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The Future of The Legal Hemp Industry

The Future of The Legal Hemp Industry

The legal hemp industry is growing fast. But is it growing too fast for its own good?

People are hopping onto the legal hemp train. The industry is growing fast, and is more than likely going to surpass the few legal cannabis industries in the United States within a few years in terms of revenue.

While the US federally legalized industrial hemp at the end of 2018 with the help of the Farm Bill, the rest of the world is slowly starting to catch up, with multiple countries in the European Union updating their hemp laws as well.

The states have had their fair share of problems getting the legal hemp industry off the ground only three months into 2019, with multiple arrests in Oklahoma and Idaho due to local law enforcement not being notified of hemp being transported through the state. But figuring out the right way to navigate this new industry isn’t so black and white.

Should the hemp industry be regulated like the cannabis industry?

It’s challenging to say for sure. Hemp can serve many purposes that regular, high-THC cannabis cannot, and vice versa. But measuring the levels of THC content in both hemp and THC-heavy cannabis with the same standards can make the transition between industries much simpler.

However just like individual states have different laws regarding their legal cannabis industries, states can also establish their own hemp laws, as long as they don’t go against the federal law. Now that the legal hemp industry is going to allow interstate commerce, problems will inevitably arise when states have differing hemp laws while still sharing a border.

Where is the legal hemp industry headed?

Right now, a lot of people are using cannabis advertising methods for hemp products. To Hollis Carter, part of what makes hemp cool is that it is hemp, something different from your regular THC-rich cannabis.

There is a growing rise in smokeable hemp flower products, like Hollis’ Lefty’s Hemp Co. and others. For others trying to get involved, regulations might pose a serious problem.

While there is a growing desire for quality, smokeable hemp flower, many fail to meet the .3% THC requirement currently. On top of that, the market is currently very saturated.

A lot of people are trying to get involved, with many already getting weeded out (pun intended) for poor business practices or low quality products.

With a new legal industry that will make it much easier for entrepreneurs and other companies to invest their capital safely, there is a lot of room for innovation and infrastructure that will bring in a lot of businesses one might not originally have considered.

From hempcrete to hemp clothing, and the ancillary businesses that will be integral to the production of these commodities, there’s a lot more opportunity in the legal hemp industry than you might think!

The Real Dirt Hempisodes

With all that in mind, we bring you The Real Dirt Hempisodes! Over the next few weeks, The Real Dirt is diving into the legal hemp industry. 

This week Chip talks with Graham Carlson of Charlotte’s Web, the very first CBD flower producers and creator of Charlotte’s Web CBD tincture, along with Mike Leago of the International Hemp Exchange and Hollis Carter of Lefty’s Hemp Co. about some issues with the legal hemp industry, how it compares to the legal cannabis industry, and how it can be changed for a more productive industry overall.

Roll one up and enjoy the first Hempisode, and tune in next week for Part 2 in the Hempisode series.

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Check out Charlotte’s Web CBD

Check out The International Hemp Exchange

Check out Lefty’s Hemp Co.

Inside Maryland’s Medical Marijuana Industry

Inside Maryland’s Medical Marijuana Industry

Maryland has always been relatively progressive compared to its neighbors when it comes to cannabis. The state decriminalized small amounts in 2010, and enacted a full medical marijuana program in 2012. Now we’re in 2019, but where does the Maryland medical marijuana industry stand?

Inside Culta’s Cultivation

Culta opened in Baltimore, Maryland in 2018 with the goal of bringing exclusive, high quality genetics from successful seed banks and breeders to the Maryland medical marijuana industry.

They built their cultivation facility from scratch inside an old factory right in the inner harbor of Baltimore’s downtown. They also designed one of only four vertically integrated cannabis businesses in the state. This means from seed, to processing, to sale, Culta handles it all in-house.

With over 400 lights in the facility, separate rooms for genetics testing, vegetation and flowering, Culta is by far one of the most technologically sophisticated cultivation facilities in the state. Plus, they sourced some of the most experienced cultivators in the country to build their genetics.

Maryland Medical Marijuana

In this episode of The Real Dirt Podcast, Chip talks with Jay and David, Head Grower and Cultivation Manager of Culta.

Together the three of them dive into the design behind Culta’s facility, the benefits of being vertically integrated, the issues new businesses are dealing with in an industry that is still finding its footing and more.

Roll one up, relax and enjoy the first episode of Season 3 of The Real Dirt with Chip Baker!

This episode is brought to you by Cultivate Colorado, the top grow store in Denver with two locations in the metro area. Cultivate supplies Real Dirt listeners and guests with the grow gear they need to succeed in the garden. Check them out on Instagram @cultivatecolorado for the latest updates and deals.

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Check out Culta on Instagram @cultaig!

Breaking the Stoner Stereotype

Breaking the Stoner Stereotype

Envision a “stoner” in your head. Do you see a tie-dye shirt, or a suit and tie?

The stoner stereotype is changing rapidly, and the old hippy growing ganja in his basement to sell to the high school kids is now operating a legal grow with lab tests to back it up. Yet so many people still believe the age old stereotype of the lazy stoner with the headband and flared out jeans.

Well it ain’t 1977 anymore, so get over it. Cannabis is a business, and business draws businessmen and businesswomen. While some of the “OG” industry leaders may stick to their hippy roots, many of the new faces coming into the industry aren’t like that.

Some of them might not even have experience with cannabis themselves, but see the monetary opportunity and go for it, as any smart business person would. Some may argue that this is causing issues, as people who have been in the industry since before it was legal start to butt heads with the newbies.

Ditching the Stoner Stereotype

Something that is ironic about this industry is that a customer might actually be more likely to trust a budtender that looks more like a hippy than the one rocking a polo shirt and khakis. And that is also part of the problem to some. People see the hippy-looking fella as trustworthy, simply because he looks like he smokes often.

Well, in this episode of Tony Don’t Smoke OG you’ll hear from Collin, who looks nothing like your typical stoner. In fact, you’re more likely to see Collin in a lab coat than tie-dye shirt. That’s the way this industry is headed. Professionals, business people and entrepreneurs are all getting their feet wet in the new industry, and with it they change the perception of the industry.

Some people like the stereotype though. Too many people are stressed, angry, working all the time. Why is it so bad for someone to be laid back, lazier, and happier? Maybe it’s just the emphasis our society puts on working all day every day just to get that pay check. But for some, money isn’t everything. But for a lot of new people coming into this industry, it is.

Maybe it’s a bad thing that the stoner stereotype is disappearing, but I don’t think so. The good pieces of the stereotype will remain. The light-hearted, happy stoner that isn’t stressing about every little thing doesn’t sound too bad. If we just get a little more professional, it won’t hurt.

Tune into the Finale of Tony Don’t Smoke OG Season 1 right now on iTunes and Spotify!

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Getting Cannabis Industry Jobs: Industry Employment Guide

Getting Cannabis Industry Jobs: Industry Employment Guide

There’s a lot of cannabis industry jobs out there. They’re just hard to find.

There are now more than 30 states that have legalized cannabis for medicinal or recreational use, and the jobs are there if you are willing to look. Due to its stigmatized nature and lack of advertising, finding cannabis industry jobs can be tough, especially in states that have just recently opened their markets.

States like Massachusetts and Michigan are both projected to be highly successful markets. But whereas Michigan just legalized with plans in place for a recreational marketplace within one year, Massachusetts has been legal for two years and has yet to open a dispensary, although that looks to be changing soon.

Cannabis Industry Jobs by State

Every state has set up their legal cannabis markets differently, whether medicinal or recreational. Colorado has one of the most effective and respected programs, and it is highly regulated. California on the other hand has much less restrictions on working in the industry, but a more difficult process of starting a cannabis business in the state.

The more you know about each state’s laws, the easier it will be to decide where you want to work, and what you want to do. Some states are only giving out licenses for growing and extracting, while others have given them all out, and now just need budtenders. Some states require you be a state resident to work in the industry in that state. Other states have no such requirement.

Another way to learn about getting into the industry from the outside is to hear the story of someone who did just that…me!

This Week on The Real Dirt

If you didn’t notice by the author line at the top, I’m Travis, and I’m the guest on this week’s episode of The Real Dirt.

I have been writing for The Real Dirt for over a year, and have been writing about cannabis for roughly 5 years. What started as a fantasy of working in the legal industry developed over time into me picking up and leaving Pennsylvania to move to Colorado to work full time for The Real Dirt and Cultivate Colorado.

It wasn’t easy for me to find a job in the industry, especially from the east coast. It will be hard for you too, but it’s not impossible. You don’t need to pick up and leave with no job security and hope you find something. You just have to look. Hard.

It took me at least 6 months of doing unrelated jobs on the side and looking for cannabis-related jobs before I actually found The Real Dirt. So don’t give up.

My story isn’t anything special. I saw an opportunity and went for it against odds, and succeeded. Now I’m writing this trying to help you get past the point I was stuck at too! If you want to hear more about me and how I ended up 2,500 miles away from all my family, listen to my episode of The Real Dirt!

Plus, I wrote a nice Industry Employment Guide that goes into detail about the fastest growing cannabis industries in the country, and all of the requirements for working in them. Please check that out, download it, print it, frame it, burn it, whatever you want. But it will help you understand the basics of these state’s respective industries should you decide to start looking for a job.

I hope you get something out of this episode and the industry guide, and as always you can ask me any questions at Travis@therealdirt.com, or talk to me on Instagram! I run both Cultivate Colorado’s and The Real Dirt’s Instagram accounts, and I LOVE TALKING WITH FANS!

 

Read the Full Real Dirt Industry Employment Guide Here!

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