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Laura Drotleff

Laura has specialized in agricultural journalism for the past 20 years. Most recently she served as the editor of a B2B publication and multimedia properties focused on productivity, efficiency and profitability in commercial greenhouse cultivation. She has reported on multiple aspects of specialty crops including floriculture, fruit, vegetables, citrus and cannabis. She also has served extensively on various horticulture industry association boards. Laura is a Michigan State University graduate and is based in Cleveland, Ohio.


Despite submitting plan to USDA, Georgia budget crunch could stifle hemp goals

Georgia has authorized hemp farming and submitted its 2020 production plan to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). But to run a program, the state will first need funding. Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black is asking state lawmakers for $1.6 million – $800,000 per year over the next two years – to create a state […]

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USDA publishes directory for DEA-certified hemp testing laboratories

Facing confusion from hemp growers and testing companies, federal agriculture officials have published a list of laboratories authorized to test hemp THC concentration under the new interim final rule. The new hemp regulations require labs to be certified by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to handle hemp crops testing over the legal limit of […]

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Oregon State University gets $2.5M in federal funding for hemp research

Federal officials designated money for hemp research at Oregon State University’s Global Hemp Innovation Center as part of the nearly $20 million earmarked for the hemp industry in the massive appropriations bill that passed both houses of the U.S. Congress at the end of 2019. U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkeley, a Democrat from Oregon, said Monday […]

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Congress ramping up pressure to ‘provide a pathway forward’ for hemp, CBD

New legislation introduced by the top-ranking member of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee could require federal food and agriculture regulators to treat hemp-derived CBD as a dietary supplement. Agriculture Chair Collin Peterson, a Minnesota Democrat, suggests changing the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C) to include the regulation of hemp-derived CBD and products containing […]

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Oregon hemp farm suing processors for $11 million

A farm in southern Oregon is suing a group of processors who they say failed to show up and harvest and process its hemp after receiving a six-figure down payment. Jefferson State Farms of Medford, owned by Ben and Kathleen Yuma, is suing: Palex Enterprises. Hemp Warehouse. Great Horizons. Four individuals. The lawsuit, claiming civil fraud, […]

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Kentucky hemp group urges state to keep old rules – for now

Kentucky hemp farmers are asking the state to hold off on attempts to win federal approval for regulating the new crop. After the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) returned Kentucky’s hemp production plan with an outline of changes that must be made to ensure federal approval for the 2020 planting season, a hemp association asked […]

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Hemp could be ‘paradigm changer’ in agricultural diversity and lead to better support for minority farmers

Opportunities abound in the hemp industry, but to attain the crop’s full potential, it’s going to require people from all walks of life, according to industry observers. “I want to go to a conference and not feel like I’m the only black guy there,” said Malcolm Anderson, founder and CEO of The Prophet Society, a vertically […]

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Sephora deepens its CBD offerings with extensive new brand partnership

A cosmetics, skin-care and beauty products specialty retailer will carry more products containing CBD in stores across several states after signing its largest cannabis-related partnership. New York-based retail giant Sephora will sell products from California beauty company Saint Jane in 281 stores across 22 states as of Jan. 10, according to The Fresh Toast. Saint […]

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Federal hemp producer licenses delayed while USDA waits for White House

Federal hemp licenses promised last fall have yet to appear, a delay that federal agriculture officials are blaming on extended discussions with the White House. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) initially said that farmers in areas that have legalized hemp production but opted out of regulating it could apply for federal licenses by Nov. 30. […]

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