Shane Victorino is Principal in Company Planning Hawaiian Hemp Production

August 6, 2019, 6:45 AM HST · Updated August 7, 7:01 AM
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Shane Victorino, World Champion Major League Baseball Player and Principal at Legacy Ventures Hawaiʻi. PC: PRNewswire/Legacy Ventures Hawaiʻi/Arcadia Biosciences

Former Gold Glove and World Champion Major League Baseball player, Shane Victorino, has been identified as a principal in Legacy Ventures Hawaiʻi, a company pursuing opportunities in CBD hemp as a premium crop for the islands.

The St. Anthony High School graduate, who grew up on Maui, is among the principal investors with Legacy Ventures Hawaiʻi. He is also the son of Maui Mayor Michael Victorino.

The company is “committed to building Hawaiʻi’s capacity to supply branded health and wellness goods and premium Hawaiian CBD.”

Under a strategic joint venture between Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. and Legacy Ventures Hawaiʻi, the companies plan to, “grow, extract and sell superior sun-grown hemp.”

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Through the recent addition of Vapen CBD as an equity partner, Legacy is developing cGMP extraction facilities for the islands to deliver “high-grade hemp extract for use in premium CBD products.”

In a joint company press release Victorino said, “We believe hemp has the potential to transform Hawaiʻi’s economy – and the lives of its farmers and local communities – by creating an entirely new agricultural segment based on bringing innovation, scientific integrity and investment to the islands.

According to the announcement, “Hawaiʻi’s unique geographic and climate advantages for growing and harvesting hemp year-round will provide a long-term competitive advantage that many mainland cultivators and producers will not attain. Hawaiʻi’s geographic advantage also provides access to important CBD and hemp markets in Asia.”

The recent passage of the U.S. Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 – also known as the Farm Bill – confirmed the federal legalization of hemp, the term given to non-psychoactive cannabis containing less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), company executives said.

It also included provisions for legalizing on a federal level hemp’s cultivation, transport and sale for the first time in more than 75 years.

Company representatives cite the Hemp Business Journal, saying the publication estimates that the hemp CBD market totaled $190 million in 2018 – “an astounding rate of growth for a category that didn’t exist five years ago.” By 2022, the Brightfield Group, a cannabis and CBD market research firm, projects sales to reach $22 billion, according to the company announcement. 

According to a press release announcement, “The new partnership, Archipelago™ Ventures, joins Arcadia’s extensive genetic expertise and resources with Legacy’s proven experience in extraction and sales – and leverages Arcadia’s licensed cultivation facility in Hawaiʻi.”

The result, executives say, “is one vertically integrated supply chain, from seed to sale, enabling Archipelago to deliver high quality hemp extract,” with first sales expected in late 2019.

Hawaiʻi has special significance for Arcadia; it’s where we first began our hemp research and cultivation, and it’s where we continue to see the greatest opportunity for innovation and growth in industrial hemp,” said Matt Plavan, president of Arcadia Specialty Genomics and CFO of Arcadia Biosciences. “Our new partnership with Legacy not only positions us to lead the rapidly evolving market in producing superior hemp – from seed to extract – but to quickly scale our operations following key regulatory approvals.”

As Arcadia’s new Hawaiian hemp extraction and sales partner, Legacy brings “growth capital and strategic advisory in Hawaiian and Asian markets,” as well as access to Legacy’s equity partner, Vapen CBD, according to the company announcement.

Vapen CBD will be responsible for the construction and operation of Archipelago’s Hawaiian hemp extraction facilities, the announcement said.  “These facilities will give farmers an opportunity to convert their operations into high-grade CBD hemp production, creating new sources of jobs and revenue on the islands,” according to the announcement.

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