First Hemp Processing Facility Opens in Indiana

Central Indiana has launched its first hemp processing facility for converting hemp into a market-ready product. Last month, Third Wave Farms, a hemp company based in Kentucky, launched its first hemp dying and processing facility inside a 22,000 square-foot building in Kokomo. The building was previously occupied by a company that manufactures parts for the robotics market.

The Third Wave Farms’ facility is equipped with infrastructure that supports post-harvest activities such as drying and processing. The company can dry and process more than 75,000 pounds of hemp within a day. This turns the hemp into a stable product that can be stored and marketed when the demand is high. The stored product can be used to make CBD-based products such as CBD oil.

CBD oil can be extracted from either hemp or cannabis. It is the non-psychoactive cannabinoid that has a lot of healing potential and does not induce a high.

Third Wave Farms co-founder and director of agriculture, Mike Lewis, said that the facility would be able to process the first legal hemp crop in Indiana. Hemp had been banned for several decades because of its similarity to cannabis.

By law, the THC levels in hemp must be below 0.3%. Plants with more than the stipulated levels are deemed to be marijuana. And, following the state of Indiana hemp regulations, the crop must be confiscated and destroyed.

According to Lewis, the facility will only process 500 acres of hemp this year because the rules governing hemp are still rigorous, and the state of Indiana has only issued cultivation licenses to 140 growers. This amounts to about 5,300 acres of hemp across the state. However, he hopes that the facility will be in a position to dry and process close to 4,000 acres of hemp in the coming year.

Lewis further said that the people in Indiana are great farmers and are welcoming, which has made it easy for Third Wave Farms to kick-start their business. However, in the beginning, the company was investigated by the police after a tipster reported that they detected the smell of weed in the area. The issue was resolved, and the city has assisted in the opening and running of the facility, said Lewis.

According to Kokomo Tribune, people interested in touring the facility and taking a look at their operations should take advantage of the free tours offered by Third Wave Farms. The facility is located in Kokomo, about 40 miles north of Indianapolis.

Third Wave Farms was established in 2017. It was permitted to grow, dry, process and sell hemp and food crops. The company is currently cultivating hemp in nine states.

Third Wave Farms joins a long list of hemp companies like VPR Brands LP (OTCQB: VPRB) and The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (TSX: TGOD) (OTCQX: TGODF) which are processing lots of the crop and spreading economic opportunities in the process.

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