Been so long that a full update on the hemp world and our little operation probably isn't possible in a coherent, chronological manner, but it is always great to return to this space and share a bit. Passage of the 2018 Farm Bill has definitely had an impact on the industry, particularly in the scale and composition of players. As always, there are a lot of small farms still popping up or converting from medical / rec, but the big farms are successfully ramping up thousands of acres at a time. Rumors of Coke securing isolate contracts valued in the mid-8 figures and biomass supply issues have well-positioned farmers with any remaining material sitting on it until spring / early summer. Of course, snakes abound; the rotating cast of bad seed vendors, extraction skimmers, and scam artists continues with the ferocity of a human-sized, coked up whack-a-mole game.
We're just trying to keep our collective heads down and push forward with our ever-evolving plans, making seed that provides success for farmers without compromising quality. We know that our future competition in this sector are not the polyhybrid pollen tossers emigrating from failed THC ventures, they are very large companies who aren't even selling seed yet. To maintain a viable business into the future (even as a relatively boutique option), we've reinvested everything into infrastructure, equipment, and people. Our medium term plans rely on sealed greenhouses that allow for year-round production at multiple locations, in-house analytical chemical testing (multiple HPLCs) and genome sequencing (PacBio SeqWell II platform), and a staff of 20+ that are the best in the business. It's a cool place to be after starting with single shipping container in 2014 and never taking on investors or outside funding in any way. If we louse it up, it's on us.
Phase I expansion: Hilltop Plant Science Center
37k sq. ft. Genomic Research and Plant Selection Accelerator
This is one of the spaces that will help us move forward even more quickly with new varietal development. For details on what that means in our breeding program, check out the talk I gave at CannMed 2018
@ UCLA back in September. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNDPxXiKPnI