business

Taming The Wild West Of CBD Production

The second annual Vermont Hemp Fest at Burke Mountain, produced by Heady Vermont.
Cindy Kleh 4 Apr 2019

Editor’s Note: This is a business partner spotlight.

ICON Relishes the “Hemp Middleman” Role

When the federal government reclassified hemp from a controlled drug to an agricultural commodity last December, it created a gold rush of entrepreneurs who recognized an untapped industry of infinite possibilities and profits.

Vermont jumped on this opportunity six years ago by legalizing hemp, so the Green Mountain State is ahead of the pack in producing high-quality, heirloom-level CBD. Farmland across the state is now being converted to fields of hemp. But in the frenzy to cultivate hemp and produce new hemp products, where will all those tons of harvested hemp plants get processed? How does a farmer choose a processor who can guarantee a consistent and legal end product?

“I want to put the Farm back in Pharma by reaching out to farmers and forming solid relationships. I not only want to be the middleman for processing their crop but also help educate and mentor them,” says Rodi, “as they dive head first into this new agricultural industry.”

Farmers who are about to break ground on a sizable investment this spring need to already be lined up with a processing plant that has a proven track record in extraction and lab testing, hopefully run by scientists with a deep understanding of chemistry, physics, agriculture and manufacturing.

Dr. Fabio Rodi, founder and CEO of ICON, owns a sizable hemp-processing plant in Springfield, Vermont that can process up to 20,000 pounds per month. The medical doctor has been a trailblazer in the research and development of oil extraction machines for 10 years. He started out by buying extraction machines and modifying them to fit his exact purposes when CBD-extraction machines were just starting to come on the scene.  

Strict Adherence to Standards

Dr. Rodi’s medical and lab knowledge insures that standards are carefully met in terms of sanitation and testing. ICON strictly follows all current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), and uses extraction methods that are generally recognized as safe (GRAS). The entire hemp plant is used during processing, so there is no waste product.

The different methods of extraction are all organic – ethanol-based without harsh chemicals. The different methods used to extract include but are not limited to hemp oil, olive oil, and ethanol.

Utilizing random sampling, testing is conducted at six stages of the process from crop to final product. This creates a consistent final CBD product with THC at or below legal levels (.03% dry weight in Vermont). These sterile, science-based standard operating procedures keep molds and bacteria from getting into the product at any stage.

Putting the Farm Back in Pharma

“I want to put the Farm back in Pharma by reaching out to farmers and forming solid relationships. I not only want to be the middleman for processing their crop but also help educate and mentor them,” says Rodi, “as they dive head first into this new agricultural industry. They need the security of quality control with no possibility of FDA recalls; they need the security that their investment will bring a high return. The exact chemical percentages in the final CBD product can make or break that investment.”  

Rodi has a high level of respect for Vermont farmers, knowing that they are some of the most experienced in the country for their organic approaches, which is why he has such passion to share his processes and knowledge with them on this new journey.

Even with innovative support from the state on these new processes, Rodi still wants to ensure that farmers understand that they need to know genetics, as well as all of the rules, laws and regulations pertaining to hemp. Lab testing can help save them from a disaster harvest, which would be the equivalent of large fields of hemp that test too high in THC content.  

“I am excited,” says Rodi, “about the medical uses of CBD and happy to be in an organic, healthy field of medicine. I will continue to focus on the healthiness of hemp rather than the high of marijuana, even after pot sales are legalized in Vermont.”

Despite the explosion in his business and offers to franchise his plant in other locations around Vermont, Rodi keeps ICON’s research and development front and center. Every week, he devotes time and his own money into finding better procedures of extraction and new uses for hemp products. “We’re never too busy to hold back on research and development,” says Rodi. “We are constantly testing and pushing ourselves.”

ICON can process raw hemp flower to CBD oil, buy bulk amounts of hemp, and/or post-process into any white label brand if so desired. The company also offers networking and consulting services.

“I am excited,” says Rodi, “about the medical uses of CBD and happy to be in an organic, healthy field of medicine. I will continue to focus on the healthiness of hemp rather than the high of marijuana, even after pot sales are legalized in Vermont.”  

For more information about ICON Processors, visit www.iconprocessors.com. To schedule processing please call 239-537-4056 or email them: admin@iconprocessors.com.

If you are Heady Vermont member and process with ICON Processors, they will donate 5% of the profits back to Heady Vermont.

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