Industrialized hemp was legalized in Oklahoma this week, paving the way for a new, profitable crop for farmers. One local CBD manufacturer says the plant will revolutionize the state economy.
Can-Tek Labs has been refining CBD products locally since it was legalized in 2016, but now they will finally be able to sell a fully Oklahoma-based product.
“We produce everything from ingestible sublinguals to topical products and even products for your pet here,” said Can-Tek Labs CEO Ryan Early.
Early stocks about 70% of the state's CBD shops, which are multiplying exponentially this year. He has been importing his hemp from Colorado, using university researchers to ensure it is 100% THC-free. That piece of the puzzle will soon be coming home.
“We’re currently outlining the framework to be able to integrate Oklahoma-grown hemp into some of the country’s largest manufacturers,” Early explained.
Early said farmers are already lining up to convert their crops. With 25,000 documented uses for the plant, the prospects are appealing.
Oklahoma's pilot program does require university oversight of the plants, and Early's retailers say that is a good thing. Cann-Help Wellness owner Travis Evans says he sees customers come in from unaffiliated shops, complaining about failed drug tests and even trips to the ER.
“There’s people out there that are doing these things in their garages and their back rooms,” Evans said. “There’s just no controls in that.”
Early is already expanding his facility in preparation for what the future brings, and believes hemp will be one of the solutions to Oklahoma's economic problems.
“Oklahoma produced more hemp per acre in 1942 to help win the war than any other state in America, and I believe this won’t be any different,” he said. “I think Oklahoma will be at the forefront of this revolution.”
He is also helping host the 2018 Mid-America Medical Cannabis Conference and Expo at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds June 1-2, just a few weeks before Oklahomans vote on the legalization of medical marijuana.
Early hopes to see Oklahoma farmers planting hemp seeds by the end of the year.