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Healing Hemp: Montana issues first hemp processor license

Posted at 6:46 AM, Dec 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-12 16:22:14-05

RONAN - CBD is hitting the shelves across the country in places like gas stations and convenience stores. Hemp itself is being grown on Montana soil.

While it has many uses, this hemp is extracted for cannabidiol - or CBD. CBD is a compound found in the cannabis plant and contains no THC.

Sam Belanger is the COO of Green Ridge BioSolutions, a CBD manufacturing company in Ronan.

“(Here) we further refine it, clean it up, and then we take and put it into end products,” said Belanger.

They aren’t the only ones doing this, but they are the first. Last month, the State of Montana issued its first ever hemp processor license to Green Ridge.

This allows the company to make several products, including lotions, shampoos, conditioners, body washes, muscle rubs, and moisturizing creams.

Before the products hit the shelves, farmers bring in the hemp for chemical processing.

Inside the lab there is a lot of scientific equipment this company uses to get their product.

Their machine uses evaporation to extract CBD. Belanger says the process isn’t new.

“The most fascinating part is, what we do today, making this hemp extract, we found recipes on how to make it that are 100-150 years old.”

In September, Green Ridge Biosolutions moved from Missoula to the old Ronan Sports and Western building to expand its operations.

Belanger says the goal is to hire 30 to 40 new employees within the next year.

For now Green Ridge is making products and stocking them in stores around Montana and across the country.

CBD is not currently regulated by the FDA, but Belanger says the company tries to follow FDA regulations.