Arcadia Biosciences Expands Hemp Operations in Hawaii
Arcadia Biosciences has expanded its hemp cultivation in Hawaii through a recently formed joint venture with Legacy Ventures Hawaii, Archipelago™ Ventures. The joint venture has:
- Expanded its cultivation footprint on Hawaii by 3x, from 10 to 30 acres, through partnerships with two new license holders. Archipelago is seeding the new acreage this month and expects to employ both permanent and seasonal staffers locally to execute the research plan involving crop management and harvest of several new varieties.
- Introduced a new autoflowering hemp varietal to Hawaii’s pilot program to support year-round growth cycles unimpeded by the agronomic constraints of day length.
- Begun the build of large-scale mobile extraction and processing equipment to produce tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-free, sun-grown hemp isolate or distillate.
Established in August 2019, 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 an expanded 30-acre cultivation footprint in Hawaii, Archipelago Ventures will increase its biomass production and widen its scientific testing to examine the effects of different agricultural variables within one microclimate, such as soil type and elevation. This will also allow the company to further develop and test highly specialized, resilient and productive proprietary hemp seeds designed to behave reliably in a given geographic environment, bringing greater sophistication and reliability to the island’s cultivation practices.
Understanding how to fine-tune hemp genetics for different climates is critical to growing the crop profitably, a particular challenge on these islands. According to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, more than half of the hemp crops cultivated over the past year as part of the state’s industrial hemp pilot program have tested “hot,” meaning their levels of THC were above the .3% federal limit for hemp. Nearly all of these hot crops had to be destroyed. Archipelago has had the highest success rate of any licensed cultivator in Hawaii, with “hot crop” incidences substantially below the state average.
While mainland outdoor hemp farms will be largely dormant until next spring’s planting season, Hawaii’s sunny, temperate climate will allow Archipelago to grow year-round, with at least two additional growing cycles gained during winter months. Through the introduction of a new, autoflowering hemp varietal that is not dependent on changing daylight patterns and day lengths, Archipelago will further maximize Hawaii’s geographic advantages by producing taller and more productive hemp plants unimpeded by the agronomic constraints of day length.
“We are laser-focused on fine-tuning and accelerating our vertically-integrated hemp cultivation and extraction operations in Hawaii with our partners at Archipelago Ventures, in order to deliver sales as soon as possible,” said Matthew Plavan, CEO of Arcadia Biosciences.