ROSSVILLE, Tenn. – Hemp2Lab, a Tennessee start-up in the emergent hemp (CBD) segment of agribusiness, has received a Tennessee Agricultural Enterprise Fund (AEF) grant from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) and the Department of Economic and Community Development, in recognition of the company’s operational quality and business potential. State officials presented the grant to Hemp2Lab’s leadership earlier this week.
Hemp2Lab is a state-of-the-art manufacturing, extraction and processing laboratory that converts the hemp plant—which became a legal crop under the 2018 Farm Bill—into crude ingredients and finished CBD products. The company is based in Rossville, and led by long-time Memphis business leader, William (Bill) Margaritis. Margaritis, an investor, entrepreneur, and former FedEx senior corporate executive, is Hemp2Lab’s President and CEO.
The Agricultural Enterprise Fund was created to support agribusinesses that are making an impact on Tennessee agriculture. Each year TDA officials travel to meet and vet applicants all across the state. The state awards AEF grants to Tennessee businesses that demonstrate a strong potential for impact on local farm income, access to markets, increased capacity or agricultural innovation.
“Now more than ever, we need agribusinesses to remain strong,” said Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M., Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Agriculture in a TDA media release. “We’re proud to strategically support impactful businesses that are critical to keeping the food, fiber, and fuel supply chain strong throughout Tennessee.”
Hemp2Lab fills an essential role in the hemp/CBD supply chain, providing the laboratory science required to convert farmers’ hemp harvests into consumer products. “Hemp2Lab was created to meet increasing expectations that CBD products be safe, consistent and of high-quality,” said Hemp2Lab Chief Commercial Officer, Keith Allen. “Using pioneering technology, our scientists have developed a proprietary method for extracting oil from the hemp plant, and we will use the AEF grant to maintain our superiority in producing pure, consistent and trustworthy products for wholesalers, retailers and consumers.”
“Any way we can support economic development and job creation is a win for families, their communities, and the state,” Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said in a TDA media release. “TDA continues to be responsive to the needs of farmers and foresters who are, in turn, responsive to consumer demand. For many of these businesses, AEF grants mean they will secure greater access to consumer markets which goes a long way to strengthen the economy.”
As mass adoption of CBD continues, the Nielsen Company predicts the hemp/CBD market will increase three-fold in the next four years, reaching $6.9 billion by 2025, and that the CBD food, candies and beverage category will specifically experience 400% growth by 2025.
To date, the Agricultural Enterprise Fund has awarded nearly $4.3 million in funding to Tennessee businesses, leveraging more than $59 million in agriculture and forest-product economic development since the program’s launch in 2017.
Hemp2Lab is a full-service, seed-to-shelf CBD and CBG wholesale provider that develops safe, reliable, and effective private and white label consumer products, and bulk products. Hemp2Lab’s exclusive farming partner utilizes industry-leading genetics and organic farming methods, ensuring the highest quality, 100% natural botanicals. The company’s state-of-the-art manufacturing and processing laboratory, located in Rossville, Tenn., features pioneering technology and a proprietary hemp oil extraction method that produces pure, consistent, fast absorption, and trustworthy products. All products developed by Hemp2Lab feature a QR label for transparency, providing consumers with immediate access to farming data, third-party lab results, and information on how the product was manufactured. The company also provides toll processing services for farmers. More information on Hemp2Lab can be found at www.hemp2lab.com