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Spring Hope firm bets on hemp

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Hemp Inc. CEO Bruce Perlowin talks about the upcoming planting process for 800 industrial hemp plants with high cannabidiol content at John Finch's project at a Hemp Inc. hemp house Friday near Bunn in Franklin County.

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By COREY DAVIS
Staff Writer

Sunday, June 25, 2017

A Spring Hope hemp plant is continuing its efforts to make hemp the next cash crop for local farmers.

Industrial Hemp Manufacturing on N.C. 581 in Spring Hope, a subsidiary of Hemp Inc, recently announced its farming associates, who are licensed by the N.C. Industrial Hemp Commission, have secured 150 pounds or more of cannabidol (CBD) rich seeds that have been planted over the past couple weekends.

Bruce Perlowin, CEO of Hemp Inc., said the 150-plus pounds of seeds equate to more than 550 acres to go along with the 17 acres of high-CBD clones being planted in North Carolina, which will be one of the largest CBD hemp growers in the United States.

Cannabidiol is part of the cannabis plant that has significant medical benefits. David Schmitt, chief operating officer of Hemp Inc., said CBD has the potential to treat a wide range of conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, PTSD, epilepsy, neurological disorders and other ailments. 

“We know medication can improve the quality of life with people with various medical problems, and we’ve seen tremendous success of CBD treating veterans with PTSD,” Schmitt said. “Veterans and ill children are our two top priorities to help. We want them to get this medication free of charge.”

Several workers Friday were planting the last five acres of the more than 550 acres of high-CBD clone industrial hemp plants at a farm in Franklin County. Perlowin said the high-CBD clone industrial hemp plants were being planted on farms in both Franklin and Nash counties.

Schmitt said the reason for cloning is to guarantee consistency, and it gives the farmers a great level of comfort in knowing the plant isn’t going to exceed the 0.3 percent of THC or teterahydrocannabinol, which is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects.

Perlowin said there is decent money for farmers to make for every CBD clone industrial plant as he also pointed out tobacco is no longer a money crop for farmers. Reports said the CBD market is expected to grow to $2.1 billion in consumer sales by 2020 with $450 million of those sales coming from hemp-based sources. 

“One plant equals one pound,” he said. “If you don’t do anything but sell the bud to someone with a big extractor, then you’re talking anywhere between $50 to $500 a pound. What we do is a joint venture with the local farmers to maximize their income. We aren’t like the big tobacco companies. Our job is to support the small farmers and bring back a livelihood to the small farmers. We’re going to cut a break to the small farmer and bring back the small family farm in America.”

The Hemp University held an event on Saturday at Louisburg College with a team of experts talking about the art and science of CBD greenhouse growing. One of the things Perlowin wants people in the area to be educated about is the CBD or cannabidiol plant doesn’t cause people get “high.” 

“When we were planting the kenaf plants, we had kids raiding our farms thinking it was a marijuana plant and trying to smoke it,” Perlowin said. “But it caused a lot of people to have severe migrane headaches, messing up their throats and a lot ended up in the emergency rooms and we were receiving calls about it. We want them to know that they can’t get high off the CBD plants either, and don’t come stealing from the farmers and hurting their way of living.”

 

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