Processing plant helping with hemp harvest in Kentucky

Local News

CADIZ, Ky. (WEHT) As more farmers start growing industrial hemp across the Tri-State and nation, more processing plants will be needed.

A new plant in Cadiz, Kentucky is helping turn more of the crop into CBD products.

The 90,000 square foot facility run by Vertical Wellness is where they extract, recover, and distill the CBD from industrial hemp to be used in products.

“Each of these bales has an average of between 1800 and 2200 pounds,” says Vertical Chief Operational Officer Drew Milburn.

To process the thousands of bales of industrial hemp, Vertical Wellness opened this processing plant in Trigg County. The California-based company started it last year. Milburn says they’re processing 15,000 pounds of hemp a day, and they aim to expand to 30,000 pounds a day.

Not only do we put it in to its form for storage, we dry the bale, then we pelletize the bale and them we turn that around and set that for extraction,” he says.

“I saw this facility day one when after it was shut down as a plastic forming company. To what it is today, you wouldn’t even recognize it on the inside,” says Joseph Kelly, who grows industrial hemp at his farm in the Murray area.

CEO Smoke Wallin says they expect to add millions of dollars worth of equipment to process their own hemp into oils and other products, and to meet growing processing demand.

“One of the biggest bottlenecks right now is the harvest is happening and there’s not enough set up companies doing extraction, and at the scale we are setting up here, we can help with that problem,” Wallin says.

“What we found that a lot of the facilities will be coming on line and they will be coming on line in the next 12-18 months. In our case, we hope that we’re expanding the facility in that time,” adds Milburn.

While some of their products are already out on the market, company officials say they plan to expand it to 50 products next year.

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(This story was originally published on October 18, 2019)

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