4:21 Hemp Company: Boone County’s First Hemp Farm Looks to Grow Its Operations
A little more than a year ago, I produced an in-depth segment on the passing of SB 516 and the local hemp and CBD industries. With the passing of the 2018 Farm Act, in addition to SB 516, a new industry was reborn after removing hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act.’
After learning that local residents Perry Holder, his daughter, Elizabeth, and their business partner, Alonzo Calloway, have a licensed hemp farm in Zionsville, along U.S. 421, I was compelled to learn more about their operation and enlighten my readers about the advancements in an industry that was prohibited under the Controlled Substances Act in 1971 but has since been overruled by the 2018 Farm Act.
Indy Hemp Company/4:21 Hemp Company
The Holders and Calloway have been developing their brands, Indy Hemp Company and 4:21 Hemp Company, while growing hemp at their grow location—the first hemp farm in Boone County since the passing of the 2018 Farm Act.
After retiring early from Allison Transmission at age 52, Perry shared that he started a landscape company here in Zionsville. After being diagnosed with thyroid cancer, going through surgery and the necessary treatments, Perry decided that he wanted to give his landscaping company another go.
“Through my landscaping company and my church [St. Francis In-The-Fields Episcopal Church], I met Alonzo. He and I have had health issues and had tried CBD, so while we were running Zionsville Landscaping, we were working on this [grow] property, and Alonzo built our Indy Hemp line and is also building our 4:21 line.”
Perry’s daughter, Elizabeth, has joined the team after experiencing the benefits of CBD as a sufferer of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
“I have a lot of symptoms that go with PCOS, and those symptoms have gotten better from CBD and through exercising and eating right,” Elizabeth shared. “I just want to help people and want them to know that they’re not alone and CBD can actually help. It’s pure and not like opioids or anything like that. It’s helped me get healthier, and that’s why I wanted to get involved with Indy Hemp and 4:21 companies.”
Alonzo shared, “After 2018, it changed everything on a federal level, and Indiana started a pilot program for growing hemp. We decided it was time to get into [the industry] and build the Indy Hemp Company, and as Perry said, we are now building the 4:21 Hemp Company as well. Everything is coming out of the property here, so it’s grown here, and then it’s extracted at NXT Labs in Westfield, and we work with its owners, Toby and Wesley ‘Wes’ Holcomb. It’s been three years since we started this, and our brands are starting to get a lot of exposure. This year, we’re Purdue [University Hemp Project] compliant, so things have been going really good.”
As they continue to grow, both in a literal and figurative sense, Alonzo shared that they will look to work with some other Indiana hemp farmers and/or look at commercial space for an indoor growing facility to expand the Indy Hemp Company, but the harvested crop that makes the 4:21 Hemp Company CBD products will always be grown from its single-acre grow site in Zionsville, which they plan to expand next planting season.
Extracting the Biomass to Make Pure CBD Oil
The Holders and Calloway emphasized that having a strong partner in the extraction process is critical to not only the end-product results but also to the overall success of their businesses. The trio has found such a partnership with the Holcombs, who own and operate NXT Labs.
“Once we have dried the hemp and shucked the hemp [removing leaves and flowers from the stems], we take the biomass [from the shucked hemp] to NXT, a USDA-certified lab,” Alonzo said. “We pay them for the extraction and for doing our formulation, filling our bottles and so on and so forth. From there, we market and sell our products to the consumer.”
Toby Holcomb added, “Wes and I started researching the extraction business in 2017, and we actually started in the Boulder, Colorado area. We decided to build our facility in Westfield once we were confident that the 2018 Farm Act was going to be passed.”
What makes NXT Labs different and able to produce a higher-quality product than other labs is all in their extraction process.
“We’re a [USDA-certified] CO2 extraction lab,” Wes explained. “No harsh solvents ever touch the material. It’s a closed-loop system, low pressure and selective targeting CO2 extraction, meaning that we actually target the cannabinoids and terpenes, and we have consumer-ready oil right out of our machine. We get the purest form of oil that you can get with our extraction equipment.”
Toby shared that for smaller growers like Indy Hemp/4:21 Hemp companies, they can turn their product around in about three days. For larger growers, it can be two to three weeks, and if they create a finished white-label product [CBD tinctures and oils] for the growers, it can take up to a month for the product to be turned around.
Looking ahead at the next growing season, which typically begins in early May, Perry shared that the group has plans to incorporate an on-site market with flowers and vegetables with the assistance of Perry’s wife, Priscilla, and friends. Their goal is to sell honey, flowers, vegetables and 4:21 Hemp Company products from the farm while expanding the Indy Hemp Company footprint more statewide.
“Indiana’s really come a long way within these last two years of growing,” Alonzo said. “This upcoming year, we want to start the market and use the mint, lavender and other things grown here at the farm in our products. That’s a big thing with Indy Hemp and 4:21—we’re definitely in control, from seed to shelf, of our products.”
In addition to the market, the trio plans on hosting their Indy Hemp Fest again, in hopes that the pandemic will be under control and restrictions will have eased up.
“We also give tours, so as soon as the growth season is in full effect next year, we welcome anyone who’s interested to come out and see the seedlings once they’re transplanted,” Alonzo said. “I’d say mid-July is a good time to see the plants and right before harvest [October], when you can see the plants in their flowering stage.”
To contact the team and/or to learn more about Indy Hemp Company, please visit indyhempcompany.com. While the team is developing their website for 4:21 Hemp Company, you can follow and like them on social media: 4:21 Hemp Company on Facebook and 421hempcompany on Instagram.
To learn more about NXT Labs and its services, visit nxtlabsllc.com.