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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.

Florida governor signs state hemp program into law

After months of preparation, the state of Florida is ready to move ahead with commercial hemp production under a bill signed Tuesday by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said hemp in Florida is needed to help farmers harmed by hurricanes and diseases that have affected citrus, the state’s largest commodity. Hurricane Michael […]

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USDA: Hemp production rules will be ready by August

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says it will complete federal rules for domestic hemp production by August. Although states and tribes began submitting their plans to the USDA for review starting the day after the 2018 Farm Bill was signed in December, the agency said in February it wouldn’t finalize rules until the 2020 growing season. Under […]

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Hemp farmers tailoring new genetics for different growing regions throughout US

(This is the last installment in a five-part series examining the shortage of feminized hempseeds and clones and its effects on the hemp industry. To read the previous installments, click here.) The breeding of hemp varieties is ramping up among plant breeders and at hemp farms with established research-and-development departments. In more humid areas of […]

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Verdict still out on how limited CBD hemp genetics perform across US

As the number of states approving hemp production increases, so does the demand for certified, feminized hempseed and clones for CBD production.

Established hemp farmers and breeders are working to develop new plant varieties that will work in the unique climates and microclimates throughout the different growing regions within the U.S.

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Hemp farmers still looking for CBD inputs should source with caution, experts say

Hemp farmers looking to capitalize on the lucrative demand for high-CBD hemp varieties may still be able to salvage their 2019 season even though the industry is seeing a shortage in feminized seeds and clones.

Hemp production experts suggest planting non-feminized seeds and culling male plants early, or planting larger-sized clones later in the season, if farmers can find any available.

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Judge denies South Dakota tribe’s request to grow hemp this year

The American Indian tribe that’s suing the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) over delayed hemp regulations will have to wait until the lawsuit is concluded or the agency approves its hemp production plan, a federal judge has ruled. The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe requested a temporary restraining order against the USDA and a preliminary injunction […]

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Grocery chain Kroger adds CBD topicals in stores across 17 states

The Kroger Co. is one of the latest retailers to introduce CBD in its stores. The Cincinnati-based grocery store chain said that, starting this week, it will begin carrying topical products containing cannabidiol in its stores in 17 states. The products Kroger will carry contain no THC, a spokeswoman for the retailer told The Detroit […]

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Minnesota hemp farmer suing state for revoking his license

Just as the hemp farming season gets underway, a Minnesota hemp farmer is claiming in a federal lawsuit that the state violated his constitutional rights by revoking his growing license and ordering him to destroy his crop. Luis Hummel, who runs 5th Sun Gardens in Lanesboro, Minnesota, filed suit after the Minnesota Department of Agriculture […]

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Canadian cannabis giants stepping up investments in US hemp, CBD market

Two Canadian cannabis companies said this week that their strategy for expansion into the U.S. market includes – and will start with – hemp and CBD. Canopy Growth, a Smiths Falls, Ontario-based leader in the Canadian marijuana industry, said Tuesday it will open hemp processing facilities in seven U.S. states within the next year. Earlier […]

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FDA hearing ‘little bit like a first date’: Q&A with ATACH co-founder Michael Bronstein

As the hemp and CBD industry navigates the regulatory roller coaster resulting from the much-celebrated 2018 Farm Bill, the unknowns can cause anxiety for even the most confident of businesspeople. That’s why it’s invaluable to have guidance and perspective from those who know the legal landscape. Michael Bronstein, who co-founded the American Trade Association for […]

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