One of the greatest challenges in the Cannabis packaging industry today is the packaging process for refined Cannabis oil. The de facto packaging standard across most manufacturers has been the creation of large-scale Packing Houses, where operators inject Cannabis oil directly into the pens or cartridges by hand with syringes. Edward Querfeld, CEO/CTO of Robotanical, succinctly summarizes the status quo as “wasteful, slow and hopelessly inaccurate” (2). Some of the many issues of packaging Cannabis oil by hand include compromising employee health by repetitive strain injuries, as well as exposure to hazardous substances. The risk of product contamination also increases each time the product is handled by hand. Finally, lack of accuracy undermines Quality Assurance/Quality Control procedures put in place to maximize profitability and “legitimacy of reporting for regulatory compliance” (2).
To solve this problem, many companies have independently developed their own liquid-handling automation devices. Do a simple Google search for “Automatic Cartridge Fillers” and dozens of reasonable, mechanical solutions will pop up. Some options include the EZ Grow Systems™ Oil Auto-Filler Machine, good for 100 cartridges (3), EquipCanna™ 710 Shark Oil Filling Machine, which handles 200 cartridges per minute (4), and High Purity Extraction’s ™ Cartridge Filling Machine, 300 cartridges per minute speed (5).
But the existence of a mechanical solution alone does not answer the main questions of whether or not such technology is a more viable solution than filling by hand. Every technological innovation has its own drawbacks and limitations. Tune in to our full article in issue two of Cannabis Packaging News for a complete analysis on the cost-effectiveness of Automating the Cannabis oil packaging process, and what device might be the best fit for you.