Cannabis-industry harvesting supplier, Keirton Inc., eyes U.S. election

Eleven states and the District of Columbia have already fully legalized weed, with another 14 decriminalizing it under certain circumstances

Keirton growth and innovation manager Jocelyn Prefontaine (right) expects business to grow if cannabis is ever legalized at the federal level in the U.S. Photo by Keirton. Photo of Joe Biden by Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

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In early October, Sen. Kamala Harris drove up cannabis stock prices. This came after the U.S. vice-presidential debate, when she declared that Joe Biden would decriminalize marijuana. But weed investors aren’t the only cannabis-industry people who may be affected by Tuesday’s (November 3) U.S. presidential election. A Surrey, B.C.–based manufacturer of harvesting machinery, Keirton Inc., might also benefit from a Biden victory.

“I can’t speak to what the outcome of the election will be,” Jocelyn Prefontaine, growth and innovation manager at Keirton, told CannCentral by phone. “What I can say is when it [cannabis] becomes federally legal, it’s going to be massive.”

She explained that authorities have granted about 525 various cannabis licences in Canada. In California, where the state has legalized weed, officials have permitted 14 times as many licences. Her company only sells products to companies that operate legally.

Ten other states and the District of Columbia have also legalized cannabis. Another 14 states have decriminalized weed.

If a future president legalizes cannabis federally, that could open up a bonanza of business opportunities for suppliers of harvesting equipment, like Keirton.

It’s already selling products in 30 countries. And it owns warehouses in Surrey and Ferndale, Washington.

“Currently, we don’t sell into any states that have not decriminalized or where we’re not allowed into,” Prefontaine said.

Keirton products revolve around “single-piece flow”

Keirton’s CEO, Jay Evans, founded the privately held company more than 13 years ago. It manufactures labour-saving devices, such as a high-volume leaf trimmer.

According to Prefontaine, Keirton’s technology enables companies to harvest anywhere from two pounds of dry flower per hour to 600 pounds of wet flower per hour.

In addition, Keirton has developed bucking machines that trim leaves off cannabis plants.

“You would feed the stem into it,” Prefontaine said, “then the top of the flower—or the flower pieces—would then fall onto a conveyor or be put into some type of bin that would then be transported to the trimmer.”

These machines reflect the cannabis industry’s level of automation.

“Our focus has been ‘single-piece flow’,” Prefontaine said. “Think of Subway sandwiches. You start with your sub and then you build it—and the idea is that it’s wrapped at the end.

“That’s kind of the same mentality with our equipment,” she continued. “We wanted it to flow naturally, and that’s what allows companies to scale.”

Charlie Smith

I'm the editor of the Georgia Straight newspaper in Vancouver, as well as a CannCentral contributor.

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