News 2 got an exclusive first look at Kentucky’s newest industrial hemp processing facility in Trigg County.
“What you’re looking at here is 200,000 plus hemp plants that we are curing out right now,” said Drew Milburn, Chief Operating Officer of Vertical Companies.
The 115-acre facility is home to the county’s first-ever industrial hemp processing facility.
After more than a decade in the legal cannabis industry, Milburn returned to his home state to run vertical Companies’ operations at the plant.
“In any industry, you want to be as close to the epicenter as possible and Kentucky has certainly proven it takes hemp seriously,” said Milburn.
From drying and extracting the CBD to manufacturing the final products for sale, Milburn said the $20 million operation is about more than just business.
“Creating an environment that where we demystify not only hemp, but cannabis in general in an effort to bring an amazing plant back to the farmers,” he said.
But the future of the hemp industry is hazy, much of it depends on if the 2018 Farm Bill Passes.
“What we think it’ll do is it’ll allow farmers once and for all to embrace this product without fear of federal intervention,” said Milburn.
Until that happens, Milburn said he’s going to do everything he can as one of the pioneers in hemp’s resurgence.
“Great to come back to Kentucky and see them embrace product after all these years,” he said.
The ribbon-cutting for Vertical’s facility is set for Oct. 26 at 3 pm.
Under the pilot research program, the operation is regulated under the Kentucky Agricultural Dept.
All products are tested to have less than the 0.3-percent legal amount of THC, the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana.