2020 - Blue Skies and Upsides
A year in review from Blue Sky CEO, Andrew Potter.
It's been a tumultuous year for the hemp and cannabis industry as a whole, but despite the turmoil, Blue Sky has punched through, hitting and exceeding many significant milestones that we can be very proud of. We've secured a significant capital raise under challenging marketing conditions, completed the build-out of our CBD extraction facility - and, with the receipt of our Health Canada Standard Processing License, our CBD operations are officially open for business.
CBD - Licence in Hand
After a long journey, we received our Health Canada Standard Processing License on Sept 4,2020 and began CBD extraction operations immediately and are currently taking orders from Canadian LP's– a testament to the team’s high level of preparation. We are yielding very high-quality crude oil, CBD distillate and isolate with consistently high potency, and good sensory profiles.
Translation; it works, it looks good and it smells great too!
Using the Whole Plant
The start-up of our CBD line is an important step towards our journey of 'whole plant utilization' and it is important that our customers and shareholders understand why. While there are other companies that extract CBD and produce hemp food products, there are none (that we are aware of) that have our integrated approach. We use broad acre farmed biomass (stalk, grain, flower), sort these into individual value streams then convert these into high quality and high margin products - delivering quality hemp foods, fibre (coming soon), and CBD at a lower cost to our customers and to our planet.
We've invested in our fist-of-its kind, end-to-end hemp processing facilities - for food and now CBD. Next up - hemp fibre decortication.
Here's how we do it:
On the food side, we've had a very strong year with Blue Skies ahead - as they say. Or at least as we say. If you buy and eat hemp regularly, there is a good chance you will be eating Blue Sky Hemp in the coming year, with the addition of private label manufacturing of hemp food products, several unique hemp ingredients coming to market and with many large-scale food distributors and producers sourcing their hemp through Blue Sky - for good reason!
- Quality; we adhere to the most rigorous QA in the business
- Price; our commitment to whole plant utilization gives us an incredible price advantage
- Sustainability; in our farming practices, and in our commitment to using every bit of goodness from the whole hemp plant.
In the year ahead, we plan to offer our food customers:
- Private label manufacturing of hemp food products
- New differentiated hemp ingredients
- Food innovation & consulting services
With operations ramping up, CBD coming online and new sales opportunities on our doorstep, our team has been growing in stride.
Ben brings over 17 years of experience as both a food scientist & sales director within the food & fine ingredients industry. His rare combination of technical food formulation and R&D expertise combined with deep relationships within the ingredients sector enable Ben to add real value for our customers and for our team.
Ryan has been working with BSHV as a project manager since inception and rounds out the SLT with a complimentary skill-set. Ryan's specific accountabilities include project design, project management, developing and monitoring maintenance of assets, and strengthening BSHV’s Health & Safety plans.
On the operations side, we have recently added 4 new team members to operate the CBD extraction business.
This year also marked a more personal move. My family relocated from Calgary to Saskatoon during the summer to provide more hands-on leadership at our ever-expanding facility. The move has been an extremely positive experience. But ask me again after 6 more months of winter.
With a tumultuous 2020 now behind us, we are focussed on making F2021 another break-out year for BSHV. Our key priorities over the next 12 months are as follows:
- CBD Isolate Infrastructure – BSHV recently sanctioned the purchase of a CBD isolate reactor. This investment will allow us to produce 99% pure CBD in a powder form that is very sought after for exports, as well as used in various edible products and pharmaceuticals.
- Hempseed Oil Line – Bringing our hempseed oil line in house will allow us to control costs and ensure the quality and consistency aligns with Blue Sky’s quality standards.
- Genetics – BSHV has joined consortium led by a very well-known seed breeder, and backed by Health Canada to advance plant genetics to deliver consistent, high potency CBD varietals.
- Decortication – BSHV is committed to our model of ‘whole plant utilization’ as we believe this provides a unique and sustainable low-cost platform. BSHV will be adding decortication to our existing RFL infrastructure to process the waste fibre from our processing facilities. We are currently exploring a number of exciting opportunities to transform hemp fibre into anything from building materials to textiles. Watch this space!
Bring on 2021
In conclusion, we thank our team, our customers, shareholders and anyone who made it to the end of this letter - for your continued support.
While the last 3 years have given us all a few grey hairs, we are extremely proud of the company we have built and remain as passionate and confident about the future of this company (and the future of hemp) as we did the day it was started.
If we have anything to do with it, 2021 will be a better world, fuelled by hemp.
CEO & Co-Founder
Blue Sky Hemp Ventures