Amid a rebirth of industrial hemp, a local business is sharing details of a trade many people are not aware of.
Acela CBD, a new business focusing on alternative health products will be holding an open house of its facilities on Progress Way in Maysville on April 14. Karen Swolsky, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Acela CBD said the open house is a way to educate the public on what the business will be offering to the community.
“We just decided to open up our doors and show the community what we’re doing with industrial hemp and how we extract it and our lab,” she said.
Many of the products Acela CBD offers on its website include canabidol, or CBD, oils and extract created from industrial hemp.
Historically, the first hemp was grown in Kentucky in 1775, in Danville on Clark’s Run Creek. Early settlers in the state brought hemp to the area, along with flax and wool, which were considered the best options for fabric in a region where cotton could not grow very well.
Counties producing the most hemp were located in the Bluegrass region of the state and were either near or along the Kentucky River. Fayette, Woodford, Shelby, Clark, Scott, Bourbon, Jessamine, Mason, Franklin, Boyle and Lincoln proved to be the largest hemp-producing counties during the 19th century.
Maysville had become the state’s second largest producer of hemp products, which included bags, rope and twine, during the 1830s.
The Old Hemp Warehouse once stood at the corner of Sutton and West Third streets. The building was constructed sometime in the 1840s and later became an American Legion post. The post was eventually demolished. The Mason County Justice Center was built in its place in 1993.
Hemp production declined during the Civil War. Although some hemp was still grown in Kentucky at that time, the cotton market in the deep South, and, therefore, the market for cordage and bagging, was cut off.
Hemp however did made a comeback during the Spanish-American War and again during World War I and World War II. The production of hemp then became illegal during the latter part of the 20th century.
Originally from Cincinnati, Swolsky said she had no idea of the close history hemp has had with Maysville’s economy, and was taken by surprise when she discovered it. Such history, along with the long lineage of agriculture indicative of this area, has garnered attention from other locations.
“It’s a really interesting thing — people from all over the United States and Canada have been reaching out to us and coming to visit with us because they’re interested in Kentucky hemp,” she said.
On April 14, Swolsky said the public will be able to view the whole facility of Acela CBD, including three separate tours of the business’ laboratory. Refreshments will also be provided as well as political speakers who will voice their opinions on industrial hemp.
The open house will begin from 1-5 p.m., at Acela CBD on 1125 Progress Way in Maysville.