CBD maker Elixinol launches joint venture with RFI Ingredients

The new joint venture operates as Infusion Strategies and brings raw material and formulation expertise that will allow RFI create new CBD-related products

Infusion Strategies has entered the functional foods market powered by two US-based manufacturing and plant extracts specialists.

Elixinol, the THC-free CBD extracts company headquartered in Colorado, US, has joined forces with wholefoods manufacturer RFI Ingredients in a 60-40 joint venture deal.

The partnership is formed to maximise the respective companies’ industry positions, intellectual property and operating capabilities to better serve customers and bring an elevated level of transparency and quality control to the industry.

Strategic partnership

Under the joint venture, Elixinol will provide hemp expertise, supply chain stability, and the highest quality hemp full-spectrum and THC-free CBD extracts.

RFI will manage the day-to-day operations of Infusion Strategies as well as provide global supply chain management and provision of all non-CBD ingredients and manufacturing expertise needed to custom blend formulations for CBD-infused tinctures, powders, capsules, and more.

“This partnership will allow us to advance the ingredient side of our business, as well as the industry, through partnering with the best of the best,” said Gabriel Ettenson, President and co-founder of Elixinol.

Ettenson said the partnership will create the opportunity for Elixinol to focus more on strengthening its organic supply chain for hemp and "advancing our product innovation and development for our own brand as well".

"RFI are experts in fermentation, powder manufacturing, and advanced ingredient formulations, which the industry greatly needs. We hope that together we can disrupt the industry by bridging the gap between the hemp-derived CBD world and the nutraceutical world," Ettenson explained.

Together, Elixinol and RFI will maintain certifications (GMP, NSF, QAI Organic, and SQF2), an AOAC-certified laboratory, and provide seed-to-sale organic ingredient traceability.

New business model

The new joint venture brings raw material and formulation expertise that will allow RFI to lead the way for new opportunities for CBD-related products.

“I am excited to be creating this new partnership with Elixinol,” said Jeff Wuagneux, CEO and President of RFI.

“When we combine Elixinol’s experience and vertical integration in the hemp and CBD industry with RFI’s 30 years of experience and vertical integration in the nutritional/dietary supplement and food industries, we’re creating a formidable new business model," Wuagneux added.

Wuagneux said customers are looking to work with RFI to develop and create new GMP-compliant products while taking advantage of the support the company offers as a traditional nutritional and food manufacturer. "We're looking forward to providing these breakthrough opportunities for customers through our new partnership."

This announcement is one of many in the past several months demonstrating Elixinol’s aggressive growth strategy within the rapidly expanding hemp-CBD marketplace in the US, including EXL’s recent raise of AUD$50 million to increase production capacity and raw material supply to ensure it meets forecasted demand resulting from this kind of ground-breaking relationship.

The funding will allow Elixinol to further expand operations at its Colorado, headquarters by an additional 23,000 square feet to more than double the company’s current production capacity.