Credit: Albert Law

To mark the recent legalization of recreational marijuana, we check in with some of the key players in the B.C. cannabis world. From pot growers to government officials to medical professionals, meet the people helping move the industry forward and keep British Columbians safe. Todays subject is Keith Dolo, president and CEO of Sproutly Cannabis

When Keith Dolo saw a chance to join the cannabis industry, he jumped at it. Before being tapped to head Sproutly in 2017, the Saskatchewan native spent 14 years with staffing services firm Robert Half, where he was a VP.

One of Vancouver-based Sproutly’s two subsidiaries is Toronto Herbal Remedies, a licensed producer of medical cannabis. Having prepared to take the business public this July, Dolo reckoned Canada would see an oversupply of pot in 2019 and 2020. “If we wanted to be different and access capital to grow the company, we’d have to be more than just a small-batch producer.”

So Sproutly acquired Fusion Biosciences, buying its global rights. Florida-based Fusion has developed a method for extracting water-soluble cannabinoids from the marijuana plant.

Traditional extraction uses, say, butane or carbon dioxide to produce cannabis oil, which needs another step to blend it into a drink or an edible, Dolo explains. Fusion’s technology yields Infuz2O, a solution that mixes with water. As a result, the body processes it quickly: its effects take hold in less than five minutes and fade within 90, according to Fusion, versus 30 to 60 minutes and three to six hours, respectively, for cannabis oil.

Sproutly plans to turn the marijuana at its Toronto facility into solution and what it calls bio-natural oils. Infuz2O’s fast onset and offset make it an alcohol replacement, but it could also work in a range of consumer packaged goods, says Dolo, who has a team of 20. “Putting out our own beverages is going to be a piece of it, but also partnering with some existing companies that have shelf space.”