Hemp extract processor Socati Corp. has acquired Blue Marble Biomaterials, a manufacturer of natural and sustainable specialty compounds for the global food, fragrance and cosmetic sectors.
The acquisition marks a major milestone in Socati’s capability to meet the rapidly growing demand for high-quality, hemp-derived ingredients, including CBD and other cannabinoids.
Under the terms of the transaction, Socati will acquire Blue Marble’s food-grade, 22,000-square-foot Missoula, Montana, manufacturing facility, enabling Socati to rapidly scale its production to become one of the industry’s largest suppliers of broad-spectrum hemp extracts. These extracts have undergone a proprietary process to remediate THC below lab-detectable levels while leaving CBD and other synergistic cannabinoids intact.
Socati also acquired Blue Marble’s testing laboratory, allowing Socati to advance its analytical capabilities and to continue to ensure that Socati exceeds the highest standards of quality.
Blue Marble CEO James Stephens will join Socati as general manager of Socati Montana, leading the launch of this facility. Blue Marble’s entire team of chemists, microbiologists, chemical engineers and industrial engineers also will join Socati. The Socati Montana team is expected to grow to 40 employees by the fall. Terms of the deal were not announced.
“Socati’s acquisition of Blue Marble reflects our commitment to an industry with the potential to grow to $22 billion by 2022,” said Socati CEO Josh Epstein. “This acquisition positions Socati to capitalize on this meteoric growth through quality manufacturing, product development and innovation, setting the bar for product purity and consistency. We’re pleased to have found such an optimal facility and talented team to enable this growth and to expand our footprint to Montana – a state that has embraced the potential of the hemp industry for consumers and businesses.”
When upgrades and expansion are completed this fall, the facility will feature a state-of-the art, mass-scale manufacturing process capable of processing 10 tons of hemp feedstock per working day. The testing laboratory will be equipped with the most advanced analytical capabilities to identify cannabinoids, ensure product purity and quality and confirm that THC is below lab-detectable levels.
“Blue Marble has a heritage of innovation and a commitment to manufacturing the highest quality products, including hemp-derived products, and we are proud that with Socati we will continue to meet and even exceed our high standards,” Stephens said. “I’m excited to join such a strong team and oversee what is poised to be the country’s leading, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for hemp-derived products.”
Blue Marble has been operating its Missoula facility at the highest standards for quality, currently maintaining Safe Quality Foods (SQF) Level 2 certification for food grade manufacturing. Socati intends to maintain these high standards for quality manufacturing and has engaged BSI Engineering in Cincinnati to complete its facility upgrades.