Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Job posting: cannabis extraction scientist

From the inbox, a rather different position (although, one expects, becoming more and more common):
The candidate for this position might not have prior experience in Cannabis but a background in organic and inorganic chemistry will be given high priority. This candidate knows that multi-tasking and adaptation will be key elements to the success of our brand. Everyday will bring new and difficult challenges. In order to thrive it will be important to overcome constant obstacles while dealing with multiple people and various situations simultaneously. Candidate should always be motivated and eager to campaign for a culture that lives and breathes Quality, Customer Service and Team. 
Minimum Requirements:
  • BA/BS in Chemistry or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • 5+ years real world laboratory experience
  • 2+ years leadership experience with proven track record for effectively managing a strong team
  • Expertise in subcritical and supercritical CO2 extraction methods as well as the purification, separation and isolation of various compounds of cannabis
  • Excellent research and data organization skills are very important. We use a variety of Google and cloud based programs such as Docs, Spreadsheets, Tasks, and Calendar among others.
  • MUST have skills to manage internal and external conflicts while empowering team members to problem solve independently
Truly skilled, experienced cannabis extraction chemists could probably hold a convention in a hockey crease. Best of luck to those interested. 

(This MUST be a growth industry, but one of those "this year, ten, next year, 30" sorts of ways. 


  1. Given the ironically high-strung nature of their candidate search, I'll hazard a guess that the candidate does not, infact, have significant prior experience in cannabis.

  2. This really seems like a purple unicorn situation here. Not that many folks do CO2 extractions to start with, never mind specifically with cannabis...

  3. I suppose the task is to isolate separate THC and cannabidiol from caryophyllene and waxes in a cost-effective manner without using too unpleasant solvents, develop analytical methods for analysis and quality control and blend back the active substances in standardized ratios. There must be plenty of literature and patents on the subject, and the compounds have quite different polarity so they should be separable on silica, and with bulk flask silica around $500/25kilo and hexane around $50/20L a chromatographic separation could be cost effective... This sounds like a good project for a natural product chemist, preferably with a GC and scale-up experience. There would be quite a few people with this background in New Jersey and Maryland, working for flavor and fragrance companies or McCormick

  4. True, but the ad defines the CO2 extraction of cannabis as a "minimum requirement". I used to do a bunch of CO2-related stuff, and yes, there is quite a lot of literature on the CO2 extraction of X.

  5. So basically some people with money want to sell cannabis, and are hiring someone to do the hard/dirty work, same as every other cannabis startup that's looking for people to do CO2 extractions.

    1. And by cannabis, I mean custom blends of cannabinoid/terpene extracts.