Within the last six months, it has raised $40 million in private investment, acquired Blue Marble Biomaterials (including a 22,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility in Missoula Montana), and laid the groundwork for moving its headquarters to the tech-hub of Austin, Texas. Socati is positioning itself as a leader in extraction and broad-spectrum hemp oil in the US.
The company's position in hemp and cannabinoid technology comes at a time when the competition has never been fiercer. Hemp cultivation is unrolling across the country at a feverish pace, and brands are scrambling to formulate hemp oil into consumer packaged goods (CPG) to meet skyrocketing consumer demands.
According to Mark Elfenbein, Chief Revenue Officer, and James Stephens, Socati's General Manager in Montana, the company's innovation in three key areas has helped position it at the leading edge of hemp extraction and CPG formulation:
- Creation of customizable cannabinoid profiles
- THC remediation technology
- Food grade production facility
Creation of Customizable Cannabinoid Profiles
Both Elfenbein and Stephens agreed that the market is moving beyond simple CBD extractions. Socati has responded to this shift in the market as CPG manufacturers explore new cannabinoids with different potential functionalities. With CBD reaching market saturation, it's now minor cannabinoids like CBC and CBG that are the rising stars of hemp. It's these minor cannabinoids that are setting products and brands apart from an overcrowded CBD sector.
Socati's proprietary extraction and purification process is capable of handling custom cannabinoid profile requests. At the time of writing, Socati offers cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol, but it's well on track to execute two additional cannabinoids, cannabinol (CBN) and cannabichromene (CBC), by the end of 2019. Future products may include both CBD-v and THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin), pending federal approval of the latter.
Although the research into minor cannabinoids is still in the early stages, the market is banking on their potential. Socati is placing its bet on the market. As Elfenbein told Cannabistech, Socati has the “ability to be very flexible, not only to tailor the profiles of the cannabinoids, but also be able to tailor the end-user, so it becomes seamless in formulations.”
Despite the differences between consumer desires and the slow pace of cannabinoid research, consistent ratios and custom profiles are in high demand. CPG manufacturers need the capability to consistently meet specific ratios in both food and cosmetic spaces. Eventually, it's this consistency that will support more functionality with hemp sourced materials. Stephens reiterated, “Functional materials is always the way to go in terms of value add.”
As a final value add, Socati has the capability of entirely customizable cannabinoid profiles in a water-soluble format. Water-soluble formulations have taken off over the last year, and Socati is likely the only manufacturing facility offering specialty cannabinoids within a water-soluble format. At the very least, it is the only one doing so with any scalability.
Total THC Remediation
There is a lot of jargon in the hemp sector, and often a bit of confusion among all the overlapping definitions. One such confusion is the difference between full-spectrum and broad-spectrum hemp extractions. Socati falls into the latter category of manufacturing, which means it produces full-spectrum extraction minus the THC. Through their broad-spectrum THC remediation technology, they can remove the legally-problematic cannabinoid from final formulations altogether.
Socati may be the first to produce total THC remediation at a massive scale successfully. Their proprietary chromatography process is unique in the industry and capable of removing THC to where it's entirely undetectable by lab testing. This means Socati can remove even the legally allowable 0.3 percent THC contained in most hemp biomass.
The ability to truly provide THC-free products eliminates any risk for hemp producers. As an outdoor crop, hemp biomass may not always meet expectations, which is why full THC remediation is a crucial piece to commercial hemp extraction.
Certified Food Grade Production Facility
This spring, with the takeover of Blue Marble Biomaterials, Socati acquired a Level 2 Certified Food Grade Facility in Montana with a massive production capacity. The facility may be the first of its kind in the country producing specialty hemp-based ingredients and goods for consumers. The facility includes a laboratory and seed breeding/production operation in Oregon.
This facility gives Socati the scalability required to reach a global marketplace. Focusing on CPG within the food and cosmetic spaces, they are compounding specialized formulations to meet the demands of their clientele. The manufacturing facility allows for an unprecedented level of consistency within an industry known for inconsistencies. Part of the magic is the move from batched processing to continuous processing, which allows for high throughput capacity.
A Unique Combination of Consistency, Customization, and THC Remediation
With highly customizable cannabinoid profiles, a food-grade production manufacturing facility, and complete THC remediation, Socati is laying the groundwork for total CPG market domination.
A final word from Elfenbein, who explained the reasoning behind their growth model: “I think as the industry gets better at the science and …as academia gets to play in the space, the more and more I think we are going to have the ability to really be at the forefront and the tip of the spear. Not only the discovery process but also the isolation and formulation of this process.”