Football and cannabis may not seem like foundations for success in business, but the twin passions have led Erik Peterson to top of the extraction science industry.
Peterson spent his childhood playing football and looking up to his older brothers, as many Americans do. However, unlike many Americans Peterson was able to parlay his athletic ability into offers for scholarships to play on college football teams. Peterson’s love of the plant becomes clear when discussing his decision to sign with and attend Humboldt State University because “Humboldt is world famous for cannabis” in his words.
“Football and cannabis kind of go together despite the seeming contrast,” Peterson said. “It’s a violent, physical sport and people get hurt every game. It’s not just the concussions or knee surgeries. It’s the constant grinding down of your body. A lot of guys get on Vicodin or other pain killers and I’m lucky I was familiar with cannabis and never went down that road.”
Helping to disprove the lazy stoner myth Peterson, went on to finish a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Menlo College where he finished out his football career. Within six months of graduating he was recruited by a former teammate to work with TerpX, a cannabis extraction company in Colorado in 2014.
Peterson said he originally started working with butane and water hash, but that as the market and technology has evolved so have his techniques. The push in new extraction technology in recent years also caused a parallel need for extraction education. Peterson and Josh Soule saw this opportunity and launched classes for cannabis extraction in Las Vegas in 2016 under the name Extracts Academy. What started with a single student has now turned into sold out classes and difficulty finding large enough venues.
Extracts Academy is expanding into California with the recent launch of the recreational market, and Peterson is now spending more time in his old home state this time teaching instead of attending classes. Peterson and Extracts Academy help provide educational and industry insights for True Terpenes staff and our customers. Check back for more posts on extraction techniques and related information.
On a closing note Peterson said one of the myths he’d like to clear up about extractions is that dark is bad, and light is good.
“The darker an extraction is just dictates the age of the starting material due to oxidation,” Peterson said. “The compounds change color in the trichome, that’s how you know when to harvest a plant by the amber of the heads. It doesn’t mean there will be more contaminants or less cannabinoids.”