Hemp, CBD oil processor begins in Penn Yan

John Christensen
The Chronicle Express

Freeze drying and CO2 extraction process yields "golden oil" from hemp plants

Document Reprocessors designed these 45-foot mobile freeze drying units to be used all over the country.

PENN YAN – A newly formed company, NorthEast Extracts, on Powell Lane in Penn Yan, is celebrating the arrival of its new IES 2-200 C02 Extractor capable of processing 2,000 pounds of hemp biomass daily, using carbon dioxide extraction method yielding "Golden CBD Oil."

The machine's manufacturer, Isolate Extraction Systems in Louisville, Colorado, says this is the largest industrial size C02 extractor available in the world, and is the fifth of this design produced by IES.

A large transformer was also installed to support the new extractors.

CBD oil is extracted from hemp biomass, legalized under the 2018 Farm Act. CBD oil is currently widely used as topicals, tinctures, and ointments; and once approved by Congress (expected in the fall) as a nutritional supplement, CBD will have a much larger market in the food and beverage markets, estimated by Nielsen Survey to be 10 times the size of the current CBD market. Some states have already approved CBD for infusion into food and drink products.

The reported health benefits of CBD include soothing aches and pains, sleep aids, stress relief, etc., and have been touted as a "miracle" for many. CBD is also approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat epileptic seizures, and provide other positive medical use in humans and animals. In studies, arthritic dogs have been seen to exhibit remarkable improvement in their movement after using CBD.

The extractors themselves were just part of the large shipment of required equipment from Isolate Extraction Systems in Louisville, Colo. The extractor is the largest available in the industry.

In January 2020, company President Eric Lundquist was asked by a local farmer if his company, Document Reprocessors, could dry hemp in their vacuum freeze drying chambers, normally used to dry wet books and documents since the company was founded in 1979. Within 60 days, Lundquist's team had repurposed their three 45-foot, mobile chambers to dry 800,000 pounds of field hemp. NorthEast Extracts LLC was founded this year to process this specialized crop.

In July 2020, midway through the drying cycle at Document Reprocessors, the farmer's CBD processor went out of business, leaving 200,000 pounds of freeze-dried biomass that still to be extracted. Lundquist had a patent on the C02 extraction process he developed when he did work with the Library of Congress in the 1980s. Lundquist said "Let's look into hemp processing," and  determined "C02 was definitely the way to go."

Now with the freeze drying and CO2 extraction under one roof in Penn Yan, there is a new processor for the hemp growers in the Northeast, one that will be able to provide "golden oil" for the existing CBD market as well as the new food and beverage market.

Company President Eric Lundquist displays the new CO2 extractor purchased to extract CBD oil from freeze dried hemp.