was to begin sourcing the necessary equipment that would meet Philips’ extremely high expectation. Through his search for extraction equipment, Philip had met Ryan Pinsky who was heavily involved in the cannabis space since early 2016. At that time Ryan was living in Montreal and operating LeDAB, which Pinksy says was fundamental to the growth of the medical cannabis extraction market in Canada, by providing patients with a trusted supplier to procure the necessary tools and information to perform safe and secure cannabis extractions processing. It was apparent to Carnovale and his partners, that Pinsky’s knowledge and experience in the cannabis industry would make him the perfect partner for Taima.
The next step in the natural evolution of Taima was to develop the sales and marketing. Ryan decided to bring Jason Schwartz and Mark Shapiro onboard to assist Taima.
There’s nothing more valuable right now in this industry, than the genetics libraries of these new micro cultivators.
In 2015 Schwartz and Shapiro joined one of the largest legacy brands of cannabis concentrates in Canada. Spending part of his time in Los Angeles, California, Schwartz amassed a vast array of premium cannabis concentrate product knowledge and experience. This, combined with Schwartz’s marketing skills and passion for cannabis extraction paired with Shapiro’s business development prowess, allowed them to lead and develop the scaling up of distribution across the country and made them a pivotal force in bringing the company into the recreational and medical markets. The two say their products are currently some of the top-selling and sought-after by consumers across the country.
With the facility completed and equipment commissioned in April of this year, they recently sent in their application for a standard processing license and are eager to begin building relationships with growers so they can be ready to hit the ground running later this summer.
With their collective zeal for extraction, both Pinsky and Schwartz say their main interest, once licensed, is high quality, full spectrum extracts, along with distillates and isolates for consumer-packaged products. Having secured a deal with G-Pen, they say they also want to begin manufacturing the more complex extracts like hydrocarbons and other full spectrum products once operational.
We have to appreciate the grower in order to produce high-quality extracts. We can produce whatever we want, but it all comes down to the grower.
Finding cannabis to process isn’t really an issue, says Pinsky. The main problem is finding high quality, terpene enriched products that can translate into high quality extracts.
“I think a lot of growers are slowly learning where the markets lie, the large outdoor grows can do it for under a dollar a gram and that really puts pressure on the smaller growers. So now I think the real opportunity is in quality, rather than quantity.”
Schwartz agrees. Looking down the road, he says they would ideally like to develop an exclusive relationship with some micro and other small, more craft-focused growers to access more exclusive strains and a more premium input.
“There’s nothing more valuable right now in this industry, than the genetics libraries of these new micro cultivators. That’s why we would like to find the right situation, the right team down the road to have direct access to those genetics and work with these growers who often have many, many years’ of experience doing this at a small scale.”
Currently, though, the pair are spending a lot of their time meeting and talking with other growers and applicants and building those relationships.
“The micro cultivators we’ve spoken to,” says Pinsky, “it seems like they’re really tired of getting hammered by the big, corporate execs who kind of want to come in and procure their product. To us, it seems like they don’t really want to work with them. That’s where we want to be different, we don’t want to look at their product as just another SKU number. We have to appreciate the grower in order to produce high-quality extracts. We can produce whatever we want, but it all comes down to the grower.”
It’s not about getting high. It’s about helping consumers find the unique strains that work for their body chemistry.
Pinsky also says they are spending time talking to retailers and developing those relationships to properly educate them on the different types of extracts and the products they want to carry.
“We’re working with establishing relationships with the storefronts, as well,” he says. “It’s important that they can be educated by our team to properly educate the consumer on the products. We do not want to be known as a company that makes margins on consumers purchasing, but rather a company that is making margins by providing adequate information to the consumer or customer for them to make an educated decision. Education will be at the forefront of Taima’s business plan.”
Schwartz says he sees a natural evolution in the legal market for extracts and vape pens that he has seen in other markets like California, or the black market here in Canada. Working with retailers can be a way to help with that evolution.
“A few years ago, everyone thought distillate was the future, myself included, but what we’ve all found, I think… is that this is just THC and there’s so much more to the plant. It’s not about getting high, it’s about the effect that you are trying to achieve. And that’s what Taima is all about. It’s not about getting high. It’s about helping consumers find the unique strains that work for their body chemistry.”
The learning curve isn’t only for consumers, though. Schwartz also says he thinks so far, the legal market is somewhat failing to give consumers the products they want, especially extracts other than vape pens.
“It’s not hard to go on Reddit or Discord and speak with people and see what consumers want,” he points out. “These are products that people are capable of making, but they just are not. With our history in the industry and having our finger on the pulse of the industry, is what will set us apart.”
Pinsky says that he and Schwartz’s knowledge of cannabis and the extraction process, combined with their partners from the world of food processing, means they have an opportunity to blend the best of both worlds – bringing the kind of quality and cultural knowledge from the illicit market with the experience of working in the highly regulated food processing industry.
SPONSORED CONTENT: from Taima Extracts Inc.