An industrial hemp processing facility in Montgomery has received $ 2.8 million to expand its business. Investors refer to the facility as “a great American story”.
Founded by two Montgomery locals, BastCore spent most of 2020 remodeling a former steam facility at 715 Shady St. and filling it with its own equipment to pick up hemp stalks from a nearby farm and turn them into fibers, chips and other materials for use to process different industries. Since then they have added a plant manager and four more employees, the first production line is almost complete and they have already started shipping products.
The materials made in the factory can be used in a wide variety of products, from carpets to face masks, building materials, diapers to automobile manufacturing.
“We have some really exciting projects in the works. We are seeing an acceleration in interest in the various markets, ”said Co-Founder and CEO Coleman Beale.
Now they have raised $ 2.8 million in capital to fund the next wave of expansion that will include cannabis-focused mutual fund Poseidon Asset Management. The investment was oversubscribed, which meant that BastCore secured more capital than originally intended.
“We limited our exposure to US CBD because too much money poured into this space, but industrial hemp for textiles, automobiles, construction, etc. is many times larger than CBD and has a much greater asset utilization,” said Poseidon Managing Director Morgan Paxhia said in a statement announcing the investment. “BastCore has developed innovative industry-leading technology that can support and transform massive industries. This is a great American story. “
The 60,000-square-foot facility in Montgomery uses proprietary machinery to separate the fibrous outer layer of hemp stems from the inner wood, and to produce textile fibers, composite-quality bast fibers, chopped wood, and micronized heartwood. Beale said this investment will allow a year-long expansion, double their workforce and allow them to start working on a second production line.
Beale and his colleague McMillan Arrington of Montgomery decided to start the company after changes to the 2014 Farm Bill legalized the cultivation and production of industrial-grade hemp, which has very low levels of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. The aim was to build the bridge between farmers and industry, a void that few others could fill.
“The addressable market opportunities are enormous,” said BastCore managing director Austin Bryant in a statement on the expansion. “Billion dollar opportunities are great, but when you have proprietary technologies in place that can solve the processing problem for farmers and help them monetize their product.” In addition to seizing a trillion dollar market opportunity in consumer products, you now have my attention. We always say that we’re building more than just a company here, we’re building an industry. “
Beale said the global supply chain is “in the process of disruption” due to industrial hemp, and BastCore’s partners are demanding transparency and traceability throughout the process. “BastCore is very well positioned to benefit from this trend and we look forward to creating good manufacturing jobs here in the US,” he said.
Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Brad Harper at email@example.com.