Highland Hemp inks $14M order with Brazilian company
A fledgling local hemp manufacturing initiative has just inked a $14-million order from a Brazilian pharmaceutical company for one of its products.
Highland Hemp Manufacturing and Exports, a company owned by Parker Rudderham and Sheldon Nathanson, announced the sale Monday that will see oil from hemp seed sent to Brazil between now and a Dec. 31 shipping deadline.
The order follows a 22,000-bottle shipment of hemp oil to Europe late last year but Rudderham said it will be an entirely different product from a new crop of hemp that will be sent to Brazil.
“I don’t know when I’ve ever been more excited about an opportunity, for myself of course, but what it could mean for the area,” said the company president.
“Frankly, there’s no reason why Cape Breton can’t be to hemp what P.E.I. is to potatoes, except there’s a lot more valued-added things you can do with hemp and there’s a lot more money in hemp than potatoes. There’s endless opportunities.”
The hemp oil shipped to Europe last year came from hemp grown in company fields outside of Sydney. This time, Rudderham expects the hemp to be grown by independent contractors and farmers around Cape Breton.
“We’d have to supply the seeds because we are the only ones able to get the seed in the area but then the farmer or independent contractor, he grows it and it is like a farmer grows a potato for McCains or Cavendish Farms.
“We are hoping to have the farmers do everything — utilizing their land, their equipment, etc.”
Highland Hemp will soon meet with the Department of Agriculture on the initiative, not to request government money, but instead to ask for assistance in terms of information sessions for farmers on the initiative.
“Plan B is any shortfall we run into we will be able to purchase oil elsewhere in Canada to fulfill that order. We are hoping not to, but you have to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.”
In a press release, Glace Bay MLA Geoff MacLellan, applauded the company’s success and said the province “looks forward to options that can be implemented to continue shaping the industry here in Cape Breton.”
As for production, Rudderham said machinery is now being fabricated to press the oil where the hemp is grown. The extraction process will use carbon dioxide, the same way coffee is extracted from coffee beans.
“What we are attempting to do is, rather than have that product be brought to a facility, we want to go to where it is growing and do it there and then pump it into a tanker and off we go.”
As for job creation, he doesn’t yet have a figure to offer but said with hemp being a value-added product, “you can’t help but create jobs.”
Rudderham said longstanding global relationships with his pharmaceutical company, Pharmacy Wholesale Services Inc., helped with attaining the Brazil order.
Transaction proceeds from the $14 million deal will be reinvested into the company.
Most of the health benefits of hemp seed oil come from its excellent ratio of omega -6 to omega – 3. which is similar to what the body needs.
Hempseed oil provides powerful nutrition and can be used topically as well as internally. It is one of the best sources of omega fatty acids.
This file photo shows a bottle of pure hemp oil that was part of a 22,000-bottle shipment sent to Europe late last year by Highland Hemp Manufacturing and Exports. A $14-million order of what the company is describing as an entirely different product from a new batch of hemp will be sent to Brazil before the end of the year.