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Kentucky Hemp Grower Group Reaps $2,000,000 Harvest in 2016

Source: Atalo Holdings Communications

Winchester, Ky. – Atalo Holdings, Inc., a diversified industrial hemp research and production company in Winchester, Ky., announced a $2,000,000 payout to their Growers' Group for the 2016 harvest. “We are pleased to announce payments of $2,000,000 to our growers for hemp grain and CBD production in 2016,” said Atalo Chairman Andrew Graves. “This represents a solid step forward in hemp research and development and offers the potential for positive rural economic development in 2017.”

Ben Furnish is a grain and tobacco farmer who participated in the Atalo Growers' Group. “This was a good year for our hemp grain. Much better than last year with an all around good yield. Atalo's proprietary seed proved to be an improvement, the crop fit in well with our soy bean program and the return on investment was a little better than corn,” said Furnish. Hemp-based foods have emerged as “superfoods” in the health and wellness food category in North American and European markets with a projected compounded annual growth rate of 20% through 2020. This is good news for Kentucky farmers. “Hemp is a unique plant, with so many uses, from fiber to protein, oils and CBD. These multiple uses should make revenue from hemp comparable with tobacco,” Furnish said.

Dave Spalding is the Growers' representative for Atalo Holdings. According to Spalding, “In 2016, we had 58 growers and 2,466 acres approved for hemp production, making us one of the largest permitted hemp companies in the US. At our Hemp Research Campus, the mission is to provide leadership and value through research, development and commercialization of industrial hemp. For this harvest, 410 acres were for CBD, which we are processing, and 755 acres were for grain and seed replication. Hemp is demonstrating great potential as a sustainable source of quality agricultural protein and gross returns from CBD production appear to be at least comparable to if not better than gross returns from tobacco on a per acre basis.”

Robert Eads is a tobacco farmer who sees hemp as a potential alternative crop. “I had a very good year and an excellent return on investment in Atalo's CBD program,” said Eads. “They helped me with seed selection, planting methods, harvesting and drying. All in all I'd say next year's CBD crop will be accomplished with my existing tobacco equipment. With that kind of return on investment, I'm looking forward to next year and an opportunity for improved seed, planting, harvesting and drying techniques. We're all learning and the market looks promising.”

Atalo CEO, William Hilliard, says the market is expanding rapidly. “According to Hemp Business Journal, dispensary sales of CBD products will grow to $1.6 billion in sales by 2020 and SPINS, a leading provider of retail consumer insights, analytics reporting for the Natural, Organic, and Specialty Products Industry, tracked $1,344,646 in sales of products containing CBD as a primary ingredient in the Natural and Specialty Retail channel over the 52-week period ending Aug. 7, 2016.”

“The Hemp Business Journal also estimates that total sales of CBD products in the pet supplement channel will be just shy of $7 million in 2016 and account for about 6 percent of hemp-based CBD product sales.” These economic indicators coupled with the 2016 harvest results give us strong momentum going into the 2017 season, Hilliard said.”

Atalo Holdings, Inc. and subsidiary companies Super Food Processing, KentuckyCBD and Kentucky Hemp Seed R&D operate the Hemp Research Campus in Winchester, Kentucky.

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Kentucky Hemp Grower Group Reaps $2,000,000 Harvest in 2016

Source: Atalo Holdings Communications

Winchester, Ky. – Atalo Holdings, Inc., a diversified industrial hemp research and production company in Winchester, Ky., announced a $2,000,000 payout to their Growers' Group for the 2016 harvest. “We are pleased to announce payments of $2,000,000 to our growers for hemp grain and CBD production in 2016,” said Atalo Chairman Andrew Graves. “This represents a solid step forward in hemp research and development and offers the potential for positive rural economic development in 2017.”

Ben Furnish is a grain and tobacco farmer who participated in the Atalo Growers' Group. “This was a good year for our hemp grain. Much better than last year with an all around good yield. Atalo's proprietary seed proved to be an improvement, the crop fit in well with our soy bean program and the return on investment was a little better than corn,” said Furnish. Hemp-based foods have emerged as “superfoods” in the health and wellness food category in North American and European markets with a projected compounded annual growth rate of 20% through 2020. This is good news for Kentucky farmers. “Hemp is a unique plant, with so many uses, from fiber to protein, oils and CBD. These multiple uses should make revenue from hemp comparable with tobacco,” Furnish said.

Dave Spalding is the Growers' representative for Atalo Holdings. According to Spalding, “In 2016, we had 58 growers and 2,466 acres approved for hemp production, making us one of the largest permitted hemp companies in the US. At our Hemp Research Campus, the mission is to provide leadership and value through research, development and commercialization of industrial hemp. For this harvest, 410 acres were for CBD, which we are processing, and 755 acres were for grain and seed replication. Hemp is demonstrating great potential as a sustainable source of quality agricultural protein and gross returns from CBD production appear to be at least comparable to if not better than gross returns from tobacco on a per acre basis.”

Robert Eads is a tobacco farmer who sees hemp as a potential alternative crop. “I had a very good year and an excellent return on investment in Atalo's CBD program,” said Eads. “They helped me with seed selection, planting methods, harvesting and drying. All in all I'd say next year's CBD crop will be accomplished with my existing tobacco equipment. With that kind of return on investment, I'm looking forward to next year and an opportunity for improved seed, planting, harvesting and drying techniques. We're all learning and the market looks promising.”

Atalo CEO, William Hilliard, says the market is expanding rapidly. “According to Hemp Business Journal, dispensary sales of CBD products will grow to $1.6 billion in sales by 2020 and SPINS, a leading provider of retail consumer insights, analytics reporting for the Natural, Organic, and Specialty Products Industry, tracked $1,344,646 in sales of products containing CBD as a primary ingredient in the Natural and Specialty Retail channel over the 52-week period ending Aug. 7, 2016.”

“The Hemp Business Journal also estimates that total sales of CBD products in the pet supplement channel will be just shy of $7 million in 2016 and account for about 6 percent of hemp-based CBD product sales.” These economic indicators coupled with the 2016 harvest results give us strong momentum going into the 2017 season, Hilliard said.”

Atalo Holdings, Inc. and subsidiary companies Super Food Processing, KentuckyCBD and Kentucky Hemp Seed R&D operate the Hemp Research Campus in Winchester, Kentucky.

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Industrial Hemp: Oregon and Interstate Sales

oregon hemp cbd
So it goes with Oregon hemp.

In the past six to twelve months, we have seen an extraordinary increase in businesses and individuals interested in growing and processing industrial hemp. This is especially true in Oregon, where Department of Agriculture (ODA) grower and handler registrations are fast, cheap and easy to acquire. In many cases, these registrants are cultivating and processing hemp in order to create cannabidiol (CBD) based products. The products can be sold state-wide without limitation, including into the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) adult use marijuana market via hemp-endorsed OLCC processors.

Other entrepreneurs, in Oregon and elsewhere, are extracting CBD for sale interstate. This is a legally nebulous area at the federal level, although interstate sales are not prohibited under Oregon law. With CBD isolate changing hands at upwards of $4,500 per kilo, however, and given the proliferation of CBD products making their way into big box retail, many businesses and individuals feel the risk is worth taking. Perhaps for this reason, we have been getting numerous weekly inquiries as to the viability of CBD sales interstate, especially as of late.

From a state rules perspective, Oregon has taken significant steps in the past several months in building out its industrial hemp regime. We wrote about the recent OLCC rules promulgated in December, which allowed for ODA hemp registrants to sell into the OLCC market; and more recently we wrote about House Bill 4089, which tied up a number of loose ends related to the tracking of those sales. The upshot of all of this is that we now have unprecedented interplay between the OLCC and ODA markets. And as the OLCC hustles to write rules implementing HB 4089, there is a fair bit of confusion about what is actually allowed.

One question that keeps coming up is whether an OLCC processor applicant may process ODA hemp (under both ODA and OLCC rules) while waiting to receive its license from OLCC. According to our reading of the rules, recently confirmed to us by OLCC, the answer is “yes.” Much in the way that marijuana growers used to attempt to “squeeze in” a medical marijuana crop pending their OLCC inspection and licensure, ODA hemp processors can float their operations by processing industrial hemp while in line with OLCC. Note that this is allowed even for ODA processors that are not seeking a hemp endorsement in their OLCC processor applications.

Of course, ODA, local fire marshals and other state or local actors may place limitations on hemp processing operations, or may require certain approvals. And just like with medical marijuana growers converting to OLCC production, OLCC may require that all hemp and hemp-derived items be removed from the processor's premises as a condition of passing the necessary site inspection. If you think about it, this makes sense: Under OLCC rules, a licensed marijuana processor may not have hemp on its premises except if endorsed to receive that hemp via the OLCC Cannabis Tracking System (CTS) from an ODA grower or handler. Thus, pre-existing hemp items must be removed from the OLCC applicant's premises prior to receiving the OLCC license.

Once licensed by OLCC with a hemp endorsement, the OLCC processor may receive hemp concentrates and extracts from ODA handlers, and the OLCC processor may receive raw hemp, hemp commodities and hemp products from ODA growers. Note that any form of hemp the OLCC processor receives from an ODA registrant must 1) come with clean ODA test results; and 2) be logged in CTS. Regarding the latter requirement, this means that no sale or transfer is allowed outside of OLCC channels, or to anyone other than OLCC wholesalers and retailers.

Finally, regarding ODA hemp processors–including those businesses waiting in the OLCC application queue–that's another story. In keeping with the analysis above, those processors can sell their hemp products to anyone under Oregon law. When it comes to interstate sales and federal law, though, that's a whole ‘nother question.

Happy 4/20.

Industrial Hemp: Oregon and Interstate Sales

oregon hemp cbd
So it goes with Oregon hemp.

In the past six to twelve months, we have seen an extraordinary increase in businesses and individuals interested in growing and processing industrial hemp. This is especially true in Oregon, where Department of Agriculture (ODA) grower and handler registrations are fast, cheap and easy to acquire. In many cases, these registrants are cultivating and processing hemp in order to create cannabidiol (CBD) based products. The products can be sold state-wide without limitation, including into the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) adult use marijuana market via hemp-endorsed OLCC processors.

Other entrepreneurs, in Oregon and elsewhere, are extracting CBD for sale interstate. This is a legally nebulous area at the federal level, although interstate sales are not prohibited under Oregon law. With CBD isolate changing hands at upwards of $4,500 per kilo, however, and given the proliferation of CBD products making their way into big box retail, many businesses and individuals feel the risk is worth taking. Perhaps for this reason, we have been getting numerous weekly inquiries as to the viability of CBD sales interstate, especially as of late.

From a state rules perspective, Oregon has taken significant steps in the past several months in building out its industrial hemp regime. We wrote about the recent OLCC rules promulgated in December, which allowed for ODA hemp registrants to sell into the OLCC market; and more recently we wrote about House Bill 4089, which tied up a number of loose ends related to the tracking of those sales. The upshot of all of this is that we now have unprecedented interplay between the OLCC and ODA markets. And as the OLCC hustles to write rules implementing HB 4089, there is a fair bit of confusion about what is actually allowed.

One question that keeps coming up is whether an OLCC processor applicant may process ODA hemp (under both ODA and OLCC rules) while waiting to receive its license from OLCC. According to our reading of the rules, recently confirmed to us by OLCC, the answer is “yes.” Much in the way that marijuana growers used to attempt to “squeeze in” a medical marijuana crop pending their OLCC inspection and licensure, ODA hemp processors can float their operations by processing industrial hemp while in line with OLCC. Note that this is allowed even for ODA processors that are not seeking a hemp endorsement in their OLCC processor applications.

Of course, ODA, local fire marshals and other state or local actors may place limitations on hemp processing operations, or may require certain approvals. And just like with medical marijuana growers converting to OLCC production, OLCC may require that all hemp and hemp-derived items be removed from the processor’s premises as a condition of passing the necessary site inspection. If you think about it, this makes sense: Under OLCC rules, a licensed marijuana processor may not have hemp on its premises except if endorsed to receive that hemp via the OLCC Cannabis Tracking System (CTS) from an ODA grower or handler. Thus, pre-existing hemp items must be removed from the OLCC applicant’s premises prior to receiving the OLCC license.

Once licensed by OLCC with a hemp endorsement, the OLCC processor may receive hemp concentrates and extracts from ODA handlers, and the OLCC processor may receive raw hemp, hemp commodities and hemp products from ODA growers. Note that any form of hemp the OLCC processor receives from an ODA registrant must 1) come with clean ODA test results; and 2) be logged in CTS. Regarding the latter requirement, this means that no sale or transfer is allowed outside of OLCC channels, or to anyone other than OLCC wholesalers and retailers.

Finally, regarding ODA hemp processors–including those businesses waiting in the OLCC application queue–that’s another story. In keeping with the analysis above, those processors can sell their hemp products to anyone under Oregon law. When it comes to interstate sales and federal law, though, that’s a whole ‘nother question.

Happy 4/20.

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California Cannabis: Industrial Hemp Bill Moves Ahead

industrial hemp california

On Thursday, SB 1409, which proposes changes to California’s industrial hemp laws, was referred to committee. This piece of legislation proposes some much-needed updates to California’s industrial hemp laws. In our experience, states with adult use marijuana regulations, like California, tend to move more slowly building out their industrial hemp programs, which often come in as an afterthought. In that respect, SB 1409 is a welcome effort.

Currently, California law regulates the cultivation of industrial hemp, and specifies certain procedures and requirements on cultivators, not including an established agricultural research institution. Existing law defines “industrial hemp,” via the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act, as a fiber or oilseed crop, or both, that is limited to the non-psychoactive types of the plant Cannabis sativa L. and the seed produced from that plant.

Existing California law also requires that industrial hemp only be grown by those on the list of approved hemp seed cultivars. That list includes only hemp seed cultivars certified on or before January 1, 2013. Industrial hemp may only be grown as a densely planted fiber or oilseed crop, or both, in minimum acreages. Growers of industrial hemp and seed breeders must register with the county agricultural commissioner and pay a registration and/or renewal fee.

SB 1409 proposes to delete the exclusionary requirement that industrial hemp seed cultivars be certified on or before January 1, 2013. Additionally, “industrial hemp” would no longer be defined restrictively in the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act as a fiber or oilseed crop, and the bill would delete the requirement that industrial hemp be grown as a fiber or oilseed crop, or both. Presumably, this will allow cultivators to harvest hemp for CBD derivation, and related use.

SB 1409 would also authorize the state Department of Food and Agriculture to carry out, pursuant to the federal Agricultural Act of 2014, an agricultural pilot program for industrial hemp. Twinning a state-sanctioned pilot program with licensed, private cultivation is a model that has worked well in other states, like Colorado and Oregon. SB 1409 seems to have been well-researched in that sense.

To read more about the current state of industrial hemp under federal law, as well as what other states have done to regulate it, take a look at these posts:

We look forward to seeing whether California will take the lead, or at least take serious steps, toward regulating industrial hemp in a progressive way. SB 1409 was introduced only last month and seems to be moving along nicely. We will keep an eye on this bill, and keep you updated on any developments.

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