Talk about homegrown.
Rolling Acre hemp farm in Carlisle is just that—producing CBD and CBG products from seed to plant to processing.
Situated on a little over 100 tillable acres, the farm used to house horses and grow hay, wheat, soybeans, and, for a short time, garlic. Farmer Rich Roush switched to cultivating hemp a few years ago, after the state government opened hemp permits to producers.
He considered producing industrial hemp for the plant’s fibers, but after realizing that there were no processors in the commonwealth at the time, decided to give another aspect of hemp a shot.
Rolling Acre has since developed a line of CBD and CBG products for personal consumption—tinctures for both pets and humans, and, soon, a topical salve. Because it is not regulated or recognized by the FDA, CBD companies cannot legally market their products as having health benefits.
This is where Rolling Acre’s transparency and education comes in.
“It’s not about selling to every human we encounter,” Roush said. “But it’s that they have a good experience, and they understand it.”
Drive It Home
Rolling Acre products are distributed solely by PennHemp, another homegrown brand, developed by lifelong friends who grew up in Susquehanna Township. PennHemp provides marketing services for Rolling Acre and distributes and sells its products online and across various locations in and around central Pennsylvania.
So, when Matt Wilson, who manages PennHemp’s marketing and distribution, holds down a table at a retail store or an agricultural conference, he shares his personal experiences with CBD and CBG.
“Our thing is trying to educate people and be transparent about things,” Wilson said. “We want people to be comfortable taking our product.”
Upon getting Rolling Acre’s products into a store, Wilson offers to talk to potential customers about the products, educate them about the body’s cannabinoid system, and share customer testimonials.
“If someone’s on the fence, and we tell them we handle [the product] all the way through [the process], they feel much better about it,” Wilson said. “And we really try to drive that home.”
Roush’s parents are in their 90s, and his mother has glaucoma. Roush said that CBG has helped her ocular pressure.
Roush and Wilson both stress the importance of transparency in their operations, as they are responsible for every stage of production. The entire process, they stress—from growing to extraction—happens on the farm in Carlisle.
Many CBD brands get their products from a third party, which makes it difficult to know where it came from and what it contains. But, at Rolling Acre, they buy their seeds from Oregon CBD, grow them in a greenhouse, nurture them in the ground through the summer, harvest the matured plants in the fall, remove the flower, and break it down for cannabinoid extraction—all on-site in Carlisle.
Rolling Acre’s products are third-party tested at the farm and sent to a state-licensed lab that sends the results to the state, a legally required process for hemp growers and CBD producers in PA.
“One of the things about the plant itself is that it draws everything out of the soil,” Roush said. “So, we have to be very careful with what we use.”
Rolling Acre’s entire process is organic.
They introduce water as necessary through underground irrigation, and they use organic fertilizer. Roush tested the farm’s soil for contaminants, like heavy metals, before he started, and he has never used pesticides, because hemp will draw all of that into its root system.
Roush grew up on a farm and has a professional background in chemistry, which helped him convert the former horse barn into a processing laboratory. The cannabinoid extraction process isn’t just a chemical procedure, though.
“There’s definitely a learning curve with growing it, but also extracting it takes some real finesse to get a clean raw product” for cannabinoid processing, Roush said.
He learned a lot from online courses and training sessions and through pooling the knowledge of colleagues at his environmental consulting firm.
Roush believes that legalizing CBD and other cannabinoids would level all producers under shared regulations and make for cleaner, more straightforward processes.
“The two big things we pride ourselves on, being from PA, are trying to get our name out in our home state that we love so much, and that everything in our products, we know what it is and where it came from, because we do the whole process, from start to finish,” Wilson said.
To learn more about Rolling Acre Farm and its products, visit www.rolling-acre.com.
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