September 11, 2020


Hemp and Hispanic Heritage Month: Mount Horeb hemp founder is part of the Wisconsin hemp resurgence

In anticipation of Hispanic Heritage Month, HIA member and Mount Horeb Hemp founder and owner Kattia Jimenez is advocating for the advancement of the hemp industry in Wisconsin.

"There is a tradition of entrepreneurship in the Latino community," said Jimenez. "As a first-time business owner entering the agricultural industry, the learning curve is high. We are making history as of 2018 when it became legal to grow hemp in Wisconsin for the first time in decades."

Jimenez stands by her high-quality full spectrum CBD products and is working towards organic certification this growing season. As an immigrant who owns a woman-led company, she is dedicated to not only making her business successful, but also aspires to be a leader in the hemp industry in Wisconsin and the United States.


EPA asked to acknowledge ag crops don’t elevate GHG levels

The Biogenic CO2 Coalition filed a petition for rule-making with the Environmental Protection Agency, providing a detailed explanation of the scientific and legal basis for the agency to propose a rule to recognize that biogenic carbon emissions from agricultural crops do not contribute to elevated greenhouse gas (GHG) levels in the atmosphere. The filing also details the significant economic benefits of the proposal.

Regulatory clarity regarding the de minimis nature of biogenic carbon emissions from agricultural crops promises to spur investments in rural economies, drive the creation of green jobs and enable American farmers and businesses to fairly compete in the international marketplace for renewable products, the coalition said.

“Sound science from around the world makes clear that carbon emissions from fossil fuels and agricultural crops should be treated differently. This petition provides EPA a simple blueprint for revising the regulations to reflect that reality,” John Bode, president and chief executive officer of the Corn Refiners Assn., said. “More importantly, this rule change will help rural economies thrive by stimulating investment, creating green jobs and encouraging growth in renewable products. This fast-growing sector not only supports American farmers; it creates products that are better for our planet.”


Green Packaging Reimagined: How hemp is making packaging more sustainable

Cannabis businesses have long struggled with the excessive packaging their products are required to use, employing extra layers of plastic and paper to ensure that flower or vape products are child-proof and don’t fall into the wrong hands. 

But that struggle might be nearing its end: New plant-based paper and plastic packaging options are coming to market at a price point that’s comparable to conventional packaging.

That’s all thanks to the ingenuity of a few innovative minds that are working to make cannabis bio–circular. 

And cannabis companies are here for it, said Erica Halverson, founder and CEO of Tiny ePaper, the Long Beach, California-based company that makes 100% hemp paper. Halverson said the interest in and need for sustainable packaging in the cannabis industry was the green light she needed to launch her company. 


Yanet Caliz of Gold Spectrum Lifestyle CBD: Five things I wish someone told me before I started a CBD business

HIA member Yanet Caliz is a talented business owner and driven entrepreneur. She is the founder and CEO of the successful CBD brand, Gold Spectrum. 

Born in Mexico, Yanet immigrated to the US at the age of 13. Always wanting to be her own boss, she became a business owner at a young age. In her 20’s she started her first venture, a small janitorial company which eventually led her to a new business that involved making repairs to multi-family homes and condos where she made over 1M in revenue in a little over a year. She had zero experience but as she says she has a “Ph.D. in life (Poor, Hungry, and Driven).” Now Yanet balances her time between her three thriving businesses. 

Gold Spectrum Lifestyle CBD extends a 25% discount on purchases made by HIA members. Visit the Members Only Portal for a coupon code. 

READ MORE: Five Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started Leading a CBD Business

Global Hemp Day is a virtual deep dive featuring presentations, panels, virtual tours and keynotes by the people at the forefront of the global hemp revolution. Keynote Speakers Bruce Linton and Steve DeAngelo will be joined by experts in markets in the US, Canada, India, Zimbabwe, Asia and Europe. 

As part of HIA’s commitment to the principle of establishing universal standards and best practices for the U.S. hemp industries, we asked Joe Witte, VP of Ecosystems and Partnerships at HIA member TagOne, to share how improved accuracy in tracking could be a major factor in advancing the hemp economy.

Six years after the Hemp Farm Bill was first introduced, new challenges continue to pop up like whack-a-mole; one core issue is accurately tracking your supply chain. Without a tight supply chain process/system, risks are guaranteed to increase, for your company and for the industry as a whole. Implementing company values that are focused on quality is critical, both to build trust with customers and to ensure that you don't put someone’s health at risk by selling an inferior product. The industry has already seen high profile cases that have cost companies millions of dollars in legal fees and lost sales, sullied the industry’s reputation, and will serve to drive up insurance premiums.
What can you do to protect yourself now?
  • Develop standard operating procedures. Identify and document your key process areas. And equally important, assign named individuals to own them. When something is assigned to everyone, its effectively assigned to no one.
  • Get GMP/ GAP certified. This is a long, challenging process, but will build in the discipline necessary to scale your operation and reduce your risks while you push out a quality product. Additionally, any major retailer or enterprise partner is going to require GMP certification prior to conducting business with you.
  • Know your Suppliers and Buyers. You should have a clean database of each of your suppliers (and have documentation of their respective certifications) and also each of your buyers and the products they delivered or purchased (respectively). All documentation needs to be current and verified (yes, companies fake their paperwork).
  • One up and one back. Once you have your supplier and buyer list locked, make sure you track EVERY transaction that occurs (date, item, lot #, location, CofA’s, etc). If your business is early stage, a spreadsheet and shared cloud drive may suffice, but as you expand, a more sophisticated technology will be required.
  • Inactive ingredients matter too. The latest CBD company that came up positive for lead was as a result of an inactive ingredient. In fact, your packaging could be a risk to your product. Remember, every item that touches your product- adds risk.
  • Inspect your processor or contract manufacturer. Many of you may be thinking “I use a partner, and they say they are certified” and then stop. Well, don’t assume. You need to collect and keep all documentation, conduct an audit to ensure that they are meeting your quality standards. Remember, that is your label on the bottle, so you are liable in the event of an incident.
Taking it to the next level
All of the above require processes and systems to manage and accurately access the data. That means:
  • Risk reduction – Don’t risk expensive court cases that can stymie growth, cost a ton, and destroy your reputation
  • Product provenance – Blockchain traceability systems can validate the quality of your products and stimulate sales.
  • Chain of custody – Having CofA’s and accurate buyer/seller information on hand is crucial when local law enforcement pulls your hemp transportation over.
  • Tech traceability – Gives consumers in your product’s claims and—critically—allows for swift, surgical action in the event of a recall.
  • Predictive Analytics – Anything that is measured can be improved, and leveraging data is key to surpassing your competitors. 
Building a great brand and driving sales is important, and the first out of the gate will focus solely on marketing and sales. But, in the long run, it’s those companies that master quality and their supply chain that will win by preventing product recalls, developing a reputation of excellence which leads to confidence and sales from major retailers.
About the Author:
Joe Witte is the VP of Ecosystems and Partnerships at TagOne.
TagOne is an HIA member that delivers transparency to the hemp, CBD and natural foods industries through innovation in supply chain management technology. Our cloud-based platform empowers B2B customers with End-to-End (E2E) track and trace capabilities, inventory and document management resulting in increased operational visibility and product provenance.

Connect with Joe.

Interested in learning (really learning) about regenerative hemp from soil to market? 

American Hemp Farmer and Hemp Bound author, Doug Fine, is offering a new educational course alongside the great folks at the half-century-old Acres USA farming organization. The course is called “A Grower’s Guide to Regenerative Hemp: From Soil to Seed to Sales.”

For the last several months, Doug has been working on this course, while tending to his own superfood hemp plants. This is soil to product – including seed acquisition, what to look for midseason, how to harvest, the works. Ten chapters in all, accompanied by videos, photos, Doug’s experiences and those of other experts he trusts. 

You can work on your schedule, from anywhere in the world. We hope it proves helpful, whether you are hemp-curious, a backyard gardener (growing super food for your family) or ready to leap in and become a regenerative entrepreneur. 
HIA members use code HIACOURSE at checkout for $40 off registration.

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