Urban farmer and longtime Growing Power leader Will Allen has launched a new venture in the growing industrial hemp market.
Based in Oak Creek, Will Allen’s Beyond Organic produces USDA-certified organic products, including CBD oil, lotions, soaps, dog treats and protein powder.
Allen founded and ran urban agriculture nonprofit Growing Power for 23 years before its board decided in fall 2017 to dissolve the organization. Since then, Allen has worked to launch his new business, which sets itself apart in the burgeoning cannabis market by using certified organic hemp seed in certified organic soil.
Allen grows the hemp at his Oak Creek farm and has two employees, he said.
Allen considers the new venture an extension of his lifelong work of connecting communities with fresh, locally-sourced food.
“It’s a different way of improving people’s health,” he said. “If they’re eating organic vegetables and using CBD, it’s pairing those two concepts to help people.”
Allen envisions opportunities for others in the community to create indoor greenhouses in abandoned buildings, particularly in Milwaukee’s central city. He wants to serve as a consultant for those looking to build growing systems.