Botanical Extraction

Buying Used Extraction Equipment

Written by Lance Griffin

Buying used extraction equipment for cannabis may be more art than science. Nonetheless, there are important benefits to working closely with equipment vendors and manufacturers.

Some companies, especially in the hemp industry given its federal legality, cannonball into the pool only to realize they haven’t done their research on a rapidly evolving landscape. As such, equipment might be purchased only to be sold off shortly thereafter as the market contorts with uncertainty. Thus, there can be some decent hardware and labware available for much cheaper prices than purchasing new.

In addition to lower prices, other advantages of used extraction equipment include ready availability and consistent resale value. Proper diligence can reduce the price further and protects the buyer against unwanted surprises. Take a look at these considerations derived from professional advice on purchasing used medical equipment, which also entails significant risk [1,2]:

  1. Define used, refurbished, and remanufactured. Used equipment is sold “as is”; refurbished equipment incorporates replaced parts to meet original design specifications; remanufactured equipment incorporates replaced parts with modified design specifications.
  2. Request vendor references and seek a vendor with 5+ years of successful business.
  3. Interview the previous owner to investigate the equipment’s immediate history. Avoid equipment that’s been out of service for an extended period of time.
  4. Determine the status of the equipment with service engineers. Seek independent certification of working order.
  5. Evaluate the equipment’s components and consider the condition of parts that may deteriorate.
  6. Seek a warranty or service agreement with the vendor, preferably extending to one year. Refurbished/remanufactured equipment will generally have a longer warranty period compared to used equipment.
  7. The status, condition, and agreements surrounding the equipment should be confirmed in writing with the vendor. [1,2]

Regarding large warehouse equipment, Footlik [3] recommends that the buyer should refrain from a lump sum payment and instead divide payments to inspect the equipment when delivered. This could be said about used analytical instrumentation too if you’re interested in building out your in-house lab. Companies like Quantum Analytics vend refurbished chromatography instrumentation that might help standardize formulations derived from your extracts or for monitoring extraction efficiency, while saving some capital for mandatory 3rd-party testing.

Another potential consideration is location; international equipment may cause communication challenges and incur high shipping costs. Geographic proximity affords inspection in person.

The buyer of used cannabis extraction equipment must therefore work closely with the manufacturer and vendor for successful due diligence. Buyer beware is a reasonable adage when it comes to used equipment.


  1. Baum NH. “Buying Used Medical Equipment: Does it Make Sense?” Urology Times, vol.33, no.12, 2005, p.25. Impact Factor: 0.018; Times Cited: N/A
  2. Cantarano L. “Peek Under the Hood and Other Tips for Buying Used Equipment.” Materials Management in Health Care, vol.10, no.1, 2001, pp.22-3. Impact Factor: N/A; Times Cited: N/A
  3. Footlik RB. “How to Buy Smart on Used Warehouse Equipment.” Construction Distribution, vol.14, no.1, 2011, p.14. Impact Factor: N/A; Times Cited: N/A

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About the author

Lance Griffin