What Is The Role Of A Organic Extraction Technician?
Organic extraction technicians use a wide variety of extraction and refining methods and techniques to extract and process cannabis extract for both recreational and medicinal purposes. To be specific, the technicians use solvents (such as butane, ethanol, and carbon dioxide), pressure, and heat to extract cannabis plant matter and turn it to concentrate. Technicians, later on, refine the concentrates to improve their purity.
Aside from being responsible for the extraction of plant matter, the extraction technicians are responsible for collecting samples and testing the potency and recording the same. Moreover, they also record and keep track of the product extracted. Finally, the extraction technicians are responsible for maintaining the lab equipment by cleaning and conducting maintenance work. Technicians typically work for dispensaries.
Just like other workers in the cannabis industry, the extraction technicians must have a minimum age of 21 years to get the necessary registration and licensing from the state. However, there are other minimums you must fulfill to work as an extraction technician. For instance, in the state of Illinois, you must pass a criminal background check. You must also fill the attestation form to get an agent card from the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
Educational Requirements – Ranges from a high school diploma up to a Ph.D.
Job Skills – Should know solvent extraction methods, typical laboratory skills, attention to detail, ability to work quickly, ability to perform well as part of a team and independently.
Some employers will hire an extraction technician who has a high school diploma or an associate degree only. However, most employers prefer hiring an extraction technician with at least a bachelor’s degree. Some companies take the requirements level a notch higher, requiring a candidate to have a Ph.D. Some applicable majors include chemistry, biology, chemical engineering, laboratory technology, etc. Employers highly value Programs that emphasize lab work.
Finally, considering that the cannabis industry is still very new and, therefore, ever-evolving, organic extraction technicians also need to keep abreast with the changes. For instance, more and more dispensaries are moving further away from solventless extraction methods. An extraction technician should keep up with this trend.
Organic extraction technicians should be knowledgeable about the various extraction methods in the industry such as carbon extraction, butane extraction, and ethanol extraction. They should also have strong lab skills. For instance, they should be able to work quickly while still maintaining a high-level of product integrity. Importantly, they must follow all the safety guidelines and procedures whenever they handle any hazardous materials. Finally, the extraction technician should be able to work well in a team and independently. This is to mean they should work well with master growers and bud trimmers in the lab and they should perform exemplarily alone.
Career Outlook And Salary
Job opportunities for extraction technicians are currently limited to 30 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized marijuana for recreational and medical use. There are no official career outlook statistics as well. However, with more states legalizing marijuana, the potential career prospects will only increase.
On the salary front, there are no official salary figures. However, based on surveys of job listings all through April 2018, organic extraction technicians are paid $12 to $16 per hour. Additionally, Forbes revealed that experienced and skilled technicians such as those with Ph.D. earn up to $125,000 per year.