BARTON, Vt. (WCAX) – What started as dabbling with hemp growing has now turned into a full-on family business– and a successful one at that.
This week on Made in Vermont, our Elissa Borden takes you to Barton to meet the folks behind Northeast Kingdom Hemp
The Devereux family were never big hemp people until a few years ago.
“It was back in 2017 in the spring, my husband came home from a doctor’s appointment and said did you know you can grow hemp in Vermont? It’s legal. And I looked at him and said yeah… so?” Karen Devereux said.
Karen had never even heard of CBD, an oil extracted from hemp plants, until her husband started talking about its pain-relieving properties.
After trying it themselves and a little online research, they started toying with growing their own hemp.
“Seems like from that moment it was, we either have to do it or not, it felt like we either had to jump in or not because it was very time sensitive it felt like, well probably because it was spring and if we were going to plant that year we had to find seeds and all of that,” said Karen.
With a steep learning curve and a little help from a CBD company in Oregon, the Devereux family set up their own operation at their home in Barton.
“We thought we were just going to grow hemp and sell it. I mean that was our intention, we didn’t have much of a business plan. We’re going to grow hemp and sell it! And then that first fall, we had a ton of hemp and no buyer,” explained Karen.
That’s when the family dove headfirst into the world of CBD, buying a CO2 extractor and all of the other equipment for testing and processing.
“And the high-pressure CO2 forces the wax and the CBD out of the hemp and through a screen, it leaves all of the plant material behind.”
Son Camden Devereux walked WCAX through their whole process and says there are quite a few ways to expedite the job, but they choose to go the long way, with products made carefully, and with transparency.
“You just come out with such a nice clean product doing those extra steps compared to skipping them, so we think that this is far better. And it takes more time but it definitely tastes better and in the finished product I think it makes a difference,” he explained.
Now, Northeast Kingdom Hemp has taken off, with sales across New England and online.
Products range from soaps to balms, tinctures and chocolates, even pet products, which they say can help with seemingly anything.
“When we first started doing this and people would call me and start asking me questions about what it was good for I said, you know, I hate to tell you it cures whatever ails you. But, you know, it just seems like the list of things that people are reporting that it’s helping them with is really pretty long and varied,” says Karen.
Visit Northeast Kingdom Hemp’s website here.
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