As the state transforms into a whole new level of industry pride with the Go Texan campaign now embracing a ‘Grow Texan’ one, partnerships within the developing hemp industry are cropping up. Bayou City Hemp is one such company leading the way in Texas, becoming one of the original vertically integrated extraction companies for the crop and bringing the highest quality, most reliable cannabinoid products to consumers in the Lone Star State.
Rooted in the energy sector, Bayou City Hemp pairs its knowledge of working in a volatile industry with mirroring the strict regulation standards of oil & gas in the production of Texas’ newest commodity. Backed by a strong board diverse in their experience within that industry, coupled with a deep history in farming, co-founders and CEOs Ben Meggs & Jeromy Sherman recognized the need early on for a full scope analysis of the industry’s supply chain and used their background in the related sector to pinpoint the areas requiring attention to strengthen the cycle from farmer to consumer.
As strong proponents for the medicinal side of hemp and its derivatives, Meggs & Sherman followed the 2014 Texas hemp pilot programs very closely and entered the retail side of it with their acquisition of the Dallas-based CBD retail brand Leaf Life Wellness – a high-end, thoughtfully-formulated skin care and health & wellness line, found both online at leaflifewellness.com and at local and national retailers. The brand is evolving to feature Texas processed oil with Bayou City extracts and stands as a product of their vertically integrated system which will help accelerate the growth and awareness of all Bayou City Hemp can provide as the market rapidly expands in the state.
With their goal of seeing the placement of Texan grown & processed hemp on Texas shelves, Bayou City has formed strong relationships working with hemp farmers in other states learning the growth process and translating it to the local front preparing them for the inaugural harvest this year. As industrial hemp has not been grown on Texas soil since the 1940s, the 2020 crop serves as more of an initial research & development harvest and is not projected to be a large-scale operation for the first season. However, going forward they will be gearing up to receive harvest from farms ranging in size anywhere from 5-40 acres. While advantageous to work with farms of scale, Bayou City Hemp will work to do everything in their power to help any size Texas farmer growing a quality product in the supply chain.
Return of the purest product possible is Bayou City’s intent, striving to be the gold standard in the industry for high-quality reliable hemp product. They have implemented a full scope of services to do so, catering to the farmer from the start of the process. Their software platform allows the farmer to track the progress of the crop and once harvested & dried, the biomass is transported to their facility. Through in-house testing capabilities as well as third party testing agencies, Bayou City Hemp ensures there are no pesticides and that the hemp is within legal parameters for acceptance in the state’s production standards. With the all-natural CO2 extraction process, the farmer’s oil is turned into crude oil, distillate oil, or an isolate powder then returned to the farmer or further refined into a customized product.
As the cannabis industry is still in its infancy, little regulation lies in the production & extraction process. Conditioned in the strict regulatory environment of the oil & gas background, Bayou City Hemp strives to provide a framework and regulations that will help shape the industry and provide a consistent quality product. They are currently in the works to have the facility CGMP, organic, and kosher certified and prides itself in opting for a supercritical CO2 extraction process over the currently-favored ethanol based one. CO2 extraction produces a superior product and is projected to become the preferred industry method. This process eliminates the cross-contamination seen in ethanol-based methods and ensures the purity & consistency in the product. The waste material – raffinate – then is a clean product and has potential as animal feed or soil remediation material over the toxic alternative that ethanol produces.
Just ahead of the inaugural harvest of hemp in Texas, Bayou City Hemp is already making headway in the industry with their solid infrastructure and transparency of that process to educate farmers and other industry leaders along the way to advance the positive growth in hemp. These collaborative efforts within the trade, from other more established states to that of the intrastate supply chain, helps bridge the gap of uncertainty in this field and nurture it together as Texans.