For Brian Schroeder, it was just a matter of needing more space for hemp research and development.
Schroeder, a Carmel resident who co-founded Agrozen Life Sciences with his son, Austin, in 2018, is moving his company from Carmel to Lebanon.
Agrozen’s focus is to research optimal strains for the cultivation, formulation and extraction of cannabidiol, or CBD oil.
The company now has a 1,500-square-foot lab and office at 1052 Summit Dr. in Carmel, along with a 2,000-square-foot research and development cultivation center near that office. Schroeder said the company began searching the area and purchased a Lebanon property for $750,000 in November 2020. The facility, 417 Ransdell Rd., is near the southeast corner of Interstate 65 and Ind. 32. The company will move in the first part of this year as part of a planned five-year, $6.6 million expansion.
“Based on our requirements, we needed a much larger facility to be able to consolidate both of our locations into one and expand all business functions beyond where we’re at because we were tapped out based on space,” Schroeder said. “Our primary business revolves around agriculture, which requires more space than what we have, including outdoor space.”
Schroeder said the new spot has an existing facility of 10,000 square feet on the four acres.
“So, there is a lot of opportunity for growth because the land is not developed and would allow us to expand beyond the 10,000-square foot facility. Carmel was a great place for us to start. It’s just that we expanded beyond our current environment,” Schroeder said. “We’ll also be able to add extraction capabilities to our operations. The extraction will allow us to do formulation, processing and manufacturing of finished goods. We’ll add the retail/education piece to this as well. The much larger facility allows us to do a lot of unique things in this industry, which is really still in its infancy, and sets us apart to be a player in the state of Indiana going forward.”
Schroeder said everything on the inside of the building has to be redesigned and constructed to Agrozen’s specifications.
“We assume we’ll be ready to go at the end of March with the first cultivation room,” he said. “The lab should be up and running around the same time. Somewhere in the first quarter, we’ll start transitioning everything over to the Lebanon property.”
Schroeder views Lebanon as a convenient fit with easy access to Indianapolis and Purdue University in West Lafayette
Schroeder handles the sales and marketing aspects while Austin, a 2014 Carmel High School graduate and Purdue graduate, supervises operations.