A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Grimes tours Louisville’s Commonwealth Extracts, encourages growth in Kentucky Hemp economy

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes visited Commonwealth Extracts in Louisville to tour and learn more about the producer’s operation that is emerging as a leader in the fast-growing cannabidiol, or CBD oil, marketplace.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes talks with employees of Commonwealth Extracts (Photo from SOS)

“Commonwealth Extracts is the premier example that Kentucky is on the leading edge of CBD production,” Grimes said. “Their impressive operation is producing products for people across the globe, and they are proving to be a positive health alternative for so many. It’s important to consider this information as we have discussions about legalizing medical cannabis in 2018.”

Commonwealth Extract’s John Taylor, chief operating officer, and his partner, Kenneth Delcoure, chief financial officer, watched with interest in 2014 as Kentucky’s industrial hemp pilot program was initiated, even though hemp is classified as a controlled substance like marijuana. The plants share a common species, cannabis sativa. Now, Commonwealth Extracts is one of the early participants in the pilot program.

More than a decade ago, Taylor, an Army veteran, began having seizures. His doctors prescribed a potent blend of drugs that produced negative side effects. Taylor, beaten down and depressed by the treatment, discovered and began using CBD oil. The results were miraculous.

“CBD has made all the difference in my life,” Taylor said. “My doctors were shocked and amazed by the tremendous impact CBD oil made in my battle with seizures. They told me to stick with it and I’ve never looked back.”

(Photo from SOS)

The visit underscored for Grimes the potential economic opportunities for the Commonwealth in production of CBD, found in both hemp and marijuana plants. Taylor said each acre of hemp grown is worth approximately up to $16,000 based on productivity when sold for CBD production.

“Kentucky could be the next Silicon Valley when it comes to producing CBD oil products. We’re perfectly positioned, but we need the needle to keep moving in our direction when it comes to laws that are friendly to this business and show compassion for patients to get better access,” Taylor said.

Grimes, Kentucky’s chief business official, agreed.

“Our Commonwealth can build a CBD economy that is the envy of every state in the nation. With Commonwealth Extracts as a pioneer, I know there’s room for incredible growth, because progress as it relates to cannabis, is inevitable, but we must move quickly to seize opportunities. I want us to be on the forefront and leading the nation.”

From Secretary of State

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