1. Jay Evans, CEO (Headshot) – by Aaron Seminiano
Warren Bobrow=WB: Please tell me about yourself. What was your path to our plant?
Jay Evans=JE: My fascination with cannabis really took off around the time it became legal for medical use in Canada in 2001. I saw how resource-intensive the production of medical cannabis was – the harvest and production of cannabis took tens of people, if not more. The result was a lot of strain on the supply chain and, ultimately, meant that the people that needed it most were having systemic issues accessing good quality, reliable cannabis.
That’s really when the idea for Keirton started to come together; Keirton is the outcome of my professional experience in electronics and telecommunications, and my passion for the positive impact cannabis can have on the mental health and well-being of millions of people across the world. When Keirton launched the company in 2007, we were a small, two-person operation. Since then, Keirton has established itself as the world leader in engineering solutions that streamline commercial cannabis cultivation, and employs 65 people across North America. We create custom, plug-and-play technology solutions that can be easily integrated into a producer’s existing cultivation operations to help bolster production volume output and quality. Our high-volume leaf trimmer, The Twister Trimmer – as well as our bucking machine and drying rack products – are processing about 3 million kilograms of legal cannabis per year, and as it stands, our products are currently used by roughly 80% of the cannabis industry’s leading legal cannabis producers, across over 30 countries.
3. Keirton (Product, External Shot) – Twister T-Zero
Photo Courtesy: Keirton
WB: How has the plant helped you? Do you use cannabis?
JE: It’s funny – despite having worked in the industry for almost two decades, it took me some time to be a regular cannabis user. The first few times I tried it, it left me feeling unproductive and anxious, which, as someone who already lived with anxiety – to the point that it interfered with my sleep patterns and appetite – made me want to take a step back from cannabis.
It wasn’t until I made the conscious decision to just lean into those feelings and my experience with cannabis, that it completely changed my perspective. Now, it actually helps with my anxiety. It’s rerouted my attitude, made me more aware, alert, and creative. I’ve also found it’s made me more honest in my personal relationships, and more introspective about how I show up in the world everyday. I’ve also seen it work wonders for the people around me and in my life. And of course with Keirton, I’ve been able to establish a successful business, an incredible team, and professional network in cannabis, which allows me to provide and support my family.
WB: Please tell me what you’re working on right now? How are you achieving your goals?
JE: Right now, our biggest priority is to learn more about how artificial intelligence and machine learning technology can be integrated into cannabis to augment the production and cultivation process. We see AI integration as an opportunity to continue improving the safety and quality of the flower, which continues to be a concern to consumers and cultivators across the board. They want to know that the flower they’re purchasing comes from a credible source and, particularly for the untrained or recreational consumer, that it’s safe to consume.
We’re also still committed to making cannabis more affordable and accessible, and have seen firsthand how technology can make it more cost-effective for both the producer and consumer. Roughly 80% of the cannabis industry’s leading legal cannabis producers, across over 30 countries, are outfitted with custom engineering solutions provided by Keirton which has allowed them to lower their labor costs and improve on their output efficiency.
4. Keirton (Product, Internal Shot) – Twister T-Zero(1)
Photo Courtesy: Keirton
WB: Who is your mentor? Or inspiration? Why?
JE: While growing up, my dad – absolutely. As long as I can remember, he’s always been an incredibly hardworking, dedicated, and intelligent man, and incredibly resourceful. I believe some of my greatest attributes today are the outcome of his influence on me, and it’s served me well in my work at Keirton.
Professionally, I look up to the visionaries of our time – Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Richard Branson. The qualities I admire in these leaders are their fearless attitudes and commitment to building amazing workplace cultures. It takes a certain type of person to impart that much innovation on a global scale – it’s really inspiring.
WB: What are your six and twelve-month goals?
JE: My 6-month goal is to ensure that Keirton is able to weather the impact of COVID-19, and continue supporting the safe, efficient and cost-effective production of cannabis, at a time when the demand has never been higher. In a post-COVID-19 world, I’m working to ensure that Keirton and, more importantly, our team will be safe and healthy.
12 months down the line? I’m really excited about several product releases we have in the works and the team’s commitment to continually innovate on our product offerings. We’ve always been driven by our passion to transform the cannabis industry for the better – for producers and consumers alike – and can’t wait to launch these new engineering solutions in the real world. And, as we grow with the cannabis industries in North America, we hope to continue expanding our business and bring on more exceptional people to join our team.
WB: What is your favorite kind of food? Do you cook? Any amazing food memory you’d like to share?
JE: Let’s just say that good food is wasted on me!
WB: What is your passion?
JE: At the end of the day, I find comfort in knowing that the things I’ve created are changing people’s lives, but that they’re also things that they enjoy and can draw positive experiences from. Whether it’s a rope swing for my kids, a zipline, or an innovative cannabis trimmer – I want to exercise my innovative thinking to provide people with things that they can benefit from.