Micron Waste Technologies (CNSX:MWM) Receives US Patent for Waste Treatment Process
Micron Waste Technologies (CNSX:MWM) (OTCMKTS:MICWF) CEO Alfred Wong provides viewers with an update on Micron Waste’s progress. The company’s Cannavore, a cannabis waste digester, is undergoing final testing at Aurora Cannabis Inc’s (TSE:ACB) (NYSE:ACB) (FRA:21P) Aurora Mountain facility. Once completed, the Cannavore will roll out across Aurora’s production facilities. Micron Waste received a US patent for its waste treatment process. Importantly, the patent covers Micron Waste’s water treatment procedures. Micron Waste’s technology reduces the cost-per-gram for cannabis producers because the Cannavore reduces labour and landfill costs. Wong believes the Cannavore is perfect for companies like Aurora, which have clear corporate and environmental responsibility goals.
James West: Right now, I’m joined by Alfred Wong. CEO of Micron Waste Technologies, trading on the CSE under the symbol MWM. Alfred, welcome back.
Alfred Wong: It’s nice to be back.
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James West: You bet. Alfred last time we spoke, the Micron Waste machine that digests cannabis waste after the growing process got a new name. It is now known as the Cannavore.
Alfred Wong: Yes.
James West: and so I’m wondering how many Cannavores are out there dutifully gobbling up residue from growing operations in the cannabis space?
Alfred Wong: Right now, we have our final validation process for the Cannavore at Aurora Mountain and right now it’s planning to exceed our expectations. So, we want to really roll that out to Aurora facilities as well as other industry verticals, and I think what’s really exciting about today is, that we actually had announced that we received our biotech patent from the US. That really is a critical moment for us because it really symbolizes and validates the process for us to treat high margin specialized waste. And it really is a perfect storm right now. We have tightening regulations on the discharge of pollutants, we have government mandating the diversion of organic waste from landfills, and we also have corporate social responsibility, companies like Aurora who are really driving the need for clean Waste Solutions.
James West: Okay. So now the output from the Cannavore is essentially water and some solids. Have you been able to identify a value-add, some product that the solids could be converted into at this point?
Alfred Wong: We’ve actually done quite extensive research and looking at the nutrient contents of the waste that’s generated from our system and whether that’s looking at nitrogen levels, potassium levels, or phosphate level. So, there’s actually quite a wide variety of different use cases for it. And right now, our plan for 2019, is really to identify the partners who are able to help us execute on those parts because our focus is really on the technology to be able to denature the active pharmaceutical ingredients, as well as, to make the water clean enough to discharge into municipal sewers.
James West: Okay, so just to refresh the memory of our investor audience out there. How do the economics work for Micron Waste? What is the machine cost-per-user? How much does it cost to run? How does Micron Waste make money?
Alfred Wong: Right now, our first element is looking at the sale of our units or the rental costs and when we look at the potential revenue opportunities and the current alternatives, which is purely just on the land filling of cannabis waste, we’re looking at a 20-30 percent profit margin for Micron. But I think what’s really exciting about today, especially with our biotech patent, is that it actually opens up new revenue opportunities and so 2019 is really a focus for us as a company to look at new industry verticals where we can take our bio process and license it out to other verticals. Whether it’s your municipal size wastewater treatment plants or other industries such as you’re brewing companies, shipbuilding companies, other agricultural firms, and all of these industries have reached out to us in the past several months to ask us whether or not we could address the problems. And so, this biotech patent that we announced today really symbolizes that yes. Yes, we can.
James West: Okay, what exactly is the nature of the biotech patent?
Alfred Wong: So just to recap, we actually have two patents received in the last six months and this patent today is really the biggest one. So, our first patent which we received from Canada is a Canadian industrial design patent for our digester. Our US patent covers are bioprocess. So the method of us treating the wastewater as well as our bacteria components and enzymes to be able to treat the wastewater to a degree that is able to discharge and especially for the Cannabis industry, which is quite interesting for us, is being able to convert the water into clean drinking water standards because when we recover the water to be reused back into agriculture operations, the water needs to be very, very high quality. So, at this point we’re comfortable to say, that based on independent lab results, that we’re now able to treat the water to clean drinkable standards.
James West: Is the alternative that most LPs are currently using just to compost it in a landfill? Is that the only other option?
Alfred Wong: Right now the option that most LPs are doing is really land filling.
James West: Really?
Alfred Wong: Mixing with kitty litter adding water, in some cases adding bleach, before sending it to landfills and it is not really the most optimum way because it’s not just about the cost, it’s also about the issue of potential propagation of the pharmaceutical ingredients. Because while the stalks and leaves might not have that high amount of THC or CBD components our system has really been optimized on the cases where there’s a crop failure. So, when there’s buds that needs to be destroyed in a matter that meets ACMPR regulations and Health Canada regulations, it can pass through our system. We denature all the active forms of ingredients before discharging, so that protects our environments, and there’s lots of research that shows that there are environmental impacts on aquatic environment and the potential propagation of cannabinoids.
James West: Really interesting. Okay, so then how soon is it do you think until there’s broad uptake of this as the ultimate final phase in the life cycle of a marijuana plant by all of the LPs?
Alfred Wong: I think 2019 is going to be a great year for Micron. I think there’s going to be, not in addition to the validation, that we’re going to be having in a next month or so it really looking at the broader picture from a broader perspective where governments are tightening regulations on the discharge of pollutants being able to measure the impact of cannabinoid residues being discharged into the environment and so both of these are driving forces for Micron to become an increasingly important role in the cannabis industry, as well as in the broader food waste industry.
James West: Wow interesting. That’s great. Do you see that there’s a potential for legislated use for this or regulatory in position of rules to use this? If it solves these problems and the alternative is to risk contamination of ground water, etcetera then I don’t see how it can go unregulated or unmandated to be used in the process, especially since the cannabis industry is about to become so huge.
Alfred Wong: There is and we have been in several conversations with governments and municipalities trying to look at the problem because the cannabis industry and how it came to be legalized was in many cases rushed. And so a lot of work, which is work well granted, looking on the prevention of the propagation of cannabis to people who don’t want to affect their children, youth, and others. So now it now has an opportunity, now that cannabis legalization is coming to Canada, is now an opportunity for the government to step back and say okay what other issues are going to be affecting Canadians today and Canadians tomorrow? And water and protection of water resources and our environment is it is a key element to Canada.
James West: Yeah water scarcity and potable water I guess is increasingly in a short supply. Different industries compete for sources. Does the use of this machine in the sort of life cycle of the cannabis plant, does it add to the all-in cost per gram of for an LP at the end of the day or does it in fact subtract a bit because this is more efficient than landfilling?
Alfred Wong: It subtracts, it’s more efficient than filling because you have to also include the cost of labor, as well as, the potential cost of fines and discharge of pollutants. Because every municipality has sewer discharge standards and so companies that exceed those standards, whether that’s your cannabis companies or other food processing distribution agriculture companies. If they have a certain excess over the standards, then they have to start paying fines.
James West: Right.
Alfred Wong: and so from our perspective is to look at minimizing transport cost, minimizing labor costs, and as well to really bring down the cost of administration. The biggest impact I think from Micron and how we bring value to our customers is really looking from the branding perspective. Companies with key corporate social responsibility goals like Aurora have clear idea of how they want to what sort of company that they want to become and so for them to focus on looking at how do we protect Canadians in terms of the environment and looking at how we can leverage the technology that we have today to be able to protect the future generations making sure that our water resources are protected.
James West: Right okay. Well, Alfred, that’s a great update. We’re going to leave it there for now and have you back again soon. Thank you very much for joining me today.
Alfred Wong: Thank you.