When Fred Hagen, CEO of Bensalem-based Hagen Construction wakes up every day, he has to start thinking about the status of nearly 60 multi-million-dollar commercial developments, hospitals, and government projects.
And yet on his daily "to-do" list -- which also includes myriad charity, civic, and arts engagements -- the Sugar Bottom Hemp Company, a Furlong, PA-based farm, occupies an outsized measure of his mind share. For Hagen, quietly observing and listening has been a big part of his track record of success.
With all the sound and fury about the opportunities in the emerging legal hemp business, Hagen took note but avoided any of the big plays that were offered to him.
But when the 2018 Farm Bill changed federal policy regarding hemp, including the removal of hemp from the Controlled Substances Act and the consideration of hemp as an agricultural product due to the limit of no more than 0.3% THC to grow hemp, Hagen put the substantial land of the Sugar Bottom horse farm to work growing the once-ubiquitous cash crop.
Throughout history dating back to the rising cultures of the Mesopotamian Valley, Egypt, and Biblical Palestine, through the age of exploration and our own colonial period and the industrial revolution, Hemp has been prized for its oils as fuel, medicinal benefits, and religious rituals, as well as heavy-duty ropes used in shipping and industry and converted to textiles for durable work clothing.
Once committed Hagen knew he needed expertise and a clarity of vision to give this agricultural and production business a strong start, a consistent stride, and a winning strategy.
Sugar Bottom Hemp operating partner Stephenie Harris grew up on a farm just over the hill—where her parents still live —brings over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur in the wine and spirits industry to the business.
Her experience and talent for product development and marketing give Harris a roadmap for Sugar Bottom Hemp to create products that provide the desired relief, pure ingredients and showcase the quality of hemp grown on the farm.
And while many of the early Gold Rush players in the surging Hemp trade have learned hard and costly lessons, Hagen and Harris have a smart strategy that puts their finished products up there with therapeutic CBD and CBG offerings in the US.
In addition to the hemp products - including edibles - they currently offer, Harris is planning a new CBD-infused carbonated Kombucha Tea which the farm will launch this year.
Key to the success of Sugar Bottom Hemp is the authenticity and direct lineage of every product to the crop that grows at this Bucks County farm. Unlike THC heavy cannabis being used for recreational and medical applications which can only be sold in the state where the original plants are grown, CBD production has been completely nationally commoditized. The Sugar Bottom Hemp Co is proud to produce an artisan product in substantial volume.
"Our care and attention in creating products are equally important to how we grew the hemp on the farm," says Harris. "Each product has limited ingredients and is designed for maximum effectiveness with only the necessary organic ingredients added. We rigorously test our products before releasing them through personal use, verified by third-party testing for Our Certificate of Analysis (COA's).”
All Sugar Bottom Hemp products are the result of the industry best practices in terms of seed strains, planting, nurturing, growing, and processing.
Marilyn Johnson is a freelance food and travel writer covering the food and drink scene of Philadelphia, South Jersey, and beyond. Food news: firstname.lastname@example.org. Travel tips: email@example.com.
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