iGrow News

Written by Sepehr Achard

Read Sepehr Archard's full article on iGrow, here.

Key Takeaways:

  1. GMP Certification for Ziel’s RF Technology: Ziel receives the first EU GMP approval for microbial control in cannabis using Radio Frequency technology.
  2. Significance of GMP in the EU: GMP certification is a strict requirement for cannabis importers, producers, and exporters in the EU, reflecting a high standard of product processing.
  3. Advantages of Radio Frequency Over Ionizing Radiation: RF is a non-ionizing, organic-compliant process, avoiding additional labeling and lengthy registration processes required for ionizing radiation-treated cannabis.
  4. Strategic Positioning in the EU Cannabis Market: This certification positions Ziel to meet the growing demand for microbial control in the European cannabis industry.
  5. Innovative RFX Technology: The RFX, introduced in 2023, is highly efficient in cannabis processing, maintaining the unique properties of different strains.

Ziel’s Groundbreaking Radio Frequency Technology in Cannabis Microbial Control

Achieving GMP Certification in the EU

Ziel’s Radio Frequency (RF) technology has been recognized with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification for controlling microbial pathogens in cannabis flowers. This certification, under the European Medicines Agency (EMA), is crucial for all entities dealing with cannabis in the European Union (EU), indicating compliance with the highest standards in product processing.

Advantages of Radio Frequency Technology

RF technology, being non-ionizing, is compliant with organic processes and does not require the stringent additional labeling and licensing mandatory for ionizing radiation methods like X-ray, gamma, and e-beam. This makes RF a more streamlined and cost-effective option for cannabis decontamination in the EU, particularly in markets like Germany, which have lengthy and costly registration processes for ionizing radiation-treated cannabis.

Impact on the EU Cannabis Market

The GMP certification of Ziel’s RF technology marks a significant milestone for the company and the EU cannabis industry. This approval facilitates a clear pathway for cultivators and processors to integrate microbial control into their operations, which is crucial for participating in the rapidly growing European cannabis market.

The RFX: A New Solution in Cannabis Processing

Introduced at the MJBiz Conference in Las Vegas in 2023, Ziel’s next-generation cannabis microbial control solution, the RFX, boasts a high pass rate and industry-leading volume throughput. The technology is particularly suited for organic cannabis cultivation, preserving the unique enzymatic properties of different cannabis strains.

Collaboration and Design Excellence

The RFX represents a collaboration between Ziel and STALAM, a leading manufacturer of RF equipment. Its design, crafted by Ammunition Group under the leadership of former Apple industrial design director Robert Brunner, combines sleek aesthetics with functional excellence.

Unique Process and Benefits

Ziel’s proprietary process, patented for treating cannabis with RF technology, involves oscillating water molecules to generate consistent heat, effectively reducing microbial presence without compromising the quality of the cannabis flower. This process represents a significant innovation in treating agricultural products, including cannabis.

Cannabis Business Times

Ziel’s Radio Frequency technology received its first Good Manufacturing Practice certification for microbial control in cannabis within the EU market.

Read the full article, linked here.

Ziel’s Cannabis Microbial Control Radio Frequency Technology Obtains EU GMP Certification

Written by Madeline Colli

In a recent press release (1), Ziel announced that their Radio Frequency (RF) technology was granted a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification in the EU market in regard to their microbial control with pathogens in cannabis flower. “GMP defines the minimum standard that medical manufacturers must meet in their product processing operations under the European Medicines Agency (EMA) which coordinates and standardizes GMP activities at the European Union (EU) level. All entities that import, produce and/or process, or export cannabis to and within the EU are required to be GMP certified, representing a substantial investment and commitment to comply with these regulations,” according to their statement (1).

“We are delighted that our radio frequency technology has received the first EU GMP approval for microbial control,” Arthur de Cordova, CEO and Co-Founder of Ziel (1). “We are well positioned in the EU to solve a problem every cultivator needs to address if they want to secure a presence in the rapidly growing European cannabis market.”

Radio frequency is non-ionizing and is compliant with organic processes (1). The European market is structured differently than the US. Radio frequency, in Europe, is not required to supply additional licensing or labeling to be utilized in cannabis decontamination. In Germany, they mandate registration for all cannabis strains that are going to be treated with radiation before being distributed (1). This costs nearly $5,500 in US currency through an administrative fee applied to each strain and also has a grueling process that can take up to 12-18 months (1).

Cultivators and post-harvest processors will now be able to use Ziel’s radio frequency technology to propagate cannabis in the EU and be able to export to the EU as well. Ziel has a microbial control solution product called RFX which has a greater than 99% pass rate and largest volume throughput in the cannabis industry (1). The technology can process 160 lbs of cannabis within 8 hours. RFX can also be utilized in organic cannabis cultivation because the enzymatic properties seen in cannabis strains are able to be preserved. “The RFX is the result of seven years of operational experience successfully processing hundreds of tons of flower using Radio Frequency technology in North America,” de Cordova mentioned (1). “This expertise has been harnessed to create a sleek, compact design that runs on single phase power and delivers the highest throughput in the industry. All at the lowest processing cost per pound.”

Cannabis Science and Technology article, linked here.

The Landscape of Cannabis Compliance

by The Cannabis Radio with Arthur de Cordova

Blunt Business welcomes back Arthur de Cordova, CEO & Co-Founder of Ziel, who takes us on a journey through the remarkable advancements since our last encounter, specifically highlighting APEX 7. This seventh-generation technology stands as an organic natural kill step, effectively annihilating harmful bacteria in cannabis with minimal THC loss and an impressive 3x throughput compared to competitors. Join us as we explore the fascinating evolution of APEX.

We also delve into a recent investigation by NY Cannabis Insider, uncovering risks associated with outdoor cultivation in states like New York. With revelations of high levels of contaminants in products reaching consumers, we explore the regulatory landscape and discuss the apparent violations reported by the publication. How does this impact the industry, and what are the potential risks?

Listen to the full podcast, linked here!

Cannabis Industry Predictions 2024: Challenges and Opportunities

Written by Garrett Rudolph

There’s no question cannabis businesses are going through a challenges in 2023, but many are still optimistic about what the future holds and see a shifting of momentum in 2024 as regulations evolve and the hype of the Green Rush wears off.

Marijuana Venture spoke with more than two dozen entrepreneurs and operators in the cannabis space to get their predictions for 2024. Part 2 of this four-part series will cover the challenges and opportunities that remain for surviving businesses.

Part 1: Consumer trends

Part 2: Challenges and opportunities

Part 3: Political movement

Part 4: Business operations

Cannabis Decontamination: Radio Frequency vs. Cold Plasma

Explore the Differences Between the Two Remediation Technologies

As the cannabis market continues to expand across the globe, growers, manufacturers, and lawmakers are turning their attention to cannabis microbial treatment technologies and what each kind means for the plant and the consumer. Producers and regulators alike are leaning toward non-ionizing decontamination solutions like Radio Frequency (RF) and cold plasma over ionizing technologies like gamma, e-beam, and X-ray, particularly because of their effects (or lack thereof) on the flower, and subsequently, the consumer.

There are some distinct differences between non-ionizing techs like RF and cold plasma, however, that cannabis growers and regulators should consider before choosing one over the other. Keep reading for a deep dive into the differences between the two and what they could ultimately mean for the consumer.

Key Differences Between Radio Frequency and Cold Plasma

Learn the definition, treatment effectiveness, and USDA status / EUGMP qualification status of RF and cold plasma.


Radio Frequency Microbial Treatment

Radio Frequency treatment works by penetrating cannabis flower with long, low-energy wavelengths that create an oscillating electromagnetic field around and within the flower, down to the core of the bud. This causes the flower’s moisture molecules to vibrate with the electromagnetic field, creating thermal heat that kills mold and pathogens but doesn’t harm the flower’s molecular structure or chemical content.

Cold Plasma

Plasma is commonly considered the fourth state of matter and is created by initiating a high-voltage electrical charge within a gas, in turn creating a cloud of electrons, ions, photons, and free radicals. These particles have excess energy that they essentially “transfer” to whatever comes in contact with their cloudlike form. When they come in contact with cannabis flower, they trigger oxidative reactions on the surface of the flower, poking holes through the membranes of fungi, bacteria, and mold spores as well as damaging their DNA.[1

“Because it generates free radicals, the use of Cold plasma raises concerns about the potential unintended consequences and health risks, emphasizing the necessity for thorough safety assessments in its applications.” - Parastoo Yaghmaee, Ph.D. | VP, Research & Development at Ziel

Treatment Effectiveness

Radio Frequency Treatment

RF penetrates the entire cannabis flower, disinfecting the inside and the outside of the bud. In doing so, it cleans the entire flower, protecting consumers from inhaling mold spores and producers from failing regulatory testing. The process is so effective it guarantees a compliance pass rate that’s greater than 99 percent.

RF is a thermal process, but its energy is low enough that the heat it creates doesn’t degrade or decarb the cannabinoid or terpene content of the flower. The process doesn’t use any chemicals or ionizing radiation and leaves no residue behind.

Cold Plasma Treatment

Cold plasma, on the other hand, only eliminates mold and pathogens located on the surface of the flower, ignoring any spores or bacteria that have reached the core of the bud.

For example, “bud rot,” or Botrytis, which is a common mold in cannabis grows, tends to infect the stem within the core of a cannabis flower first.[2] Surface-level remediation likely wouldn’t penetrate deep enough to attack this type of pathogen.

Cold plasma treatment has also shown to have little effect on cannabinoid and terpene content, and some cold plasma treatments have shown a more than 99 percent pass rate for regulatory compliance.

USDA Recognition + GMP and EU GMP Qualification

Radio Frequency Is Organic

Although a fairly new decontamination technology (the first tech was released to market by Ziel in 2008), RF remediation is already used in agriculture, particularly in the food sectors of nuts, seeds, dates, and prunes. Because of this, the USDA has already looked into the technology and deemed it compliant with USDA Organic standards. Foods treated with this solution can earn the label of USDA Organic, and it’s assumed that once cannabis is federally legalized or rescheduled, cannabis operations that use RF remediation (and meet the other USDA standards) will be able to earn the USDA Organic label as well.

RF has also been approved for incorporation into GMP and EUGMP-certified operations.

Cold Plasma Is Currently Undetermined for Organic Status

Cold plasma is also new to food remediation, with studies on the technology’s effect on food starting around 2000. Despite being introduced  before RF, it’s still unclear whether or not cannabis treated with cold plasma would qualify for USDA Organic status once the plant is federally legalized or rescheduled. Currently, this treatment option is not yet approved by the USDA or the FDA for food.

Tech on the Market

Radio Frequency with Ziel

Ziel offers patented Radio Frequency remediation for the cannabis industry with its RFX. This machine can run 24/7, processing up to 160 lb of cannabis every 8 hours. Batches treated with it pass regulatory compliance more than 99% of the time. This is largely due to Ziel’s creation of customized decontamination recipes that are designed around the specific growing conditions and strain of each batch that’s run through the machine.

Cold Plasma Tech

The current cold plasma decontamination machine on the market for cannabis does not offer the ability to customize treatment recipes and instead comes with pre-set recipes. Its processing capacity and machine up-time are not currently advertised. It claims a similar regulatory compliance pass rate.

Get in Touch With Ziel Today

If you have more questions about the differences between RF and cold plasma, or if you’re ready to get started with Radio Frequency microbial treatment, get in touch with us today. Our team is happy to help you explore the best remediation option for your operation.

Ziel Launches New Microbial Control Solution for Cannabis

Ziel introduces the RFX, its newest generation of Radio Frequency technology to control microbial pathogens in cannabis while retaining product sensory qualities.

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 15, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ziel introduces its next-generation, microbial control solution to the cannabis market, the Ziel RFX. The RFX has a greater than 99% pass rate and the highest volume throughput in the industry with the capacity to process 160 lb of cannabis in an eight-hour shift. Additionally, Ziel’s radio frequency technology is suitable for use in organic cannabis cultivation operations and preserves the enzymatic properties that make each cannabis strain unique.

To read the full article, click the link to be directed to Yahoo Finance.

Ziel Launches New Microbial Control Solution for Cannabis

The industry solutions provider introduced the RFX, its newest generation of radio frequency technology to control microbial pathogens in cannabis while retaining product sensory qualities.

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 15, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ziel introduces its next-generation, microbial control solution to the cannabis market, the Ziel RFX. The RFX has a greater than 99% pass rate and the highest volume throughput in the industry with the capacity to process 160 lb of cannabis in an eight-hour shift. Additionally, Ziel’s radio frequency technology is suitable for use in organic cannabis cultivation operations and preserves the enzymatic properties that make each cannabis strain unique.

To read the full article, click the link to be directed to Cannabis Business Times.

ICBC Berlin

Panel Discussion

The legal landscape surrounding cannabis is constantly evolving, and it can be challenging for businesses to stay on top of the latest compliance requirements. This panel brings together experts in the cannabis industry to discuss best practices for maintaining compliance with state and federal regulations. Topics of discussion include tracking and reporting requirements, security measures, testing and labeling regulations, and more. Whether you’re a new business just starting out or an established player in the industry, this panel will provide valuable insights and guidance for navigating the compliance maze.

Challenges Importing or Cultivating Cannabis in Europe?

Familiarize Yourself with a Radio Frequency Solution for Mold Issues

Cannabis regulatory compliance is shifting away from ionizing radiation (X-ray) mold treatment toward an organic, non-ionizing and more cost-effective solution—Radio Frequency (RF).

RF uses a thermal process to kill mold and pathogens, and unlike X-ray, E-beam or gamma radiation – all ionizing technologies - it doesn’t change the molecular structure of the plant. Instead, it activates the plant’s water molecules, causing them to oscillate and generate enough heat to kill microbes with minimal impact on cannabinoid and terpene content.

This organic, non-chemical approach is an ideal solution for budding European markets, most of which follow a pharmaceutical model with standards based on European Union Good Manufacturing Processes (EU GMP). Based on this model, Germany has already established that any medicinal products treated with ionizing radiation technologies must receive an AMRadV license. The process to secure this license can take up to 18 months and costs EUR 5,000 per strain.

Click the button below to read more about European cannabis regulations, the future of Germany’s market and its impact on the EU, and why RF is the best mold treatment solution for those looking to cultivate cannabis within the EU, or exporting cannabis to the EU.