Plans for the new BCE.

In our home state of Vermont, Kria is leading a group of investors and activists in creating a Botanical Center of Excellence. 

We see an opportunity to create an economy built on Vermont’s long tradition of cooperative, community-based agriculture. The Vermont brand – high quality, local, artisanal – gives us not only a competitive advantage over other states, but it also allows us to grow an economy that avoids the downsides of Big Agriculture that we see in other states – namely, corporatized, concentrated ownership of business up and down the agricultural value chain. 

The focus of the Vermont Botanical Center of Excellence is plant-based therapies. A new thriving economy is growing around the cultivation and application of botanical solutions for physical and mental health. Americans, and Vermonters in particular, are increasingly interested in alternatives to Big Pharma, and rediscovering the power of plants. 

In partnership with the founders of Seventh Generation, Gardener's Supply, and the ground-breaking Intervale Center, which has embodied an entrepreneurial and ecological change spirit for more than 30 years in Vermont, Kria is helping to create a Vermont Botanical Center of Excellence that will:

-  Provide a mix of incubator space for agripreneurial ventures in the health and wellness space to take seed.
-  Host academic research that educates and provides the necessary data to demonstrate plant-based excellence.
-  Serve as a hub of product development –  from consumer growing kits to innovative all-year commercial growing solutions.
-  Include an R&D and demonstration center dedicated to improving cannabis strains for the home and dispensary, as well as the testing and processing of cannabinoid extracts and other therapeutic plants.

We’re also innovating new products.  One of the most intriguing developments to come out of states that have legalized hemp cultivation is the growth in popularity of a compound derived from the cannabis plant called cannabidiol, or CBD. CBD is one of 80+ cannabinoids in cannabis. Unlike its more well-known counterpart compound, THC, CBD has no psychoactive effect on humans: it doesn’t get you high. 

What it does provide, however, are multiple benefits – anti-nausea, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and antidepressant. Consumers worldwide are catching on.  Sales are increasing dramatically everywhere as CBD is infused into everything from beer and wine to dermal patches and chewing gum. Many of these CBD products contain no THC but are nonetheless very popular in dispensaries and retail stores. 

To capitalize on this growing market – which is still in its infancy on the East Coast – Kria is investing in a CBD hemp-growing project. We will be growing thousands of hemp plants across the state under a permit from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, with plans to extract the CBD for infusion into value-added products. 

Much as we are envisioning an agricultural ecosystem around plant-based therapies in Vermont, so are we committed to be on the cutting edge of CBD production and excellence for New England. 

Kria's pilot hemp crop. 2016