Growing hemp in the United States is nothing new. The fibrous, quick-growing crop has been a staple throughout multiple centuries. In fact, at one period of time in America, people could pay their taxes with it. In the 20th century, however, it would be stigma and fear that would land hemp in the same category as its close sibling, Marijuana; and, there it would remain until the passage of the Hemp Farming Bill in 2018.
Between the update to the legality, and the boom of the CBD industry, farming hemp is, once again, on the rise.
As experienced American farmers, the group of gentlemen behind Hempton Farms have been watching the industry boom with discerning eyes.
“While it is very encouraging and exciting to witness, there is still much to be managed,” commented Chris Soules, Co-founder. “This is why it was important for us to facilitate a family of partnerships at Hempton. For the betterment of the industry as a whole.”
With inconsistencies in practices, compliance and public education in the hemp and CBD industries, it is no surprise that consumers are confused. Many CBD companies have launched without a true understanding of the whole plant, its history and what it can do.
“We watched as the boom began, and hemp became a crop again,” explains Soules. “We got together and talked about how great it was but also about how there were still gaps in consistency and accurate information. This is why we felt it was important to collaborate and bring together like minds with the history in American family farming, this specialty industry, manufacturing and distribution.”
By creating a coalition – a family of partners – Hempton Farms is striving to close the gaps in the rapidly expanding market. This is designed to facilitate a truly vertically integrated system where everyone, from the farmer to the distributor, are aligned in their ideals.
“We’re truly seed to label,” added Adam Traetow, Vice President of Agricultural Operations and Supply Chain. “Where some may say they’re ‘seed to sale’, we’re showing it. We know who farms what land and where. We’re part of every step of the process. By doing this – by having a consistent process in place – we’re hoping to be able to grow the confidence of the consumer and the farmer, alike.”
Central to the core of their ideals at Hempton Farms is the farmer, themselves. After many of those in America’s heartland lost much with weather and trade-related issues, the idea of rotating crops to hemp seems quite appealing, but stigma, fear and lack of farmer-focused information often gets in the way.
“A lot of farmers have been reaching out to us,” relays Cory Henke, Vice President of Business Development. “They see this agricultural commodity and its many possibilities, but they don’t want to go into a specialty crop like hemp without some good due diligence. We’re here to help them get going, from our high-quality seeds and genetics to our farm management and consultation. We believe in the long-term potential for this crop, and we want to be sure that everything is executed with integrity and compliance.”
With the industry still being learned by many in the public eye, compliance is something that is paramount to Hempton and their core belief system. They’re quick to be sure to explain that all of their hemp – no matter the farm – is high quality and tested to be sure that it falls in the United States Department of Agriculture regulations which state industrial hemp must have a non-psychoactive level (.3%) of the plant’s natural THC cannabinoid.
“Cannabinoids like CBD and CBG are great. They’ve got some great potential and science has been working on showcasing all of the things that it can do,” explained Henke. “But hemp wasn’t heavily utilized in the early centuries of American Hemp farming for CBD products.”
While CBD products from hemp are the hit of the market, right now, there is much more that hemp brings to the table beyond the small-but-mighty plant compound.
In the early days of hemp farming in the United States, the plant was useful in being the base for textiles like rope and canvas. Hemp, throughout time, has also been utilized in the formation of paper, building materials, fuels, and biodegradable plastics. Quick growing and strong, hemp has a better environmental footprint, too.
“We’re working with multiple farmers and talking to them about what they wish to grow hemp for and why,” explained Traetow. “As we continue to grow our partnerships, the options grow with it. If a farmer wants their industrial hemp to go towards textiles or papers, instead, we’d like to facilitate that. This is good for the farmer and the communities that these American farmers support.”
Of course, Hempton does work with hemp-derived CBD products, too. Those who wish to get involved in the industry, or who are considering their own brand of CBD-based wellness products, can reach out to Hempton to begin.
“Seeds, biomass, distribution – it’s all Hempton,” said Henke. “An aligned foundation with one common core means that Hempton stands for quality products loved from the moment the seed was planted.”
“We’ve got some exciting things coming out soon – alignments we’ve made – that will be great,” continues Henke. “These brands, and brands-to-be, want to work with open, transparent, compliant agribusiness professionals. We, in turn, like working with those who want to create purposeful products.”
As the business of growing, cultivating and extracting hemp in the United States continues to evolve, having an organization whose purpose is driven by the desire to transform the industry is going to be more valuable than ever before. It is with this message that the team from Hempton is looking forward to the future one of America’s most historically valuable crops.