As the middle-western United States gears up for hemp after passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, stakeholders across the vast U.S. farm belt face an array of challenges.
Questions over the regulation of CBD, consumer safety, and standards for various tests frame the agenda for a business conference and farm symposium that will explore those issues during the 2nd annual Southern Hemp Expo Sept. 6-7, 2019 in Tennessee.
Sessions are planned to review federal and state legislation and regulations; trends in CBD; developments in processing technology; certification; market research, compliance and lab testing; breeding, genetics, seeds and clones.
The Expo, to be held at Franklin, Tennessee, will feature 150 exhibitors in a trade show, with workshops and demonstrations also planned.
More than 5,000 visitors are expected for the two-day gathering, said Morris Beegle of Colorado Hemp Company, which produces the Expo.
Fast-growing hemp states
Tennessee and its northern neighbor Kentucky — both declining tobacco states — have taken to hemp in a big way after last year’s Farm Bill legalized the crop nationwide.
More than 2,600 Tennessee farmers and producers were licensed to grow and process hemp this year, an increase of more than 1,100% over 2018. In Kentucky, more than 1,000 farmers received hemp farming licenses in 2019, with more than 50,000 acres (20,234 ha) having gone under hemp after passage of the U.S. Farm Bill.
Kentucky grew 6,700 acres of hemp in 2018 while Tennessee recorded just under 5,000.
Lineup of speakers
Two-time Funny Car World Champion turned hemp farmer Matt Hagan will give the Expo’s keynote address Saturday.
Other scheduled speakers include: Bob Hoban, Hoban Law Group, Colorado; Janel Ralph, Palmetto Harmony, South Carolina; Matt Hagan, Two-time World Champion Funny Car Driver & Hemp Farmer, Washington: Colleen Keahey Lanier, Hemp Industries Association; Dani Billings, Nature’s Root & Colorado Hemp Project; Doug Fine, author & hemp farmer, New Mexico; Franny Tacy, Franny’s Farm, North Carolina; and Sean Murphy, Hemp Business Journal.