Hemp plant opening expected in fall

One piece of decortication equipment arrives at Donnelly in March. It is one of the key components of the decortication line. Once operating, the plant will use hammer mills to separate fibres.

Emily Plihal
Local Journalism
Initiative Reporter

A long-anticipated opening date for Smoky Hemp Decortication Ltd. (SHDL) is nearing, and its reality became a little more real as a part of the decortication line arrived earlier this month.

Chief administrative officer Avis Gagne says that the piece decortication equipment will set new standards in the industry.

“It’s a brand-new piece of equipment and is one of the key components of our decortication line,” says Gagne.

“We believe that the brand-new, innovative technology will improve the way decortication is done globally,” she adds.

Gagne says because the equipment is a brand-new patented technology, she is unable to give a lot of information about the way the equipment will work. However, she does say that up to this point the current technology uses hammer mills to separate fibres, and SHDL’s new equipment will expedite the decortication process.

“This is very exciting news for us,” says Gagne of the arrival of the equipment.

“Our anticipated decortication start will be this fall.”

Gagne says SHDL is not currently contracting additional hemp acres this year, as they already have some hemp to process.

“We have approximately 500 bales in inventory that we will begin with,” says Gagne.

“It may not be obvious when driving by the site that things are moving, but it is progressing well.”

Gagne says they are waiting for two more pieces of decortication equipment that the engineer is working on and they also need to install a cement floor and electricity in the building.

She adds the remaining items left to be purchased are very costly, noting that the cement floor will cost approximately $350,000.

Their hope is to be fully functional by fall 2024, and are working to ensure everything is in place to commence the decortication.

SHDL is now in its second round of fundraising, and they’ve set a rather broad spectrum of goals to reach. Their minimum goal is $400,000 and their maximum fundraising goal is $5 million.

If you’re interested in investing in the Smoky Hemp Decortication Plant, please visit their website at smokyhempdecortication.com or email them at info@smokyhemp.com. Smoky Hemp Decortication is located just west of Donnelly on Highway 2.

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