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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.


Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store opening CBD beauty store within salon

The Saks Fifth Avenue department store chain announced that it will sell CBD skin-care products and nutritional supplements at its new salon in New York. The department store will include a CBD Beauty Corner at the chain’s flagship store’s salon, called The Salon Project. The new shop-in-shop concept launches on May 11 for Mother’s Day weekend, […]

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States move forward on hemp while USDA develops federal rules

Afraid of missing hot opportunities in hemp while the federal government mulls national rules, states are adopting a surprising number of laws to start or expand hemp production. Most states already allow hemp cultivation, but 2019 has seen many of the hemp holdouts adopt cultivation laws, while more established hemp states are expanding opportunities to […]

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Federal agency: CBD not allowed in alcoholic beverages

CBD is not a permitted ingredient in alcoholic beverages under current federal guidelines, according to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). The TTB, which falls under the U.S. Department of the Treasury that regulates alcoholic beverage and other industries, responded to a barrage of questions from alcohol and hemp industry members about whether […]

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Hemp industry awaits more hemp import, export guidelines

Hemp entrepreneurs are still waiting to realize the benefits of being able to import hempseed as a commodity, even as they cheer recent assurance from the federal government that change is on the way. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released new guidance this month on how hemp importing will work now that federal drug […]

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Europe’s hemp definition, ‘novel foods’ designation cloud region’s potentially booming CBD market

European hemp producers and manufacturers are struggling to capitalize on the global CBD boom and compete with U.S. manufacturers as they navigate the continent’s thorny regulations – but they’re optimistic that upcoming changes will open new CBD opportunities. The hemp and CBD industry wants the European Union to change its Common Agricultural Policy, which governs food […]

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In groundbreaking move, USDA ready to protect seed-propagated hemp genetics

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is ready to protect seed-propagated hemp varieties, a landmark move that could generate numerous business opportunities for breeders of the plant. The USDA announced Wednesday that its Plant Variety Protection Office (PVPO) is taking hemp applications because of the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. Intellectual-property protection for hemp genetics comes […]

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Elixinol buys 25% stake in Pet Releaf CBD brand

Elixinol has purchased a 25% stake in Altmeds, the manufacturer of hemp-derived CBD pet health brand Pet Releaf. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Denver-based Altmeds already gets its CBD from Elixinol, a Colorado producer of hemp-derived CBD extract. The Altmeds investment allows Elixinol to gain a foothold in the growing CBD pet-products […]

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Oklahoma expanding into commercial hemp production, setting transport rules

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s freshly inked signature on legislation moves hemp from a pilot project to full commercial production plan under the 2018 Farm Bill. Stitt signed the bill on April 18, with bipartisan support from state lawmakers. Rules should be in place in time to allow commercial production in 2020, according to Public Radio […]

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Will hemp farmers have seed for 2019? USDA issues new guidance

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has stepped in to assist hemp producers and exporters to bring hempseed to the United States now that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is not involved. In addition to the 2018 Farm Bill removing hemp and its derived products from the U.S. Controlled Substances list, the measure removed […]

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Sol Global subsidiary closes $12 million round of private financing

Toronto-based cannabis investment firm Sol Global Investments has completed a nonbrokered private placement financing of common shares of its international hemp subsidiary, Heavenly Rx, for more than $12 million. As a result, Sol Global now holds 34.4% of Heavenly Rx’s shares, while the rest of the common shares were sold to accredited investors for 10 […]

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Michigan farmers cleared for hemp production for 2019 season

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the state’s agriculture department launched hemp licensing for the 2019 planting season Thursday, ensuring that Michigan’s agriculture industry won’t miss out this year. “Michigan is uniquely positioned to grow, process and manufacture industrial hemp (as) one of the nation’s most agriculturally diverse states,” Whitmer said in a news release from the […]

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