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hemp Archives - Hemp Market Report

StaffStaffJuly 22, 2020
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3min00

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a measure from Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, as part of an amendment package to the National Defense Authorization Act that passed the House late Monday on a bipartisan vote of 336-71.

The amendment says, “The Secretary of Defense may not prohibit, on the basis of a product containing hemp or any ingredient derived from hemp, the possession, use, or consumption of such product by a member of the Armed Forces” as long as the ingredients meet the federal definition of hemp.

Active service members had been denied the use of products made from hemp, including CBD, regardless of the product’s THC concentration, according to a February memo from the U.S. Department of Defense. the DOD said this was due to the inability of drug testing to differentiate between hemp-derived CBD products and THC marijuana products, which are federally illegal.

“If there are any Americans who most deserve access to wellness products such as CBD, it’s our brave, selfless troops,” the U.S. Hemp Roundtable said in a statement. “Let’s make sure that the men and women who risk their lives for our freedoms have the freedom to use quality, legal hemp products.”

Gabbard is a military veteran and a hemp advocate in Congress. In July 2019, she introduced the Hemp for Victory Act, which called for more research into the applications of hemp. It was referred to the subcommittee on health. That proposed bill was inspired by a World War II-era government film that encouraged farmers to grow hemp for the war effort.

Law360 gives Gabbard an A+ rating when it comes to cannabis. The site wrote, ” Since assuming office in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013, Gabbard has introduced, signed and voted for numerous bills related to marijuana. In 2017, Gabbard co-sponsored the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, a bipartisan bill which, if passed, would remove marijuana from the controlled substances list. The following year, Gabbard introduced the Marijuana Data Collection Act, a bill that would direct the U.S. Department of Justice to research the effects of marijuana legalization. Gabbard hoped that this research to “dispel myths and stigma” surrounding marijuana.

This year, Gabbard has co-sponsored The Marijuana Justice Act, which would deschedule marijuana if passed, and the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act, which would direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to research the therapeutic benefits of marijuana.


StaffStaffJuly 7, 2020
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3min00

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued new guidance for banking requirements for hemp-related business customers. Fin CEN said that the clarification was intended to enhance the availability of financial services for, and the financial transparency of, hemp-related businesses in compliance with federal law. The new guidance supplements the December issued rules.

Nothing To See Here

Basically, the banks are to treat hemp businesses like any other since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the growing of industrial hemp. Financial institutions are told to conduct customer due diligence (CDD) for all customers, including hemp-related businesses. Financial institutions should obtain basic identifying information about hemp-related businesses through the application of the financial institutions’ customer identification programs and risk-based CDD processes, including beneficial ownership
collection and verification, as they would for all customers. Financial institutions must also establish appropriate risk-based procedures for conducting ongoing CDD.

The banks are no longer required to file a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) on customers solely because they are engaged in the
growth or cultivation of hemp in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. If the business is co-mingled with regular marijuana, then the company has to keep them separate and the banks would still need to file a SARS report on the marijuana business.

For customers who are hemp growers, financial institutions may confirm the hemp grower’s compliance with state, tribal government, or the USDA licensing requirements, as applicable, by either obtaining (1) a written attestation by the hemp grower that they are validly licensed, or (2) a copy of such license. The extent to which a financial institution will seek additional information beyond the steps outlined above will depend on the financial institution’s assessment of the level of risk posed by each customer.

Additional information might include crop inspection or testing reports, license renewals, updated attestations from the business, or correspondence with the state, tribal government, or USDA. In order to identify the risks posed, financial institutions must understand the nature and purpose of customer relationships for the purpose of developing a customer risk profile, and conduct
ongoing monitoring to identify and report suspicious transactions, including, on a risk basis, to maintain and update customer information.

As with any customer, FinCEN expects financial institutions to tailor their BSA/AML programs to reflect the risks associated with
the customer’s particular risk profile and file reports required under the BSA.

Any cash transactions over $10,000 still have to be reported as usual.


StaffStaffJune 26, 2020
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29min00

n August 2019, the NCUA issued NCUA Regulatory Alert, 19-RA-02, Serving Hemp Businesses, to provide interim guidance related to the passage of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill). This letter’s purpose is to provide additional information for credit unions that are serving, or considering serving, legal hemp-related businesses, as they, too, have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Like 19-RA-02, this letter is advisory and provides no new expectations or requirements for credit unions.

The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act and directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to establish a national regulatory framework for hemp production in the United States. In response, USDA established the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program through an interim final rule,1 which outlines provisions for the USDA to approve plans submitted by states and Native American tribes for the domestic production of hemp, and outlines minimum requirements that all hemp producers must meet, including:

  • licensing requirements;
  • maintaining information on the land on which hemp is produced;
  • procedures for testing delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration levels;
  • procedures for disposing of non-compliant plants;
  • compliance provisions, and
  • procedures for how to handle violations of the production requirements.

While USDA must approve state or tribal plans before they are implemented, the interim final rule does not preempt or limit any law of a state or Native American tribe that regulates the production of hemp and is more stringent than the 2018 Farm Bill. The rule also establishes a federal plan to license, monitor, and regulate hemp production in states or territories of Native American tribes that do not prohibit hemp production and do not have their own USDA-approved plan.

It is important that credit unions stay current with the federal, state and Native American tribal laws and regulations that apply to any hemp-related businesses they serve. The information in this letter is not an interpretation of the USDA’s interim final rule or other applicable federal or state laws, and does not provide definitive guidance related to the various legal requirements applicable to credit unions that want to provide financial services to hemp-related businesses. The inclusion or exclusion of various matters does not signify their importance.

If you have legal questions about a hemp-related business, we encourage you to consult qualified counsel and the appropriate federal and state authorities. To stay current on the latest from the USDA, you can subscribe to the USDA mailing list for updates.

The following are responses to some frequently asked questions.

  1. What is the status of the USDA’s interim final rule on hemp production?On October 31, 2019, the USDA issued its interim final rule on hemp production and it went into effect immediately. In the preamble to the interim final rule, the USDA stated that it will publish a final rule within two years.2

    A portion of the USDA’s website is dedicated to hemp-related resources. The USDA also has a webpage dedicated to rulemaking documents, including the interim rule and a legal opinion on hemp production and transportation authorities.

  2. Does the interim rule mean that hemp can be legally produced in every state?No. The 2018 Farm Bill did not preempt state or tribal laws regarding the production of hemp that are more stringent than federal law. Further, hemp may be produced only under the 2018 Farm Bill with a valid USDA-issued license or under a USDA-approved state or tribal plan.

    Besides production authorized by licenses granted under the 2018 Farm Bill for the 2020 growing season, hemp may also be produced pursuant to research and development initiatives authorized by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill). This authority expires one year after the effective date of the USDA interim final rule (November 1, 2020). A number of states have opted to permit hemp production under the 2014 Farm Bill authorities for the 2020 growing season.

  3. How can I determine if a state or Native American tribe has submitted a hemp production plan to the USDA for approval?The USDA provides detailed information on the status of state and tribal hemp production plans submitted for approval, including notes about plans that are in development, states and Native American tribes that plan to operate under the 2014 Farm Bill for the 2020 growing season, and a list of approved plans. Copies of approved plans can be downloaded from the USDA site.3
  4. What if the state or tribal territory we serve has not had a hemp production plan approved by the USDA?A hemp producer that does not have a license pursuant to a USDA state or tribe approved plan has two options to receive authorization to produce hemp.
    1. Until November 1, 2020, states may allow hemp production under the research and development initiatives permitted by the 2014 Farm Bill.
    2. Hemp producers in states and tribal territories that do not prohibit hemp and that do not intend to develop and submit a plan to the USDA can also apply for a hemp production license under the USDA’s hemp production program.4
  5. Who is responsible for ensuring that hemp producers comply with a state, Native American tribe, or USDA-approved hemp production plan?According to USDA, for the states and tribal territories with approved plans, the state and tribal governments will be responsible for ensuring that hemp producers abide by the approved plans regulating hemp production. Producers licensed by USDA in states and tribal areas without a USDA-approved production plan will be subject to regulation and licensure by the USDA (provided the state or tribal government has not prohibited hemp production) and may also be subject to additional, stricter state regulatory restrictions around production that are not otherwise codified in a USDA-approved plan.

    In developing the compliance requirements of state and tribal plans, USDA recognized that there may be significant differences in how states and Native American tribes administer their respective hemp programs. Accordingly, as long as the requirements of the 2018 Farm Bill are met (at a minimum), states and Native American tribes are free to determine if a licensee under their applicable plan has taken reasonable steps to comply with plan requirements. As noted previously, USDA will be regulating and overseeing hemp producers licensed by the USDA in states and tribal areas without a USDA-approved state or tribal production plan.

  6. Aside from hemp production, does the USDA interim final rule cover other hemp-related businesses such as manufacturing, processing, distribution, shipping, and retail?No. The USDA rule only sets forth the requirements for engaging in hemp production as authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill. While the USDA notes that the rule “…will also provide sorely needed guidance to the many stakeholders whose coordinated efforts are critical to the success of the domestic hemp production economy…” there is no uniform state or federal system of regulations, plans, or licenses that applies to other hemp-related businesses at this time.

    While states do impose requirements on certain other types of hemp-related businesses, absent a uniform system, credit unions must be aware of the rules that apply in the individual states or tribal territories in which they serve other hemp-related businesses.

    In addition, as noted in NCUA’s August 2019 Regulatory Alert, other hemp-related businesses may now, or in the future, be subject to other federal and state laws and regulations that govern the production, distribution, sale, and use of hemp products. In particular, the 2018 Farm Bill did not affect or modify the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and the Public Health Service Act. It also did not affect or modify the authority of the Secretary of Health and Human Services or the Commissioner of Food and Drugs to promulgate Federal regulations and guidelines that relate to hemp under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or the Public Health Service Act. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published substantial resources addressing hemp.

  7. Where can I learn more about FDA requirements applicable to cannabis-derived products, including cannabidiol (CBD)?The FDA has noted that it is aware of the significant interest in cannabis-derived products and has published a number of resources that address cannabis and cannabis-derived products, such as CBD.

    Despite the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill and despite the fact that certain states permit and regulate businesses that manufacture and sell cannabis-derived products, including CBD, the FDA has reaffirmed that the legality of the sale of CBD products “depends, among other things, on the intended use of the product and how it is labeled and marketed.”5 The FDA has also reiterated that “[e]ven if a CBD product meets the definition of ‘hemp’ under the 2018 Farm Bill…, it still must comply with all other applicable laws, including the FD&C Act.”6

    Further, depending on the type of CBD product at issue, the nature of claims made about CBD products by businesses (including medical claims) and whether businesses infuse CBD into food and beverages or dietary supplements will determine whether or not the subject businesses are violating the FD&C Act and other applicable federal regulations around consumer products and consumer safety.

  8. Has the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) provided any guidance related to hemp?Yes. FinCEN, along with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, in consultation with the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, issued a joint statement on the provision of financial services to customers engaged in hemp-related businesses. The statement was issued “to provide clarity regarding the legal status of commercial growth and production of hemp and relevant requirements for banks under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and its implementing regulations.”

    The joint statement aligns with the information the NCUA provided in its 2019 Regulatory Alert. It also confirmed that FinCEN will issue additional guidance after further reviewing the USDA interim rule.

  9. Will NCUA examinations conducted in 2020 cover hemp?In 2020, NCUA examiners will be collecting data through the examination process concerning the types of services credit unions are providing to hemp-related businesses. This data collection is intended only to help the agency better understand how it can assist credit unions serving hemp-related businesses.
  10. Does the NCUA prohibit credit unions from providing services to hemp-related businesses?No. Many credit unions have a long and successful history of providing services to the agriculture sector. Credit unions may provide the customary range of financial services for business accounts, including loans, to lawfully operating hemp-related businesses within their fields of membership. Hemp provides new opportunities for communities with an economic base involving agriculture. The NCUA encourages credit unions to thoughtfully consider whether they are able to safely and properly serve hemp-related businesses.
  11. What should a credit union board consider when evaluating whether to provide services to a hemp business?Credit unions need to be aware of the federal, state, and Native American tribal laws and regulations that apply to any hemp-related businesses they serve. Credit unions that choose to serve hemp-related businesses in their fields of membership need to understand the complexities and risks involved, and ensure they have the necessary expertise and resources to conduct this activity safely and soundly and in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
  12. Can a credit union provide loans to a hemp-related business?Lending to a lawfully operating hemp-related business is permissible. Any such lending credit unions engage in must be done in accordance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations for lending (in particular, part 723, Member Business Loans; Commercial Lending, or the state equivalent).

    Credit unions must also ensure such lending is conducted safely and soundly, consistent with sound commercial lending practices. This includes appropriate underwriting standards that consider the borrower’s management ability and experience with this line of business, the financial condition of the borrower, and the borrower’s ability to meet all obligations and service the debt.

  13. What is the credit union expected to do to ensure the hemp business is operating lawfully?As with any account, credit unions need to maintain appropriate due diligence procedures for hemp-related accounts. The needed level of due diligence is a business decision credit unions must make individually and can vary depending on the product. For example, the level of due diligence needed for a large business loan would likely be higher than what is needed for a deposit received from a hemp-related business. Credit unions may want to consult with legal counsel when determining the appropriate level of due diligence.

    As part of a credit union’s overall BSA/AML compliance program, the NCUA expects each credit union to employ sufficient customer due diligence procedures to reasonably ensure that credit union member businesses producing or selling hemp-related products are compliant with applicable laws and regulations. Credit unions should verify that hemp growers possess a valid state or USDA license to grow hemp. However, credit unions are not expected to serve as the enforcement authority tasked with policing the hemp industry for illegal activity.

    The NCUA expects credit unions to remain alert to any indication an account owner is involved in any illicit or unusual activities. Credit unions must comply with BSA and AML requirements to file a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) for any activity that appears to involve potential money laundering or illegal or suspicious activity.

  14. Can a credit union decide not to serve hemp-related businesses?While the NCUA encourages credit unions to thoughtfully consider whether they are able to safely and properly serve lawfully operating hemp-related businesses within their fields of membership, the decision to serve any business is made by each individual credit union.
  15. Is there a list of credit unions that serve hemp-related businesses?The NCUA does not maintain a list of credit unions serving hemp-related businesses at this time.
  16. Do credit unions need to file marijuana related SARs on legally operating hemp businesses, provided the activity is not unusual for that business?No. Provided the credit union reasonably believes they are operating lawfully and the activity is not unusual for that business, marijuana-related SARs are not required to be filed for the activity associated with a hemp-related business. Credit unions must remain alert to any indication an account owner is engaging in illicit or unusual activities and should follow current FinCEN guidance for filing regular SARs when they suspect the business is engaging in illicit, suspicious or unusual activity.
  17. Where can I learn more?The USDA has published numerous resources dedicated to providing further guidance related to hemp.

    Credit unions with questions regarding state or Native American tribal laws and regulations should contact the state or Native American tribe government. The USDA has provided a resource page that contains relevant state and Native American tribe contact information.

    Credit unions with hemp-related food, drug, and cosmetic questions should contact the FDA and relevant parties within state and tribal governments.

Lawful hemp businesses provide exciting new opportunities for rural communities, and credit unions should carefully consider whether they can safely and properly serve lawfully operating hemp-related businesses within their fields of membership. To that end, and as described in this letter, credit unions must be aware of the federal, state, and Native American tribal laws and regulations that apply to any hemp-related businesses they serve, as well as the complexities and risks involved.

The NCUA encourages credit unions that are serving, or considering serving, hemp-related businesses to review all available information related to this evolving industry. As more information becomes available, the NCUA will continue to provide additional guidance.


StaffStaffJune 23, 2020
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3min00

Hemp oil producer Entoura, whose legal name is AVF CBD, LLC is buying Kentucky-based Atalo Holdings, an agriculture, and biotechnology firm specializing in research, development, and production of industrial hemp. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

“Entoura is committed to sustainable and trustworthy products that leverage the benefits of the renowned hemp plant. Bringing Atalo onboard, with its rich history of innovation in hemp, brings us closer to achieving that goal,” said Kevin Murray, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Entoura. “Atalo’s incredible legacy in hemp cultivation, innovation and advocacy is truly inspirational, and we look forward to continuing that story.”

Entoura is a vertically integrated, high-quality USDA certified organic and cGMP-certified hemp oil producer. The company was started after its founder discovered the potential for CBD and the hemp plant in assisting with his son’s autism symptoms. The team has grown to 15+ members, comprising decades of combined genetic, agronomic, processing & financial experience. The company said that team members include the Former National Cultivation Manager for Canopy Growth, an Agronomist with 38 years experience (24 years in crop production), and the Former Director of Cultivation for Kiona THC and horticulturist from Acreage Holdings.

Atalo is located in the heart of Kentucky’s hemp region and boasts a rich history in hemp cultivation and genetics, dating back to the 1800s. The company’s ability to produce farmer-focused food-grade hemp products further augments Entoura’s robust supply chain. Entoura said it plans to leverage Atalo’s existing brands and product scope to enhance its product suite and to offer private label services, including industrial hemp genetics, flower, and hemp oil extraction. Entoura plans to combine its advanced genetics and distillation capability with Atalo’s hemp seed oil for integrated and differentiated product development.

Entoura has the following processing capabilities:
• 40,000 sqft of facility space with an additional 30,000 by 2021
• 15,000 lbs of biomass/day with addition 10,000 by 2021
• CO2 Cryo Ethanol Extraction
Farming Capacity:
>1000 Acres Organic Capacity
>50,000 Acres Total Capacity

 

 


StaffStaffMay 19, 2020
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7min00
A coalition of U.S. hemp businesses and organizations announced the launch of Hemp for Our Future, a social responsibility campaign to support healthcare workers and community organizations on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis.
Hemp for Our Future has established a network of hemp farmers, businesses, and nonprofits, through which it is coordinating the production and donation of hemp-based materials, products, and foods to nursing organizations, food banks, and other organizations in their regions that are helping people impacted by COVID-19. The campaign was inspired by “Hemp for Victory,” a film produced by the federal government during World War II that encouraged American farmers to grow as much hemp as possible to support the war effort.

Leaders and supporters of Hemp for Our Future explain the new campaign and its inspiration in a video online.

“This is an exceptionally challenging time for our country, and everyone is looking for ways to do their part to help out,” said Hemp for Our Future co-founder Shawn Hauser, who is a partner and chair of the hemp and cannabinoid practice at Vicente Sederberg LLP. “This nascent industry is only in its first year of USDA regulation, but it is well-positioned to quickly start making an impact. The power of hemp is incredible, and the power of an active and well-organized community is unlimited.”

Hemp for Our Future is asking participants to produce products, donate biomass, provide logistics services, contribute financially, and recruit additional participants from throughout their supply chains. In particular, it is seeking donations of personal protective equipment, sterilization products and equipment, cleaning supplies, food and supplements, and lotions and salves.

“One in seven people in Kentucky were struggling with hunger before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and now that number is even bigger,” said Chad Rosen, CEO of Kentucky-based Victory Hemp Foods, which contributed hundreds of pounds of hemp hearts to local food banks. “As a superfood ingredient manufacturer, we are trying to do what we can with what we have to help the greatest number of people. We decided to start by donating hundreds of pounds of nutrient-dense hemp hearts to food banks in the communities where we live. We are also encouraging others to take similar action, because even small acts can have a big impact.”

Some of the initial contributions coordinated through the network include:

  • Several hundred pounds of hemp hearts from Victory Hemp Foods to food banks and nutrition programs in four Kentucky counties;
  • More than 1,000 units of hand sanitizers, lip balms, salves, and other topicals from Curaleaf, Fusion CBD, Nanocraft CBD (facilitated by CBD Takeout), and other companies to professional nursing organizations in Massachusetts and New York; and
  • More than 200 items of hemp clothing from Colorado Hemp Company to Colorado Coalition for the Homeless.

“Our company is proud to participate in the Hemp for our Future campaign and assist in helping local community organizations in need of donations, such as food and clothing,” said Morris Beegle, founder of Colorado Hemp Company. “It’s great to see so many companies and individuals from the hemp and cannabis space stepping up to help those in need.”

Hemp for Our Future was co-founded by Vicente Sederberg LLP, Agricultural Hemp Solutions, and Friends of Hemp. It is supported by a growing number of organizations and businesses, including (in alphabetical order):

  • Agricultural Hemp Solutions
  • Cannabis Doing Good
  • CBD Takeout
  • Colorado Hemp Company
  • Colorado Hemp Industries Association
  • Curaleaf
  • EARTH Law LLC
  • Friends of Hemp
  • Fusion CBD
  • Hemp History Week
  • Hemp Industries Association
  • Hemp Road Trip
  • Nanocraft CBD
  • National Cannabis Industry Association
  • National Hemp Association
  • OP Innovates
  • Oregon Industrial Hemp Farmers Association
  • Oregon State University Global Hemp Innovation Center
  • Texas Hemp Educational Organization
  • U.S. Hemp Building Association
  • U.S. Hemp Growers Conferences & Expo
  • Vicente Sederberg LLP
  • Victory Hemp Foods
  • Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition
  • Vote Hemp
“Hemp for Our Future is currently focused on helping health care workers and others on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis, but the network we have created will be able to continue doing good well into the future,” said Hemp for Our Future co-founder Courtney Moran of Agricultural Hemp Solutions. “It is a meaningful way in which we can unite and strengthen this new industry, while also illuminating the utility and sustainability of this amazing crop. Now that commercial hemp production is federally legal in the U.S., we can put it to use to meet our country’s industrial material needs, while also regenerating our soils and rural economies.”

StaffStaffMay 8, 2020
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8min00

Editors Note: This post was republished with permission from CannabizMedia.com

Cannacurio: Connecticut Hemp

It is hemp season and today’s Cannacurio delves into the hemp licenses in our home state of Connecticut. Connecticut has three types of licenses right now that includes cultivation, processing, and manufacturing. Between Pending and Active there are 217 licenses and here is how they break down across activities:

Connecticut 2020 Hemp Licenses by Activity

Manufacturer License: To make hemp products intended for human ingestion, inhalation, absorption or other internal consumption (collectively “consumables”), you must apply for and receive a manufacturer of hemp consumables license. Such a license is required to engage in the conversion of the hemp plant into a byproduct by means of adding heat, solvents, or any method of extraction to modify the original composition of the plant into a consumable.

Processor License: To use or convert hemp to make a product that is not a consumable, you must obtain a license from the Department of Agriculture. The processor license will be required to produce all animal food, and non-consumables, such as textiles and building products.

Grower License: Issued to a person in the state-licensed by the commissioner to cultivate, grow, harvest, handle, store, and market hemp.

Key Findings

  • There are 217 active and pending Connecticut hemp licenses so far this year
  • 66% of the licenses are cultivators, 25% cultivators, and 9% processors
  • 73 of the licenses have been formed with other licenses to create a vertically integrated operation. 84% of the processors are integrated with other licenses.
  • Incredible Edibles, a well-known brand, received both a cultivator and manufacturer license.

Vertical Integration

One of the questions we are increasingly asked about is how many licenses are vertically integrated. For Cannabis licensing that is easier to answer as it is often regulated – think Florida and New York for full integration or New Mexico and Connecticut for partial. However, in the hemp economy, it is really up to the discretion of the business to decide if it wants to and is qualified to manage multiple activities.

In evaluating the 217 licenses above we have determined that 73 of these licenses – or about a third have been vertically integrated into stacks of two or three licenses. 144 operate as stand-alone licenses.

Vertically Integrated Connecticut Hemp Licenses

In other words, 66% are stand-alone businesses and in looking at the % table above we can see that Cultivators have the highest likelihood to be a stand-alone business followed by Manufacturers and Processors.

The processing function is most likely to be vertically integrated or stacked – only 3 of the 19 processing licenses are stand-alones.

Why does this matter?

It speaks to the ease with which business owners can make the determinations as to the types of businesses they would like to pursue. There are a couple of other factors at work here as well. In order to get all three of these Connecticut licenses, the business owners had to secure cultivation and manufacturing from the Department of Agriculture and the Processing license from the Department of Consumer Protection. This supports a trend we have seen in hemp licensing where states expand the activities they permit and utilize existing regulators to help carry the burden.

We have seen this play out in Florida and Louisiana where existing regulators manage the licensure of retail sales. This is a stark contract from cannabis regulatory schemes where monolithic entities are created to handle the process.

Leaderboard

Here are the license holders who have secured/applied to receive all three license types in Connecticut:

CT Hemp Leaderboard - Vertically Integrated


StaffStaffApril 15, 2020
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5min00
The hemp advocacy group Vote Hemp said that on Monday April 13th, eight leading hemp trade and advocacy organizations sent a joint letter to Small Business Administration (SBA) administrator Jovita Carranza urging her to ensure that in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, farmers are eligible for key Small Business Administration (SBA) programs, especially the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program. The letter was sent on behalf of hemp farmers nationwide including more than 17,000 licensed family farmers who grew hemp in 2019.
The eight signatories to the letter are Vote Hemp, U.S. Hemp Roundtable, U.S. Hemp Grower Association, National Industrial Hemp Council, Hemp Industries Association, Midwest Hemp Council, Hemp Feed Coalition and the Nebraska Hemp Industries Association.
According to Vote Hemp, the Hemp Business Journal estimates that sales of hemp products grew to more than $820 million in 2017 and estimates they will grow to $2.6 billion by 2022.
The CARES Act relief bill was passed by Congress on a bi-partisan basis to provide economic support including grants and low interest loans to businesses and individuals affected by the COVID-19 virus. However, much of the funding was distributed to the SBA and farmers historically are not eligible for SBA programs and funding. While some CARES Act funding was allocated to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), there was not indication of when or how that funding might reach farmers and for what purpose it would be provided. Many hemp producers indicated they were struggling without access to loans or support that was going to other businesses. Given the unique nature of this disaster, the coalition felt that it was important that farmers including hemp producers should be able to access the Economic Injury Disaster Loans and other SBA relief programs.
“We are concerned about the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus on farmers and wanted to make sure that hemp producers were not left behind at this critical moment” said Eric Steenstra, President of Vote Hemp. “We urge the SBA and Congress to provide the same relief to hemp farmers that is being offered to other businesses.”
To read the coalition letter to the SBA, regarding hemp farmer inclusion in CARES Act aid, please visit: https://www.votehemp.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/VH-letter-to-SBA-Covid-farmers-EIDL-FINAL.pdf

StaffStaffMarch 31, 2020
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4min00

Congress has passed the CARES Act in order to assist Americans during the COVD19 pandemic. Despite paying onerous taxes, most cannabis companies are ineligible to take part in the rescue plan. Hemp farmers look like they will be able to take advantage of some assistance in the rescue package.

Harris Bricken law office noted on their website that the bill contains a $20 million grant to the Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Relief Fund. The site also pointed out that on March 11, President Trump instructed the SBA “to exercise available authority to provide capital and liquidity to firms affected by the coronavirus.” Unfortunately for marijuana businesses, SBA was quick to point out that:

“Because federal law prohibits the sale and distribution of cannabis, the SBA does not provide financial assistance to businesses that are illegal under federal law. Businesses that aren’t eligible include marijuana growers and dispensers, businesses that sell cannabis products, etc., even if the business is legal under local or state law.”

Harris Bricken also suggested that because the CARES Act delegates lending authority to banks and credit unions, that potentially eligible hemp businesses should reach out to their banks and credit unions directly.

Hemp, Inc. CEO Bruce Perlowin said, “We appreciate that the CARES Act includes language that designates relief for small businesses and relief for farmers–hemp farmers should absolutely be included in this as federal law now treats hemp as an agricultural commodity and not a controlled substance. While marijuana businesses and cultivators would not receive relief, hemp farmers should receive and benefit from direly needed stimulus funds. The hemp industry needs support now so that it can lead in uplifting and revamping the economy when the dust settles.”

Cannabis Crocodile Tears

Many in the cannabis community grumble about paying taxes but then get excluded from a rescue package. It’s a valid complaint, except that dispensaries have been allowed to stay open for the most part and many states have eased restrictions regarding deliveries and curbside service. Several have also reported very strong sales during the crisis and that makes it hard to believe that the companies need a rescue plan.

Granted physical distancing presents more challenges to the system, but then the cannabis industry is used to adapting to challenges. There are some that believe there are poorly run cannabis companies who are now hiding behind COVID excuses to explain poor results.

Hemp farmers, however, were struggling prior to the pandemic as many sunk large amounts of money into farms only to see prices drop and demand fall. Competition increased dramatically causing large players like GenCanna to declare bankruptcy. The CARES Act could be just the thing to hit the reset button.

EcoGen Laboratories Head of Sales Doug Watson said, “During this trying time, we are excited to see that the CARES Act includes language that designates relief for farmers and small businesses. Farming inherently comes with certain risks and any assistance from the government will help ease some of the fear in continuing to plant during this pandemic. In this same spirit, EcoGen is also working on a program where the company will buy back hemp from farmers in order to stand behind our farming customers. We are very hopeful that this stimulus will help the hemp industry in this important planting season for 2020.”


StaffStaffMarch 16, 2020
Florida.jpg

3min00

HB 921, a bill addressing the hemp seeds used for hemp farming in Florida has passed the Florida Senate and House. It is expected for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to sign the bill into law in the coming days.

The removal of the “rigid wording requirements” put in place by the Florida legislature will allow for clearer labeling. Nationwide there are currently 12 different labels required for hemp products. In addition to making the labeling easier, the legislation will allow for more research into plant genetics and will help determine what can be farmed in the Florida climate. The new legislation does not cover synthetic CBD.

Florida Hemp Council

The Florida Hemp Council, a non-profit that was created to provide structure, networking and services to the hemp industry in Florida, has been lobbying for this bill in Tallahassee.

Jeff Greene, the co-founder of The Florida Hemp Council stated, “At The Florida Hemp Council, we are happy with the result of the passing of HB 921. A late amendment to the bill allowed for important adjustments to the Hemp program in Florida. By exempting GRAS products and maintaining certain exemptions, we are able to cater to our small retailers and grocery store members. We were also able to keep order in the seed program for our farming members. Lastly, we are pleased to see that the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services received funding for 43 new employees. I would consider this session a win for the Florida hemp industry and am hopeful that Governor DeSantis will sign off, as planned.”

According to the www.hempbenchmarks.com, “As of February 21, Florida has not issued any permits to grow
hemp, according to Holly Bell, Director of Cannabis in the state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. With many farmers across the country already making preparations for the planting season by this point in the year, the fact that licenses have not yet been issued in Florida raises the question of whether hemp will be grown in the state this year and, if so, to what extent.”


StaffStaffMarch 11, 2020
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7min00

The Farm Bill, signed recently into law, allows for the cultivation and sale of hemp and hemp products under specific regulations. This legalization is a big step for both consumers and producers.

For consumers, it implies that they can now enjoy numerous health benefits of hemp oil. One of the benefits of hemp oil that receives a lot of attention is its use for skin. The skin is an essential part of the body, and no one wants to look dull or have aging skin. Today we look at the many benefits that hemp seed oil offer to your skin.

What is Hemp Seed Oil?

Hemp seed oil originates from seeds of the hemp plant. It comes from seeds that don’t contain the same level of compounds as the plant but are rich in many other compounds. Some of the components that the oil contains include omega-3 fatty acids that can do wonders for your skin.

Full-spectrum hemp oil contains all components required to provide the entourage effect. Health benefits of hemp seed oil include boosting cardiovascular health, enhancing brain health, relieving arthritis pain, and reducing inflammation.

Hemp Oil for Skin

  1. Hydrates Skin

It contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that help to hydrate the skin. Hemp oil is a natural skin moisturizer and a perfect solution for people with dry skin. Fatty acids contained in hemp interact uniquely with the skin to ensure that there is no clogging.

Besides, it contains amino acids, which inhibit skin dryness. Therefore, it can help hydrate the whole body and not just your face. Nowadays, you can also get lip products that contain CBD, such as CBD lip balm. What does CBD lip balm do? CBD lip balm helps to moisture and hydrate your lips because it contains hemp extracts.

  1. Has Antioxidant Properties

The hemp seed oil contains various antioxidants, including vitamin C, A, and E, and gamma-linolenic acid. Such properties can offer your skin protection from early aging. Dermatological studies show that antioxidants prevent oxidative cell damage by limiting the production of free radicals and playing a role in the aging process.

  1. Heals Eczema

There exists a positive link between eczema and hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil helps to hydrate the dry skin of eczema patients as well as reduce inflammation and pain from itching. In short, eczema patients that use hemp oil report a significant reduction in itching and dryness and an improvement in all symptoms. If you suffer from eczema, you can apply the oil directly to your skin, as advised by a specialist.

  1. Treats Psoriasis

Psoriasis causes cells to multiply rapidly on the skin, leaving red patches and scales that are painful and itchy. At least 125 million people (2-3% of the total population) across the world suffer from this condition. These high statistics show that it is a common issue. The fatty acids and gamma-linolenic acids contained in hemp oil can help to treat psoriasis and leave your skin glowing.

  1. Reduce Skin Inflammation

Gamma-linoleic acid contained in hemp seed oil has anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, it can help to address any swellings on the skin caused by other underlying conditions. Similarly, body cells involved in the inflammatory response contain omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. You can consume hemp oil to enjoy all these components for the benefit of your skin.

  1. Reduces Acne

These same fatty acids that fight inflammation also hydrate and soothe the skin and regulate the production of oil in the skin, which in turn helps to treat acne. Hemp oil doesn’t cause pore blockage or breakouts, and this is very important in acne. Considering that acne occurs as a result of blockage of pores due to excess fat, hemp oil offers the solution you need if you are experiencing this issue.

  1. Anti-aging Properties

Aging leaves your skin dry and dull and hinders you from getting that glowing and youthful skin. The hemp seed oil contains anti-aging properties and can help to reduce wrinkles and fine lines on your face. The oleic and linoleic acid, which play a crucial role in anti-aging, is an element of hemp seed oil.

You can benefit from hemp oils in the form of hemp scrubs, hemp creams, and hemp moisturizers to slow down the aging process of your skin. It has the perfect balance of most compounds required to boost skin health.

Conclusion

A healthy skin prevents the entry of diseases and gives you a radiant look. We all want to have that perfect skin and have probably tried most products available on the market. Hemp oil contains numerous minerals and nutrients that can benefit your skin without leaving any side effects.

The fact that it is legal in most places makes it easy to access such products from trusted sources. In Canada, the government sells products through the online dispensary Canada to ensure that you purchase premium hemp seed oil.

 



About Us

The Hemp Market Report will target news from the fast growing worlds of cannabidiol (CBD) and hemp. As a sister site to the Green Market Report, HMR will cover financial stories, but also take a look at lifestyle news as well. The Hemp Market Report will also publish sponsored content as we seek to expand our content offerings.


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