Rebecca Ramage, left, and Maureen Lawrenz stand inside Ramage’s Oconomowoc greenhouse before they moved their hemp plants to their Helenville farm in Jefferson County.
OCONOMOWOC — The CBD boom across southeast Wisconsin has been well documented with dozens of CBD shops opening in the area over the last year.
But two Lake Country women have taken it upon themselves to start their own business, Lake Country Growers, where they take the plant from seed to harvest to CBD oil.
Owners Rebecca Ramage and her decade-long friend Maureen Lawrenz decided around this time last year that they would go ahead with “their crazy plan” and begin looking at how to make it a reality.
“We started in batches and worked up to size,” Ramage said. “It was about learning the process and perfecting it before we screwed it up on a giant scale.”
Once the process was done, Ramage — an Oconomowoc resident — and Lawrenz — a Watertown resident — ended up planting over 22,000 seeds that were eventually transplanted to their farm in Helenville in Jefferson County.
The transplant took place on Father’s Day this past spring and by the time October came around for harvest, the plants were eight feet tall.
In fact, Ramage said she and Lawrenz had to pick over 500 plants ahead of schedule because of the summer storm that brought a tornado along with it because their fields were oversaturated.
When it was all said and done, Ramage said, it was one of the happiest days of her life to have the hemp harvested.
“It was beautiful and sunny, we couldn’t have picked a better day,” she said.
The two had a grand opening launch of their business on Friday where they invited their families, friends and the community to come out and learn more about their business and their product.
“We feel very passionate about educating consumers as well instead of telling them to try this or try that,” Lawrenz said. “We want you to know what it is that is going into your body and why it isn’t marijuana.”
With a slew of CBD products on the market — any of which that be bought at a gas station, a movie store, a dispensary or at grocery stores — Lawrenz said it’s hard to find a producer that was with their product from seed to harvest.
“Oftentimes with producers of CBD, it’s very hard to find someone who grew it from the seed. We were part of the process the entire way through,” Lawrenz said. “We’re really proud of that and we feel the community can trust us with that.”
Ramage said she and Lawrenz always had the user in mind when treating their hemp.
“We used all organic practices, we didn’t use any chemicals, pesticides, herbicides or anything,” Ramage said. 'We hand-weeded and we didn’t cut any corners, even though it was labor intensive.
“We did it because that’s what gave us the best quality product.”
Lake Country Growers debuted their 11 products including lotions, creams and tinctures, all of which can be found at www.lakecountrygrowers.com. For more information, visit their website or follow them on Facebook or Instagram.