HOW IT ALL BEGAN…
This venture began in early 2018. Agronomist Dave Bell attended a hemp conference and immediately recognized an opportunity.
With his agricultural expertise coupled with the engineering acumen of friend Robert Burtt and available farmland owned by Rob, and his wife Laverne, he thought it would be a perfect partnership in New Brunswick’s emerging hemp industry.
They reached out to Bio N.B., a not-for-profit organization which promotes bio industries in the province.
From there, 10 acres of hemp was planted on the Burtt’s farmland. From the beginning, this start-up company has used every available resource to get the company, and its first crop, off the ground.
In the fall of 2018, the first hemp crop was hand harvested. Friends, family members and some representatives from Bio N.B., spent many long, physically exhausting days hand-clipping the plants.
The harvested hemp was then placed in a tobacco kiln provided with the assistance of Bio N.B. It was installed at the farm site. The dried plant was then sold to 1812 Hemp.
Many lessons were learned by Bell and Burtt from the first growing and harvesting seasons.
They learned very quickly that they didn’t want to harvest by hand. Not only was it unpleasant work, but it wasn’t at all scalable. The mandate was to increase hemp acres in the province but, with hand harvesting, that just wasn’t feasible.
Bell and Burtt, along with their spouses, formed True North CBD Inc. in the spring of 2019.
Then they worked toward ensuring the company had everything it needed to expand its growing and harvesting capabilities.
They contracted with 1812 Hemp to do a custom harvest of their own acreage but also an additional 135 acres planted on farms located throughout the province.
They hired machinery fabrication experts to build harvesting equipment that would get the job done quickly and efficiently without a lot of hand-on labourers.
They now own two mechanical harvester designs which take the bud from the tops of closely-spaced hemp crops.
Those machines are used to quickly and efficiently harvest their own 35 acres of hemp along with the hemp grown on the other farms contracted through 1812 Hemp.
It was a very successful second harvest season. All of the hemp is transported to 1812 Hemp’s processing facility.