FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 30, 2018) – Gov. Matt Bevin today announced Zelios, a Lexington-based manufacturer of hemp oil extract, will double production capacity with a $2.1 million investment creating 44 full-time jobs.
Zelios’ flagship hemp oil extraction operation opened in April of this year. The facility is equipped with grinding equipment and six 300-liter extraction machines. The expansion will include six new extraction machines, a secondary processing laboratory for further refinement of oil and additional warehouse space. The project comes as market demand increases for refined cannabidiol (CBD) oils.
The company’s supercritical CO2 extraction method yields purified full-spectrum CBD crude oil. The oil contains fats, waxes and terpenes from the original hemp raw material that can be used in balms and lotions, and serves as the base for further refinement for additional CBD-rich products. The new refinement processes will allow the company to winterize raw full-spectrum extract, removing waxes and lipids to create higher-content CBD oil. That more highly refined oil can be used in various consumer products as well as a base for CBD isolate production.
Zelios was founded in August 2017 as Zivo, Inc. with a mission to take a leading role in processing and producing natural, hemp-derived, cannabinoid-rich products. The company aims to improve access to CBD and other hemp-derived products through economies of scale. In addition to the large-scale extractor facility in Lexington, company leaders plan future operations in Erie, Colo. and Portland, Ore.
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) on Thursday preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $240,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
In addition, Zelios can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. In fiscal year 2017, the Kentucky Skills Network provided training for more than 120,000 Kentuckians and 5,700 companies from a variety of industry sectors.