About Us

Empire Hemp Co. produces a wide range of Hemp Derived CBD products for the purpose of providing happiness, health, healing and wellness. We believe that a community is strongest when it embraces natural, proactive approaches to ensuring that everyone has the best chance to thrive and live their best life.

Empire Hemp Co. is proud to be a Research Partner in the New York State Industrial Hemp Research Program with a focus on Whole Plant CBD infused topical skin care products. Our goal is to cultivate the highest quality CBD rich Industrial Hemp using organic soil and sustainable growing practices.

We are in compliance with Title 7 U.S.C. § 5940, Section 763 of the Omnibus Budget Bill of 2016 and the 2018 Farm Bill,  New York State Agriculture and Markets Law Section 505, et seq., the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (the“Department”) has been granted the authority to approve sites for the study of the growth and cultivation, sale, distribution, transportation and processing of hemp and products derived from such hemp as part of an agricultural pilot program conducted by the Department.


Our Team

Chris VanDusen - CEO

Empire Hemp Co. was founded by Chris VanDusen in 2017. Chris is an entrepreneur/furniture maker/contractor/bicycle mechanic/tour guide and father of three who has experience with every aspect of the businesses he’s built and the industries in which he has worked. When the opportunity arose to be on the ground floor of the Hemp Industry in New York State he knew that he’d finally found a way to optimize his talents, pursue his curiosity and satisfy his desire to help others.

Chris has been a cancer survivor for over twenty years. During his time as an active patient, he had become aware of cannabis being used to ease the side effects of the chemotherapy. At this time California had just legalized Medical Marijuana, but unfortunately it wasn’t an option in NY.  After using cannabis, Chris would get relief from the negative side effects of chemo. From that point forward, Chris truly believed in the power of this plant and continued to learn more about it’s healing potential. 



Shelly Wolanske - COO

Shelly is a co-founder and COO of Empire Hemp Co. In addition, she is the product development guru for the Empire Hemp Co. Shelly’s passion for high quality, all natural, effective products has led her to spend countless hours developing one fantastic product after another! Which isn’t to say it always works on the first attempt. In fact, Shelly is so committed to the quality of the products she makes for Empire Hemp Co. that we started a new line for the best of these salves and CBD oil.

 Shelly also holds her Bachelors in Psychology from The College at Brockport, State University of New York and has a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Medaille College. Shelly’s expertise lies in community mobilization, coalition development and the implementation of the Strategic Prevention Framework. Shelly has steered coalitions, communities and advocates in the development of infrastructures that have led to sustainable and lasting community change. Shelly is committed to carry a way of life that connects healing and community.