CANASTOTA, N.Y. – Because the hemp industry has been around for centuries, there are some things that aren’t worth changing.
At newly opened CNY Hemp Processing in Canastota– president Stephen Halton says using a¬†150-year-old fanning mill to clean the grain which is then put it an¬†oil press to make hemp seed oil.
Hemp seed oil¬†is different from CBD¬†oil (Cannabidiol)¬†and has different health benefits.¬†
Using hemp grain to make other products goes through a few more steps.
“First off, the hemp would go through a decorticator. That machine will separate the fiber from the hurd,” Halton said. “We actually take the hurd that comes out which is the woody center of the stock and then we put it through a hammer mill, and then a drying system, and then a pelletizer, cooling belt and then we bag it off to different retail locations throughout Central New York.”
Halton, originally from Las Vegas, moved to Central New York with the dream of becoming a farmer.¬†
Putting his dream on hold for several years — Halton and his wife finally decided to make the push about four years ago. That’s when Halton starting figuring out how he would be part of the hemp industry.
“I¬†was just so excited that New York state started the pilot program so I really wanted to get a piece of that as far as growing hemp but I¬†found out pretty quickly it was more important to create that market for him forces growing the hemp,” Halton shared. “That’s why I like to support local farmers and mostly dairy farmers.”
For now, CNY Hemp Processing is focusing on making hemp pellets for stoves and hemp seed oil.
“We are also the first manufacturer in the United States to make heat pellets out of hemp,” Halton said. “The BTUs are comparable to a wood product but actually burn much cleaner.”
Halton’s crew is¬†also working with local CBD producers — taking CBD waste and shredding it down to make anti-bacterial and anti-microbial bedding material for animals such as horses.
The Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County has been taking notice of the “growing” hemp industry — stating the industry made a “conservative estimate” of its 2016 revenue at $688 million. An uptick of 20 percent from its 2015 numbers, according to Jenn Farwell, the¬†agricultural economic development specialist for¬†Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County.
“The hemp industry touts that there are over 25,000 different products that can be made from hemp,” Farwell said. “Anything from personal care products… You hear a lot about CBD oil and a lot of things that can be made with CBD as well as anything from auto car parts…There’s hemp cream. It can really be put into almost anything at this point.”
Halton says he is hiring two new workers next week and plans to hire three more people in the next few months. He also says there are discussions about a second satellite station nearby, but to keep trucking costs down, CNY Hemp Processing will focus on this single location for now.
CNY Hemp Processing is located at 124 Barlow St. in Canastota.¬†
To learn more about the industry and CNY Hemp Processing,¬†click here.