“If you want to be incrementally better: Be competitive. If you want to be exponentially better: Be cooperative.” --- anonymous
Last week, representatives from a dozen Vermont businesses, UVM, and state government met around the table to talk hemp.
From my point of view, it was an event of historic significance, twenty-three years in the making.
We were invited to Montpelier to offer our initial feedback on a "preview" version of the (soon to be released) draft Rule that will guide the new Vermont hemp registry program. The rule, constructed over the last several months, establishes the registration and quality control platform for the state's hemp growers and processors.
The goal of the rulemaking process, led by the Agency of Agriculture (VAAFM), has been to clearly define the regulatory framework and product safety guidelines around which our state's federally compliant hemp program is to be built.
Gary Giguere, our host and a VAAFM Section Chief, along with his colleague, Stephanie Smith, Chief Hemp Policy Enforcement Officer, opened the 3-hour meeting and helped set the stage for the group.
"... the face of Vermont agriculture is changing. And we believe that hemp is going to have a role in that (change)." ~ Cary Giguere, Vermont Agency of Agriculture
“Let us declare Nature to be legitimate. The notion of illegal plants is obnoxious and ridiculous in the first place.” ~ Terence McKenna
Hey Vermont. Spring is just around the corner, and it's time to make plans for growing hemp at home. CBD anyone? I'm offering a workshop in Middlebury to help you get started.
When this journey began I was a younger man, a good stretch before hemp and CBD had made the scene.
I’ve been an organic gardener for as long as I can remember; food, flowers, herbs, fruit trees, you name it. As a kid in Oregon in the 1970’s - before eradication teams and drones, a little grass in the garden was pretty common. My mom had two plants that grew behind the pole beans. No big whoop.
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” ~ Lao Tzu
The buzz you hear around the 2018 Farm Bill, that's the sound of the hemp industry coming alive.
It is an exciting and historic development that the 2018 Farm Bill removes hemp (i.e., Cannabis sativa containing 0.3% THC dry weight or less) from the federal list of controlled substances. This forever redefines hemp as an agricultural commodity.
State Agencies of Agriculture are staffing up; they will play the part of local rule-maker, regulator and enforcer.
The rise of innovation, production, and sales of hemp and hemp products is upon us. As America's newest ag-based economy gears up, we celebrate hemp's reformed legal status. Unfortunately, we can't yet cheer its complete emancipation.
We've come a long (long) way, and not to take anything from the epic drive that got us here, hemp is still going to be a highly regulated crop in the wake of the 2018 Farm Bill.
I'm Netaka, friends call me Tak ("tock"). I write from Vermont and curate Tak About Hemp.