Updated: Aug 13, 2020
The home of Gedney Foods Co., a prominent Minnesota pickle producer, will soon be re-tooled into an expansive space dedicated to making hemp products, the wonder product making enormous changes in the lives of many.
A shifting economic landscape will result in the enormous factory shifting to a brand new consumer product, and hemp investors and fans in the area are excited to see the silver linings of an admittedly unfortunate turn of luck for a Minnesota staple brand.
Last May, the nearly 140-year-old factory in Chaska laid off 38 people at the pickle plant, leading to the later decision to close entirely, according to reporting by the Star Tribune.
According to Southwest News Media, the Chanhassan City Council approved a temporary permit for Hemp Acres to take over production at the 180,000 square foot facility in July.
“I think it’s a great opportunity. It’s certainly a market that is growing, and it’s nice to have someone using that old location for a new purpose,” Chanhassen Planning Commission Chair Steven Weick said in a meeting last month, according to SW News Media.
The new hemp frontier
Thousands of new businesses emerged all across the U.S. to service the rapidly expanding market for hemp and CBD products since they were made legal at the federal level in December 2018, and Minnesota has been no exception.
Nothing But Hemp is a leading CBD retailer in the state, with dozens of trusted outside and house brands that bring Twin Cities and other Minnesota residents the CBD they rely on for chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia and other problems.
Hemp Acres and other companies, meanwhile, focus on farming and processing. The old Gedney plant will work with a number of local farmers from around the lush landscape of the North Star State to bring high quality hemp and other hemp products to market.
The location will primarily take on the industrial aspects of hemp production, including hemp growth itself. The plant will also process hemp into hemp textiles and fibers, as well as hemp plastics and other cutting edge end products.
Trouble at Gedney led to opportunity
According to multiple media reports, including from the Star Tribune and Bring Me the News, Gedney followed a step-by-step system of layoffs for its large workforce.
What started as 175 workers in Chaska was cut to around 75 in 2015, then 38 in 2019.
Gedney had a range of pickled products and created pickles for Del Monte and Archer Farms, the Star Tribune reports. Ultimately the company was sold to California’s PMC Global Inc. after its financial troubles.