Kelly Knutson graduated from Wyoming Technical University, where he pursued his love for motor sports to build race cars.
He worked as a machinist and welder for a couple of years followed by several years of carpentry and new home construction as part of the family’s development team, and he helped launch a dispensary with his older brother Erik after the real estate market crashed.
After the company moved away from retail, Kelly was responsible for setting up Keef Cola’s processing and bottling operation. The keef in Keef Cola was originally made from cold water extracted full gland trichomes. He was responsible for the development of the formulations and manufacturing procedures almost entirely for the first four years. He oversaw Keef Cola’s move to oil-based emulsions to standardize product dosing as regulations and standards emerged.
He also developed an activation and emulsion method for making Keef Cola from CO2 extracted hash and as the brand developed, they began using CO2 based extraction technology exclusively.
By December 2012, Kelly formed Isolate Extraction Systems (IES) and began working on a prototype proof of concept butane and CO2 extraction system that would meet all peer review licensure standards. As the compliance regulatory environment toughened for Butane based systems, Kelly began focusing entirely on CO2 extraction.
He consulted with some of the largest oil producers in state and created a line of CO2 based extraction machines that range in price from $65k – $200k. IE has 20 base models that range from single five (5) liter chambers to double, 10 liter chambers. They also have been developing a 50-liter system that will be available in mid-January 2016.
He also began developing a 250 liter to 750-liter modular system in response to the demand for hemp based oil/CBD extraction and tells CBE that Isolated Extraction System has buyers standing in line for the new device which will sell for as much as $750k a system.
Kelly has hired two full-time sales executives to sell IES nationwide and is beefing up marketing and customer service and support. It takes 6-9 months of training to onboard competent service technicians and IES is being careful not to outsell their ability to provide top-notch customer service. Adam Knight heads up Business Development.
After doing over $650k in sales in 2014, IES is set to end 2015 tripling revenues so adding additional staff will be financed through operations. With cross-pollination among the other related businesses, and expansion within their existing customer base, IES doesn’t expect there to be any shortage of demand in the near future.
Company Name: Isolate Extraction Systems LLC
Year Founded: 2012
Management Team: Kelly Knutson CEO; Adam Knight, Director of Business Development
Headquarters: Lafayette, Colorado
Industry Segment/Category: OEM
Current Markets/States Served: Colorado, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, New Mexico
Current Number of employees: 10
Market Strategy/Goal: Lead manufacturer of plant oil extractors in the cannabis and hemp industries.
2014 Revenues: $650,000
2015 Projected Year-end Revenues: $2,200,000
Product Mix: Carbon Dioxide and LPG
Expansion Plans: Commercial systems 250 liters and larger, molecular distillation and cannabinoid fractionalization.
Financing strategy: Through seed money, bank loans, and operations.