Dr. Gerald Edds, an Owensboro cosmetic surgeon, and Bruce Peters, former owner of Peters Construction, are opening Daviess County’s first industrial hemp processing facility called Bluegrass BioExtracts at the former Hon Co. furniture factory on Wing Avenue.
“Unlike many processors who are ‘vertically integrated,'” reads Bluegrass BioExtracts website, “we have intentionally chosen to be extraction specialists, producing the highest quality CBD products for the industry.”
According to their website, Bluegrass BioExtracts does not grow plant material or create retail products. They opened their facility in early 2019 with two extraction lines and a capacity the first year of processing over 3 million pounds of industrial hemp floral material. A 60,000 square foot facility provides ample space to scale to double that amount in 2020, the website said.
President Donald Trump signed into law the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 — commonly known as the farm bill — on Dec. 20, 2018, after House and Senate approval in early December.
The farm bill removes hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act and legalizes the production of industrial hemp, while providing hemp farmers access to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs.
Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles announced in January that the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) approved 1,035 applications to cultivate up to 42,086 acres of industrial hemp in 2019. The KDA also approved 2.9 million square feet of greenhouse space for hemp cultivation.