Today’s conscientious consumers are demanding transparency in the products they buy, from food and medicine to clothing and jewelry. By holding companies accountable, they’re making an impact on how workers are paid and treated, how product ingredients are manufactured, and the quality of products in general.
Transparency within the hemp and CBD industry is especially important. The industry is currently unregulated, meaning customers can’t always take products at face value. Franny’s Farmacy believes that thoughtful consumers should be able to demand products that are of impeccable quality and support people and planet.
Here’s how we produce our Franny’s Farmacy CBD products.
Step 1: Finding the Right Plants
Producing the best hemp and CBD products starts with growing the best hemp plants. “It’s important to know and understand the genetics you choose to go with,” says Franny’s Farmacy Co-Founder Jeff Tacy. “As the industry progresses, the standards for hemp products are rising every year.”
Franny’s Farmacy looks for several qualities in its hemp genetics, including the concentration of CBD a plant grows, its yield and flower structure and how suitable it is for its specific growing environment. In order to gain a strong understanding of how plants grow in their region and connect with other hemp growers throughout the state, Franny’s Farmacy growers have been part of a 3-year research trial at North Carolina State University.
Hemp clones—which are genetically identical cuttings from existing, high-quality hemp plants—are sourced from trusted nurseries, such as Triangle Hemp and Front Range Biosciences.
Step 2: Planting and Tending
“Hemp grows outdoors in all 50 states,” says Co-Founder Franny Tacy, “so there is much to consider based on your latitude, environment and soil conditions.”
With an understanding of the proper conditions for success in their regions, hemp farmers will test their soil and amend it as needed, plow, and install or maintain proper irrigation. Once plants are in the ground, plasticulture—a thin layer of plastic that protects the plants from common challenges, such as dehydration, heavy rains, weeds and pests—is placed around them.
After planting comes careful tending. “Growing hemp is a very hands-on process,” Jeff says. “The plants need to be watered, fed nutrients, inspected for pests, trimmed, staked and loved.”
Franny’s Farmacy growers use completely organic methods, meaning plants (and customers) aren’t subjected to potentially harmful chemicals.
Step 3: Harvesting
Harvesting is the most labor-intensive step in the process. A single acre of land will house approximately 2,800 hemp plants, and all Franny’s plants are harvested by hand, making the operation more similar horticulture growing methods than mass agriculture farming methods.
“Franny’s Farm and its growers hand-harvest their hemp plants to preserve the integrity of the terpenes and tricomes on the hemp flower,” Franny says.
Harvesting plants correctly can be a complex process, necessitating a familiarity with the plant structure. Hemp plants grown for CBD are broken down into two useful parts. First is the top-cut flower—the most valuable and marketable part of the plant—which is typically harvested first and then dried, cured and stabilized. Second is the rest of green plant material, which is bucked and shucked from the branches of the plant. It also must also be dried and stabilized.
Drying requires a large amount of dark, dehumidified air circulated in a large enough space to accommodate the harvested plants.
Step 4: Processing and Packaging
Franny’s Farmacy’s plants are processes locally in a boutique processing facility in Asheville, North Carolina. There, processors uses the most widely accepted carbon dioxide extraction method.
The first stage of extraction produces what is called crude oil, a pungent and powerful substance containing all of the plants’ CBD. The crude oil is then distilled, resulting in a full-spectrum distillate that is purer and less pungent than the crude oil.
Distillate is used in all topicals and edibles Franny’s Farmacy sells. Once the products are manufactured, they’re labeled and prepared for sale.
Step 5: Sale
The Franny’s Farmacy family currently comprises three retail dispensaries and an e-commerce platform for country-wide distribution. “We also have a number of wholesale accounts that retail our products in a number of states across the U.S.,” Jeff says.
CBD and hemp customers purchase products for myriad reasons. The top ones reported by Franny’s Farmacy customers are pain, inflammation, anxiety and trouble sleeping.
“After using oil under my tongue for a month or so, my anxiety has decreased and I don’t shake with anxiety every day anymore,” says Franny’s customer Samantha.
Customers report finding relief for their pets, too. “I purchased the pet tincture for my furbaby, Milli, who gets very distressed in loud noises and the rain,” says Franny’s customer Tammy. “I was so afraid she was going to hurt herself trying to get to safety when we weren’t home. She is doing better now.”
When purchasing hemp and CBD products, interested customers should always do their homework. The industry is currently unregulated, meaning not all companies and products are trustworthy. Franny’s Farmacy welcomes you to stop in to one of its dispensaries or give them a call to discuss which products are right for you.
Franny’s Farmacy currently offers the following product lines: Tinctures, Healing Topicals, Women’s Line, Men’s Line, Skin Care Line, Smokable Line, Edible Line and Pet line.