By Heather Collins
Hemp entrepreneur and organic farmer Dexter Rice’s pioneering spirit led him from the hustle and bustle of the Front Range to the peaceful plains of Brush, Colorado, in 2014. That’s where Rice set up his 18-acre organic hemp paradise and the home office of Sub-Zero Extracts, the country’s first hemp extract product manufacturing facility.
“We love it out here and having our manufacturing facility right next to the farm saves fuel and increases efficiency. Not to mention the solitude provides the perfect setting to grow hemp, work, and meditate,” says Rice.
Rice spent many years working in cannabis, where he learned first-hand the therapeutic capacities of the plant. “My initial passion was high THC cannabis, but I soon realized the boundless potentials of hemp. Since hemp has made such a positive impact on my health and wellbeing, I decided to dedicate my life to growing organic hemp and creating innovative products that help others thrive,” says Rice.
Sub-Zero’s Roots: Certified Organic
Before Rice even planted hemp on his farm and created Sub-Zero Extracts, he put plans in place to ensure the entire operation followed the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Certified Organic guidelines – a goal he was determined to achieve.
“We never use pesticides, we revive biology in our soils, and we protect local ecosystems through regenerative agriculture, but we don’t stop there,” explains Rice. “Once the organic hemp is harvested and dried, it is processed organically. There were many hoops we had to go through in order to ensure full compliance with USDA organic standards.”
In 2018, Sub-Zero Extracts was the first U.S. hemp extract company to obtain the USDA’s organic certification. “We take pride in achieving the USDA Certified Organic seal; it attests to our vision, values, and commitment and it sets us apart as an industry leader.”
The company’s name represents a process utilizing sub-zero, frigid temperatures that leave behind plant waxes and chlorophyll of the hemp plant. Rice indicates the cold method is precise, and the temperature is dialed in to ensure that the process does not sacrifice the yield. “We believe this is better than employing other processes to ‘clean-up’ a low-purity extract.”
Sub-Zero offers four forms of 100% USDA Certified Organic with their organic consumer product manufacturing services, or for sale as bulk ingredients. Full spectrum extract is available in a raw or decarboxylated form and the full spec is the most therapeutically active. Organic distillate is offered in standard or reduced THC forms, for flavor or color sensitive applications.
“We’re always looking to collaborate with partners who align with our commitment to organic and high-quality products. My mission is to work with allies who also genuinely seek to help people feel better through hemp,” says Rice. “This past year was challenging, but we are always looking towards the future.”
Cultivating a Future with Hemp
Even though Rice is an intrepid hemp farmer, he admits his success didn’t happen overnight.
“Farming is something that is learned gradually with firsthand experience, not something you can master through any amount of internet research. Since I didn’t grow up in a farm setting, I had to learn everything the hard way — it was all trial and error,” recalls Rice.
Rice admits that data collection did help him and his team this year, especially during a labor-intense harvest. “We learned many lessons from this year’s growing season,” adds Rice. “We over watered our crop this year based on water sensor interpretations that were flawed for low density hemp plantings. Even farm technology has a steep learning curve!”
As the new year unfolds, Sub-Zero’s team is ready to commission a brand-new custom extraction plant, already certified USDA Organic. With this leap in capacity, Sub-Zero is excited to now offer organic toll extraction services, as well as organic white and private label product production.
“We want to take the hemp industry to the next level with innovative advancements. For example, we offer we offer THC free organic extracts, and are diligently working to take an industry lead in diligence by completing a Global Food Safety Initiative certification through BRC (a collective group that wants to align food safety standards across the supply chain).”
Most importantly, he adds, “We want to ensure the health and safety of every individual who uses our extracts by delivering consistent safety and quality in all of our products.
For more information about Sub-Zero Extracts or if you are interested in partnering with the company, visit sub-zeroextracts.com.
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Heather Collins is an Account Manager for Compass Natural Marketing and has been working in communications and marketing in the natural products industry for the past twenty years. Compass Natural serves in PR and programming for NoCo Hemp Expo and Southern Hemp Expo. Collins serves as a Contributing Writer of the weekly Let’s Talk Hemp Newsletter, published by We are for Better Alternatives. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.