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Hemp Heyday: Wilmington Firm Expanding

By Cece Nunn, posted Feb 11, 2020
Adam Wooten, COO of Green Compass Inc., and George Wooten grow hemp in Columbus County for Green Compass, a Wilmington-based hemp products firm they helped start. (Photo courtesy of Green Compass Inc.)

A hemp products company headquartered in the Port City continues to expand, with research capabilities one of its latest additions.

Green Compass Inc., based in Wilmington with production and fulfillment facilities in Columbus County, has rented lab space at UNCW's Marine Biotechnology in North Carolina (MARBIONC) center.

The aim is to work with University of North Carolina Wilmington professors on finding out more about hemp’s benefits. Hemp is a variety of cannabis plant that’s used to make cannabidiol (CBD) oil and numerous other products.

Because of a state pilot program, "we've finally been able to grow hemp, but because hemp was always kind of put together with marijuana, there hasn't been much research on the plant that we really need to get a better understanding of the health benefits and textile benefits associated with hemp," said Sterling Cook Jr., CEO of Green Compass.

Cook added, “One of our main goals is to uncover as much research as we can so we can have some unbiased answers as to what really is in this plant so we can continue to make some of the best products out there from a CBD perspective.”

The network marketing company, which came about because of the vision of Cook’s wife, Green Compass president Meredith Cook (pictured with Sterling Cook at right), sells products throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

The firm calls the members of its sales force “advocates” and it has 7,000 of them, Sterling Cook said. Their farmer partners are Adam and George Wooten.

The company’s top products are tinctures, including CBD oil in an organic coconut oil base in 500 mg, 750 mg and 1,000 mg strengths.

“We also just came out with a skin care line that’s really taking off dramatically, and we’ve started our essential oil line that’s also taking off,” Sterling Cook said.   

He said the company is in the process of setting up various research projects.

Stuart Borrett, UNCW’s associate provost for research, said, “UNCW is looking forward to collaborating with Green Compass because there is a lot of research potential in our joint interest in natural products chemistry.”

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