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Inside The Alabama Hemp Industry

Inside The Alabama Hemp Industry

Hemp is legal in Alabama…and everywhere else in the US. But that doesn’t mean all the laws are the same.

The 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized industrial hemp, opening up a brand new marketplace for interstate commerce with federal regulation. This is a huge step for hemp and cannabis (since they are the same thing), but the bill isn’t perfect.

One unique aspect of the bill is that it gives states a year from its passing (December 2018) to either draft their own industrial hemp laws that still fit within federal regulation, or get rid of any hemp laws they currently have, and accept the new federal regulation as their own.

While states like Colorado — that had an amendment to its constitution allowing for the production of industrial hemp — voted to remove the amendment from the constitution to avoid any backlash from federal government, others still have hemp laws on the books.

Alabama is one of them.

Hemp Laws in Alabama

To get the most accurate description of Alabama’s new laws, the best place to go is the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.

Hemp is now deemed an agricultural commodity and is no longer classified as a controlled substance in the US, and in turn, Alabama. It is important for the public to understand that hemp is not legal to grow or process in Alabama until a plan is developed and approved by the United States Secretary of Agriculture.

The USDA will require participating states to include information on applicants, testing procedures, inspection of growing/processing facilities and disposal procedures. The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) will work in consultation with the Governor’s office, the Attorney General’s office and law enforcement agencies to create a plan of action regarding statewide regulation.

So, while hemp is federally legal and Alabama is not fighting that, the state is still setting up its legal industry. At the time of this writing (April 2019), Alabama will have already closed its application window for growers, processors and distributors.

Over 180 farmers have been approved, with some 60 processors in addition.

This Week’s Episode of The Real Dirt

One such person that was able to obtain a farming license for industrial hemp in Alabama was Brett Terry. A longtime friend of Chip’s, Brett works with Front Range Biosciences in Boulder, Colorado.

Front Range Bio is working to rapidly advance the growth methods and techniques for cannabis and industrial hemp, from cleaner farming practices to cell cultures. Originally from Alabama, Brett saw the massive market potential for hemp in the state.

As a strong agricultural provider for the country, Alabama is packed with farmers looking for new opportunity. While those that didn’t meet the March 1st deadline must now wait until October to apply for licensing, Brett is already getting started.

Hear Brett’s story and what he’s experienced so far in Alabama’s legal hemp industry in this episode of The Real Dirt Podcast.

Join our private Facebook Group for conversations with other ganjapreneurs and cannabis updates you won’t get anywhere else!

And join our new Real Dirt Alabama Group for exclusive Alabama hemp news, tips and more.

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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!

Connecting to Your Cannabis: Tony Don’t Smoke OG

Connecting to Your Cannabis: Tony Don’t Smoke OG

It can get stressful in the garden. Believe it or not, your plants can feel that stress too, and it can impact their health.

Just like how science has proven that plants will react to various genres of music differently, the energy or vibrations your body can give off to its surroundings may have a similar effect. Obviously this isn’t as scientifically proven, but if you’ve been growing for a long time, you know.

Throwback Episode

In this week’s episode of Tony Don’t Smoke OG, Chip, Tony and I225 talk about how they relax in the garden when they get stressed. I225 has utilized meditation in his grow to help cope with stress. He believes it also helps him connect with his plants, feel how they are feeling and vice versa.

Then the crew talks about the 2016 election, which candidates they were for and against during the race, and why there hasn’t been a president that has really been good for cannabis yet.

Another short and sweet Tony Don’t Smoke OG episode for your enjoyment.

Looking for something a little longer? Listen to last week’s episode about finding work in the fastest growing industry in the country.

Is Hemp Constitutional in Colorado? Harvest Special Pt. 5

Is Hemp Constitutional in Colorado? Harvest Special Pt. 5

What makes hemp, hemp? Is it where it’s grown, or how its grown?

It all depends where you live at this point. The Agricultural Act of 2014 allowed farmers to grow industrial scale hemp legally, as long as the THC content was .03% or lower in the plant.

Seems simple enough. But when states have the right to make their own laws, the Agricultural Act becomes basically irrelevant. Some states require .01% THC or less to be considered legal. Other states require .05% or less, and some are even considering raising it to 1% or less THC.

Colorado’s hemp laws

Colorado is the only state in the country that actually includes cultivation in the state constitution. This means that Coloradans have the right to cultivate legally in Colorado. But that could all change soon.

A new measure being voted on this midterm would take the laws regarding hemp in Colorado, and make them statutory rather than constitutional. While the constitutional law currently allows legal cultivation of plants containing .03% THC or less, Amendment X would change that law to better reflect the federal law.

What if?

What if the people vote no on Amendment X? Hemp will remain in the constitution of Colorado, with a mandatory THC level of .03%. If the federal government were to reclassify hemp tomorrow and say the new limit is 1%, Colorado could be stuck. With the delays between introducing new laws and voting on them, it could be upwards of 2 years before Colorado could catch up with the rest of the country.

What if the people vote yes? Hemp will become statutory, not constitutional, putting it on par with federal regulation. Growing will no longer be a right, but a regulated law organized and voted on by lawmakers. There will be little noticeable change at first, as the constitutional definition of Colorado hemp is near identical to the federal definition already. But should the federal definition change to lower the plant’s controlled substance status or raise the legal THC limit, Colorado will be on par with the rest of the country.

What’s your vote?

What would you vote if you were a Coloradan in this situation? Would you want hemp to stay in control of the state, enshrined in the constitution, only to be changed by the people’s vote? Or, would you want to join the rest of the country in a unified federal regulation of hemp?

Hear what Chip is planning on doing on this week’s Real Dirt episode! In the FINAL Harvest Special, Chip talks about the new bill and what it could mean for Colorado and the country.

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Seed Breeding: luck or skill?

Seed Breeding: luck or skill?

Seed breeding is a job few take on. It takes a lot of patience and skill to hunt phenotypes, but also some luck.

You can plant 100 seeds and get 99 males, or you can plant 5 seeds and get 5 females. That’s the thing about seed breeding. There’s a lot left up to chance.

Seed breeding

Seed breeding itself is simple enough. You get your seeds, you plant them and monitor them, eventually you start to notice the sex of your plants, and you get rid of the males to ensure your females don’t pollinate, but instead flower. As simple as it sounds, it gets more complicated when you’re breeding for specific profiles.

You can plant a bunch of seeds that come out female, but the genetics of those seeds just might not be up to par. Some will take those matured plants and cross them with another to try to find the qualities the grower wants. Others get everything they want in the first try, and that’s just lucky.

Luck or skill?

In this week’s installment of Tony Don’t Smoke OG, the gang smokes on some OG and Cookies while they talk about their struggles with breeding. Purple Trainwreck is one of the favorite strains of the Tony Don’t Smoke crew, and all of them have tried breeding it themselves.

While they eventually got the right qualities, somebody else had already beat them to the punch, with just a couple seeds. It just goes to show you can be the most skilled breeder in the world, but it just takes a little bit of luck to strike gold.

Listen to the episode here on The Real Dirt, or click below to listen on iTunes and Spotify

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Maintaining Cannabis Quality: Tony Don’t Smoke OG Ep. 107

Maintaining Cannabis Quality: Tony Don’t Smoke OG Ep. 107

Cannabis quality isn’t everything when it comes to growing, but it’s definitely at the top of the list.

Chip, Tony and i225 are back this week with a new episode of Tony Don’t Smoke OG. In this episode, the three talk about cannabis quality.

i225 Grew some great Cookies that the gang puffs on during the episode, and it brings up the topic of growing great tasting weed, consistently. While it may be as simple as i225 puts it — just making sure your plants get what they need when they need it — it ain’t always that simple.

How plants are grown, how far apart plants are places in the garden, air flow, etc. All of this plays a factor in how your plants turn out. But being consistent with how you grow your plants, regardless of how well you’re actually growing them will always produce similar results.

That’s why it’s always best to stay on top of your schedule, take care of your plants just right, and do it consistently. Don’t over-pour your nutrients or over water to compensate for not watering often.

Hear more on consistency in the garden in the full episode of Tony Don’t Smoke OG!

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