The Indiana hemp processor sees the peak potential of the crop on the market

Exciting times are often the most uncertain, and yet they offer the best opportunities. In the booming hemp industry is coming FLM hemp solutions at a time of unparalleled opportunities for cannabidiol (CBD) consumption, mixed with the economic uncertainties of a dynamic world.

Co-founder and chairman Zach Frazee said his hemp processing unit near rural northwestern Indianapolis is operating at full speed in early 2022 and is eager for more producers to get involved.

“We can produce between £ 15,000 and £ 20,000 every 10 days,” he said, noting that it was a single job exchange. He is currently looking for workers to expand to one second.

FLM Hemp Solutions produces decarboxylated crude oil for winter from hemp using a sub-zero alcohol extractor. The process uses food grade isopropyl, which Frazee said offers many advantages over CO2 extraction, as it eliminates the need for deparaffining and wintering through a separate process. This crude oil biomass process recovers more than 98% of the solvent, which means that a solid product is then placed on the market and used in several ways.

Image courtesy of FLM Hemp Solutions

But as both Frazee and Don Robison of the Office of the Indiana State Chemist said, the number of hemp growers for CBD purposes has dropped dramatically in Indiana in the last three years since legalization of the increase, from over 400 to about 40. In the meantime, opportunities to use the product it continues to grow and there is great hope that these phenomena can work together to still produce a vibrant industry.

Why CBD?

The truth is that CBD and hemp have a number of established uses, especially for health and well-being. Whether as an anti-inflammatory for pain management, anti-anxiety or anti-convulsions, it is a popular product with a growing demand. Analysts note that the total global CBD market could reach $ 47.22 billion by 2028, up from $ 4.9 billion in 2021.

Unlike its cousin, which produces a high, the CBD product itself does not have such an effect. According to studies published by Harvard Medical School, research indicates that chronic, low-grade inflammation can lead to a number of chronic diseases and CBD has potential to help with anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, arthritis and maybe even some addictions.

The big challenge for both research and industry today is quality control. While hemp was once widely grown nationwide in 1971, the U.S. federal government classified cannabis as a List 1 drug as part of the fight against marijuana, sweeping away that dominant industrial hemp that does not produce enough The psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) makes is a drug in this regard.

This effectively stopped hemp production in the US until the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into force, changing this law.

And there are a number of good business reasons for this. Despite a ban on hemp cultivation, the US imported $ 67.3 million worth of hemp seeds and fiber products in 2017, and even then the CBD market alone was worth nearly $ 200 million. But American producers need to effectively relearn the art and science of hemp cultivation, and that includes seed quality and farming practices.

The new industry

FLM Hemp Solutions and other processors like this are a necessary part of the new industry as it provides a market for the cultivator’s product. Imagine corn growers without a market to process their product. And as a new industry, seed quality has become an issue for both growers and growers.

Phrasee explained that CBD hemp plants are graded and purchased according to potency in quality, just like hay.

“There is definitely a different quality,” he said. “We like to run over 8% or better.”

But when growers first lined up to enter the market in 2019, knowledge of seed genetics was limited, and quality was indeed everywhere. A producer could buy seeds believing that it will have a potency of 10 percent, but it reaches only 4 percent. Or worse, the seeds could produce a level of THC above federal regulations and the entire crop could be destroyed. Some of them were due to an accident, others were due to reputable seed sellers, Frazee said. The end result was a lot of nervous farmers.

Image courtesy of FLM Hemp Solutions

Robison’s office has addressed the issue from the outset and, as a state seed administrator, maintains a list of approved seed distributors, licenses and permits. Cultivators interested in purchasing quality seeds can consult their Purdue University office for free for more information.

Frazee, himself an agricultural producer of vegetables and pumpkins, began researching the prospects for a hemp processing plant in 2019, after the factory was legalized. The equipment was ordered in 2020, in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic. The installation was postponed until the spring of 2021, but the operation finally started later that fall. And now he’s looking to get more customers.

“My opinion is that once it became federal in 2019, everyone jumped in and started growing hemp. But there was a lack of infrastructure, “he said, explaining that FLM Hemp Solutions is a response to this need.

An important factor of FLM Hemp Solutions is the concept of trust. As an agricultural producer himself, Frazee said that farmers need to be able to trust their producers with their product, especially when contract sales come into play. With the extraction equipment needed to get the oil out of the hemp plant, farmers have a number of different options for selling their materials.

For example, producers can either sell the biomass to FLM Hemp Solutions or ask the company to process the oil for them and then take it for resale. Whether they have to use paid processing or a shared business, farmers are still learning how to maximize profits with hemp and CBD. As in a cooperative where maize and soybeans are weighed, graded and bred, farmers need to trust their producers, and those relationships take time.

Just outside of Indianapolis, Frazee said she was receiving materials from Kentucky, Illinois, Tennessee and as far as North Carolina and was looking for more.

High potential

The potential is undeniable for growers with the type of soil needed for hemp. Better grown on land that could lead to poor corn or soybean production, just like hay, hemp can be a great addition to an existing operation or a pleasant secondary business for an agricultural enthusiast.

From clothing to rope, the plant itself contains a multitude of uses. And as a health and wellness product, CBD oil shows no signs of declining demand.

Brian Boyce is an award-winning writer who lives on a farm in central western Indiana. You can see more of his work at

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