NEWBURYPORT — While many Massachusetts hemp farmers and processors are struggling to stay afloat because of a recent state ban on many cannabidiol products, the city’s first CBD manufacturing business has its eyes on a bright future in the industry. The Healing Rose at 23 Hale St. is a hemp processor licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural
NEWBURYPORT — While many Massachusetts hemp farmers and processors are struggling to stay afloat because of a recent state ban on many cannabidiol products, the city’s first CBD manufacturing business has its eyes on a bright future in the industry.
The Healing Rose at 23 Hale St. is a hemp processor licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources that handcrafts CBD-infused body care and oils using only USDA certified organic essential oils, carrier oils, butters, waxes and herbs.
The company, founded in Andover by Laura Beonher and Zachary McInnis, offers a variety of products such as salves, massage and roll-on oils, lip balms and bath soaks, which they claim provide relief from various types of pain and discomfort.
But in June, just two days after The Healing Rose moved into its Newburyport location, state agricultural officials suddenly banned Massachusetts hemp farmers from creating or selling all edible CBD-infused products.
The news shocked many hemp business owners who, just days into their growing season, were told they would be unable to sell their products as planned
“It was the timing more so — it was right after growing season had started,” McInnis said. “Everyone’s got their seeds in the ground and then they can’t grow for all the things they wanted to grow for.”
Beonher said the ban has had disastrous implications for many of their peers in the industry who now have massive amounts of products stocked up that they are unable to sell.
“There are farmers with thousands of pounds of hemp and they are freaking out,” Beonher said. “They don’t know what to do and they’re just sitting on it right now.”
Beonher explained that she and McInnis had hopes for The Healing Rose to also begin selling edible products, but their plans were cut short by the state’s ban.
Luckily, Beonher said she predicted there would be problems with edible CBD regulations, so she insisted on keeping the company focused on topical products.
“We were moving into a bigger space and hoping to expand into different types of products, but we had to stick with topicals now and quadruple our overhead,” she said. “We’re super grateful to be here, but you have to be ready to pivot in this industry. The universe can be funny like that.”
Beonher emphasized that the company wants to be known nationally for having “the highest quality topicals out there.” She said while some companies and retailers are still making and selling edible CBD, The Healing Rose is complying with the law to not risk losing its manufacturing license.
“It’s frustrating that they’re coming down on food like that, especially since it’s sold everywhere and they’re not really enforcing it,” Beonher said. “It really just hurts local processors and farms that will stay compliant and not risk losing their license.”
Beonher and McInnis hope the regulations will change in the near future, but in the meantime, they are taking action to accelerate change in the industry by joining the Northeast Sustainable Hemp Association to advocate for clearer CBD policy.
Until the regulations change, Beonher and McInnis said they are focused on growing their brand, hoping to be known for the quality of their products.
“Everything’s handcrafted with love,” Beonher said.
Staff writer Jack Shea can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 978-961-3154. Follow him on Twitter @iamjackshea.