Socati maneuvers for rapid growth in hemp-extract production business

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (ktasimarr)
© Getty Images \ (ktasimarr)
Earlier this year, the Oregon-based company acquired cosmetics and personal care ingredient maker Blue Marble Biomaterials; and now Socati has appointed 4 new board members with experience in a range of industries and swiftly expanding market niches.

Socati is a biotech and pharma company founded in 2018 and intent on becoming an industrial-scale leader in hemp genetics, extraction, and purification. As CEO Josh Epstein told the press early this year, “The demand for THC-free full spectrum CBD is increasing exponentially. It’s very difficult to remove THC while leaving the full spectrum of other naturally occurring cannabinoids. We’re poised to be a leading supplier to meet the high standards of top consumer brands as they incorporate CBD into their products.”

According to the Socati site, the company works with 6 industries: growers (of course), food and beverage, health and wellness, medical and pet care, vaporizer (e-cigarette) manufacturers, and cosmetics.

Buying capacity and capabilities

In May, the company acquired Blue Marble Biomaterials, a Montana-based company making specialty chemicals from organic waste rather than from oil or natural gas. Blue Marble sold its esters, extracts, terpenes, etc. to food, fragrance, and cosmetics manufacturers.

The acquisition means that Socati now owns Blue Marble’s 22,000 square-foot manufacturing facility as well as their testing lab. And the entire Blue Marble team is joining Socati too. CEO James Stephens will be general manager of Socati Montana; and in his new role, Stephens will continue to lead the site’s team of engineers and scientists. Notably, “The Socati Montana team is expected to grow to 40 employees by the fall,” ​according to a media release about the acquisition.

The choice of Blue Marble wasn’t just about the facilities capabilities and capacity. Montana, as Epstein describes it is “a state that has embraced the potential of the hemp industry for consumers and businesses.”

Commenting on the deal for the press, Stephens says, “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,” ​adding, “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.” 

New board

Now, this week, Socati announced 4 new board members. “This important group of executives brings years of invaluable experience in their industry sectors, as well as the foresight to help mature the industry,”​ believes Epstein. “Under their guidance,” ​he says, “we intend to bring much-needed certainty and stability to the industry.”

The new board members are Jonathan Peacock (who’s worked with Amgen, Novartis, McKinsey and Co, Price Watehouse, Arix Biosciences, Bellerophon Therapeutics, and Avantor), Lorne Abony (CEO of the venture capital firm FastForward innovations, Eric Ball (general partner at Impact Venture Capital), and Edward Lonergan (who’s worked as CEO of Chiquita Brands and with numerous other companies, including Gillette Europe, P&G, Zep, and Owens Corning).  



Deanna Utroske, Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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