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City Roots partnering to create industrial hemp company

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City Roots farm is partnering with industrial hemp company Brackish Solutions to create Cannetics, an industrial hemp seed and genetics company that supplies permitted hemp growers.

Cannetics, designated a responsible grower of hemp by the S.C. Department of Agriculture, will operate 45,000 square feet of greenhouses at City Roots’ eight-acre campus in the Rosewood area to produce seeds, certified organic clones and transplants. Cannetics, City Roots and Brackish Solutions hope to employ more than 40 workers in the next 24 months, according to a news release.

“This is an exciting time for industrial hemp in South Carolina,” City Roots co-owner Eric McClam said in the release. “By providing permitted growers with a quality source for seed and starts, as well as resources and services to successfully grow them, Cannetics joins statewide efforts to harness the potential of a new, viable cash crop for South Carolina agriculture.”

The Cannetics team, left to right: Robbie McClam, Josh Crowder, Eric McClam, Mark McClam, Jason Eargle, Cole Thompson and Robert Moore. (Photo/Provided) In May 2017, the state legalized industrial hemp farming, and in December 2017, the agricultural department selected 20 farmers for a pilot hemp-growing program. That program has been expanded this year, with 40 farmers receiving permits to grow up to 40 acres of hemp.

Cannetics aims to help provide a cash crop to state farmers and bring jobs to rural communities, according to the release. Hemp’s commercial applications include textiles, apparel, food, paper and insulation, while it also has medical uses in the form of cannabidiol (CBD) oil.

“The Southeastern United States is poised for rapid expansion in industrial hemp cultivation and commercialization,” Brackish Solutions founding partner Jason Eargle said. “Forming Cannetics with City Roots provides a unique opportunity for South Carolina hemp-based agribusiness to get ahead and lead the way in the Southeast.”

Eargle said Cannetics plans to expand to “multiple locations in the Carolinas.”

While Cannetics will provide hemp seeds, transplants and clones to permitted growers in North Carolina and South Carolina and eventually throughout the Southeast, Brackish Solutions will buy back hemp crops and offer post-harvest CBD extraction and formulation services, according to the release.   

Cannetics will also provide growing, planting, cultivation and transport services for industrial hemp operations and has developed a “Seed to Sale” app featuring greenhouse plans, procedures and harvesting information. The app was created in collaboration with the University of South Carolina’s business school and will launch this spring.  

City Roots, established in 2009, grows organic field crops, flowers and herbs and supplies area restaurants as well as regional food distributors.  

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