ELITE BOTANICALS – Loveland, Colorado
Colorado is known for being the first state to really “dig in” to the High CBD Hemp market in 2013. Elite Botanicals is a CBD-Hemp cultivation, extraction/processing, and product development business based out of Loveland, CO. They were one of the first to the scene, manufacturing products for such top companies as Mary’s Medicinals/Nutritionals and Cheeba Chews.
I had a chance to sit down with David Bonvillain, Owner of Elite, and ask him a couple of questions about the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, regenerative practices currently being implemented and what’s to come for Elite in 2019.
- Since the passing of the farm bill in December, what are Elite’s plans for 2019?
The farm bill/hemp farming act passing hasn’t really changed or impacted the company’s plans for the year. Overall the evolving legislation increases confidence in what we have been working on for many years now, but it also comes with new challenges. Being one of the first companies in the cannabinoid-rich hemp/CBD space was a hard road, but we have evolved and focused on what we can do best and been able to come through the days when there wasn’t really an industry at all, to now with hemp (and CBD) agriculture being legalized nationwide. We had always been focused on vertically integrated product development and since mid-2018 that has really been our only focus. 2019 is reinforcing that focus as we expand into an additional facility for product manufacturing and allows our current space to focus on the biomass processing and refinement/purification processes. We are doing some national product launches with some well-known brands and have a list of dozens of new white-label clients we are taking on once our capacity increases are in place (by end of Q1).
- What types of green, regenerative practices do you implement at Elite’s farms and labs?
Well our cultivation and horticultural/agricultural practices for CBD have always focused on organic farming and microbe-rich/living soil type methodologies. As we evolved away from the agricultural side of the hemp/CBD space, we have maintained partnerships with organic farmers and leverage output and sharecrop agreements with those farmers to ensure that the standards we have for our plants/products is retained regardless of required scale. From the laboratory perspective, we compost all of our processed biomass for use on area farms.
- What separates Elite from other Hemp farms in the 2019 market?
That’s a weird one at this point in the game…when we started working with CBD rich cannabis in 2013, very few even knew what CBD was…then in 2014 even having type 3 genetics to leverage as ‘cannabinoid-rich hemp’ was unique. Nowadays you can purchase multiple tons of biomass and ship it in trucks across the country and new ‘hemp CBD’ companies are popping up daily making any sort of differentiation challenging. Early on, largely due to lack of any real market, we solidified multiple channel relationships with manufacturers that truly has been our saving grace amongst the multiple failures and challenges we encountered while building a business in an unknown and unproven space (at the time). We then evolved into more and more product development, as that really was what had started doing from the beginning (with the Remedy Oil product, now owned/made/marketed/distributed by Mary’s Medicinals/Mary’s Nutritionals) and now we partner with other farmers and focus on processing our own cannabinoids for use in our own product sets or creating products for our white-label partners. So I guess, if anything, it’d be our tenure, passion, and perseverance that are differentiators. Few have been doing it for as long…and many, having been through the challenges that we went through over the first several years, likely would have quit.