WINCHESTER, Ky. – Atalo Holdings Inc. and GenCanna Global USA jointly announced Wednesday that the companies have entered into a strategic partnership that will align the companies’ cultivation operations, including an investment from GenCanna. The partnership will create the largest vertically integrated hemp-derived CBD production, processing and distribution alliance in Kentucky.
“The hemp CBD industry is growing exponentially and presents a real opportunity for rural economic development, with tremendous enthusiasm from consumers,” said Atalo CEO William Hilliard. “We’ve been neighbors and partners with GenCanna in the Hemp Research Campus since 2015. This partnership is a natural evolution that will enable both companies to focus on best-in-class operations and will provide excellent economies of scale.”
The 147-acre Hemp Research Campus, in Winchester, Ky., is home to both Atalo and GenCanna’s vertical supply chain operations, and now employs more than 100 people. The partnership will provide industry leadership, proprietary hemp genetics, proven agronomic systems and expanding processing capacity that meets or exceeds Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), as well as the highest FDA standards for premium-quality bulk and finished goods. This strategic partnership will unlock new supply chain efficiencies, which is critical as the next year will represent a significant expansion for both companies from thousands to tens of thousands of acres.
“Atalo is revered in Kentucky for good reason,” said Matty Mangone-Miranda, CEO of GenCanna. “As seventh generation family farmers, this is personal for them, as it is for us. They have been a leader in forging a sustainable economy for Kentucky farmers, and together we will strengthen Kentucky’s position as the nation’s first, best place for hemp cultivation. This is in no small way due to Atalo’s seasoned leadership team and world-class farming network. They are competitors, friends and now great allies. Together, we intend to be careful stewards as we shatter expectations and return Kentucky to its historic position as the hemp capital of the world.”
Demand in the undersupplied hemp CBD market is expected to explode with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. This partnership will be a seminal step in the nascent industry, which, according to the Brightfield Group, is expected to reach $22 billion by 2022. According to Hilliard, “This partnership will allow the combined companies to attract the best and brightest farmers with low-risk, proven agronomic solutions, and a long-term, reliable crop marketing program.”
“This is the first step of many we will be taking together. I believe in Atalo. I believe in their leadership. And I have always believed in Kentucky,” said Mangone-Miranda. “This is part of the promise we made years ago to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. The hemp market is booming, and together we will ensure our farming partners take part in the market’s success.”