New hemp business looks to call St. James home

Updated: Jul. 25, 2019 at 10:41 PM CDT
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ST. JAMES, Minn. (KEYC) - A new hemp and CBD Oil business is hoping to call St. James home by taking over the former Overson Lumber Company building and getting a head start on the growing industry.

Native Girl Farms is an up and coming hemp business that is looking to finalize the purchase of the building at the end of August.

“We’re very fortunate in that we had a building that fit exactly what they wanted and what they needed to take their small industry that they’ve already done a couple test spots of to move it into a major manufacturing facility,” said St. James’ Interim City Manager Joe McCabe.

Co-owner Mat Willner said the town is welcoming.

“My phone has been going off pretty well for the last three or four days and I’m excited to see how eager the town of St. James is and there’s a lot of people looking for work and that was actually something we were worried about, ‘Were we going to have enough workers for the size of the operations we would eventually ramp up to?’ and that worry is gone,” said co-owner of Native Girl Farms Mat Willner.

“And I think you find in small communities that the workforce is excellent. They’re dedicated individuals, they know what work is, they know how to show up on time and they know that if there is extra time, they have to stay late, it’s no big deal. They will do what needs to get done to get the job done,” said McCabe.

Native Girl Farms will be adding to local businesses, helping keep the small town, small business dream alive.

“All of our contractors we’re looking local, we have a commitment that way, the city took a chance on us so we’re absolutely looking to reciprocate,” said Willner.

“With our pilot program and over the next few years building greenhouses in partnerships with other farmers, I think this could be huge for southern Minnesota and I could not be happier,” said Willner.

The level for commercial hemp cannot exceed 0.3 percent THC.

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