Vertical Wellness, GenCanna expand partnership with new biomass tolling, drying deal

Two large-scale Kentucky hemp companies have expanded their strategic alliance by adding a toll processing and drying technology swap to the deal.

GenCanna Acquisition Corp., formerly GenCanna Global, a seed-to-sale hemp and CBD company based in Winchester, Kentucky, and Vertical Wellness, a Cadiz, Kentucky-based vertically integrated hemp and cannabinoid health and wellness brand firm, said Friday in a joint news release that they have entered a biomass tolling agreement.

The deal states that GenCanna will deliver more than 10 million pounds of hemp biomass grown by its network of farmers to Vertical Wellness for processing.

Vertical Wellness will also acquire GenCanna’s proprietary industrial hemp drying technology in a move to “consolidate and create larger economies of scale” as part of its efforts to meet the needs of both working with GenCanna and its own customer base.

“One of our key strategic focuses for 2020 and beyond has been to be a resource for the entire hemp industry, by utilizing our operational know-how and scale infrastructure,” said Vertical Wellness CEO and chairman Smoke Wallin.

“Vertical Wellness is on track to process a record amount of high-quality hemp in 2020 when we combine the GenCanna project with other regional farmers and our own biomass.”

The Vertical Wellness campus already houses a large Vulcan dryer that can dry more than eight tons of hemp per hour, and the company is acquiring a second Vulcan dryer. The company estimates that adding GenCanna’s drying technology will allow it to establish a drying capacity of one million pounds per week.

“We are excited to further our existing relationship with Vertical Wellness, which has proven to be a strong processing partner for our business,” said GenCanna CEO Andrew Barnett, who was recently appointed to lead the company following the completion of selling its assets to New York-based private direct lender MGG Investment Group, and emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.