Hemp

Business After Hours was hosted by owners of Abilene Hemp on left, Sean and Megan Carolan. Also attending were owners of New Horizon Hemp Processing on right, Tina Kelly and Jeff Wilkens. Products in the background are made from hemp.

Abilene Hemp Shop hosted Business After Hours to promote their new hemp line products and introduce a recent name change. This is the business formerly known as Abilene Vape and CBD store.

Also, at the gathering was New Horizon Hemp Processing, a local organization in Abilene where hemp is farmed and processed. Owners Tina Kelly and Jeff Wilkens explained the process of making oil with hemp and included samples of each stage.

New Horizon Hemp Processing

Kelly and Wilkens started researching and planting in 2019 after Kansas finally passed the farm bill for hemp at the end of 2018. The two owners began as a part of the Kansas Research Program and then started experimenting with farming and ended up having to plant twice last year because of complications.

Farmers

All the farmers that plant the seed and work on the hemp in Dickinson County are local and work together. There are many steps and different machines needed for Kelly and Wilkens to get the hemp to the final CBD oil stage. They are still learning to hopefully reach a point where they are productive and can sell the oil to be made into a final product.

“There’s a lot of manual labor from planting to what we do. Really right now is very hands on and labor intensive, to plant it, to grow it, to harvest it, to get it to look like what it looks like in those containers out there [barrels and bags filled with the hemp plant]. They have to manually pull all of that off the stems,” Kelly said.

Not only can hemp be used for pharmaceutical needs, but it can be used for textiles and made into plastics which is more biodegradable than current methods.

Phase one

“This is just the first phase of hemp, because the fiber from the stalk has a gazillion applications for it, but the manufacturing infrastructure is not here for the farmers to have a place to go with it,” Wilkens said.

“That’s something that definitely needs to happen in the states because all we are taking is the floral material out of it. The hemp plant, every bit of that plant, could be used for something, it’s just no one is set up to make those things with it yet,” Kelly said.

Jeff and Tina hope to eventually reach a stage in the business where they will sell their own finished products, but right now they’re researching and learning to try and get ahead of the market.

Abilene Hemp Shop

When speaking about New Horizon, owner of Abilene Hemp Megan Carolan said, “We work together in educating the community. Our hope is to eventually source CBD locally from them.”

Abilene Hemp is working on the idea of having their store filled with local hemp products within the year. At the moment the store is health and wellness centered, a harm reduction shop offering CBD, coffees, and hemp clothing along with many options for those wanting to quit smoking. They are still growing the hemp side of the store.

“There’s way more in the hemp industry located here than the people in Abilene realize. There is New Horizon north of Abilene and they’ve got a lot of people processing their products. Then you have us here and we’re selling final products, so really Abilene has everything from start to finish,” Carolan said.

Recently, Carolan has introduced the name of her new corporation: Kansas Hempire. She reveals that by Feb. 21, 2020 they will be launching a few of their new products. Throughout the year the corporation will continue to present new products with the intent of selling to retailers.

Contact Rebecca Scheller at reporter2@abilene-rc.com.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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