Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKDA), a leader in science-based approaches to enhancing the quality and nutritional value of crops and food ingredients, today announced a strategic joint venture with Legacy Ventures Hawaii to grow, extract and sell superior sun-grown hemp. The new partnership, Archipelago™ Ventures, joins Arcadia’s extensive genetic expertise and resources with Legacy’s proven experience in extraction and sales – and leverages Arcadia’s existing licensed cultivation facility in Hawaii. The result is one vertically integrated supply chain, from seed to sale, enabling Archipelago to deliver high quality hemp extract – with first sales expected in late 2019.
“Hawaii has special significance for Arcadia; it’s where we first began our hemp research and cultivation, and it’s where we continue to see the greatest opportunity for innovation and growth in industrial hemp,” said Matt Plavan, president of Arcadia Specialty Genomics and CFO of Arcadia Biosciences. “Our new partnership with Legacy not only positions us to lead the rapidly evolving market in producing superior hemp – from seed to extract – but to quickly scale our operations following key regulatory approvals.”
As Arcadia’s new Hawaiian hemp extraction and sales partner, Legacy brings growth capital and strategic advice in Hawaiian and Asian markets, as well as access to Legacy’s equity partner, Vapen CBD. A proven leader in extraction, product formulation and sales of cannabis oils and distillate products, Vapen CBD will be responsible for the construction and operation of Archipelago’s Hawaiian hemp extraction facilities. These facilities will give farmers an opportunity to convert their operations into high-grade CBD hemp production, creating new sources of jobs and revenue on the islands.
“Archipelago recognizes the tremendous market opportunity for premium Hawaiian CBD,” said Shane Victorino, a principal in Legacy Ventures Hawaii. “We believe hemp has the potential to transform Hawaii’s economy – and the lives of its farmers and local communities – by creating an entirely new agricultural segment based on bringing innovation, scientific integrity and investment to the islands.” Victorino, a former Gold Glove and World Champion Major League Baseball player, along with other principals in Legacy are native islanders committed to building Hawaii’s capacity to supply branded health and wellness goods.
Hawaii’s unique geographic and climate advantages for growing and harvesting hemp year-round will provide a long-term competitive advantage that many mainland cultivators and producers will not attain. Hawaii’s geographic advantage also provides access to important CBD and hemp markets in Asia. According to a 2018 report by Hemp Industry Daily, since legalization in 2016, Japan’s market for CBD products is growing at almost 100 percent year-over-year, with annual supplement sales valued at over $10 billion.
The recent passage of the U.S. Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 – also known as the Farm Bill – confirmed the federal legalization of hemp, the term given to non-psychoactive cannabis containing less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It also included provisions for legalizing on a federal level hemp’s cultivation, transport and sale for the first time in more than 75 years. The Hemp Business Journal estimates that the hemp CBD market totaled $190 million in 2018 – an astounding rate of growth for a category that didn’t exist five years ago. By 2022, the Brightfield Group, a cannabis and CBD market research firm, projects sales to reach $22 billion.