A Hemp Expo was held last weekend at Lansing Center, and more than a thousand people attended the two-day conference which was like a curtain raiser for the 2020 planting season.
Legal Hemp was first planted in Michigan in 2019, and more than 564 growers took part by obtaining licenses to cultivate 32,600 acres of hemp.
The organizer of the Hemp Expo, Dave Crabill, said that, in 2019, the hemp program was more of a “Ready, Fire, Aim.” Crabill further said that they want this year’s planting season to be prepared with the right hemp seed, equipment, and hemp nutrients to ensure a successful harvest so that the mixed results for farmers in 2019 are improved.
Currently, farmers in Michigan are planting hemp for CBD oil extraction and smokable hemp. The founder and executive director of GTF LLC, Gary Schuler, said that the impact of hemp would be beneficial to the state’s economy and security as it will provide hemp farmers with financial stability. His company specializes in processing agricultural waste.
Schuler also said that hemp could be used in several ways, such as a substitute for plastics, and could also be used for making fabric. He also noted that the hemp crop grown for fiber production does not require much capital. It is also easier to maintain and to process.
The expo was held on January 10-11 in Lansing, Michigan. During the event, speakers who are knowledgeable and passionate about hemp spoke to the attendees during the sessions.
The main goal of the expo was to discuss:
- The future of hemp and innovation in the industry
- The means of sourcing the right seeds, clones or seedlings and how to pick the plant genetics
- Soil and crop health
- Hemp regulations
- Hemp equipment and technology, and
- Better harvesting techniques.
The approval of the 2018 Farm Bill by Congress lifted the pre-World War II restriction which made it illegal to cultivate industrial hemp. Hemp is a cannabis Sativa plant, and the THC levels must be below 0.3%.
Most hemp farmers are on a CBD craze meaning that they are growing hemp for its highly valuable CBD (cannabidiol) oil. CBD oil is found in the flower of the plant, and the process of extracting the oil is capital-intensive. Fiber can also be obtained from the hemp plant, and it is used to make textiles.
Crabill further said that there is still room for growth for the hemp industry in Michigan. He that those farmers whose crops were successful during the 2019 planting season are now scaling up by planting more acres of hemp. Over time, more farmers are going to emerge as winners and that there still an opportunity for more people to venture into the hemp industry.
Industry players like HTC Extraction Systems (TSX.V: HTC) (OTCQB: HTPRF) hope that all people involved in the hemp industry in Michigan will implement the lessons learned during the conference so that any avoidable mistakes are side-stepped.
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