A greenhouse in Kentucky is merging its business with hemp grower to form a fully integrated hemp company. ColorPoint KY announced on May 30 that it was shifting the country’s sixth largest commercial greenhouse growing operation fully towards hemp production through a partnership with AgTech Scientific in Paris, Ky. The joint venture has been granted licenses through the Kentucky Department of Agriculture to be a licensed Hemp Grower and Hemp Processor.
The two companies initially met in 2017 and first started working together with a beta test on indoor hemp growing in late 2018 at ColorPoint’s more than 41-acre large greenhouse. This led to a supply agreement that included agricultural processing, hemp clones and an indoor growing during the summer season. The business relationship began in 2019 with ColorPoint growing clones for the outdoor farming season.
“Today is a great day for the company, our employees and our families. The strength of our unique approach and partnership with local farmers, combined with our indoor grow capabilities and our vertical extraction integration, places ColorPoint and AgTech in position to take a leadership role in the emerging U.S. hemp industry,” said Art VanWingerden, co-president of ColorPoint, after the announcement.
ColorPoint was established in 2001 and had been researching alternative plant growing systems before entering a business relationship with AgTech Scientific. The greenhouse is the sixth largest commercial greenhouse in the U.S., growing more than 80 million bedding plants for big box retailers in the Midwest. Now ColorPoint plans to move entirely into hemp production at the greenhouse through the merger in operations with AgTech Scientific.
“The announcement today is the big next step for the hemp industry. AgTech and ColorPoint are committed to their people, appreciated by everyone, especially farmers. I have been in the industry for numerous years and I am more excited about the future today than ever before,” said Jessica Scott, director of communications for AgTech Scientific.
Founded in 2015 by Canadian investors, AgTech Scientific started out as a pet food research project involving hemp. The company then went through a search process before establishing its base operations in Paris, Ky, by early 2017. During its first growing season in 2018, AgTech Scientific partnered with a local farmer to grow 80 acres. This growing season the company plans to plant more than 5 million hemp clones on 1,500 acres. The hemp will be processed through a 50,000 square feet manufacturing and extraction facility that AgTech Scientific broke ground on in October 2018. The plant is projected to open in August 2019.
Watch the video above with Andy Bishop, director of farm services at AgTech Scientific, to learn about the potential of hemp in Kentucky.
ColorPoint and AgTech Scientific offered the following statistics and details about the makeup of the hemp business:
Indoor Greenhouse and Facility:
- 1,837,847 square feet (or 41 acres) greenhouse, including 145,182 square feet of production and shipping facilities
- Agricultural processing center, drying, stripping and milling of more than 100,000 plants per day
- Experienced management team with 113 fulltime employees and more than 340 workers at peak season
- Able to produce more than 200,000 cuttings per day
- More than 100 tractor trailers with an experienced logistics team
- Projection of more than 5 million clones to be planted in 2019 on more than 1,500 acres in Central Kentucky. Farms average less than 15 miles from the indoor greenhouse facility
- CBD crop with high yields based on past performance
- Less risk, more opportunity for farmers with guaranteed payouts throughout the season
- Detailed SOP program to ensure compliance and consistency with farm coordinators and managers in the field
- Fleet of more than 100 trailers (many are refrigerated) to ensure timely logistics during the planting and harvest season
- All 2018 farmers are shareholders of the company
Extraction and Manufacturing Facility
- Ground-breaking was October 2018 and projected opening for August 2019
- 50,000 square feet, built to Good Manufacturing Practice standards
- Located in the Bourbon County Business Park on 10 acres of industrial land, 15 minutes from the indoor greenhouse facility
- Ethanol-based extraction, original biomass input of 2,000 lb./day scaling up to 14,000 lb./day in second quarter of 2020
For more on hemp read the following articles:
- Growing Hemp: The Risks and the Rewards
- Q&A: The Future of Certified Hemp Seed
- 4 Tips to Navigate the Hemp Gold Rush
- Tips to Grow Hemp
If you are interested in learning more about hemp production consider attending Farm Journal Hemp College on June 19 in Lexington, Ky.