Kentucky Entrepreneur Vows to Buy All the State’s Hemp

Grow it and he will buy it.

John Roulac, the founder and CEO of a major hemp foods company, Nutiva, said he plans to buy all the organic hemp that Kentucky can produce, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

But labeling hemp as organic has been a controversial issue in recent weeks, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that it would grant one Colorado hemp producer with an organic certified label, but then reneged last week, saying the decision was premature.

“The USDA’s new rule is out of step with the 2014 Federal Farm Bill which authorizes industrial hemp research in states with a regulatory program,” said Annie Rouse, executive director of the Kentucky Hemp Research Foundation. “By the time Kentucky’s organic crop is ready for market, we anticipate the USDA policy will be revised or another certification authority will be in place.”

Roulac will formally announce his purchasing plan at GoOrganic!, a seminar on organic agriculture that will be held at the Hemp Research Campus in Winchester, Kentucky on Feb. 29, the Herald-Leader reported.

Transitioning to organic farming methods can take two to five years, and Roulac said farmers should start preparing now.