Illinois wellness farm awarded

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An Illinois wellness farm has won a grant competition organized by the Midwest (USA) Hemp Coalition (MHC), an association of stakeholders across the region.

The winner in the competition to honor new or emerging hemp businesses, Tulip Tree Gardens Co., makes a range of boutique organic CBD products sold in the company’s online fresh produce shop and in an on-site farm market in Beecher, Illinois.

Started in 2015 by Rachael and Jesse Smedberg, Tulip Tree Gardens practices regenerative farming, turning out “farm-to-bottle” products that all come from plants grown and processed on-site. The company sells full-spectrum CBD oils and citrus-infused CBD oils, plus topical CBD products including facial oil, lip balm and body creams along with smokable hemp flower. Tulip Tree Gardens also offers fresh vegetables, fruits and other farm produce.

“We started Tulip Tree Gardens because we became obsessed with regenerative agriculture,” said Rachael Smedberg. “Our custom formulas and regenerative practices really set us apart from most hemp brands.”

Tulip Tree Gardens picked up accounting, legal and marketing services for one year under a winner benefits program. The company will also receive a basic hemp course for two staff members organized by MHC.

The aim of the award program, the Illinois Hemp Grant Business Competition, is to raise awareness of the industry that is taking shape around the hemp plant in Illinois. The grant was established last year to promote small hemp based businesses. Co-organizer of the competition was the Chicago chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), with support from Chicago-based AV Social Strategies, a social media specialist; and Mueller, a certified public accountant also based in Chicago.

Judges for the grant award were Manny Mendoza, a Chicago chef and owner of Herbal Notes, a supper club specializing in infused meals; Tiffany Reynolds, Soul and Wellness Medical Marijuana Services & Education, a medical marijuana agency in Chicago; Christina Colon, owner of hemp retailer Mama Verde Apothecary; Ryan Rapaport, a consultant and strategic advisor for companies in the cannabis and entertainment industries; and Andrew Farrior, who serves on the marketing & advertising committee of the National Cannabis Industry Association.

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