257 – America’s Emerging Hemp Industry – My Interview with Josh Hendrix

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Agricultural hemp is making a comeback in the US.

Hemp is an important agricultural commodity around the world. Hemp played an important role in the growth and development of America as well. Until 1937 when the marijuana tax act criminalized all cannabis including industrial hemp. This is a case of throwing the baby out with the bath water. The road back to US hemp production is just gaining traction.

Hemp based products have been available in the US for probably a decade or so. Products like protein rich hemp seed, hemp oil (not to be confused with CDB Oil), hemp fiber for rope and fabrics have come into the marketplace. These products are made from hemp grown in other countries. Canada for example produces industrial hemp. So the challenge of making industrial hemp legal again in the US been formidable but doable. 

The biggest driver of this movement is the unprecedented emergence and consumer demand for CBD (cannabidiol). What most people don’t realize is that there is a movement to establish agricultural hemp as a viable farm crop once again in the US. The idea that we should grow our own hemp instead of importing hemp products from other countries is finally taking root. It just makes sense.

But how do you create an supply chain where none exists? A few years ago there were no hemp growers or processors in the US. Building a new industry is hard enough, but it is made even harder because of the legal status of all cannabis plants. That began to change with the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill which created a standard or definition of industrial hemp as distinct from marijuana. The distinction is determined by the amount or lack thereof of THC. Industrial hemp has only a minute amount of THC and therefore can be grown in the US legally. 

This is just the first step. You still need farmers and processors and companies to buy hemp raw materials and make consumer goods. There are many products that are derived or manufactured from hemp. How does that happen? Slowly, but it is happening. And that is the topic of today’s interview with Josh Hendrix. Josh is a Kentucky farmer who has worked to bring hemp farming back. He works with CV Sciences to fulfill the dream of an American Hemp Industry. He works with legislators and regulators to forge a new path. It’s a fine line. We must figure out how to fully and finally separate hemp farming from marijuana production. They are not the same thing. Related yes, but not the same. Industrial hemp should be an American product. In this interview, Josh describes the challenges and successes in bringing hemp back.

Josh put his money where his mouth is. He now grows hemp in Kentucky. He works with CV Sciences, a well known producer of hemp based CBD. CV Sciences also has skin in the game. They are very proactive in supporting and financing many of these efforts. This work involves local farmers, local, state and federal lawmakers and regulatory agencies. This is not an easy task. But it is seeming moving forward and making progress. Josh describes the progress, challenges and current state of affairs as it relates to the very new hemp industry.

CV Science is one of the premier CBD Oil producers. They are the manufacturers of Plus CBD Oil. We have numerous interviews here on HealthQuestPodcast.com on the benefits of CBD. Follow the link to access the other interviews. Our guests have included Stuart Tomc, Dr. Amiee Shunney, and Dr. Hector Lopez. In these interviews you have the perspective of a company, a naturopathic doctor, a scientist and now a hemp farmer/activist. 

About Josh Hendrix
Josh was born and raised in the Bluegrass State of Kentucky and a University of Kentucky alumnus, Mr. Hendrix relocated back to Central Kentucky in 2014 on a mission to help rebuild the US hemp industry. Seeing a need to bring farmers, processors, manufacturers and supporters of the industry together, Mr. Hendrix founded the Kentucky Hemp Industries Association that summer and still serves on the Board of Directors. He also became an active member of the US Hemp Round table where he now serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors.

In 2015 he created and became President of Hendrix Hemp, a licensed hemp producer that manages hemp cultivation on his family’s, Mayflower Farm, in Mount Sterling, KY. In early 2016 Mr. Hendrix was appointed to the Technical Advisory Council for the National Hemp Association and in 2017 accepted a role on the Board of Directors for Friends of Hemp. He is also the host of the Hemp Happy Hour, a live radio show and podcast about the emerging hemp industry.

Currently Mr. Hendrix serves as the Director of Business Development – Domestic Production for CV Sciences, Inc. where he works with numerous universities, farmers, businesses, and organizations to help facilitate the infrastructure necessary to establish a modern domestic supply chain for hemp in the United States.

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