Charlotte’s Web (TSX: CWEB) reported a record hemp harvest last year as the CBD specialist increased hemp production by more than three times its 2018 output.
The Colorado-based company said the 2019 harvest amounted to 1.1 million kilograms (2.3 million pounds), which was up 245 per cent from the 2018 harvest.
Last year’s harvest also saw a 22 per cent increase in CBD potency and 10 per cent increase in yield per acre. That helped the company harvest 36,000 kilograms of CBD, with a 33 per cent reduction in cost per milligram, according to the release.
CEO Deanie Elsner said Charlotte’s Web’s successful results are a product of the expertise that comes along with six years of hemp production.
“More than half of our harvest was certified organic in 2019 with the remaining acres in transition,” Elsner said. “We are well on our way to becoming one of the largest providers of certified organic hemp CBD extract in the country.”
The company said its U.S. hemp is cultivated across three states — Colorado, Oregon and Kentucky — to mitigate crop risk.
Last year, Charlotte’s Web introduced two new hemp genetic cultivars called Lindorea and Kirsche, which the company noted as a reason for the increase in yield and potency. Patents have been filed for both genetics.
“Cultivating, harvesting and drying at scale for full spectrum extract products is an area where we’ve learned to excel,” Jared Stanley, company co-founder and chief cultivation officer said. “Our world-class horticulture division continues to cultivate new varieties of hemp that are cannabinoid, flavonoid and terpene rich.”
Stanley said the genetics helped the company produce the highest biomass yield per acre at well over 1,360 kilograms (3,000 pounds).
Charlotte’s Web maintains high hopes for CBD regulations
The 2019 harvest will be used to make CBD infused extracts, gummies, pet products and topicals into 2022.
Charlotte’s Web is the leading U.S. CBD brand by market share. But the company has been eagerly waiting — since the start of 2019 — for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to issue rules for CBD in food and drink to expand its business.
The company said it was encouraged by FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn’s recent comments at a meeting of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture where he discussed the FDA’s efforts to support consumer interest in CBD with data for making more informed decisions.
Elsner said regulatory certainty would help many American hemp farmers and the CBD industry.
According to industry group Vote Hemp, up to 138,000 acres of hemp was harvested last year in the U.S., but farmers planted roughly twice that amount. The industry group said only half of the total acres of hemp planted ended up being harvested due to crop failure and weaker-than-expected demand for CBD.
Top image via Charlotte’s Web