Harvesting Hemp: From Seed to Sale

As more companies enter the crowded cannabis market, a local business seeks to differentiate itself.

Vicki ImOberstag with sons Luke and Paul ImOberstag planting the last of 7,000 seedlings by hand.

CBD products have flooded the marketplace lately as consumers seek natural alternatives to pharmaceuticals to help them cope with anxiety, depression, chronic pain and other maladies. But in this rapidly growing and unregulated industry, misinformation abounds. It’s a “buyer beware” marketplace, and there are no guarantees the product you’re buying will actually provide the benefits it promises, while the origin of its contents is often unknown. 

A new business in Banner, Illinois, hopes to not only capitalize on the market’s potential, but educate people to lessen the confusion. “The consumer needs to understand how to use CBD and how it works in the body,” explains Paul ImOberstag, president of Banner Harvest. “We are a family-owned business that makes all of our products in-house from raw ingredients, and we process and package everything right here in Banner. We’re delivering a farm-to-table experience.”

A Trusted Source
Banner Harvest operates on the property of ImOberstag’s uncle, former Peoria mayor and businessman Bud Grieves. He and his wife Alice live on the 400 acres they purchased in Banner in 1998. “I wanted to convert the property into a conservation showpiece… to demonstrate sustainability and unique water management capabilities,” Grieves explains. “It’s roughly equal acres of native hardwood trees, prairie grasses and restored wetlands.”

While he initially had no plans to farm the property, Grieves recognized an untapped opportunity with this new venture. “I had 10 acres of virgin ground that had no chemicals applied for over 20 years, and I had the machinery and barns to plant, harvest and store product,” he explains. With the addition of his nephew and other family members, he had the combined skillset needed to make it happen. Read the rest of the article here.

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