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Tag: Hemp

Meet Elevated Trading

Meet Cody Sandone, Founder & CEO of Elevated Trading

Why did you get into the hemp industry?


In 2019, I was introduced to the industry by a family friend, and we invested in a large outdoor farm in Southern Oregon. I was expecting a capital return, but the farmer was having trouble selling the material, so my brother and I stepped in to sell the material and recover our investment.


While moving thousands of pounds of CBD flower, we saw a huge gap in the supply chain between farmers and retailers and quickly knew we could fix this problem. At the time, the industry was heavily plagued with bad actors, inconsistent products, failed business dealings, and a lot of frustrated retailers left holding the bag…literally.


We formed Elevated Trading in January 2020 on a mission to elevate the supply chain and build a reliable, trusted bridge from the farm to the retailer. I left my corporate sales gig in Cybersecurity in September 2020 to pursue Elevated Trading full-time, and I haven’t looked back. This industry is incredibly exciting, and I’m glad to be a part of it.


What do you think are the main challenges within this industry?


I see two big challenges in this industry. Legislation and infighting.


In such a regulated industry, there is always an underlying concern of business impacting legislation that could make it impossible to operate with the hemp industry. We fully support sensible legislation around consumer safety and age restrictions, but the vast majority of legislation that’s been introduced is seemingly done out of ignorance or malice.


The second issue is the infighting within cannabis (both marijuana and hemp). The fact is that we’re all participating in the cannabis industry in different capacities. There’s room for everyone, but, surprisingly, the vast majority of negativity surrounding the hemp industry seems to be launched directly from the marijuana world. Everyone needs to stay in their lane and focus on their customers instead of fighting so hard against other businesses that are all promoting access to cannabis.


What is the most important advice that you would give individuals who are looking to get involved in this industry?


Most people underestimate this industry. I’m a capitalist and believe in competition so I welcome anyone to the industry, but the vast majority of folks entering the cannabis space seem to believe this is a quick way to make a lot of money. There is a blindness for a lot of business owners entering this space because they are so connected with the plant. Having passion for the plant is a great attribute, but you need some business chops to play in this arena.


This industry is exciting and lucrative, but you need to differentiate yourself and your product set if you’re going to enter at this stage of the game. There are too many copycat vendors and products, and the consumers are starting to get wiser about the quality they expect from their products. Biggest advice is to do extensive market research, figure out exactly where you want to play, and go all in on that particular domain. Don’t try to be everything to everyone…that’s not how you win.


What do you hope to see for the future of the hemp industry in Texas?


Texas has a booming hemp market today, and I hope to see us continue to flourish and lead the charge on how a robust, mature hemp market should be operating. There are a lot of companies in the Texas market operating with integrity and putting the consumer first.


Everyone deserves the freedom to choose what they consume, and I firmly believe that the hemp program in Texas is a testament to watching the consumers vote with their dollars. Hemp is a game changer for Texas residents, and I’m stoked to be a part of it.


As the industry matures in Texas, we’re continuing to see the level of products and integrity among brands really increase which is exciting and encouraging for us who’ve been operating in Texas for a long time.


How to Utilize Elevation Trading:


At Elevated Trading, we’ve always specialized in wholesale bulk flower products, and we’re hyper-focused on our customer’s success. We have a very high touch sales process that allows us to learn a lot about our customers and really formulate a partnership that drives real revenue and growth to their bottom line. We look forward to learning more about your business.


Find Elevated Trading online at or call 972-373-4240 and mention Texas Hemp Reporter.


The Texas Hemp Coalition’s goal is to provide industry specific information to growers, processors and entities that are involved in the Texas Hemp Industry. We will serve as an advocacy, educational and networking liaison to reputable entities within the hemp industry. Visit for more information.


Legal Maverick Adam Reposa


In the vibrant city of Austin, Texas, where the boundaries of legal interpretations and personal freedoms often blur, Adam Reposa stands out as a figure of defiant clarity. Known for his unyielding and audacious presence in the courtroom, Reposa has navigated the legal system’s intricacies for two decades, becoming a symbol of resistance against perceived judicial injustices. His latest endeavor, however, ventures into the contentious arena of cannabis sales, drawing significant attention and law enforcement scrutiny to his operation, ATX Budtenders.


ATX Budtenders, boldly advertised through a website featuring a cannabis menu and contact information, operated out of a distinctive East Austin property marked by a pink ice cream truck. This setup, as provocative as it is transparent, prompted a dramatic law enforcement raid on the morning of January 22. The operation resulted in the seizure of cannabis, THC edibles, psilocybin mushrooms, firearms, and other items, though no arrests were made at the scene. Reposa, undeterred, claims the substances were CBD, a legal derivative of cannabis, challenging authorities to prove otherwise.


The raid, reportedly led by a coalition of the DEA, APD, and TCSO SWAT teams, has sparked debate over jurisdiction and the actual leadership of the operation. Reposa contests the notion of a DEA-led raid, pointing out the involvement of local sheriff’s officers, which, according to him, complicates the federal agency’s direct authority in the matter.

The backdrop to this latest episode is Reposa’s long-standing reputation as a provocateur, not just in legal circles but also in public discourse. His infamous viral marketing and confrontational stance towards the prosecutorial system have made him a divisive figure. Yet, Reposa’s current predicament with ATX Budtenders reveals more than just a legal battle; it underscores his broader critique of cannabis laws and the enforcement strategies that accompany them.


Reposa argues that the raid on his dispensary and the seizure of his products without subsequent charges exemplifies a deliberate attempt to disrupt the local cannabis market. By preventing entrepreneurs from establishing stable market positions ahead of potential legalization and licensing changes, authorities, he suggests, aim to maintain control over the industry’s evolution.

However, Reposa’s defiance goes beyond mere market concerns. He is openly challenging the rationality and justice of cannabis prohibition, questioning the government’s right to criminalize a substance increasingly recognized for its harmlessness. Through his legal strategies and public statements, Reposa seeks to provoke a broader discussion about liberty, rights, and the role of government in regulating personal choices.


While the future of Reposa’s legal confrontation remains uncertain, with Travis County District Court recusing itself from the case, the implications of his actions ripple through the community. Whether seen as a crusader for personal freedoms or a reckless agitator, Reposa’s saga with ATX Budtenders illustrates the ongoing tensions surrounding cannabis law and the quest for a more just and sensible approach to its regulation.


The hemp industry in the United States, after years of lobbying, is back in business. While not all states have yet made it legal, the federal government has, with much help from former Congressman Rand Paul in Texas and his son Ron, a Senator in Kentucky.

The time that I spent writing “Hemp for Victory: History and Qualities of the World’s Most Useful Plant” was not in vain, but there is still much to be done.

Cultivation of Cannabis sativa in the US is mainly for THC and CBD oils. The former acronym needs no introduction, while the latter is still rather new to some people. In New York, the latter was a grey area for the law, and when it was illegal to sell, one could see vendors openly proclaiming the wonders of CBD oils. The scene reminded me of snake oil salesmen. Some used very little CBD in their product, but put high prices on what was often olive oil with a few drops of CBD.

No one knew if it cured viruses or caused hallucinations. No one knew whether to make an arrest or make a sale. But dealers knew CBD was a good sound byte that resulted in profits.

While much money has been made from, and much legislation has been enacted regarding THC and CBD, I feel no need to enter at large upon that field but rather to give some insights about the more industrial products.

Rope, textiles, paper, are among the many items that use hemp as their raw material. The outer part of the stem, the hurd, is removed by processes known as retting, while the inner part, which constitutes about 25-30% of the stalk, known as bast, is what is primarily used. Both are mainly composed of cellulose.

For the bast to be processed into rope, textiles and paper, there must be infrastructure in place. Presently, this is not the case to any great degree. Factories have long since closed. Paper, which is the simplest to produce, is made mostly in Asia, with only a few small mills in existence in the US.

In some small mills, hemp is used for specialty papers which command a premium. In the UK, I had made 3 tons of this, and I was mobbed by hempsters asking me to sell. Most was used for the aforementioned book. Since, I have found very little that I could buy.

At times, campaigners have tried to get factories to use hemp, but they lacked the experience and patience to succeed. Revamping infrastructure may take government assistance, which I encourage, as jobs would be created from the hemp industry.

While we await change, there are ways that a farmer can sell their product, one of which includes selling stalks for simple uses such as pyrolysis and insulation.

A much more lucrative market is that of the seed for oil, or, better yet, the sale of the oil pressed on the farm by the grower. In the UK I saw small local distributers as well as national brands, such as Mother Hemp, Nutiva and Viridian, and an international brand, Good Oil.

The last brand attracted my ire, as I learned that a chemical defoliant was used to wilt the leaves so as to separate the seeds. Good Oil was on the shelves at Whole Foods in 2011, but after I wrote about the chemical defoliant, it ceased to be stacked.

In dry climates, leaves shrivel more easily. In humid climates, they stay on longer and there is more possibility of mold damage, for which reason farmers use large screens, drying them in spread out layers.

Hemp seeds (technically ‘achenes’) contain 30-35% oil, which commands a high price. I wrote about it on my site ( in 2006:

“Hemp oil is considered to be one of nature’s healthiest oils. It is known to contain therapeutic compounds, and for this reason is used both in medicine and in cosmetics. It has a high antioxidant quality and contains linoleic acids. These acids, along with eicosanoids, tocopherols, tocotrienols, Omega 3,6,&9 EFAs and all eight essential amino acids, make hemp oil a top item in health food shops.”

The majority of buyers of hemp oil are urban dwellers; in New York City, it sells well at Whole Foods and other natural food stores.

There is another contingent of buyers of hemp oil: artists. Since hemp oil was used in for centuries as a drying oil, along with linseed, poppy and walnut oils, there is a demand, though limited. I use it, and have over the years made experiments to see how clearly it dries, comparing it to linseed, walnut and poppy oils.

From these I note variation, with the clearest being that of the Ukranian brand Golden Kings.

As hemp lends itself to genetic variation – a fact noted by no less than the great geneticist Ivan Vavilov – this is was to be expected.

cannabis oil cbd

Clarity is determined by the amount of glycerides of linoleic and linolenic acids, of which linseed oil, which is known to yellow, contains the most. In hemp oil, the content thereof varies according to the variety.

As a clear drying hemp oil would add value, and it is well known that levels of linoleic acid vary with varieties, rainfall and temperature, thus it is possible to improve and refine it specifically for artists’ oil.  A 2005 article in the Journal of Industrial Hemp, [Vol. 10, #2, 2005, Bertrand Matthaus et al.], in which over 50 varieties are studied, gives specific analysis of linoleic acid content.

Much as I see a benefit in this niche product, it is obvious that edible oil has a much larger market, and is part of a simpler strategy of growing hemp for a cash crop of oil, with the hemp seed cake sold to cattle or fish farmers, while stalks are sold to whichever market is in place to use them.

The hemp industry is an emerging, or rather, re-emerging one, which needs people with experience, rather than just political zeal, to guide it.

With such persons at the helm, taking on board the present limitations and working to increase public awareness along with manufacturing infrastructure, hemp farming will be one of the most profitable sectors in American agriculture.