Overheard at HIDC: Hemp industry must guard against cutting corners

U.S. hemp producers have been scraping together a supply chain of processing and retail since 2014, and the work isn’t done.

But the industry needs to work together to protect the supply chain even as it’s developing, said Chad Rosen, CEO of Victory Hemp Foods in Kentucky.

Talking about the hemp grain market at Hemp Industry Daily Conference Direct this week, Rosen applauded hemp operators for scrambling to get products to market quickly to help the public access the plant’s health benefits. But he said the industry needs to self-police anyone cutting corners or employing unsafe methods to do so.

“We want to build a supply chain we can be proud of – one that (isn’t) utilizing nasty chemicals and petroleum-based fertilizers and GMOs,” Rosen said.

“That’s not going to happen if we don’t demand (it) and we don’t implement policies to govern how the crop is grown. … Let’s be honest, there is nothing preventing bad players, bad actors from utilizing genetically modified techniques to bring mutant hempseeds to market.”

He called on hemp operators to build in margins that healthy production requires.

“If we do that, we can deliver on the promises” of hemp sustainability, he said.