By Bruce Karnick [email protected] In 2018, the State of Minnesota allowed businesses to begin growing hemp for a variety of uses including harvesting Cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is more commonly …
By Bruce Karnick
In 2018, the State of Minnesota allowed businesses to begin growing hemp for a variety of uses including harvesting Cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is more commonly known as CBD. CBD is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients in cannabis, or marijuana. Do not let ‘marijuana’ scare you away from this story, this story is about the uses of a very close relative and the company that has been bringing it to the area for nearly three years.
What worries people is the concept of getting high. The high of marijuana comes from the Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. Hemp is species of plant that is very similar to that of marijuana except for one key difference, extremely low levels of THC, as in less than 0.3%. Hemp has hundreds of uses such as clothing, cosmetics, rope, ink, wood preservative, soaps, paper, construction, food, supplements, and oils, just to name a few.
Hemp not only has hundreds of practical uses like those listed above, but it is also extremely renewable. One planting is harvestable in about four months and one of the many cool facts about hemp is, it produces about four times the amount of paper per acre as trees. The dense leaves help keep out invasive weeds, it is highly pest resistant, the roots run deep so it also protects soil, and it is easier to farm as an organic than other fiber crops are.
All of these strong points are a key factor in the reason to produce hemp plants, but the biggest one is the CBD oil that can be extracted from the plant. CBD has long been thought to have many wonderful healing properties to it. It can relieve pain and inflammation, reduce anxiety and depression, alleviate cancer related symptoms, and reduce acne. Studies have also found that CBD may have neuroprotective properties which can help treat epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. It is also linked to several heart health benefits. There are thousands of studies out there showing how CBD has helped in reducing the severity of a number of issues in the body.
The power of hemp and CBD is why Hastings resident Zach Rohr started Minny Grown CBD in the Cannon Falls industrial park. Most of his family is from that area so the location made sense.
“That’s where we do all of our cultivation, processing, make the products. And then we actually opened up our first store last October up in Woodbury, and then a few months ago, Judy approached us, you know, collaborating open the store in Hastings,” explained Rohr.
As explained above, hemp is a very dense crop, which means it can be labor intensive to grow, but that also means you do not need a lot of acreage like you do for corn. Minny Grown plants just a few acres for one cycle each year and they tend to it all by hand. Every aspect in the field is done by hand to ensure the best yield from their small plantings. They could build a greenhouse and plant year-round, but Rohr likes to keep the plants in as much direct sun as possible, the direct sun causes a healthier and more productive plant. Plus, one cycle of planting provides more than enough of the product to be sold year-round, including providing the raw materials for their new venture, Hemp based foods.
“In our facility, we’ve got an FDA registered lab for food processing, we’ve got our wholesale manufacturing license to process food from the FDA, so we pivoted the company about a year ago and started really going into hemp foods. So now we produce hemp hearts, which are the insides of the hemp seeds, very healthy nutritious little nuts have seed oil, high in Omega does have protein just to plant-based protein, and then we just innovated and developed this product called hemp butter it’s like a peanut butter and almond butter. And that is really what’s going to propel our company, and allow kind of, a mass scale production of, an agriculture of hemp is in this food sector,” beamed Rohr.
In fact, their hemp butter will be sold in nearly 150 HyVee stores by the end of August, something you can get right now at Caring Hands in Hastings. The credibility that selling something like hemp butter in a large chain like HyVee can give to a small manufacturer is huge and it adds to their credibility for their already top shelf CBD oils. Yes, you can get CBD oils at many different locations around town, they key to buying CBD is getting a good quality, pure product, from someone that you can learn from. The last part is something that Caring Hands owner Judith Kulla has firsthand experience with CBD.
“I’ve got several family members that maybe they wouldn’t be able to be get out of bed, I mean, like, aches and pains and dealing with cancer pain and all that stuff and it’s like, when you see it working, it’s just really exciting. And we get a lot of different people coming in, asking questions and stuff like, ‘I get tested for my job every six months’ that sort of thing so we’re able to direct them to the right product. So, yeah, it’s been a real learning process,” explained Kulla CBD as a health aid is in its infancy when you look at the big picture of things, but it clearly has big pharma worried because it is a low-cost piece to the puzzle that companies like Minny Grown can get into easily compared to the large chemical plants that the big pharma players have.
The neat part of all of this is that the Minnesota Farm bill of 2018 has been the template for a nationwide model, all lead by the USDA. That means, companies like Minny Grown, while on the leading edge of the CBD production piece, they have also been instrumental in forming the rules and procedures around the US.
Caring Hands is not only a wonderful storefront for the Minny Grown products, but they are also utilizing the products with their massage clients. Clients can get a CBD infused balm added to enhance their massage for $30 for the whole body, or just one spot, say the back, for just $10.
To learn more about Minny Grown Products, visit www.minnygrown.com or swing by Caring Hands at 427 Vermillion Street and speak to their staff. To learn more about Caring Hands, again, stop in, or visit www.bycaringhands. com.
Judith Kulla and Zach Rohr celebrate their partnership to sell Minny Grown CBD in front of the display at Caring Hands Massage and Spa in Hastings. Photo by Bruce Karnick