This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com - #Growing Your Business
The four things to know before you grow.
4 min read
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Hemp, the versatile planet from which we extract CBD and manufacture fiber, paper and (believe it or not) food, is taking the market by storm. With demand currently higher than supply, now is the best time to start profiting. But before you start farming the sought-after crop, here are some crucial things you need to know.
1. Get a license.
This is by far the most important step. When President Donald Trump signed the 2018 Farm Act into law (also known as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018), it legalized the commercial production of industrial hemp in the United States. But before venturing into cultivation, you have to first obtain a license that gives you the right to grow hemp, although it will not apply to marijuana unless you’re in a state where marijuana is legalized for medicinal or recreational purposes. Just to be on the safe side, make sure you consult a lawyer before applying.
2. Figure out which hemp product will generate profit.
As aforementioned, hemp is not just used to process CBD oil or other CBD products for medicinal purposes. It can be used to make textile, paper, plastic, soap and so on. Usually, the kind of hemp you’ll grow depends on the kind of hemp that buyers have contracted you for. More often than not, these buyers give you specifications on the type of hemp they want to buy. All those details are stated in the contract. But don’t worry if, say, you started cultivating hemp for textile instead of CBD oil. There are ready buyers for that as well. You just need to know where to look.
For now, CBD products seem to be topping the list of profitability due to their range of reputed wellness benefits, so you’re bound to get good returns if you find buyers who process hemp to that end.
Related: The Hemp Business Is Booming
3. Keep up to date with cultivation techniques.
Hemp isn’t a very demanding plant. It doesn’t require too much water, nor is it hungry for fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. Nevertheless, you’ll want to reap a healthy and luscious yield, and to do that, you’ll need to keep up to date with cultivation techniques. That includes finding the best sources of quality hemp seeds and knowing the ideal growing conditions.
For example, it was discovered that yields are higher when plants grow in light-deprivation greenhouses compared to outdoors. Who would have known that such a small change could make all the difference? Hence, it’s advisable to update yourself via farmer’s magazines or blogs, YouTube videos, hemp-farmer forums and related subreddits.
4. Find the right people to buy.
As you’re making plans and preparations to grow, one of the things you need to ask yourself is, “Who will buy all this hemp?” Most hemp farmers cultivate under a futures contract with a manufacturing lab or processing company. Since the demand for hemp biomass is high, finding a buyer after harvest may not be that difficult.
One good place to look is social media. Hemp farmers who were able to build a strong online presence have meaningfully engaged with processing and extraction companies. Connecting with those companies directly will help you cut out the middleman and increase your profits. So, yes, hemp social-media marketing is a thing, and it’s a skill you should look into cultivating.
Embarking on the journey to making profit as a hemp farmer could be the best decision you’ve ever made in your life. However, it is important to learn the basics. Now that you’re more familiar with some things you might have previously overlooked, it’s time to take action and sow the seeds for success.