Could Blue Skies Be Opening For the Hemp Industry?

Order always follows chaos…

And some hemp experts are predicting this will be the year the crop settles into some semblance of stability.

If you grow hemp or work in the industry, this is the good news you’ve been waiting to hear.

In 2019, the pendulum swung far to the extreme of overproduction. Then, in 2020, so many wary farmers, manufacturers, and investors took the opportunity to course-correct.

Now, with two years of nascent development beneath our belts, the hope is to ride the wave of equilibrium…

And open the doors to immense profits.

Keep reading to discover some of the biggest projections and recommendations for 2021.

Consider Farming for Hemp Fiber and Grain

We’ve all heard our fair share about CBD, and there will still be a market for the production and exploration of the cannabinoid.


Now is the time to let hemp fiber and grain have their time in the sun. (Literally.)

Keep in mind, the textile market is a long-term game. But if you do it right, experts predict there will be more opportunities to partner with other expert players on both a national and international scope.

Take Ben Brimlow, an IND Hemp agronomist, as an example.

Brimlow told Hemp Benchmarks he contracted 9,6000 acres of hemp grain production in 2020.

This year, he could end up contracting up to 20,000 acres…

And expanding his network of farmers to new states.

Preparation and Proactivity Are Keys to Profiting

If there’s anything we’ve learned in the last 2 years, it’s that a winging-it approach to hemp farming and processing does NOT hold its weight in value.

But those who do their due diligence are starting to see the payoff.

Gregory Nicholas, a fourth-generation row crop farmer from Iowa, stresses the importance of being proactive — not reactive — to get high-quality hemp yields.

By consulting with experts and staying laser-focused on the fields, Nicholas told Hemp Benchmarks he was able to yield roughly 26,000 lbs of plant material.

And one of his biggest takeaways from last season?

It’s better to start small and climb the learning curve with success, than start BIG and end up with an unfixable disaster.

A Few Words of Caution…

The clouds may be starting to part for the hemp industry.

And this could be the golden moment so many farmers have been waiting for.

Still, there are a couple of important things to note before turning the corner on 2021.

For starters, a few bad actors are still weaving their way through the web of well-intentioned hemp farmers…

Eager to scam them into purchasing bad seeds…

Or put their pen to misleading contracts.

So in 2021, make it a priority to only purchase seeds from vetted sellers and do extensive research before signing any papers.

And equally important…

Don’t overestimate the demand for hemp!

And don’t farm more than what the production lines can handle.

Remember, the hemp industry is still in the process of stabilizing from the overwhelming supply of CBD and a lack of infrastructure to support so much biomass.

So it’s CRUCIAL you have all your ducks in a row – and a home for your hemp – when you’re playing your cards in 2021.

Kyle Bingham, from the Texas Hemp Growers Association, made this point clear to Hemp Benchmarks:

“If you don’t have a contract or if you don’t have a home for your hemp, you shouldn’t be growing this year.”

Bear in mind that the tides are turning, albeit slowly.

Stay cautious and prepared, and continue to advocate for the multifaceted benefits of the hemp plants.

Together, we’ll make 2021 the first year of blue skies for the industry.

Hemp Can Reshape Our World For Maximum Sustainability — But Are We Ready?

Hemp could be revolutionary for the planet.

So why aren’t more U.S. investors jumping on the opportunity to pioneer the change?

We’ll explain in a minute.

But first, if you’re a hemp grower, manufacturer, or consumer, we have to say…


It’s advocates like you who are going to help this industry reach its full potential…

And drive forward a more sustainable world.

In fact, to date…

Hemp Is a Gamechanger for Sustainable Agriculture

And when you grow hemp or invest in the industry’s growth, you’re supporting 5 key sustainability benefits.

Let’s take a closer look.

#1 Hemp is a carbon-negative crop… Which can help reduce the risks of climate change and restore equilibrium to the earth.

#2 Hemp helps out with phytoremediation, a process in which plants draw contaminants out of water and soil.

#3 Hemp for textiles may use less water than other crops. In fact, an EIHA hemp report from 2019 claims it’s 24 times more water-efficient than cotton.

#4 Hemp growers enjoy greater yield-per-acre. Hem Mill’s CEO, Madison Sexton, told Hemp Benchmarks that “Cotton is about 600 to 900 pounds per acre yield. Hemp varies between 2,700 to 4,500 pounds per acre.”

#5 Hemp needs fewer pesticides and fungicides than other crops, helping to ensure a safer product for the end consumer.

Keep in mind, the following benefits are just a harbinger of what’s to come in the world of hemp discoveries and innovations.

And it doesn’t just stop there…

Hemp Can Help Other Industries Turn Green, Too

Because here’s the thing…

A greener brand isn’t just better for the environment.

It’s better for business.

And several companies are getting on board with sustainability practices as a way to differentiate their offers and attract environmentally-conscious consumers.

For example, BMW and Mercedes both have vehicles that utilize hemp instead of plastic.

Using hemp as a bioplastic for these cars reduces their weight, making them lighter, cheaper to manufacture, and more fuel-efficient.

And according to Hemp Benchmarks, research shows the promise of hemp biofuels to reshape the construction industry.

Make no mistake, it was the power of hemp to replace the paper industry that led to its prohibition in the early twentieth century.

So, back to that original question…

When Will U.S. Investors See the Light?

The main culprit behind hemp fiber’s lack of funding in the states?

Investors don’t know where the dust will settle yet with all the regulatory issues.

And despite its enormous promise to create the types of progressive changes so many people want to see, they’re wary to step on the gas before the industry finds its sea legs.

For the time being, the US hemp fiber market is largely dominated by overseas textiles carrying the weight of heavy tariffs.

Here’s What It Means for Us as a Community

In order for hemp fiber to have its day in the sun here in the states, we need to push forward with growing the plant.

We need to advocate for its benefits and form partnerships with companies interested in a better future.

The more we keep the conversation going…

And the more time we spend researching, innovating, and growing…

The more likely investors are to help us build the market.

Here at Advanced Hemp, we’re committed to doing our part.

And we couldn’t be happier to have you along this journey.

A Look Forward to 2021 for Hemp’s CBD and Fiber Markets

A Look Forward to 2021 for Hemp’s CBD and Fiber Markets

Caution was the name of the game for CBD-hemp production in 2020.

A surplus of biomass led to diminished prices…

Hot hemp plagued the already complex regulatory system attached to CBD production…

And farmers struggled to get a handle on a new and emerging market.

In fact, production of CBD-rich biomass is likely to be half of what we saw during 2019.

But those who have cultivated hemp for CBD this year are hoping for the price per pound to improve.

Right now, unsold 2019 biomass could be a culprit in undercutting the value of this biomass.

But with expiration dates approaching, potency levels dwindling, and less CBD-rich flower grown in 2020, there’s a solid chance the market could improve.

In the meantime, farmers are doing what they can to optimize their production in a way that makes their hemp fields a viable plan for the year ahead.

They say necessity is the mother of innovation…

And in the case of making CBD biomass profitable, that old adage couldn’t ring truer.

Hemp farmers are being forced to find ways to navigate the market, and that’s led to an increased interest in mechanization that will help lower production costs.

According to Hemp Benchmarks, Texas’ resident hemp expert Calvin Trostle “got their 800 [plus] acres cut, baled, and dried in about a three to four week period,” by switching from a grain drill to mechanized practices.

And that’s not the only way he’s hoping to decrease operational costs.

They’re also planting non-feminized seed and then leaving the plants in the field, as an alternative to plucking out each and every male plant by hand.

Trostle’s hope?

That an efficient, high-volume hemp operation outweighs the problem of yielding low-potency biomass.

And while we’ll have to wait and see whether these new practices pay off, Trostle’s team’s already come in under budget. So far, their production costs are coming in at less than $3,500 to $4,000 per acre.

According to Cornell University’s research, CBD hemp production can run a farmer as much as $1,300 per acre.

No doubt, mechanization presents quite the opportunity to widen profit margins in hemp for CBD biomass.

However, it seems many farmers are hedging against risk by turning to fiber production instead.

And experts predict…

Fiber Will Be 2021’s Star Hemp Investment

Make no mistake, CBD holds enormous potential for the hemp industry over a period of time.

But right now, hemp seed and fiber show serious promise.

Andrew Bish, founder of Hemp Harvest Works, told Hemp Benchmarks that he believes the amount of fiber we see getting introduced to the market in 2021 will be “shocking,” with projections between 350,000 and 400,000 acres.

And most of these hemp fiber hot spots will be the work of large-scale cultivators in states like Texas, Montana, and Kansas.

Certainly, the demand for fiber is rising.

And as pioneers in this industry, it’s up to each of us to do what we need to get it to thrive…

Even when that means you need to shift your focus for a period of time.

But in an industry where one plant can give birth to 25,000 different products, why should we expect any less?

At Advanced Hemp, we are committed to helping growers grow the best hemp they can for whatever end-product they are targeting. Stay tuned to see our expanding product line in the near future!

Consumers Want Certified Organic Hemp… But the Process Can Be Rigorous. Here’s What You Need to Know.

Nothing signals consumer trust quite like the USDA organic seal.

And after enduring countless hardships since 2019, hemp farmers are on the lookout for ways they can improve the sellability of their plants.

So between consumer trust and marketability, going organic seems like a no-brainer… Right?

If only it were that easy!

Like most things in this industry, getting certified organic hemp doesn’t come easy.

Let’s take a look at how you’d get your plants certified organic…

The challenges you face…

And a forecast of the road ahead for farmers who want the ultimate organic seal of approval.

Thinking of Going Organic?

What should you expect to get your hemp certified?

The USDA requires extremely specific requirements in both hemp farming and manufacturing to meet the standards of organic certification.

First, you’ll need to make sure the land you’re cultivating has been free of prohibited substances (i.e. most pesticides) for at least 3 years.

Next, you’ll need to welcome an inspection of your operation from a certifying agency with USDA accreditation.

And according to a November 2019 instruction update from the USDA, “only hemp produced in accordance with the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program and/or the 2014 Farm Bill may be certified as organic, if produced in accordance with USDA organic regulations.”

Now, keep in mind…

Just because your hemp crop is certified organic does not mean your end product is too.

Take it from Hayleigh’s Hope, the first company to receive the organic seal of approval for a hemp product.

According to their CEO Jason Cranford, aligning their plants with the USDA standards was a relatively simple process.

But at the time, they didn’t realize it wouldn’t apply to their CBD oil as well.

And that process? Well, that wasn’t quite as straightforward.

Cranford says the company went through multiple inspections. Books, facilities, and operational interviews were all par for the course.

It’s an exhaustive process. One that Cranford and his team earned.

Unfortunately, some hemp companies have taken the easy way out, claiming to sell organic products without enduring the many steps toward certification.

And while such actions are punishable by a fine of up to $17,952 per violation, some farmers still take the risk.

Now, here’s something else to consider…

The Obstacles to Organic Certification Pile Up for Hemp

Sure, attaining a USDA organic certification can be challenging for most farmers.

But when you’re farming hemp, legal and regulatory issues make it even harder.

Because there’s still a stigma surrounding the plant, and confusing about how it relates to cannabis, some companies avoid working with hemp altogether.

Add the risk of hot hemp to the mix, and these certifiers decide it’s risky business.

The chance they’ll end up with THC-heavy plants on their hands isn’t worth the opportunity to certify it.

Attorney Corey Cox explained the third-party hesitation to Hemp Benchmarks, saying they’re “worried they might be in possession of products that, if too hot, might be considered marijuana. And along with potential legal issues, there’s also a reputational risk for that company in that situation.”

And CBD’s Classification Makes Things Messier

Furthermore, the FDA complicates things with their classification of CBD as an active ingredient in drugs like Epidolex.

And their position is that these ingredients cannot be marketed as dietary supplements, nor can they make their way into food products.

Needless to say, the complex categorizations surrounding CBD make certifying agents even warier of working with the plant.

Now, that might all change if a path to regulation of CBD in supplements opens up.

In the meantime, however, most agencies prefer not to take the risk.

Yes, it’s not like you can just snap your fingers and expect a certification to land in your lap. But other hemp farmers and processors have found a way to appeal to this niche market, and so can you.

However, there’s one last thing to consider…

Is organic really the best option for maximizing the genetics of your hemp plants?

Let’s dig in…

Organic Certification and Optimal Genetics Don’t Always Mix

Since 2019, it’s become abundantly clear that investing in high-quality hemp seed is a determining factor in unlocking the true genetic potential of your plants.

So after investing in the right seeds, the last thing you want to do is rely a fertilizer that won’t reveal the desirable traits you’re after.

It’s why, while organic looks good on paper, many farmers are turning to dependable processes backed by years of hemp-specific expertise.

And that means relying on a fertilizer whose nutrients are refined and bioavailable to their plants.

“Growing organically can be great, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better,” says hemp expert Justin Pullin. “It’s important to rely on a fertilizer that’s got hemp-specific ratios of macro and micro nutrients, or you won’t maximize the true genetic potential of the plant.”

The bottom line is this… Before you starting navigating another maze of regulations and processes, make sure you’ve got optimal genetics nailed down for your specific region and/or environment.

Click here to learn more about providing best-in-class nutrition to your high-value plants.

3 Secrets Behind Hemp Biomass that Sells

There are many things that need to come together for a fully functioning hemp industry. But one of the most critical is streamlining an efficient cannabinoid extraction process.

We all know there’s nothing worse than sitting on a bunch of unsellable biomass.

And unfortunately, we’re still battling many issues that make that a harsh reality for hemp farmers.

Here’s what you need to know.

Testing and Compliance Reign Supreme

Too often, farmers neglect to test their biomass at the right time.

In order to avoid legal stalemates, you must make sure a third-party tests your hemp for the following:

  • THC content below 0.3%
  • Contaminants (heavy metals and pesticides)
  • Microbials

Hemp processor and consultant Steve Fuhr told Hemp Benchmarks that he recommends farms conduct four to six potency tests for every ten acres throughout the season. It costs $50 a potency test, which is a wise investment in light of securing usable biomass.

And remember . . .

If you’re transporting hemp, you must have a COA.

We can’t stress enough how important it is to get this testing done before processing begins. Get it right, and you’re in for high-profit potential. Get it wrong, and all your blood, sweat and tears will be for nothing.

Harvesting Processes Matter

They say the devil is in the details . . .

And when it comes to getting sellable biomass, that statement couldn’t be truer.

When it comes time to harvest and dry your crops, opt for hemp-specific machinery.

Generic machine harvesters increase the risk of things like hay making their way into your product, which significantly decreases your hemp biomass.

Keep in mind that processors want to receive a clean product free of mites, dirt, and debris.

So while in-field drying might seem like a good way to save money, most experience hemp-farmers consider it too risky.

Don’t be penny-wise and pound-foolish.

Invest in the equipment that’s most likely to get you high levels of clean biomass.

And another thing to consider . . .

Communication with Processors is Key

Selling hemp wholesale doesn’t mean you don’t have a customers

It simply means your customer is your process, and you’ve got to understand their specific product needs.

Now, a good rule of thumb is to make sure your hemp isn’t so finely grounded that it breaks trichomes, lowering yield and potency.

And no processor wants a batch of biomass littered with seeds, another yield-killing problem that requires additional labor.

But every processor has a unique optimal range for their hemp, and it’s up to you to find out whether they want courser or finer material.

Finally, make sure you never stretch your farm beyond its capabilities.

As hemp farmers, we’re an ambitious group.

And that’s great. It’s the reason we’re turning the nationalization of hemp into one of the most groundbreaking movements of the 21st century.

Still, small steps are more valuable than huge leaps.

Grow as much as you can, but don’t push beyond what your labor force can handle.

Hemp farming isn’t an easy business. But testing, harvesting properly, and communicating with processors will do wonders in increasing your success.

Winter Comes Early, Sweeping Destruction Through Colorado Hemp Farms

Winter Comes Early, Sweeping Destruction Through Colorado Hemp Farms

The whims of Mother Nature are some of our biggest struggles as hemp farmers . . .

And the threat’s never been clearer than last week’s early freeze in Colorado.

Our crops love warm skies and blankets of sunshine . . .

And we do everything in our power to help them thrive.

But with temperatures plummeting below freezing . . .

And a sudden brutal attack of early-autumn snow . . .

Millions of dollars worth of hemp and cannabis acreage are suffering severe destruction.

One thing we know all too well:

When one part of the supply chain is down, the rest takes a dive.

An Unpredictable Supply Chain

Buyers who were relying on the CBD and THC from these plants will now face some shortages, castrating producers’ ability to meet consumer demand.

And other companies are wishing they could go back in time and make different decisions not just on how to grow . . . But what to grow.

Take Nick Drury as an example.

As the head of cultivation for the cannabis company Lightshade, Drury typically sees outdoor cannabis flood the market around this time.

And since those high-yields are often average quality . . .

He uses it as an opportunity to focus on low-yields of superior, premium strains.

If he’d known the market wouldn’t be facing the same saturation of cheaper products, he would’ve directed his attention there.

When Temperatures Unexpectedly Drop by 70 Degrees . . .

Farmers can’t anticipate the warning signs that alert them to an early harvest.

Instead, without enough weather protection, they had no choice but to witness Mother Nature take a toll on their crops . . .

With mounds of thick snow snapping bud-packed branches in half . . .

And green leaves flattening beneath a frozen surface.

For PotCo farm co-owner James Lowe, that means a huge wrench thrown in the way of his best season yet.

“We were on pace for the largest harvest we’ve ever had,” he says in an MJBiz Daily article. “The weight of it was what ended up being the problem.”

Imagine 7,000 plants towering to nearly 8 feet tall . . .

Squashed by dense, winter-like moisture.

It’s Not All Doom and Gloom . . .

If warmer temperatures help his plants survive, then Lowe and his team can still harvest the flower.

And even if they can’t, they’ll still be able to extract the THC for sale . . . albeit at a much lower price.

Fortunately, the heavy yields they’d already achieved means they’re still anticipating a profitable season.

But Will it Drive Some Hemp Farmers Out of the Game?

For farmers like Harvey Craig, having 70% of his crops under the greenhouse cover was a saving grace.

For his outdoor plants, he had to rely on plastic . . .

A material that’s known to stunt floral growth.

As for the plants that went bare during the freeze?

They’ve all suffered broken branches, snapped stalks . . .

And a potential loss of high-value cannabinoids from busted trichomes.

Now, for farmers like Craig without insurance, these challenges can be

“I hope this doesn’t put people over the edge,” he said. “The hemp industry is a tough struggle.”

And for other hemp farmers, the race to adjust greenhouse temperatures meant working around the clock.

Because the thing is . . .

Even when your crops are protected by a cover . . .

And even when you’ve optimized the environment in your grow room for thriving plants . . .

The effects of a plummeting temperature drop can still be disastrous for your harvest.

Now, some farmers without insurance are contending with their worst nightmare:
A loss of cannabinoids, damaged harvests, and the potential for bud rot.

So What Can Farmers Do?

Make no mistake about it . . .

A volatile climate is bound to continue posing massive, plant-threatening challenges to outdoor hemp farmers.

Now, you can choose to grow indoors . . .

A less-than-perfect option that makes complete sense for navigating weather.

Or, you can invest in growing resilient strains that withstand the pressures of winter frost.

And of course, insurance helps to mitigate the catastrophes that could lie ahead.

No matter what . . .

We can’t control the weather. So as hemp farmers, it’s our duty to do everything else in our power to minimize the risk.



Will Delta-8 THC Be the Savior of the Hemp Industry?

If you’ve been following along with the hemp market, or you’re currently farming hemp . . .

You may have heard about the latest distillate stealing the spotlight from CBD and CBG:

Delta-8 THC.

According to a report from Hemp Benchmarks, Delta-8 THC is far exceeding the price point of both CBD distillate and CBG distillate. And for sellers who add Delta-8 THC to their smokable hemp flower, they’re spiking prices much higher than what a pure CBD pre-roll would cost.

Will it be a cash cow for farmers looking to rake in profit . . .

Or will it crash and burn, never fully making its way into the legal market?

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest questions surrounding Delta-8 THC and hemp.

How Do Hemp Farmers Achieve Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THC does not come directly from the hemp plant.

Instead, growers synthesize the compound from extracted CBD.

And if you’re wondering if Delta-8 THC will produce a high like its cousin cannabinoid, Delta-9 THC . . .

The answer is yes, but not in the same fashion.

Delta-8 THC is less psychotropic than Delta-9 THC, so most consumers report more of a sedative high and less of a head-in-the-clouds cerebral buzz.

What’s more, scientists are beginning to tap into its many therapeutic benefits.

For example, The National Cancer Institute has defined the distillate as “an analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic and neuroprotective properties.”

And in a study conducted by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, Delta-8 THC treatments fully prevented vomiting in eight children suffering from hematologic cancers.

We’re still on the brink of discovering just healing this distillate can be . . .

But Is Delta-8 THC Even Legal?

Since it’s a psychoactive compound, there’s clearly a lot of talk around the legality of Delta-8 THC.

Right now, it’s not illegal.

And because of that, tons of hemp farmers and scientists are using it as a tool for innovation . . .

Making discoveries that could fuel huge game-changers for multiple industries.

However . . . That could all change soon.

The DEA is currently proposing regulations that will clamp down on Delta-8’s gray legal status, making it fully federally illegal and putting the kibosh on attempts to synthesize and sell it.

On August 20, they released an Interim Final Rule that would apply to CBD and any other hemp derivative. If the rules outlines in “Implementation of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018” are passed, the DEO’s regulations would mean that “all synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols remain schedule I controlled substances.”

Now, this is important to note.

You can take action on the ruling by sharing your opinion before October 20. Go here to comment on the ruling before it is finalized.

And if you still need more info, you may want to consider . . .

The Pros of Delta-8 THC for Hemp Farmers?

While the jury’s still out on the distillate’s future legal status, farmers and industry advocates are growing very curious about its potential benefits.

Because here’s the thing . . .

If you’re sitting on a ton of CBD extract with no market right now, you could actually extract Delta-THC from your surplus and sell it an even higher price.

The key, of course, is educating the public on its effects . . .

Otherwise, it may suffer the same fate as CBG.

While droves of hemp farmers have attached themselves to the promise of a CBG boom, the public interest hasn’t yet caught up.

And this is a mistake too many people in our industry are making.

A lot of them are blindsided by the excitement that comes with constant opportunities for innovation. And because of that, they’re falling victim to a product-first mentality.

But we must remember . . .

This is a new market. One that has the potential to disrupt many industries . . . If the needs of the consumer are understood and properly met.

Simply put, the longevity of Delta-8 THC depends not just on regulations, but also on its ability to generate market demand.

At the end of the day, however, a bright future for this distillate will not be possible if it becomes an illegal substance.

Act now by sharing your opinion before the ruling is finalized. Leave your comments here.

Hemp Benchmarks

2020 Hemp Acreage Shows Caution Might be the Name of the Game

Even the most enthusiastic hemp farmers have reason to be cautious with their crops.

Because here’s the thing . . .

During the great boom, the promise of hemp’s worth prompted farmers to register 530,000 acres of land for cultivation.

For many in the agricultural space, the passing of the Farm Bill felt a little bit like winning the lottery.

“I was blindsided by the promise,” one hemp farmer recently shared with us.

“Everyone was talking about how much value this crop has, and I was willing to bet my farm on it. But what I couldn’t prepare for were all the forces working against us. Spiking THC levels, securing a buyer, dealing with Mother Nature’s whims . . . All those things come together and make a mess of your crop if you’re not 100 percent ready to weather the storm.”

Unfortunately, this kind of dismal depiction was the reality for too many farmers who wagered their livelihood on hemp’s potential.

Hot hemp. Worthless fields. Tons of unsold crops sitting in storage . . .

It’s easy to see why those who got burned in 2019 are willfully retreating out of the space.

But is it all doom and gloom for the hemp industry?

Not at all.

In fact, what we’re seeing in supply contractions is par-for-the-course with any new industry that’s still finding its sea legs.

And of course, it’s possible that a smaller supply will create larger demand . . .

And more profit for the farmer.

In late July, Hemp Benchmarks counted nearly 400,000 acres of land for hemp production, along with about 1,450 acres of indoor space and Greenhouses.

Contrast those numbers with 2019 and you’ll find a 30% decrease year-over-year. And we’re seeing 64% less indoor and greenhouse space allotted for hemp farming as well.

Now, farmers are playing a more conservative game.

In 2019, Hemp Benchmarks counted 19,500 licenses for eager farmers ready to work with the most valuable cash crop in the agricultural industry.

Today, that number is hovering at 18,000.

The ones who are staying in the game?

They’re not rushing in with quite as much unbridled enthusiasm.

Instead, farmers are taking a cautious approach to their hemp farms this year, opting for smaller plots of land or greenhouse spaces where they’ve got more control over the cultivation.

And according to Hemp Benchmarks, a good amount of the people trying their hand at hemp cultivation this year are farmers completely new to the space.

Hemp for CBD Still Reigns Supreme

When it comes to the end-product, CBD is still the most coveted reason to farm hemp.

Now, the lesser-known cannabinoid CBG is also gaining steam for growers interested in selling for the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical uses of hemp.

However, we’re not seeing quite as much hemp grown for CBD as we did during the boom last year. Instead of 90% of the crop production going to cannabidiol, 75% of hemp farmers are growing for this purpose.

If you’re just getting into hemp or you’re heading into your second season, there’s a golden opportunity to learn from the mistakes of 2019 . . .

And to make hemp farming a profitable business.

Wyoming Judge Dismisses Marijuana Charges Against Local Hemp Farmers

One of the biggest challenges hemp farmers face?

Confusion between their legal plant and high THC cannabis.

In some cases, that means thieves breaking into your farm, eager to get their hands on your hard-earned hemp.

In other cases, that means law enforcement accusing hemp farmers of intending to grow marijuana, instead.

That’s exactly what happened to Debra Palm-Egle and her son Joshua Egle, two Wyoming hemp advocates who nearly lost years of their lives to drug-trafficking charges that would have landed them in prison.

The judge tossed the charges against the mother and son, stating that there was insufficient evidence to support the claim that they intended to grow and sell cannabis. She also dismissed charges against the family’s contractor, Brock Dyke, as well as his wife, Shannon. The Dykes were on the property during the November 4 raid.

But just how far were prosecutors willing to take it?

Without so much as an interview, they were ready to put the farmers behind bars for:

  • Conspiracy to manufacture, deliver or possess marijuana
  • Possession with intent to deliver marijuana
  • Possession of marijuana and planting or cultivating marijuana

That’s right. For farming hemp, today’s most revolutionary legal crop, these four plant advocates were at risk of imprisonment for two felonies and a misdemeanor.

And what evidence did they have to support their case?

THC levels that hovered slightly above the legal limit.

After seizing 700 pounds of the Egles’ hemp, the Department of Criminal Investigations ran tests on THC concentrations. Most of the results showed levels higher than the 0.3% THC limit for hemp, with the highest
concentration filtering in at 0.6%.

Now, as a hemp farmer, you probably know how challenging it can be to avoid hot hemp.

And the test results the Egles previously had conducted showed the plant’s THC levels within the 0.3% legal limit.
As the Dykes’ attorney argued, would an actual criminal go out of his way to “show testing proof to agents, as if it were some elaborate ruse to grow the worst marijuana in the entire universe.”

The judge agreed.

Because here’s the thing . . .

Growing marijuana at a 0.6% THC level would produce minimal psychoactive effects, at best.

But the one thing she did clamp down on the Egles for?

Farming hemp without a license.

Like the rest of us, the two hemp advocates saw enormous economic and therapeutic potential farming the crop. And they moved quickly, without the proper licensing to get started.

“We had to get going,” Joshua Egle told WyoFile. According to the article, the hemp farmers began growing a test crop for research purposes, while wagering officials would work out the regulations side of the industry in time to get a license.

And while they might end up paying a $750 fine for growing without one, that sort of punishment doesn’t hold a candle to the years they would’ve faced in federal prison for marijuana charges.

Moral of the story . . .

Hemp advocates are bravely leading a charge with the capacity to revolutionize our economy and tap into endless innovation.

However . . .

Confusion still abounds when it comes to distinguishing their crops from high-THC cannabis.

Here’s what we can do to limit the risks of law enforcement raids threatening our profession – and our profit:

  • Join a Hemp Association: There’s real power in numbers. And the more farmers band together to advocate for beneficial regulations, the more likely it is that our voices will be heard.
  • Test Plants Regularly: Knowing exactly when to harvest your crops to avoid hot hemp is crucial if we want to stay compliant with the law. You can learn more here.
  • Educate and Advocate: Many people don’t understand the difference between hemp and cannabis. As industry leaders, it’s our job to clear up the confusion so we can keep up with demand.

At the very least, the quick turnaround on dismissing the case could be a beacon of light for our future for hemp farmers.

*Source: WyoFile

How to Get Ahead Of Spiking THC Levels

How to Get Ahead Of Spiking THC Levels

Hot hemp, or hemp that tests too high in THC, has burned a lot of hemp growers over the past few years — and it’s probably going to burn many more.

But you don’t have to be one of them.

You just need to be aware when exactly your plants are spiking and have a plan in place to act fast

The U.S. government has defined hot hemp as plants that test over the legal maximum of 0.3 percent THC. Hemp that’s above that level of THC content is officially no longer classified as hemp and cannot be sold. It is also required to be disposed of, or in some areas destroyed.

Not knowing when your plants are running too hot can mean all of your hard work for the year going down in flames.

When your hemp begins to head to hot — reaching a crucial threshold — you should already have a plan in place to cut plants.

Much of your pain can be avoided with some prudent planning and careful monitoring.

With THC, Testing is Everything

The key is to know when you are approaching that at-risk, upper limit — and harvesting in time to not crest over the maximum.

Cut too early and you’ll likely sacrifice higher yields and richer cannabinoid content. But cut too late and you’ll risk a 100 percent loss for the year.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Protecting against exceeding that federally mandated max of 0.3 percent is going to be one of the greater challenges you face as a hemp grower.

Add to that the issue of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) continuing to delay enforcement of certain requirements — among them testing of hemp and disposing of non-compliant plants — until October 31, 2021, or publication of their final rule1.

While it feels like we are flying blind at the moment, it highlights the importance of a laser focus on knowing when THC percentages are inching up.

There’s only one way to know that: testing.

Because there’s no way to physically look at a hemp plant and know its percentage of THC, you’ll need to rely on hard numbers.

Starting with your first signs of flowering, you should be testing often — ideally once per week.

Because THC percentages can fluctuate for a variety of reasons throughout the growth cycle — weather, genetics, and feeding routines being a few contributing factors — it can be tough to nail down exactly when you are approaching a critical percentage point.

Testing will tell you where you are at.

There were some hemp growers in 2019 who were not meticulous about their testing schedules. They bought genetics that were marketed as having a reduced chance of producing high THC and thought they were safe to only test later in the flowering period.

Those farmers had a rude awakening.

Because you must also note…

The Full Story Behind Low-THC Hemp Strains

Seed sellers who tout plants as low-THC hemp strains are not telling the whole story. It might mean that certain strains have a tendency toward lower THC. But it does not mean that plants will absolutely test within the acceptable range to be called hemp.

A few of those growers were chapped that seed sellers promised them low THC but didn’t deliver. As with nearly all farming practices, there are very seldom 100 percent guarantees — particularly so when talking about outcomes like THC levels in hemp.

Beware the seed breeder who promises you low THC guarantees. All hemp varieties have the ability to spike into the danger zone.

Testing weekly is of major importance.

External Factors Can Spark THC in Hemp Plants

High THC content can occur for a variety of reasons. Often it comes down to factors that are not so easy to manage.

Forces outside your control, like geography and weather, can affect certain cannabinoid levels in hemp. Just as CBD and CBN can be enhanced using certain growing methods, such as nutrient feedings, THC can unintentionally spike due to certain pressures.

A number of stress factors have been known to contribute to elevated THC numbers. Large swings in temperature, drought, flooding, extreme nutrient feedings, and even high altitude are a few of the common culprits.

Plants exposed to those conditions can react with a sudden leap in THC.

Still, you do have some level of control over catching numbers before they turn devastating. It just takes close monitoring.

Test, test, test. That is the rule of thumb.

It’s essential to also note that tests should be performed in a way that mimics your state’s regulations.

The USDA’s testing methods currently consider what’s called “total THC.” That’s a result derived from the sum of delta-9 THC and delta-9 THC-A found through decarboxylation2.

Which is s a fancy way of saying samples are dried and then ignited to get their true THC quantity.

Harvest Hemp at This Crucial THC Threshold

There is also an important milestone that will alert you that your hemp is close to finished. That is the 0.2% THC threshold. Consider it a warning zone that sends you a clear signal well before you reach the 0.3 percent level that puts you off a cliff.

Around that 0.2% THC threshold is where you need to make your decision to harvest. Push beyond that limit and you risk suddenly spiking to a point of no return.

While testing is by no means an absolute guarantee that your plants will not run over 0.3 percent, it will provide you with information that you can act on. This information is power.

Learning when plants are spiking in THC is the only surefire way to begin to protect yourself against the government calling your crop a total loss.

The winds of federal regulations are shifting and will continue to be moving through the years, meaning some uncertainty going forward. But at the very least you can feel good that hard numbers through testing will put you on a solid footing and give you the best possible chance at keeping your hemp legal.