Industrial hemp company Carolina CannaTech recently established its new cannabidiol oil extraction plant in the town of Neeses in South Carolina, said US News. The facility is a 2,400-square-foot extraction plant built on a 50-acre piece of land in Carolina Fresh Farm, which is a hemp and sod farm.
The company’s co-founder John Jameson said, “Our food-grade facility enables us to bring hemp-processing in-house, giving us greater control of quality and cost.” He added, “We now grow, harvest and extract our hemp on-site, furthering our mission to vertically integrate our company and make CBD more accessible and affordable to the consumer.”
No information was available about the cost of the investment, but an official said that it is “significant.” However, it is known that the farm currently has three employees and is planning to expand the facility.
Carolina CannaTech, which is a North Carolina-based firm, partnered up with New River Distilling Company to design and construct the facility, including its systems and equipment. Andy Fogle and Carolina Fresh Farms invested in the facility.
To produce CBD oil from cannabis plants grown within the farm, the company will use extraction and evaporation methods. This is used to acquire crude oil, which will be distilled and made into a full-spectrum CBD oil. This oil is used in Nature’s Highway products, which is the company’s very own CBD brand. It will also be offering hemp extraction services for other companies.
Regarding this new facility, the Orangeburg County Development Commission’s executive director Gregg Robinson said, “This is clearly a new market and a new opportunity for really the Southeast now that CBD has been licensed and approved.” He added, “We are excited that Orangeburg County with its agricultural nature can assist in anything that is medicinal and anything that improves the quality of life. It is a clean process and we welcome them with open arms and success.”
Orangeburg County has been allowing the cultivation and harvest of hemp for three years, but this is the first time that no cap was imposed on the number of growers or size of facilities developed. Currently, there are 14 hemp processors that received approvals from the South Carolina Department of Agriculture. Around 260 growers are permitted to operate in the state.
The creation of facilities in the state is a welcome development for horticulture agent Justin Ballew of the Clemson Extension. He is optimistic that farmers have been facing challenges when it comes to their hemp crops as there was a lack of buyers in the state. The building of processing plants will increase the number of buyers.
However, Ballew noted that the facilities should offer attractive prices to make the transactions more profitable for farmers. He did acknowledge that this will “depend on the quantity of hemp this facility is able to buy and process each season.”
The report clarified that hemp-derived CBD oil should have only around 0.3% THC content on a dried-weight basis. Any amount exceeding this percentage is considered marijuana and is illegal in South Carolina.