Nextleaf Solutions, co-founded by Saint Mary’s University alum Paul Pedersen in 2015, will raise $4 million through the sale of new shares on the Canadian Securities Exchange this week. This brings the total funds raised by the Vancouver-based company up to $15 million.

Of the $4 million, about $800,000 is coming from employees and other insiders. The source of the remaining $3.2 million hasn’t been disclosed, but Nextleaf CFO Charles Ackerman said the money comes from family offices, investors, institutional and strategic financial investors across the country. He added that a significant amount of the raise is from Nova Scotian investors.

Nextleaf has developed – and has filed nearly 20 patents on -- technology that extracts THC and CBD from dry cannabis biomass to produce a tasteless, odorless substance, or distillate, that is standardized for potency. It can consistently be used with clearly defined dosage of THC and/or CBD.

Ackerman said the cannabis biomass doesn’t have to be high quality – what would now be considered waste or failed crops can be used – to produce high-quality distillate.

“Nextleaf currently has an issued U.S. patent on the entire end-to-end process,” said Ackerman. The process includes steps from biomass preparation through to molecular distillation. “And, to our knowledge, it is currently the only publicly traded cannabis company to have an industrial cannabis-specific extraction and purification patent granted by the U.S. Patent Agency.”

This is unique in a market where most players are still looking to fill cannabis supply. Nextleaf is looking to the yet-to-be-legalized cannabis-infused product market. Cannabis-infused products are set to become legal by October.

“We started Nextleaf with the thought: let’s never grow a plant,” said CEO Paul Pedersen. “Let’s focus on acquiring market-validated extraction technology.”

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Nextleaf applied for a Standard Processor License in June 2018 and, Ackerman said, expects to see the licence granted before the end of the year.

This hasn’t stopped the company from putting their process into practice. Nextleaf created The Mobile Lab, a small-scale version of its industrial patent capable of processing 20 kilograms of cannabis per hour. The Mobile Lab operates on-site and under the licence of the client. The Mobile Lab doubles as a testing platform to refine Nextleaf’s processes.

Nextleaf’s central, 6,540-square-foot, processing facility in Greater Vancouver will be capable of processing 100 tons of cannabis per year, said Ackerman. The facility will also have a research lab for ongoing R&D.

Nextleaf can produce distillates high in THC or CBD, allowing for many applications from recreational to health. Nextleaf distillates can be used in products including skin cream, vape technology, edible oils, and water-soluble extracts.

Ackerman said the company has broadly refrained from making supplier agreements until its processing facility is up and running, but one notable exception to this rule is a partnership with BevCanna in British Columbia. Nextleaf and BevCanna have signed a letter of intent for Nextleaf to supply cannabis oils to BevCanna’s 40 million-bottle beverage facility for cannabis-infused beverages.

Nextleaf listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange as OILS.