First batch of hand sanitizer produced in Revolutionary Clinics’ Fitchburg-based cultivation facility to be delivered Monday
FITCHBURG, March 27, 2020 — Revolutionary Clinics, one of the state’s leading providers of medical marijuana, has begun producing hand sanitizer at its cultivation facility in Fitchburg to be donated free of charge to Massachusetts hospitals with the initial batch of 35 gallons to be donated Monday, March 30. Regular cannabis operations will continue alongside and separately from the hand sanitizer production. This initiative is being carried out to support local health care clinicians’ ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and is key component of a broader hand sanitizer partnership between the Commonwealth Dispensary Association (CDA), of which Revolutionary Clinics is a member, and the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA).
“I am proud of a Fitchburg-based operation making a pivot from its usual activities to support the fight against COVID-19. Revolutionary Clinics is a prime example of how businesses can leverage their resources to help our communities tackle this pandemic together,” said Stephen L. DiNatale, Mayor of Fitchburg. “Efforts like this demonstrate the potential for good that exists when all members of the community band together to face these historic challenges.”
The COVID-19 outbreak has created a shortage in the availability of medical supplies, including hand sanitizer. While the production of hand sanitizer is not overly sophisticated, the materials involved are expensive and it requires specialized equipment. Given the distillation processes that regularly happen at cannabis cultivation facilities, these operations are well-suited to produce hand sanitizer. A public health emergency order issued by Department of Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH, on March 23rd officially granted cannabis operators the authority to produce hand sanitizer for clinicians and health facilities. On March 30th, Revolutionary Clinics will deliver its initial batch of 35 gallons of hand sanitizer to be distributed to local hospitals. The next round, 80-90 gallons, will be ready for delivery by the end of the week.
“In a very difficult time for people across the globe, we felt it was incumbent upon us to step up and use our infrastructure and our know-how to support those who are on the front lines of fighting this pandemic, our health care workers,” said Keith Cooper, CEO of Revolutionary Clinics. “I am extremely proud of our employees who have enthusiastically embraced this project in addition to our continued mission of serving our medical patients and I would also like to give credit to my fellow CDA Board Member, John Hillier of Central Ave. Compassionate Care and Gage Cannabis for bringing this initiative to our attention. The cannabis community is passionate about doing good in our neighborhood and we are always looking for opportunities to do so.”
The production of hand sanitizer at Revolutionary Clinics’ Fitchburg-based cultivation facility is being carried out by Lab Team members Stephen Golden, Danielle Desmond, David Nunes, Ryan Corrazini and Evan Lambert under the supervision of lab manager and Vice President of Product Dan Gillan using protocols and standard operating procedures provided by members of MHA. Gillan estimates that the facility can produce upwards of 200 gallons of hand sanitizer per week that can be fully donated to hospitals. To facilitate the production, Revolutionary Clinics applied the World Health Organization’s guidelines to its cannabis machinery and will fill five gallon jugs so that the hand sanitizer can be transported for use in hospitals. All ingredients were sourced and paid for by Revolutionary Clinics. Hand sanitizer inventory will be transported to Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency for distribution to individual hospitals.
“Recognizing the massive and immediate demand for medical supplies, the biggest challenge for us was getting set up to start producing as quickly as possible so that we could get hand sanitizer to hospitals,” said Dan Gillan, Vice President of Product at Revolutionary Clinics. “Securing the necessary raw ingredients required a couple of days and a couple hundred phone calls to suppliers. After accumulating what was needed, we converted our ethanol extraction laboratory from cannabis extraction to hand sanitizer production and created a sanitary work environment. Since our standard operational needs for cannabis extraction meant that we already had about 90 percent of what it took to produce hand sanitizer, it was a no brainer for us to take on this effort once we were given the go-ahead. The entire team is excited and humbled by the ability to step up and do this for our health care system during such a critical time.”
Earlier this month, Revolutionary Clinics announced that it will donate two percent of all sales through April 20 to the Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund which was activated to support residents in Cambridge affected by COVID-19. Revolutionary Clinics currently operates three locations in Somerville and Cambridge and has served Massachusetts medical marijuana patients since 2017 and supports the arts and a host of local charities through its corporate social responsibility program, Cannabis with a Conscience.
About Revolutionary Clinics
Revolutionary Clinics is harnessing the positive power of the emerging cannabis industry to raise the standard for alternative care and generate economic opportunity across Massachusetts. At its three registered marijuana dispensaries in Cambridge and Somerville, Revolutionary Clinics provides the highest quality medical marijuana products and the very best in patient care, and was named best medical dispensary in the state by its peers in 2019. Its state-of-the-art cultivation facility in Fitchburg, Mass. is the largest in the state and supplies over 25 retail establishments with sought-after products and flower. Revolutionary Clinics employs more than 170 colleagues across its manufacturing and retail operations and generated tens of thousands of dollars in tax revenue for Massachusetts’ communities in 2019. Through its corporate social responsibility program, Cannabis with a Conscience, Revolutionary Clinics joins with a range of partners in supporting healthy lives and vulnerable populations, advancing community revitalization efforts through philanthropy and public-private partnerships, and promoting diversity within the cannabis industry. Learn more at RevolutionaryClinics.org.