Four Questions With Holland Green Chief Engineer Chun Barry

Four Questions With Holland Green Chief Engineer Chun Barry

Chun Barry grew up with an affinity for building things, a true “maker”, which led him to a career in equipment design and engineering. And as a medical cannabis patient in California, he is also no stranger to the culture and evolution of the cannabis community and industry. In combining the two, Chun approaches extraction with both the plant, business model, and the process in mind, optimizing systems that create the highest quality product possible.


Chun joined Holland Green Science as the Technical Service and Product Development Engineer, spearheading the company’s cannabis extraction equipment innovations. Through these four questions, Chun shares more about his background, what motivates him, and where he sees himself fitting into Holland Green Science’s larger mission of providing top quality cannabis manufacturing equipment designed to meet the coming regulatory demands of tomorrow’s global legal cannabis industry.

Q: How did you get involved in cannabis extraction?

Chun Barry (CB): I started looking at engineering in cannabis as I felt that everyone was growing and selling flower – it was too easy. So I looked into water hash and dry sieving first. I started talking to Gray Wolf from Skunk Pharm Research and I got one of the first five MK3 extractors, an open source extractor he developed, which was hydrocarbon based. That’s where I got my start in hydrocarbons.


Then I met Matthew Ellis from Extraction Tech Solutions and he brought in a type of refrigerant recovery pump that hadn’t been used in the industry yet. It was designed to recover hydrocarbons and was one of the first ones that was OSHA and Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL)] certified. After meeting him, I expanded the system that Gray Wolf sold me and made it go from a quarter pound of space to a pound of space inside the system.


Soon after, I started operating a CO2 system. Trained by Andy Joseph, the founder of Apeks Supercritical, I learned the tricks of the trade for CO2 there. But I ultimately gravitted back to hydrocarbon systems. And that’s when I set up a 100 pound extractor that processed 20 pound batches in a day. Eventually, I met Ben Stephens, the founder of Delta Separations… and several months later he called and offered me a job. That’s where I worked until I came to Holland Green Science.

Q: What is your primary skill set, and how does that influence your role on the Holland Green Science leadership team?

CB: I think I bridge the gaps between the engineers developing the systems and the processors and end users who are cannabis people. That was my main role at Delta Separations. I talked to all the processors who are chemists and I was able to say, “we don’t need to make this complicated.” And after they got into the field and started seeing customers and speaking with them, they understood the need to make things simple and effective for the end user.


I also love being a teacher. In the past two years, I didn’t design as much equipment as I used to as I was always in the field helping and learning about the actual needs of our clients, versus what my thoughts of what their needs were. I became more in touch with the client’s needs and was able to help get them started using their existing systems.

Q: What is your favorite aspect of cannabis extraction?

CB: At Delta, I worked on the Delta CUP-30 and they asked me to work on distillation of THC and CBD crude. That’s what I specialized in, even before – distillation is my jam. I’ve always been fascinated with distillation, regardless of the process. Even in the hydrocarbon space, it’s technically distillation.

Q: Where do you see the cannabis extraction space heading in the next few years?

CB: I don’t want anyone to invest in equipment that is going to be obsolete in three to five years because the technology is going to catch up. I believe that cold processing is going to be a thing of the past once these nanofiltration membranes become solvent compatible…  As soon as those membranes hit the market, I think all the cold processing that everyone and myself have promoted for so long will become obsolete.


I also don’t believe mass THC distillate is going to come from the cannabis plant, it’s going to come from the hemp plant. Nobody in their right mind is going to grow really nice flower because they need it to yield just to destroy it for distillate… no one is going to want to throw away that really good flower just to make an edible. At some point, you’ll have CBD from hemp converted into THC on a mass scale. Everything is going to change and both markets (cannabis and hemp) are going to be interregulated with mandated GMP and certification standards.


We’ll harvest fresh, straight off the field. Everyone will harvest terpenes off first, then do room temperature ethanol extraction with the nano membrane on the back end and it’s going to be that simple. I believe that will happen within the next 10 years, it’s just a question of if you’re going to build the infrastructure that’s capable of supporting that. And, at Holland Green Science, we’re building that infrastructure now.

Keep up to date with Chun and Holland Green Science

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