As Ohio hemp farmers look ahead to their first harvest under the state’s new law, the question of processing and contracts is top of mind. Now, the state’s first hemp extraction company has received a license and announced that it’s open for business.
The company is based in Chagrin Falls, outside of Cleveland.
“We’re a small, boot-strapped startup,” CEO Jacob Wagner said. “We have been pushing for this since about September of last year.”
Wagner is the former dean of the Cleveland School of Cannabis, and chief processing officer Leo Debevc worked as the director of faculty at the school (while teaching extraction classes, as well) before working for Curaleaf as a training manager in Maryland. With three other partners, the Haywood team plans to meet the rising demand for hemp processing Ohio—where more than 200 farmers are working with the crop for the first time.
The goal at Haywood Industries is to create their own products with USDA-certified organic materials under the Reverb Hemp brand. The company will be using solventless extraction techniques, including sonication, to accomplish that. Haywood will be doing bulk rosin pressing to make dry ice sift and full-spectrum rosin. Sonication is one of the unique elements in Haywood’s arsenal, and Wagner said that the company is developing a proprietary process to create new products.
But seeing the demand in the very near term, Wagner said that Haywood will also sign off on toll processing contracts. The team is planning to pursue ethanol extraction processes for higher-volume orders.
“When it comes to toll processing, we want to be able to service as many customers as we can to the best of our ability,” Wagner said. “We recognize the real need for that—and not just in Ohio, but the industry writ large throughout the country.” He pointed to the vast quantities of 2019 hemp that either went into storage for months on end or, in some cases, never even made it off the field. The importance of securing a contract with a licensed processor cannot be overstated.
“We wanted to be able to provide that modern hemp infrastructure to Ohio and to start to develop a sustainable hemp supply chain in Ohio,” Wagner said. “We think Ohio is going to be a key state in the hemp industry for a lot of reasons, not the least of which being the copious amounts of agricultural land and expertise we have here—available at reasonable prices.”