News Articles

Hemp Squeeze could create new industry

December 12, 2019

ASHEBORO — Founder’s Hemp and Nufabrx have unveiled a new concept in pain relief — wearing your medicine.

The two partnering companies held a press conference Tuesday at the Everything Hemp store on Dixie Drive in Asheboro to introduce the new product — a CBD-infused compression sleeve. Bossong Hosiery will manufacture the sleeves at its Asheboro plant.

Bob Crumley, founder and CEO of Founder’s Hemp in Asheboro, said he attended a meeting in Asheville more than three years ago and heard a man’s presentation. “He said, ‘Imagine getting a dose of medicine from your clothes.’ I said, ‘Oh my God.’ ”

The man giving the talk was Jordan Schindler, founder of Nufabrx of Conover. He spent seven years with MIT scientists developing a technology to embed active ingredients into yarn to make medicinal application easier. His process is patented and offers a controlled release of the active ingredients into the skin.

Crumley said he and Schindler started testing product design with Bossong about three years ago. They’re now ready to market Hemp Squeeze, CBD-infused compression sleeves for the knee and elbow.

When worn, the CBD oil absorbs into the skin to provide pain relief for hours. It remains active for up to 25 washings, according to Schindler.

“I believe infused-fabric products are going to be used around the world,” Crumley said. “And we’ll make the product here in Randolph County. I couldn’t be more happy to unveil this product.”

Schindler said he moved his company from Seattle to the Manufacturing Solutions Center in Conover because “I needed a home base that understood the textile industry. I wouldn’t be here without Founder’s Hemp.”

He described the concept as being simple: “Instead of taking a pill, just get dressed in the morning. We put CBD in the garment and it absorbs into the skin.”

CBD, or cannabidiol, is an active ingredient of marijuana but it’s also present in the hemp plant, which won’t get you high. CBD has been found to reduce pain and relieve stress, among other health benefits.

“It’s all about made in America,” Schindler said. “We believe in bringing jobs back to America.”

He said the yarn comes from American companies, it’s infused at his Conover plant with CBD oil from hemp grown in North Carolina and processed at Founder’s Hemp, and Bossong takes the infused yarn to manufacture the compression sleeves.

“This is the first of many products,” Schindler said. “We look forward to a full line coming out soon.”

Crystal Gettys, business recruitment director of the Randolph County Economic Development Corporation, said, “We couldn’t be more proud and excited to be part of this. We’re geared up to see what the future holds and what jobs may result.”

Crumley, who has been instrumental in reintroducing the hemp industry in North Carolina, was asked if hemp could be a major cash crop.

“Hemp was a cash crop before tobacco,” he said. “I predict it’ll be one again. It’s already one of the state’s biggest cash crops. It’ll be bigger than tobacco is now.”

One reason, he said, is that “there will be more infused products using this technology.”

Schindler called Hemp Squeeze “the world’s first infused clothing product.” He said he believes the technology can be used in T-shirts, gloves and other clothing items. In fact, he was wearing a pair of infused socks.

Crumley was asked how he got into manufacturing hemp products. He said he had three friends to die from cancer and started researching what could be done. That’s when he “found cannabis” in hemp, which is non-psychotropic and not habit-forming.

He said their sales force is currently talking to retailers and the national launch of Hemp Squeeze will be on Jan. 1, 2020. The products could soon be in sporting goods stores, golf and pro shops and various retail stores.

“We’re creating a new industry,” Crumley said.

Source: Courier-Tribune

Founder's Hemp approved for expansion grant

November 4, 2019

ASHEBORO — Founder’s Hemp of Asheboro has been approved for a grant to assist in expansion plans, according to a press release from the Randolph County Economic Development Corporation.

On Oct. 17, the City of Asheboro was awarded a $150,000 NC Commerce Building Reuse Grant by the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority. The grant will assist Asheboro-based Founder’s Hemp with the installation of five new clean rooms in existing warehousing space. Total investment in the project, including the grant, is projected to be $430,700.

The project is necessitated by growing demand for Founder’s Hemp product. The new clean rooms will enhance the company’s capacity to process hemp to supplement grade standards and will leverage the creation of at least 15 new manufacturing and packaging jobs by Founder’s Hemp. The company will retain 62 existing full-time positions in Asheboro.

“We are truly grateful to the City of Asheboro, the county and the EDC for this grant and are honored to be one of the first hemp companies in North Carolina to receive this type of grant,” said Bob Crumley, founder and CEO of Founder’s Hemp. “Founder’s Hemp has been operating in Asheboro since 2017 and is proud to be a member of this thriving business community. Asheboro was the first city in the State of North Carolina to support us in building our hemp processing facility and we look forward to expanding our company and creating more jobs as the hemp industry continues to grow.”

“The City of Asheboro is excited that Founder’s Hemp is adding 15 quality new jobs to the local economy,” Asheboro Mayor David Smith said. “Randolph County’s story is a story of agriculture, so it’s fitting that Founder’s Hemp is growing a transformational business here in Asheboro based on hemp, a historically significant crop. We are particularly excited about the related high-tech jobs in the biosciences that Founder’s Hemp is bringing to the community.”

Founder’s Hemp is a vertically integrated hemp company. From clone to final product, Founder’s Hemp is the leading provider of premium hemp extracts, products and services. The company provides expert assistance to its network of farmers on everything from seed/clone selection to harvesting methods, and processes North Carolina-grown hemp into products for others to enjoy and consume.

In addition to processing its own hemp into usable products, the company also contracts extraction services. The company has retail locations that offer high-quality product, fiber, food and more. In June 2019, Innovative AgriProducts, the extraction division of Founder’s Hemp, became the only North Carolina hemp processing facility to be GMP certified.

Source: Courier-Tribune

Founder's Hemp will soon be expanding

August 22, 2019

ASHEBORO — Asheboro’s Founder’s Hemp will soon be expanding its operation — if its application for a building reuse grant be accepted.

Kevin Franklin, president of the Randolph County Economic Development Corporation, appeared before the Asheboro City Council in a special meeting Tuesday evening in order to obtain approval from the city to allow Founder’s Hemp to submit its application for the grant.

“Founder’s Hemp is among the first hemp companies established in North Carolina,” Franklin told council members. “It’s been operating in Asheboro since 2017, essentially since as long as it’s been permitted for them to operate.”

The company has experienced rapid growth, according to Franklin, which has necessitated enhanced processing capabilities to meet growing demands.

The company plans to renovate a portion of its existing facility that is currently being used as warehouse space.

The renovated space would include new equipment and five new clean rooms, and carry an estimated price tag of $310,000.

“We believe that to be a low estimate, but a safe estimate,” Franklin said. “And then, of course, there’s going to be additional related investment in equipment and machinery in the $50,000 range as well.”

Founder’s Hemp is eligible for a $150,000 grant that would allow it to expand through the N.C. Department of Commerce.

The city would serve as the grant applicant, due to the program requiring that the applicant be a unit of local government.

“The grant program also requires a 5% local government match to the grant amount. That would total $7,500 based on this $150,000 grant request,” Franklin said.

He added that if the city council approved the application, he would then approach Randolph County government and request that it participate with 50% of that grant match.

Currently, Founder’s Hemp employees 62 full-time employees. Following the renovation, ”(The project) should increase the value of the building, generate new investment, equipment and machinery, and result in the creation of 15 quality new jobs,” Franklin said.

Owen George also spoke before the council as a representative of the U.S. Small Business Administration, reassuring council members that the hemp industry is recognized as a legitimate and legal industry all across the country.

“For us who work in the field of business development in North Carolina, quite frankly, we’re very excited about the growth in hemp industries,” George said. “It’s bringing a lot of value to our farmers. It’s helping to replace the tobacco that so many families depended on for generations here.”

Founder’s Hemp owner Bob Crumley thanked the council for the support it has shown since the start of the company.

“You were the first city in the state of North Carolina to open its city area for our hemp processing facility to be built,” he said.

Crumley added that he sees a successful future for the hemp business.

“Hemp was the first cash crop in North Carolina, and where hemp grew well, tobacco then grew well, and now hemp will grow well again. That prophecy is coming true all over North Carolina.”

Founder’s Hemp President Jamie Crumley concluded by noting the rapid growth of the business and her hopes for the renovation.

“This next step of our project will allow us to expand our company and create more jobs as well as to increase the footprint that we have in the city,” she said.

Following the presentation and public hearing, the council unanimously approved adopting a resolution for the city to pursue the economic development project by submitting an application for the building reuse grant.

By Jamie Biggs

Hubbell Controls adding jobs

July 2, 2019

A manufacturer of electrical controls for cranes and fire protection equipment will expand in Archdale, creating 14 engineering and production jobs.

Hubbell Industrial Controls plans to renovate and expand into a vacant 5,782-square-foot building at 4306 Cheyenne Drive, according to Randolph County Economic Development Corp. The company is a member of the Hubbell Industrial Products Group, which is part of Hubbell Inc. (NYSE: HUBB).

Hubbell Industrial Controls will consolidate its engineering team into the renovated space, which is across the street from Hubbell’s existing facility.

Of the 14 jobs the company expects to create, four will join the company’s engineering team to support Hubbell’s industrial controls division. The other 10 jobs will be production positions created at the main facility as a new product line is added.

The company expects to retain 141 jobs in Archdale, with the new jobs driving it to 155 total.

Kevin Franklin, president of the Randolph County EDC, told TBJ that Hubbell expects the average wage of the 14 positions to be $52,641, well above the county’s average wage of $35,400.

“That’s definitely one of our goals — to attract and support jobs that raise the average wage of the county,” Franklin said.

The Archdale facility is Hubbell Industrial Controls’ only location in North Carolina, with operations there focused on making controls for products such as cranes and fire protection equipment. Products for the industrial division are made in Archdale, Wisconsin and Texas, according to the company.

“Hubbell Industrial Controls has been successful for many years in Archdale due to its positive business climate and good talent base, which enable us to further grow our business,” said Christoph Vogel, Hubbell vice president and general manager, industrial and commercial construction.

To incentivize the jobs and the investment in renovations, the city of Archdale was awarded a $125,000 N.C. Commerce Building Grant from the N.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority. Those funds will assist in the renovations, with the total investment including the grant projected at $264,537. Hubbell has 18 months from June 20, when the grant was awarded, to create the 14 jobs, followed by a six-month retention period.

Franklin told TBJ that a permit was pulled for the project in late May, and he expects work to begin immediately and be completed within about 90 days. J.L. Darr & Son Inc. has been enlisted as the general contractor.

“The city is very proud to work with Hubbell on this expansion grant,” said Archdale Mayor Bert Lance-Stone. “We’re glad to have them as a part of the Archdale community.”

Expansion doubles size of Ferree Trailers in Liberty

May 15, 2019

Expansion doubles size of Ferree Trailers in Liberty

LIBERTY — Talbert Manufacturing, Inc. hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony in honor of its 52,000-square-foot facility and building expansion at Ferree Trailers in Liberty Tuesday.

“I’d like to thank you all for coming and welcome you to our ribbon cutting ceremony for this new facility,” Talbert President Andrew Tanner said during opening remarks.

“When we purchased this facility back in 2014, we had about 18 employees. We’re up a little over 40 now,” he said.

Talbert Manufacturing, Inc. acquired Ferree Trailers in 2014. The expansion doubled the size of the facility.

The company, based in Rensselaer, Ind., specializes in building world-class equipment trailers, and has been serving the transportation industry since 1938.

Russell Stern, co-owner of Talbert Manufacturing, and various local officials were in attendance at the event.

“It is a real pleasure to be here today,” Stern said during the ceremony.

“This was a business that my father (Harry J. Stern) wanted to make successful ... and one where he wanted to create an environment where people can work.

“It’s exciting to see, (we) looking forward to filling it up.”

Talbert Manufacturing, Inc. currently offers employment in the areas of welding, painting and assembly, and is now hiring locally.

“We will be at 60 jobs by the end of the year,” Tanner said. “We’re looking forward to continuing to grow.”