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Tag: Texas Hemp

Building a Sustainable Texas, One Brick at a Time

Deep in the heart of Texas, a green revolution is slowly taking over.  This innovative change is being fueled by an unlikely hemp hero that is long celebrated for its versatility and sustainability, and ultimately a game-changer in the quest for eco-friendly construction and building materials.

As the development of hemp continues to flourish in Texas so does the need to construct a greener, more sustainable future. Traditionally, construction materials like concrete and steel have dominated the construction industry, but their production usually comes with a hefty price along with an additional environmental cost added to the price of building materials. Building and construction costs including cement have significantly increased since the COVID-19 Pandemic. Cement, which is a vital ingredient in concrete, accounts for a significant portion of global carbon dioxide emissions while interestingly enough, hemp offers a sustainable alternative that is renewable, biodegradable, and carbon-negative. Hempcrete will ultimately transform the construction industry for hemp farmers in Texas which are beginning to collaborate with their sustainable neighbors and consider investing their money in environmentally friendly construction materials for companies that manufacture hempcrete locally, leading the way toward sustainable building practices.

Photos: Paul Carbone

One of the most promising applications of hemp in construction is hempcrete, a lightweight, insulating material made from hemp fibers, lime, and water. This material uses hemp shives, aggregate, water, and a specific type of binder to act as nonbearing walls, insulators, plasters, and blocks.  Hempcrete offers several advantages over traditional building materials including superior thermal performance, great breathability, and resistance to mold and pests. Hemp fibers can act as a reinforcement in construction because it is known for their remarkable strength and longevity which can bolster concrete and plastics. This helps reduce our dependency on renewable resources such as steel and fiberglass. By incorporating hemp fibers into construction materials, we can reduce our carbon emissions and strengthen the resilience and durability of constructed edifices. Although the potential of hemp in construction is most obvious some regulatory and infrastructure constraints remain. Nevertheless, as our awareness grows around hemp and its benefits so does the continued environmental impact of conventional building materials. According to an article from de Zeen, “There has been mounting evidence that suggests the construction industry must adopt bio-based alternatives to common carbon intensive materials, such as concrete, to play its part in reducing emissions and limiting global temperature rises.”

Photos: Paul Carbone

Texas lands offer fertile soil and favorable climate conditions that are perfectly poised to lead the way in hemp cultivation for construction. By harnessing the power of this versatile plant, the state is not only reducing its environmental footprint but also stimulating economic growth in rural communities. Texas is ready to leverage the agricultural benefits of hemp to foster innovation in construction materials by continued education and research, we can position ourselves as a trailblazer in sustainable construction. This quest will help make way for a brighter, cleaner future for generations to come as we emerge as a powerful ally in the construction industry.

The New Hemp Industry Landscape; More than Moving Pounds

From Texas to Maine, California to Florida, it’s nearly impossible to walk into a retail, grocery, or convenience store without seeing a THC-infused beverage, hemp-derived gummies, or CBD oil.

 

What was once known as modern-day snake oil, CBD, and hemp in general, is here to stay. In today’s modern world, consumers are able to access THC and other cannabinoids more easily than ever before. Even expanding to wellness shops on every corner, with hemp flower sales in storefronts that aren’t just legal dispensaries.

 

Of course, what consumers don’t know is what it takes behind the scenes to navigate a complex hemp supply chain system to offer quality, safe hemp products to consume.

 

“Literally, everyone has pounds,” explains Justin Sandone, co-founder of Elevated Trading “Store owners are getting approached, all day every day, by every Joe Blow that has a friend with a farm.”

 

In such a burgeoning industry, you wouldn’t expect retailers to have to navigate the wild, wild west of hemp buyers. From those who bait and switch on quality products, leaving their customers hanging. Or, being unreachable when shipping issues arise instead of getting the type of support they need to succeed.

 

In an oversaturated market, it’s easy for retailers to get swindled by what looks like high profit margins, only to hurt their business even more by selling poor-quality flower, to potentially longtime, loyal customers.

 

An unfortunate fact that lends itself to the unprofessionalism of the current market. Fortunately, industry leaders like brothers Justin and Cody Sandone are taking it upon themselves to repair the broken hemp supply chain and breathe a level of professionalism into a market that so desperately needs it. Working behind the scenes to build farm-to-retail relationships that support quality, consistency, and reliable products reaching the shelves.

 

What’s Happening in Hemp

 

Since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the cultivation, processing, and sales of hemp-derived products, the market has been flourishing – frantically. Regardless of the global hemp industry commanding $1.8 billion in sales in 2023, it’s an industry that is highly unregulated due to a lack of infrastructure.

 

Leaving retailers, who are responsible for distributing the industry’s main commodity, without much guidance or education on how to do so safely, legally, and, of course, profitably.

 

“There’s no good roadmap; there’s not a lot of information for retailers to know how to succeed,” Sandone explains, “Like, how to vet these people, how to vet these products, how to know whether they’re from licensed hemp farms or not, to maintain compliance and the legalities around having these products in your store.”

 

And leaving consumers without retailers to rely on for consistent, reliable, quality products. That’s why two retail pioneers and consumers themselves, set out to bridge the gap between farms producing quality flower, and retailers distributing it.

Two Brothers, One Goal

 

Elevated Trading co-founders Cody and Justin Sandone were no strangers to the wholesale and retail worlds when they started Elevated Trading.

 

“We had an electronic cigarette store and started seeing CBD come on. Once we started to see flower come on to the market, it became very evident, very quickly, how broken the supply chain was – it was hard to get good suppliers, ” says Sandone.

 

The brothers were also no strangers to the hemp industry after investing in a hemp farm located in Oregon. Only to be thrown into the thick of the market, needing to move 1,000 pounds of flower to recoup their investment, quickly thereafter.

 

With that experience in their pocket, they set out to create the best buying experience they could for the retailers they related to, with a few core values they related to even more. Like one value, “create raving fans” that they’re already clocking success with, serving thousands of retail stores across the US.

 

“We’re not here to be in the spotlight. We’re here to support our customers,” Sandone points out, “We’re here to put their brand in the spotlight by offering the best products we can at the right price point for them to be in line in the market and deliver a high value, fair price product to the customer. ”

 

Today, Elevated Trading does just that by sticking to their expertise in sourcing premium THCA flower, while supporting their retail customers with the network they’ve built over the years.

 

“We have a background in retail. We get it. We understand what consumers are looking for, and we know what it’s like to run a retail business. So working together to help round out their product set—the right pieces for their store, at the right price points where they can be competitive—that’s what we do,” affirms Sandone.

Bridging the Farm to Retail Gap

 

Where the hemp industry has especially struggled is building connections between the farms growing the hemp and the retailers selling it. Leaving farmers struggling to know what retailers are seeking and leaving retailers struggling to find a reliable, compliant source for product.

 

As soon as this gap became glaringly obvious to the retail pros, the Sandones, they knew they had the knowledge, network, and drive to fix it.

 

“It was a broken chain. So we saw an opportunity to come into it on the wholesale side, with an understanding of how to operate a business that’s focused on customer service and build something that could bridge the gap between farms and retailers to create the best buying experience possible.”

 

For consumers included. Over the years, Elevated Trading has helped bring thousands of products to the shelves, supporting large scale retail operations with reach across the nation.

 

“Behind the scenes, Cody and I work very closely with the farms we’re partnered with. We’re constantly bridging the gap between retailers and farms, with conversations like, ‘Hey, a lot of retailers are looking for this strain.’ Or, ‘retailers are looking for this indoor flower’, Sandone continues.

 

“We’re making sure those lines of communication are open.”

 

Changing the landscape of wholesale hemp

As we’ve seen in history, it only takes one or two players to shape the way an industry operates. Until now, the hemp industry has lacked a sense of professionalism that the Sandones are seeking to breathe back into the market.

 

In an industry where there are still “tons of brokers out there, just selling material they don’t own yet, promising the moon and not being able to deliver,” Sandone describes, Elevated Trading’s operations were specifically designed to operate differently.

 

“It’s not enough to have a satisfied customer. We want our customers to be so happy and so thrilled to be working with us – they can’t wait to tell someone else and that drives everything we do in our company,” continues Sandone.

 

A mission that’s glaringly obvious for any first-time retailer placing an order with the company.

 

“From the initial introductory call, to the sales process, to the delivery, to the handling of any issues, to following up to make sure the product is the right fit, and checking in to make sure it’s working for their store,” explains Sandone “We emphasize so much on creating raving fans – on providing excellent customer service and an amazing buying experience for customers.”

 

So, what’s the future of hemp look like for Elevated Trading?

 

Looking forward, the Sandones will continue to nurture relationships with the network of farms and retailers they work with to shape the future of the cannabinoid market. Serving as the trusted partner that bolsters the hemp supply chain for shared success across its players.

 

As consumers increasingly seek out unique strains or as minor cannabinoids ebb and flow, Elevated Trading seeks to stand out as a wholesale partner that retailers can rely on.

 

 

Are Texas Hemp Shop Raids A Real Concern?

There is no secret about it: Sales of hemp-derived products have exploded all across the Lone Star State. Just about every CBD store, smoke shop, and even gas stations are displaying a multitude of various hemp cannabinoid products with contents ranging from broad spectrum CBD isolate  to very potent THC and  THC derivatives. In fact, a recent report by Whitney Economics suggests Texas businesses engaged in the hemp retail sector are bringing in 8 million dollars in revenue and hiring 50,000 people (1). That is a substantial number in a state where “marijuana” is still illegal.

However, not everyone is winning in this emerging market. Reports began dropping on June 7th of this year, a shop selling hemp-derived products in Garland was raided by local law enforcement and the Drug Enforcement Administration (2). Bee Hippy Hemp was accused of selling illegal THC products and law enforcement seized the store’s products and other assets. The owner has since maintained their business did nothing wrong, all the products were federally and state compliant, and they had proof of valid Certificates of Authenticity (COA).

Soon after, a shop in another North Texas town   called Happy Hippies faced a near similar situation. On August 29th Little Elm PD obtained a warrant to find illegal THC products. They ended up seizing thousands of dollars of products for testing, but made no arrests. Then came Venom Vapors in Killeen on October 20th. This time, the owners were told by police  their COAs, which allegedly were valid, had levels of THC too high to be legal. Killeen PD believed the THC levels established probable cause for a warrant to be issued to seize the product, no matter what hemp laws say. This happening in a city that has decriminalized misdemeanor amounts of marijuana through a local referendum.

 

While all of these cases are currently under active investigation or pending prosecution, one common theme among them is the lack of understanding of Texas hemp law by local, state, and federal police,  and how they are translating it against long-standing marijuana enforcement. Hemp law was established in 2019 at the Texas Legislature, which virtually legalized everything about the cannabis plant except levels of delta-9 THC over .3% concentration by dry weight. And while Texas hemp is regulated by the Department of Agriculture and Department of State Health Services, little to nothing has been invested by the state to educate local law enforcement agencies about changes in hemp law. This all sits in juxtaposition to a medical cannabis program (Texas Compassionate Use Program) regulated by the Department of Public Safety.

 

Clear evidence of limited knowledge of Texas hemp law by local police was fully on display during the last Denton City Council meeting addressing marijuana decriminalization measure Proposition B on June 6th. Denton Police officers and representatives from the Denton Police Officer’s Association testified against the ordinance, and time and again, could not differentiate between hemp and marijuana from a policy, industry, or cultural standpoint. The measure was subsequently not adopted by Council.

Without a statewide paradigm shift in education and training, Texas remains a Wild West arena, where a variety of hemp-derived cannabis products are legal and widely available, but could land retailers or consumers in jail. And until one of these situations turns into a high profile court case that awards damages, the confusion as to how to enforce hemp and marijuana laws in Texas will continue to linger in limbo.

 

Cited Sources:

 

1).https://finance.yahoo.com/amphtml/news/texas-cannabusinesses-surpass-8b-revenue-112000233.html

 

2).https://www.dallasobserver.com/news/hemp-shops-in-north-texas-and-beyond-are-getting-raided-by-police-17772122

 

 

Daryoush Austin Zamhariri is the Executive Director of the Texas Cannabis Collective, a 501c4 nonprofit dedicated to news/media, advocacy, and premier events focused on Texas cannabis policy, industry, and culture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Lessons I’ve Learned in 5 Years in Texas Hemp

August 2023 marked 5 years of RESTART, the hemp based retail cannabis brand I own and operate with my two sisters in Central Austin (in addition to hosting the To Be Blunt podcast).

We hold one of the states original hemp licenses in what has grown to become a sea of operators ranging from dispensaries to wholesalers, distributors, manufacturers, cultivators, labs and processors. 

We’ve navigated through two legislative sessions and countless other industry lawsuits like the smokable hemp ban that was imposed last summer, not to mention the ongoing attack on Delta 8 THC.

Since 2020 we’ve been executive board members with the Texas Hemp Coalition, which has enabled us to advocate and influence policy – In fact I just made my second trip back from D.C. where we got to meet with key federal stakeholders regarding pressing issues impacting hemp operators and retailers like myself. 

© David Brendan Hall / www.davidbrendanhall.com

And we lead by example and focus heavily on educating our team so that we can pass that education onto our customers.

I’m super proud of what we’ve accomplished, and as a native Texan, still a bit in disbelief that we have the opportunity to work in this industry in my home state.

It does come with it’s set of challenges from marketing, and banking, to compliance, but it’s also been rewarding pioneering in the industry and helping pave a way for this new market to exist. 

All I can hope is that the next five live up to the first five. 

So in honor of that, here are five lesson’s I’ve learned in five years in Texas Hemp:

  1. Always Have a Backup Plan – Whether it’s a backup payment processor or a backup plan for packaging because your shipment of pop tops got held at customs, you must always be prepared due to unforeseen circumstances. Running a business is hard, but running a business in hemp/cannabis is like driving to a destination without GPS. You may generally know the direction you are going from A to B, but you have no idea what road closures or detours may be up ahead so you have to be prepared for anything to happen. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail, so be prepared and keep rolling with the punches and probably have a backup plan for your back up plan just in case.
  1. Evolve or Die – Things move fast, like super sonic. From science expanding, to laws changing, what we know about the boundaries of this industry are constantly evolving and to stay in the game you have to keep moving. When we first entered the marketplace in 2018 the primary product we were selling was CBD sublingual oils, which is a complete 180 to what my top product category is in 2023 (it’s THC edibles in case you’re wondering.) Plus, here we are five years later and we have a plethora of cannabinoids to choose from in addition to CBD like THC, CBG, CBN, and THCV. Of course, this could all change on the flip of a dime, which is reinforcing my motto to always have a backup plan and keep evolving!
  2. Don’t Believe The Headlines – In the spirit of our industry being so knew, there is going to be a lot of chatter and hype, and in reality misinformation. It’s always served me well to keep an open mindset and to pay attention to as much perspective as possible. As a Texas operator, what is going on in Texas is extremely personal to me, but other states looking in might not be able to relate to what’s going on and vice versa. We have an opportunity to make a real impact with this plant, but we have a lot of stigma to work through both inside and outside of the general hemp and cannabis community. Because this is a moving target the information is updating constantly so paying attention to the fine details and not getting caught up in headlines is key.
  3. Stay Curious – To succeed you must become a sponge! Talk to as many people as you can and learn as much as you can about the laws, the plant, the science, and the market. Talk to your peers, talk to your operators, get involved, watch the trends, and then apply that to your own business or brand. Putting on the To Be Blunt podcast over these last three years has enabled me to stay in tune with what is going on nationally while also allowing me to have a platform to share realtime updates about our market here in Texas. Additionally organizations like the Texas Hemp Coalition are invaluable for connecting key stakeholders together so that the rising tide can lift all boats. It’s been great to meet other operators and have a community of peers that are also going through the same things which feels empowering to know we’re not alone.

  4. Think Like a Consumer – At the end of the day, this industry is becoming a CPG (consumer packaged goods) industry and I put emphasis on the “consumer” part. The customer comes first, and if you’re smart, you’d actually talk to your customers and get their feedback. Especially here in Texas where, for example, a lot of our community is unaware of variances between Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC which causes us to have to overly educate and think through their challenges when engaging with these products. We should also take into consideration all the aforementioned information included in points 1-4 when it comes to bringing these consumer packaged goods to market. There is a legal landscape, a regulatory landscape, quality assurance and safety concerns, as well as efficacy that the consumer is seeking that all need to be taken into consideration if you want to succeed not only today but tomorrow too.

So the final piece of advice is to now figure out what that looks like for you, your brand, your business and then implement a plan to take the next best step forward to help you better navigate and understand the playing field.

Maybe that’s joining an advocacy group like the Texas Hemp Coalition, or pressing play on one of my many free To Be Blunt episodes which you can tune into Monday’s at TOBEBLUNTPOD.com.

Whatever you do, don’t take your foot off the gas!

DEA’s Stance on Delta-8 THC Derived from CBD:

The DEA’s viewpoint on delta-8 THC derived from CBD has been a topic of debate and concern within the hemp industry. A recently uncovered email provides fresh insights, suggesting that when derived from CBD, delta-8 THC is regarded as a controlled substance by the agency.With the federal legalization of hemp, there’s been a boom in the delta-8 THC market. These products, derived from hemp and its popular extract CBD, have been surrounded by legal challenges, especially as certain state policies aim to restrict its sale. Shane Pennington, a notable attorney, brought to light a 2021 correspondence from Terrence Boos, the DEA Drug & Chemical Evaluation Section Chief. Boos clearly stated, “Transforming CBD into delta-8-THC through chemical reactions renders the delta-8-THC synthetic, hence not protected Under the Agriculture Improvement Act [2018 Farm Bill]. Consequently, such
synthetically derived delta-8-THC becomes a controlled substance.” This information, while not entirely new, provides clarity for those still uncertain about DEA’s
stance on the issue.

Earlier in 2023, at the Supply Chain Conference, Boos also mentioned that DEA considers synthetic cannabinoids as prohibited and shared the agency’s plans to formalize this policy, backed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Interestingly, while delta-8 THC can be naturally found in cannabis, its amounts are minimal. So, if it’s directly extracted from cannabis, it’s legal, as DEA confirmed in 2021. However, most delta-8 THC products in the market are usually from a synthetic process. Pennington, however, raises questions about Boos’s interpretation, particularly around the terms “derivative” and “extract” in the Farm Bill. Alongside attorney Matthew Zorn, Pennington argues that the intention behind the Farm Bill was perhaps to allow semi-synthetic hemp derivatives, like delta-8 THC. They further highlighted how DEA’s historical actions and language used in legal texts, including the Farm Bill, seem to challenge the agency’s current stance on delta-8 THC. Their position got a boost when a federal appeals court ruled that delta-8 THC is exempt from control as per current statute, emphasizing its allowance of hemp derivatives. Yet, Pennington and Zorn remind us that understanding the DEA’s viewpoint is crucial. As it stands, unless contested by courts or Congress, the agency’s perspective holds significant weight.

Despite the DEA’s consistent statements on delta-8 THC, its market remains robust. Although some states have prohibited these products, on the federal level, the FDA has mostly issued warnings to specific companies deemed problematic. In related updates, the DEA confirmed in 2020 the removal of the CBD medication Epidiolex from the Controlled Substances Act’s Schedule V, effectively unscheduling it. DEA Administrator Anne Milgram recently expressed her willingness to consider an evaluation from HHS on marijuana, following President Joe Biden’s directive last year. There was a mention of a letter from the president regarding this, but its existence remains unconfirmed as of now.

“The Texas THC Challenge: Top 10 THC Beverages in the Lone Star State”

This wasn’t a rushed tasting, but an exploration that spanned three hours. The students were provided with cheese, meats, and crackers as palate cleansers, allowing them to experience the>full spectrum of each drink’s profile before moving on to the next one. Each beverage was rated on four criteria: taste, smell, the presentation of the liquid itself, and the brand’s presentation. Taste and smell are, of course, the primary factors in any beverage’s appeal. But we also recognized that the visual appeal of a beverage – its color, consistency, and even the design of its packaging – can significantly impact a consumer’s overall experience. Once the blind tasting and scoring were completed, the brands were revealed, and the students could reflect on the impact of branding on their overall perception and experience. Here were the results…

1st Place – THC Lemonade (Blue Raspberry) by DANKK: A non-carbonated liquid sensation bursting with potent lemon aroma and the nostalgic taste of blue raspberry lemonade. The drink’s slight hint of cannabis flavor and a juice-like consistency with lemon pulp made it a favorite, securing a perfect score. A potent concoction containing 50 mg of hemp-derived Delta 9 THC, the THC Lemonade stood proud at the top of the ranking.

2nd Place – Lemonade by Smilyn: This carbonated beverage features a delightful blend of lemon and lime flavors, with a dash of sweetness and a hint of menthol aftertaste. Its cloud-like appearance similar to Smirnoff Ice and a simple can design mirrored its straightforward Californian roots. With 50 mg of Delta 8, it received a well-deserved second place.

3rd Place – Houston Juice: This ‘Zen, Focus, and Caffeinated THC Drank,’ packs a punch with 12mg of Hemp-Derived THC. Its sour Skittles taste and peachy aroma, coupled with a lively can design boasting Texas’s biggest city, had the students raving. This carbonated sensation won unanimous acclaim, earning a 5/5.

4th Place – Honey Suckle’s Nectar Seltzer (Strawberry Lemonade): Scoring a 3/5, this carbonated refresher emanates a berry-like smell, with a sparkling berry water taste and a hint of citrus. Its flavor profile, despite not aligning perfectly with its name, made a positive impression. The Strawberry Lemonade contains 5mg of hemp-derived Delta 9.

5th Place – F8ED’s Cosmic Blast: With a score of 3/5, the non-carbonated drink brings forth an
artificial orange flavor and smell. The vibrant orange color of the liquid matches the bottle’s
elaborate decoration, housing 25mg of Delta 8 THC within.

6th Place – Third Coast, Beach Break (Watermellow): A 2/5 rating reflected the unexpected blend of cucumber and melon taste and smell. Its beachy summer vibe can design encloses 5mg of Hemp Derived Delta 9 THC, making it a carbonated treat for the taste buds.

7th Place – Howdy, Paloma: Sporting a picturesque can featuring a bronco-riding cowboy, this carbonated delight, infused with 2.5mg of Hemp Derived Delta 9 THC, offered a genuine orange flavor. One student, hailing from the Valley, Texas, fondly commented that it tasted like home.

8th Place – Howdy, Ranch Water: Another from the Howdy stables, this carbonated drink also featured the cowboy-bronco logo on a green can. Despite its overwhelming smell, the bitter-lemon taste was appreciated by a student from the Valley. However, it gathered a modest rating of 1/5. 9th Place – “Lil Bit” by 8th Wonder (Canna-Berry flavor): The can, although described as bland,contained a carbonated liquid that unleashed an artificial berry aroma and wild berry taste. This Low-Dose THC Seltzer, with 2mg of hemp-derived Delta 9 THC, scored 1/5.

10th Place -Tejas Tonic: This carbonated, lime-centric drink, which garnered a 0/5 rating, stole the show with its can design. The testers agreed that while the beverage wasn’t unpleasant, it would better serve as a mixer. Three students appreciated the distinct taste of cannabis, aligning with the ‘terpene boosted’ advertisement on the can, containing 5mg of Hemp Derived Delta 9 THC.

Texas, with its expanding THC-infused beverage industry, is setting trends that other states might soon follow. These beverages, their unique flavors, and vibrant packaging are reflective of Texas’s dynamic culture, leaving consumers eagerly anticipating the next innovation.

Ride The Canna-bus

“The Farmacy Botanical Shoppe: Leading the Green Revolution on Wheels”

“The Farmacy Botanical Shoppe: Leading the Green Revolution on Wheels”
In the heart of the Lone Star State, nestled in the vibrant cityscape of San Antonio, Texas, there’s an extraordinary family-owned business making waves in the wellness community. Founded in 2019 by Carolyn and Ben Leeper, The Farmacy Botanical Shoppe is revolutionizing how people access CBD and cannabis products. This dynamic duo launched the business after CBD played a crucial role in alleviating Ben’s back pain. Today, their offerings extend not only to humans but also to pets, through their CBD oils and treats meant specifically for our furry friends.

However, their latest venture is the buzz of San Antonio, and it’s taking the form of a bus. On April 20th, 2023, the Leepers introduced their newest initiative, the Canna-bus, a mobile dispensary that is bringing cannabis products to the people in a unique, innovative, and exciting manner.

The Cann-bus Experience
Taking a step inside the Farmacy Botanical Shoppe’s Canna-bus, you’re greeted by a chill ambiance, an aesthetically pleasing interior, and a well-stocked, mini-indoor shop. This is not your ordinary bus, but a modern cannabis dispensary on wheels offering a wide selection of products from local Texas cannabis brands.

From the beginning, the Leepers were committed to supporting local brands, and that ethos is reflected in their Canna-bus. Their catalog includes many products made in the San Antonio area, affirming their dedication to the economic and social well-being of their community.

The Canna-bus isn’t just a shopping experience, it’s a relaxing lounge on wheels. Here, pets are welcome too! In this friendly, inviting atmosphere, patrons can learn more about cannabis products, their benefits, and how to use them. The Leepers believe in empowering their customers through knowledge, advocating for a more informed and open conversation about cannabis in our society.

This summer, The Farmacy Botanical Shoppe’s Canna-bus is set to make an appearance at the San Antonio Reggae Festival, a perfect setting to sample their popular hemp-based drinks. These refreshing beverages have become a hit for those looking to reduce their alcohol intake while still enjoying a delightful summer refreshment.

Beyond a Bus
The Farmacy Botanical Shoppe’s Canna-bus is more than just a mobile dispensary – it’s also a platform for private events, catering, and celebrations. Imagine hosting a party or event with the Canna-bus parked outside, providing your guests with a unique and entertaining experience!

Carolyn and Ben Leeper have transformed their personal experience into a community resource, one that caters to the needs of the individual and supports local businesses. With the Farmacy Botanical Shoppe’s Canna-bus, they’re driving a green revolution and redefining the way we think about wellness and cannabis.

A New Way to Shop
One of the unique aspects of The Farmacy Botanical Shoppe is its same-day local delivery service. The Leepers have turned convenience into an art form, offering same-day delivery in San Antonio from Monday through Friday for purchases of $25 or more. They are the only cannabis business in the city to offer this service, setting a new standard for customer service in the industry. Deliveries are made discreetly in an unmarked vehicle, so customers don’t have to worry about neighbors knowing their business!

For frequent shoppers, the Farmacy Botanical Shoppe offers product subscriptions, where customers can choose to receive their favorite wellness products on a recurring interval with a 10% discount. The company also honors Military, Veterans, and first responders with a 20% discount.

Shoppers can visit The Farmacy Botanical Shoppe’s retail store at 20655 Interstate 10 #104, San Antonio, TX 78257 or order on their website for local delivery and nationwide shipping at www.farmacybotanical.com. Don’t forget to follow them on Instagram [@farmacybotanical] [@cannabus_by_farmacybotanical]


Texas A&M Undergrad Awarded the Texas CHIL Scholarship

Texas A&M undergraduate student Christian Hunter Spearman has just been awarded the $2,000 Texas Cannabis Hemp Innovation League Scholarship. Sponsored by the Texas Hemp Reporter , The Texas Hemp Coalition & the Cannabis Hemp Innovation League, the scholarship recognizes Spearman’s outstanding essay on the topic of de-stigmatizing cannabis.

Hailing from Plano, Texas, Spearman is an Agricultural Leadership & Development major with a minor in Plant Breeding. He is also a talented athlete, playing for the Texas A&M University Hockey team. The award was presented to him at the last C.H.I.L. meeting of the semester by Clay Moore, the President of CHIL, undergraduate researcher and breeder in the Industrial Hemp Breeding Program at Texas A&M University.

In his winning essay, Spearman delves into the history of cannabis in American society, its harsh criminalization in the 1930s, and the negative reputation it has garnered as a result. He proposes three main methods to destigmatize cannabis: educational awareness, policy reform, and normalization through media.

Spearman advocates for dispelling common misconceptions about cannabis through educational campaigns, conferences, and classes that highlight the benefits and risks of its use. He addresses myths such as cannabis being a gateway drug, highly addictive, and causing lung cancer, which have been debunked over the years.

Policy reform is another key aspect of Spearman’s proposed approach to destigmatizing cannabis. By legalizing cannabis for medical and recreational use, he believes that this will open more business and job opportunities, ultimately contributing to a more accepting and destigmatized view of the plant. Spearman also emphasizes the importance of using media outlets to shift public opinion by promoting the positive effects of cannabis, such as its use for treating inflammation and pain relief.

Congratulations to Christian Hunter Spearman on this well-deserved achievement. His insightful essay highlights the importance of reevaluating societal perceptions of cannabis and offers practical solutions to create a more informed and positive image for this versatile plant. As the push for cannabis legalization and education continues to gain momentum, Spearman’s essay serves as a valuable contribution to this ongoing conversation.

Mau Mau Chaplains’ Moe Monsarrat talks life, loss and legalization

For the past 15 years, 10-piece reggae act Mau Mau Chaplains has played Wednesday nights at Flamingo Cantina, a staple of Austin’s downtown live music scene. Singer and multi-instrumentalist Moe Monsarrat said people commonly refer to the standing gig as “reggae church.”

“It’s because it’s every Wednesday, and you can come and get a blessing from the music,” Monsarrat said. “We’re not preaching or anything like that. It’s nothing like that. We just play our stuff, and people feel like it’s kind of like a religious experience.

“To put it one way, I have a heart doctor, and I went to see him one day, and he said, ‘How’s the music business?’ I said, ‘It’s kind of like the doctor business.’ He said, ‘How so?’ I said, ‘Well, people come in feeling one way, and they leave feeling better.’”

Monsarrat’s love for reggae music began in the ‘70s. In his older years, he said he has stepped into a new level of confidence musically. 

“When you’re younger, you kind of wonder, ‘Am I really that good?’ You kind of doubt yourself,” he said. “I don’t doubt myself anymore. I’ve been doing it too long to doubt myself anymore.” 

Regarding cannabis, Monsarrat said the band partakes regularly and is happy to see the changes that are happening in Texas. 

“[Cannabis is] certainly part of our daily lives,” he said. “It’s something that’s important to all of us, and it’s something we’ve always had between us, and that’s where we stand. 

“I’m really happy that Austin is kind of relaxed about it, and of course, the police are pouting because they no longer have a reason to search you. They know that even if they find weed, the [district attorney] won’t prosecute it, so it’s a waste of time. So give thanks for that, and give thanks for the medicinal legalization. We can only hope that the recreational part will be passed soon. We’re great supporters of Texas NORML, and I play their golf tournament. They have their meetings here at Flamingo when they have public meetings.”

Last year, tragedy struck the band when drummer Miguel Pankratz lost his battle with cancer. 

“It broke everybody’s heart, but you know, we’ve got to carry on,” Monsarrat said. “The show’s got to go on, and that’s the way he wanted it. So that’s where we’re at, you know? Jah bless him, you know, because he was our brother, and we think about him every time we get up to play. There are certain songs that were his favorite songs, and we try to always include those. It’s a difficult thing, but when you’re getting older, it’s around you more and more all the time — like more and more of your friends die.”

While Tom Leslie now leads the band’s rhythm section, Monsarrat said he will never forget the friend he shared the stage with for three decades.

“While we’re playing it’s pure bliss, and Tom Leslie is a great drummer,” he said. “We never have to worry about anything being on time or mistakes or any of that kind of thing, so we couldn’t really be in a lot better shape as far as the players go. But nobody could play it like Miguel because we played it for so long together, so sometimes I miss little things that he did that Tom doesn’t know about or plays it differently, which is the way it should be, but still I do miss certain things about it.”

Aside from Dreadneck Wednesdays at Flamingo Cantina, Mau Mau Chaplains can be spotted playing events and the occasional out-of-town gig. They also live-stream their Wednesday night performances on Flamingo Cantina’s Facebook page at 10:30 p.m.

“It’s a wonderful thing for us to perform. We’re very thankful to be able to still do that,” Monsarrat said.

Repo & Revenge: The Continued Adventures of Mr. Jackerman

Secured Transactions in Cannabis on Prohibition and Non-Prohibition Territory

Lacking federal oversight, industry players in the cannabiz would have the capacity to leverage cash influxes with on-hand inventory, to expand assets like equipment and land through secured loans, and generally operate not unlike many other businesses in our economy. A secured loan is basically receiving a cash front from a lender, with a specific item/s of your inventory identified as the leverage, which is repossessed if you default on the payments for your fronted cash.

In legitimate secured transactions there is no vig, so the cost of operations also goes down. This however isn’t possible, and the continued federal prohibition of cannabis has resulted in a lack of clarity surrounding how exactly financial transactions are to be conducted around the particular type of green that contains THC.

This reality also impacts our fictional composite dealer-stealer antihero Mr. Jackerman, and his continued efforts to build upon the stacks and bands in his safe, all the while evading the watchful eye of Big Brother and the crosshairs of his adversaries.

Having recently chomped a few duffel bags worth of Benjamin Franklin-stamped blubber off an industry whale, he is now the one being hunted. Mr. Jackerman is stressed out, man, he’s on edge, his business is volatile, and as a result so has been the mood of many of the players in his game. The fact that he’s robbed quite a few of them already, some repeatedly, doesn’t help to defray his sense of crackle, the quiet rumble, the heat.

Are clips sliding in and bullets being racked? Is the pleasant ringing of a machete’s steel sliding across a whetstone accenting the dewy, dusky air of a distant farmhouse? Do we have a crew of gentlemen in black skinny suits atop black Air Force 1’s under maroon ski-masks with white grinning demonic toothy grins drawn on, black minivan outside, waiting for a text containing the address of a certain Mr. Jackerman? These are questions businesspeople should not have to ask themselves.

The Notorious BIG’s 10th Crack Commandment & Business Development

Consignment according to the Notorious BIG, the “Black Frank White”, a reference to the classic Christopher Walken film King of New York, is “strictly for live men, not for freshmen”, and if “you ain’t got the clientele, say hell no”. This is because the higher ups in the crack game, BIG asserts, will want their money whether it is snowing, sleeting, hailing, or even, you guessed it, raining. The same is true for any other business, when products are provided on net terms with payment pending at some point in the future, payment is to be received or consequences are to be experienced.

A puddle of water is parted like the Red Sea by the tire of a blacked out Mercedes G-Wagon. Four pairs of black Air Force 1s connect with the concrete, a nondescript warehouse in a nondescript dead manufacturing district lies ahead. Curiously, a pair of parallel strings of hanging lights dance erratically down an alleyway into the darkness. Steel slides across leather, unholstered our hit team is on the move, oddly enough beneath the eerily incandescent string of lights the entire way towards their target.

Essentially consignment is giving product to another retailer without receiving full payment up-front, in the hopes that they eventually pay-up. Fronts are often more expensive than cash deals, but in the black market the risk is greater. The fronter may end up without their cash as the frontee has been arrested, or otherwise indisposed of.

When it comes to cannabis, ongoing federal prohibition precludes the free exercise of secured transactions in cannabis. I believe in secured transactions from a lender’s perspective, as the terms of traditional loans can be a bit too esoteric and imaginative for my liking. Securing a loan to a tangible asset with real value is the surest way to maintain your value and to mitigate risk.

Example: Lend a construction company $50,000 to buy a $50,000 truck, with the actual physical possession and title to the truck the security on the loan. The construction company pays $30,000, defaults, and the lender takes back the $50,000 truck, keeping the $30,000 in payments. Sounds almost illegal, yeah? No stick-ups involved, and if necessary ultimately an officer of the court, often a Sheriff, can be sent to take back what’s yours. Secured transactions are snazzy, but they are irrelevant when a product is illegal.

An End to Federal Prohibition is the Only Pathway to Peace

Mr. Jackerman understands that he has a certain knack for business, an innate hustle that he could apply to other industries, industries with lesser risk. However, Mr. Jackerman would rather own his schedule, sleep until whenever, go to the gym whenever, drink exclusively out of vintage Irish-mined Waterford Lismore crystal, and have more cash than he has ideas on how to spend it, with enough time to get into whatever. Barring one’s birthing with a silver spoon and a forthcoming payout on a trust fund, this simply is not possible without great ingenuity, and/or great risk. Mr. Jackerman is wise enough to know he is not ingenious enough, and so he’s accepted that his road to riches is the great reward through great risk pathway.

The Bootleggers of the 21st Century: for as long as cannabis is federally illegal, there will be businesspeople taking such an informed risk in pursuit of profit.

Wood splintering at the hinges, a door that should have been better secured swings open with ease. Black skinny suits are coated in dust as the four filter through the door, spilling across the room towards doors and hallways, whispers of the word “clear” dropping like pins in the silence. Our entry room is empty, as is the entire structure…

The light-blue hue of a black-and-white screen flickers through crystal, prisming across Mr. Jackerman’s face, the screen showing empty rooms and gentlemen with devilish grins on their maroon ski masks searching in vain for nothing. Flicking off the screen, BIG’s 5th Crack Commandment rings in his head, “never sell no crack where you rest at”.

It is wise to maintain a separate, secret residence if one is a player with assets in the black market. The best I’ve seen in fiction is probably Pietro Savastano’s in the exceptionally fine Italian crime drama “Gomorrah”. Gustavo Fring on “Breaking Bad” had a similar setup you might recall.

Will House Bill 1937 Pass and End Texan Prohibition on Cannabis?

A recently proposed bill could result in fewer black market whales for Mr. Jackerman to harpoon when he’s feeling hungry. New Bedford, Massachusetts was once known as the “City that Lit the World” given their possession of the whaling industry at a time when whale blubber-sourced oil lit homes via lamps. As the whaling industry waned and flickered out, and much of the manufacturing in the area alongside it, the Captain Ahabs of the coastline found new occupations, but the town itself was slow to recover.

Locally the town was known to have become salty, scrappy, populated by the descendants of whalers, while the officers and captains made new lives for themselves across the bridge in Fairhaven. The foundation was set for a fine American novel, a tale of lustrous success and devolution to something else, a widening gap in wealth between members of a close-knit yet caste-like community, until Massachusetts woke up and legalized recreational cannabis.

New Bedford is now lit in an entirely different way, and is presently an on-the-rise coastal town with craft cocktails, trendy boutiques, and recreational cannabis. With cannabis comes community, and capital. Texas has recently stepped back into the dark ages in terms of women’s rights, it would be noteworthy if we simultaneously leapt into the future by establishing a recreational cannabis market.

Until next time,

Michael John Westerman, Esq.

www.mjwestermanlaw.com

www.jotunpaintball.com

April Edition / Digital Issue

April Edition of the Texas Hemp Reporter covers the current state of Hemp & Cannabis while the 88th Legislature is in session. Also covered are the medical benefits from many cannabinoids. Introducing “Tejas Tonic” the new terp-boosted THC beverage from Aaron at Tejas Hemp in Dripping Springs Texas. Weed & Whiskey TV also profiled & Texas Blues Legend Chris Duarte.

The Texas Green Machine

NOW BOOKING FOR APRIL 20TH – EVENING SHOW

Texas Hemp Reporter recently wrapped a new delivery vehicle for making deliveries, attending special events and producing live remote podcasts at CBD business’. Another goal is to be present at events at the State Capitol for legislative activism, Cannabis events and to further marketing awareness about the Texas Hemp Reporter in the hemp and cannabis space.

What is The Texas Hemp Show ?

The Texas Hemp Show is the official podcast for the Texas Hemp Reporter Magazine: The Texas Hemp Show is recorded every Wednesday at from 6 -7pm and is released each Friday. For news and the latest information on the growing Hemp & Cannabis industry in the Lone Star State subscribe to our magazine the Texas Hemp Reporter online and follow us wherever podcasts are available.

If you are interested in having a Podcast of the Texas Hemp Show in your Event or Business contact the Texas Hemp Reporter.

Keep an eye out on the road for the Texas Green Machine and be sure to Honk at us for Legal Cannabis!


Russell profiling Tejas Tonic water on the Texas Hemp Show Podcast with Aaron Ownens at Tejas Hemp

Sky to Soil Solutions

A 2 Part Series: Weather Modification, & Soil & Water Support
for Ranch/Ag, Conservation & Fire Protection. January 19 & 26, 2023 ~ 3:00 – 4:30 PM – CST

Miles Research: Advanced Weather Modification for TX 1.19.23

Click here to register:
https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUpf-GurTkvEtIqjDfiwtsrAN_rFgJrVXqP

SKY:

Sky to Soil: 2 part zoom series on mid-to-large scale solutions related to weather and soil
About: From farms, to forests, to coastlines, current extreme weather events are impacting our
food and eco systems. This is taking a dramatic toll the lives and livelihoods of those who work
as America’s food and ecosystem, producers and protectors. CEOs of two of the most remarkable
environmental companies to date – David Miles (Miles Research/Atmospherica), and
James Gaspard (Biochar Now) – will be providing information on advanced weather modification
and severe weather protection – and – the benefits, uses, and funding, available for biochar.


Sky- beginning January 19, 2023 – 3:00 pm CST/1:00 pm PST (1.5 hr)
Miles Research/Atmospherica: Mid-scale Advanced Weather Modification Attendees will
learn about the range of advanced weather modification solutions (allevi- ation of extreme
drought/wildfire/tornadic events, flooding and more); including:
• overview of technology
• examples of successful projects
• timeline
• cost
• benefits and ROI
• Texas regulation and licensing

SOIL:

January 26, 2023 – 3:00 pm CST / 1:00 pm PST (1.5 hr)
Biochar Now: Biochar for use in agriculture, feed, wild lands, wetlands, and car- bon credit.
Attendees will learn about the scope of uses, benefits and effectiveness, and funding available
for various projects.
• agriculture/soil/water/wild lands uses
• grants
• costs and ROI • grants
For more information, or to register, contact Nikki Florio: [email protected]

Podcast # 107

Listen to the Show Here.

Texas TRU Distribution is a local distributor that features Craft and Organic spirits and our
services include importing/warehousing and logistics. Founded in 2010, our goal is to focus
on the growth and development of quality products in the state of Texas.

We also talk about the new car we are offering around town for Live Remote Recordings.

What is The Texas Hemp Show ?

The Texas Hemp Show is the official podcast for the Texas Hemp Reporter Magazine: The Texas Hemp Show is recorded every Wednesday at from 6 -7pm and is released each Friday. For news and the latest information on the growing Hemp & Cannabis industry in the Lone Star State subscribe to our magazine the Texas Hemp Reporter online and follow us wherever podcasts are available.

Texas Hemp Summit

Texas Hemp Coalition, the premier advocacy group for the hemp industry in Texas, is hosting its inaugural B2B industry event, The Texas Hemp Summit, this November 11-12, 2022 at the Texas A&M Agrilife Center in College Station.

The event is poised to bring together B2B industry leaders from all across Texas and beyond to discuss farming, processing, cannabinoids, fiber, and retail topics concerning hemp operators through educational conversations and presentations.

The goal of the summit is to address trending issues that are directly impacting our state’s hemp operators, as well as be a learning opportunity for those looking to get into the industry and scale.

Anyone who is interested in getting more involved in the industry, launching a brand, scaling their business, or who may be seeking job opportunities is encouraged to attend.

During these two days, the Texas Hemp Summit will pack keynote presentations, panel discussions, as well as networking opportunities for attendees to get plugged into the most pressing subjects relevant to their passions, and business interests.

Confirmed speakers are:

  • Keynote with the Texas Department of Agriculture, Sid Miller
  • A legal fireside chat with Lisa Pittman of Pittman Legal and Cameron Field of Michael Best
  • Overview of Texas A&M University Hemp field research with Dr. Russell Jessup

And more to be confirmed, so check the website for more details.

The event has industry support from: Flex Payment Solutions, Shimadzu, Tejas Hemp, Caprock Family Farms, Sweet Sensi, Drops of Life, Boveda, Agilent, Hemp Industries Association, Hemp Building Ventures, Michael Best, Haus of Jayne, and more who will also be in attendance to meet you and answer your questions in person during the summit.

Tickets are on sale now for $110 at the Early Bird rate until October 24th, 2022 when they will increase in price, and the event is FREE to all students with valid student ID.

To learn more about the event, and purchase tickets visit: TexasHempCoalition.com/SUMMIT

If you would like to explore membership opportunities, the Texas Hemp Coalition holds regular meetings to discuss pressing topics and would love to invite you to join us as an official member to help champion and advocate for hemp in Texas TexasHempCoalition.org/MEMBERSHIP

Cannabis Marketing Business

I was recently handed a box of about 24 unlabeled products in bags and asked to review the quality and effectiveness of said products, which varied from topical’s and oils to edibles.

This wasn’t the first time I had been asked to judge something in the cannabis industry, in fact, I’ve participated as a judge in a handful of national competitions which, I’ll admit, have all respectively had their faults.

Look, I’m not here to pick on this one example, it’s just the most recent one in a series of examples, but rather use it as a jumping-off point for what I would have loved to see happen instead, and encourage how we as an industry should be leaders instead of followers.

For the record, I’m pretty sure there isn’t a standard manual on how to run an effective cannabis event. If you could see me now, I’m half smirking as I write this because I know (from interviewing hundreds of cannabis entrepreneurs all over the world for my podcast, To Be Blunt) just how inconsistent the laws and regulations are in our industry in general, let alone the nuanced world of events.

But as nuanced as it is, it is a massive opportunity for everyone involved. And it comes down to implementing best practices that put safety and education at the forefront.

Prior to founding RESTART CBD in 2018, I used to work in corporate technology, but specifically, I was an event and brand manager for about 6 years. So I will also go out on a limb and say I know pretty well firsthand the benefit of events from both a brand perspective and also as a consumer who has attended hundreds of events in my lifetime.

I’m not here to say don’t go to events or don’t waste your time participating in them, events are great for exposure and connecting directly with your target audiences. Instead, I want to reflect on how we as an industry can put our best foot forward and lead by example.

If you check out the podcast, I encourage you to listen to episode 96 with Tim and Taylor Blake who are the founders and producers of The Emerald Cup, the largest cannabis competition in the world. THE WORLD. Yes, they’ve been producing this event since 2003, and a lot has changed since then which we get into more detail in the episode, but one of the questions I had for them was around the competition aspect of their event.

On one end, the winners of The Emerald Cup go on to experience a huge uptick in their business. Winning this particular competition has bragging rights that go on into infinity, so from a brand marketing perspective, it absolutely benefits brands to compete because winning can do wonders for your business.

On the other hand, you have the operations of the event to navigate. As an event producer, how are you capturing these entries, what do you ask for to gauge quality assurance, and what all goes into your judging process to guarantee you’re evaluating these brands properly?

This was the big aha for me personally at least, while it’s all fun and games to do events and participate in competitions, at the end of the day, all these products, every single one of them are being sold to a consumer. How they’re packaged, how they’re labeled, what COAs are attached, and how they make someone feel are all pieces of determining the “quality and effectiveness”. They are consumer packaged goods after all, and that point is where I continually get hung up on from my own personal experiences with cannabis events and competitions.

You see, I was taken aback at the unmarked products in blank bags. I understood the intention was for blind judging, but as someone who promotes frequently to my own customers to read labels, ingredients, and packaging, to be presented with absolutely none of that information didn’t settle well (and yes I did share this feedback directly, and ultimately decided not to participate until better parameters were set in place.)

Aside from handling it directly, It was equally important to talk about it publicly since this isn’t about one person in particular, but about all of us as a community setting standards and standing by them.

In an industry where 5mg vs 10mg of a particular cannabinoid can produce a different effect, it is extremely important for me to emphasize to the brands as well as consumers reading this that integrity and efficacy are absolutely essential in establishing credibility for our industry.

In previous events I’ve judged, I remember being shocked to see products labeled with QR codes that 404’d, which as a legally licensed brand operating in Texas Hemp is a requirement to have functioning on your packaging. To me, what you put on your label is step one of building quality assurance with the consumer market, and yet here were brands, going after an award with basic information lacking. I genuinely felt and feel bad for consumers who are left in the dark by these brands and their products.

Yes, there are certainly bad actors out to make a quick buck, and I always encourage the buyer to be aware. But I also sincerely believe that there are great Texas cannabis operators who believe in this plant and are looking for best practices, so I hope you hear the heart of my message.

When we avoid or don’t address these discrepancies they continue to pile up, I want to address them so we can improve together. I want to see brands and events thrive, but I also want to remember who we’re in business for at the end of the day, and that is for the consumer.

So how we show up, whether it is on a label, or at an event, really can improve the industry by providing necessary information for consumers to make educated decisions on what they are putting in their bodies.

Listening to my episode with The Emerald Cup on To Be Blunt has a lot of great insight that we can all learn from as we work together to professionalize cannabis for consumer consumption.