Empire Hemp Co. is invested heavily in the hemp cannabidiol market for consumers and in January opened a walk-up retail-sale window at its manufacturing site in Batavia’s Liberty Square office complex.
It’s located at 34 Swan St., Suite 4, in the city and is owned by Chris VanDusen and Shelly Wolanske.
On weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. walk-up customers can buy all-natural hemp cannabidiol (CBD) oil and topical products that many customers say have restorative effects.
Hemp CBD, or cannabidiol, is a nonpsychoactive and non-habit-forming compound that occurs naturally in the flowers of the hemp plant. Unlike marijuana, which contains high levels of THC, hemp flower does not have any intoxicating effects and does not produce a “high.”
Empire Hemp Co. uses only the highest quality, locally grown, pesticide-free hemp flowers, grown in the sun by farming partners in Genesee, Orleans and Erie counties.
The owners say they treat these special flowers with the utmost of care, using a state-of-the-art supercritical CO2 extractor to preserve their beneficial compounds in as clean and pure a form as possible. They then blend the extracted hemp CBD oil in with the finest natural and botanical ingredients to create tinctures and salves of the highest quality.
All Empire Hemp Co. products are third-party tested to guarantee their strength and safety.
Their hemp CBD oils are available in three strengths: 600mg, 1200mg, and 1800mg, in both raw and mint flavor.
There are three different topical salves — All Purpose, Muscle & Joint, Lemon Balm. There’s also a muscle and joint relief product called “The Balm,” which comes as a stick or roll-on, and contains a higher concentration of hemp CBD oil and more menthol — for an “icy hot” effect on the skin.
The products range from $25 to $100 in price.
“No matter who you are, we have a product to meet your specific needs,” says Wolanske.
VanDusen said they moved into the Swan Street space in June but spent months preparing it for the manufacturing process, including the installation of the $250,000 extractor. By January, they had carved out their walk-up window and began to serve retail customers directly.
“We are one of the few companies in the state licensed to extract raw CBD oil from hemp plants and manufacture CBD oil products,” VanDusen said.
He said Sen. Chuck Schumer has worked diligently to assist farmers, manufacturers and sellers in New York’s rapidly emerging industrial hemp market, which was legalized in the 2018 Farm Bill but initially hampered by a lack of clarity on FDA regulations and safety requirements.
Schumer helped expedite FDA guidance on the classification, labeling, quality, marketing, and sale of CBD products, a market the senator said is “brimming with potential to be a billion-dollar industry across New York State.” Nationally, CBD product sales surpassed $200 million in 2018, according to data from Schumer’s office.
Empire Hemp Company’s walk-up window is open for business from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, or visit their website to find out more about their local hemp CBD line. Phone is (888) 895-9032.
Photo, courtesy of Empire Hemp Co.: Company president Chris VanDusen, left, helps an unidentified customer at the new walk-up window for retail sales.