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Portage hemp farm dreaming big

Mirror photo by Walt Frank / Andy Golden (left) and his father, Vince Golden, check out some hemp plants at Innovative Extracts LLC, near Portage.

PORTAGE — The owners of Innovative Extracts LLC (www.ie-cbd.com) have big dreams.

“We want to be the hometown company everyone knows, like Sheetz. We want people to know us nationally. I think it is a realistic goal, but it will take a few years,” said Andy Golden, who founded the business in early 2019 with his father Vince Golden and Matt Sinosky.

The business became part of Golden Farms following the passage of the Farm Bill in December 2018, which made industrial hemp and its by-products legal nationally.

“We grew our first crop last summer, started processing it in October, but we didn’t sell any retail products until Christmas time. We grow our own hemp, process it at our extraction facility and retail our own brand,” Andy Golden said. “We were looking for another way to make our small farm profitable.”

Sinosky said there was an “encouraging” market for their products.

“It showed signs it would profitable. The research we did showed CBD is very expensive. We wanted to provide a product that would be beneficial to people and we could do it at an affordable price. We wanted to help people and make it affordable,” Sinosky said.

Their products include a full spectrum of CBD tinctures which contain THC: two types of muscle creams — both heating and cooling — gummies with melatonin to help you sleep and various pet products, such as tinctures for dogs and dog treats, Andy Golden said.

The tinctures are the most popular products.

“We have one called Farmhouse Blend, it has a natural hemp taste to it, is very smooth. It is a liquid you take under your tongue. People take it for anxiety, pain, and a sleep aid and to help circulation,” Andy Golden said.

Both Andy and his father have used CBD products.

“I took it for sleep. I get a more restful sleep at night and wake up and feel refreshed,” Andy Golden said.

“Last March, I couldn’t make a fist. I started taking it, one day later I could close my fingers. If I miss a day, they stiffen up again,” Vince Golden said.

The owners have received positive feedback.

“There is a wide spectrum of what people are using it for, pain, anxiety, muscle problems. How this benefits people is all over the board,” Vince Golden said.

Andy Golden describes their customer base as “people looking for a medical fix without a prescription.”

“They are people who have health issues and want to improve their health, they are people who are health conscious,” Vince Golden said. “We can’t say this cures anything, but it does reduce the symptoms people are having.”

Innovative Extracts products can be purchased at their farm store and online. Their products are also available at the Chempistry Store in Altoona.

“Their products are above most of the national brands out there,” said Chempistry Store owner Crystal Miller. “Their products are phenomenal. I was quite impressed. They have blown the national brands out of the water.”

Innovative Extracts established the first extraction and post-processing laboratory in their area. All products are third- party tested and QR coded.

“There is no other place like this in Pennsylvania. Some farms have their own products but no one does it from seed to sale like we do,” Sinosky said.

The first year of business has exceeded expectations despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The goal of the business, which employs eight full and part-time people (including the owners) is to be self-sustaining, create jobs for the area and to give back to the community, Andy Golden said.

The business also grows buckwheat, which is milled into flour.

This summer, they created a sunflower field to try and attract customers to the farm and to enjoy nature.

“It will be open until mid-September. We allow RVs to park in the field overnight. We’ve had people from as far away as Alaska stay here,” Andy Golden said.

The owners are optimistic about the future of the business.

“It looks promising,” Andy Golden said. “We are focused on growth and getting some help in place so we are not working 80 hours a week.”

“By the end of next year, we hope we can make this a full-time income,” Sinosky said. “We can if we dedicate ourselves to this.”

Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.

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