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.