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MJBizCon announces return to Las Vegas Oct. 20-22

MJBizCon will return as a live, in-person event in Las Vegas this October, barring any unforeseen developments related to the coronavirus pandemic, Marijuana Business Daily announced Monday. The 10th annual cannabis trade show, the largest in the industry, is scheduled to be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center and will include an online component starting the week of Oct. 18. The live expo will be held Oct. 20-22, 2021. “We’re gearing up for a triumphant return to a live MJBizCon in Las Vegas this fall,” said Chris Walsh, CEO and president of Marijuana Business Daily and Hemp Industry Daily. “After a year of uncertainty, turmoil and isolation, the need for the industry to get together is perhaps stronger than ever,” he added. “One thing we’ve all learned through the pandemic is that cannabis businesses thrive on face-to-face connections.” Walsh went on to say the industry is poised to come “roaring out of the pandemic.” “We can’t wait to bring the entire cannabis ecosystem together so we can propel the industry forward.” MJBizCon organizers will take all necessary and appropriate COVID-related precautions to ensure the health and safety of attendees. “We are eager to get back to Vegas as soon as it is safe to convene again – and we believe that will be this October,” said Jess Tyler, senior vice president of events and strategic development for MJBizDaily and Hemp Industry Daily. Tyler said her team has been researching health and safety practices and is working closely with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, state and county officials “so we can welcome you to the show with confidence and provide you with peace of mind.” “The safety of the entire MJBizCon community is our top priority while we prepare for us all to get together once again.” Prospective attendees are invited to sign up at mjbizcon.com to get regular alerts as registration opens and speakers are announced. The application form to be an MJBizCon speaker also is available. The application deadline is June 1. The 2020 MJBizCon was an entirely virtual event in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Registration will begin in April. Watch MJBizDailthis space for more details about keynote speakers, session topics and more.

MJBizCon announces return to Las Vegas Oct. 20-22

MJBizCon will return as a live, in-person event in Las Vegas this October, barring any unforeseen developments related to the coronavirus pandemic, Marijuana Business Daily announced Monday. The 10th annual cannabis trade show, the largest in the industry, is scheduled to be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center and will include an online component starting the week of Oct. 18. The live expo will be held Oct. 20-22, 2021. “We’re gearing up for a triumphant return to a live MJBizCon in Las Vegas this fall,” said Chris Walsh, CEO and president of Marijuana Business Daily and Hemp Industry Daily. “After a year of uncertainty, turmoil and isolation, the need for the industry to get together is perhaps stronger than ever,” he added. “One thing we’ve all learned through the pandemic is that cannabis businesses thrive on face-to-face connections.” Walsh went on to say the industry is poised to come “roaring out of the pandemic.” “We can’t wait to bring the entire cannabis ecosystem together so we can propel the industry forward.” MJBizCon organizers will take all necessary and appropriate COVID-related precautions to ensure the health and safety of attendees. “We are eager to get back to Vegas as soon as it is safe to convene again – and we believe that will be this October,” said Jess Tyler, senior vice president of events and strategic development for MJBizDaily and Hemp Industry Daily. Tyler said her team has been researching health and safety practices and is working closely with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, state and county officials “so we can welcome you to the show with confidence and provide you with peace of mind.” “The safety of the entire MJBizCon community is our top priority while we prepare for us all to get together once again.” Prospective attendees are invited to sign up at mjbizcon.com to get regular alerts as registration opens and speakers are announced. The application form to be an MJBizCon speaker also is available. The application deadline is June 1. The 2020 MJBizCon was an entirely virtual event in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Registration will begin in April. Watch MJBizDailthis space for more details about keynote speakers, session topics and more.

Minor cannabinoids are a ‘new frontier’ in wellness: Q&A with Jonathan Vaught, CEO of Front Range Biosciences

Minor cannabinoids have been gathering interest among growers and extractors over the past year, with research on CBG, CBN, CBC and THC-V showing unique health benefits for consumers. But are consumers even aware of these molecules and is there demand in the marketplace? And are there genetics available that can yield enough of these minor cannabinoids to make them worth the investment? Jonathan Vaught, CEO and founder of Front Range Biosciences, a hemp and cannabis genetics producer in Lafayette, Colorado, said that although consumer awareness and interest is still in the early stages, the genetics are coming online for growers to begin producing hemp for minor cannabinoids. His company is launching a new line of THC-V genetics in collaboration with partners in the marijuana space in California and Colorado as well as working on developing THC-V genetics along with genetics that are dominant in other minor cannabinoids. Hemp Industry Daily caught up with Vaught to discuss his viewpoints on the future of minor cannabinoids. How does THC-V differ from other minor cannabinoids? THC-V is a separate molecule than THC or CBD. It’s very closely related structurally to THC – it’s just got a different side chain on it, so it makes it a different molecule than THC – either delta-9 or delta-8 or other cannabinoids. That being said, THC-V has been rarely observed … and it’s generally produced at fairly low levels because, for multiple reasons, biologically, it’s a mutation in the pathway that allows it to produce THC-V. Most plants that do have this mutation generally don’t produce very much, and when they do – if they’re bred to produce that much – then the plants are generally fairly poor performing. They don’t produce very good weight, they don’t produce high overall cannabinoids and terpenes, they’re just generally not very easy plants to grow and produce. With the technology that we’ve developed, we are now unlocking that. There’s a variety that’s producing 20% plus total cannabinoids and it’s close to 1:1 THC-V to THC. That’s why the first launch, with our partners out in California, are taking this to market in the regulated cannabis space there. So that’s just Step One – biologically, it makes more sense for high THC-V to be in the cannabis bucket. We are working on helping develop hemp-compliant versions, as well, but because of the biology, it is more challenging. We’re discovering things about the genome and about how this plant works, from an underlying biology perspective, that will enable us to directly develop hemp-compliant versions of high-THC-V-producing plants as well. What excites you most about THC-V, for both consumers and the industry? We see THC-V as such an interesting cannabinoid. People are reporting really exciting characteristics – things like appetite suppression, stimulant qualities and a less-intoxicating type of experience. This is a really exciting new ingredient from a consumer-product perspective because it really can begin to change the landscape of the type of experiences that are available to consumers through cannabis. By improving not only the total amount of THC-V that gets produced in the plant but also some of the other characteristics – high terpenes and total cannabinoids – it produces more weight and more flower, and it’s more vigorous. Those are all the things that are going to make it easier for growers to produce this and introduce it in the supply chain. So, you combine that with the excitement on the consumer-product side and the opportunity for brands and consumer cannabis products to be available that provide customers new experiences – that combination is what is so exciting here. And I think we’re honestly just getting started. How aware would you say consumers are about THC-V and other minor cannabinoids, and do you feel that the market for minor cannabinoids has improved over the past year? In general, it’s been somewhat elusive to growers and breeders and in the supply chain, so you just don’t see a lot of THC-V products out in the market yet – consumers generally don’t know much about it. There’s a fair amount to learn about it from a consumer education and total market perspective, but it’s the same for other cannabinoids, too. You could say the same thing about CBD six or seven years ago. … All that changed once it was discovered that there’s a real medical benefit, and now CBD is a whole industry. Growers have been excited about some of the minor cannabinoids, but they’ve held back because the genetics haven’t been there or they weren’t sure of the demand. Is it safe to go ahead and start growing for minors now? The underlying philosophy is the same for all cannabis growers. A lot of companies learned this the hard way, but, generally speaking, before you grow something, you want to know where that crop is going to go, right? What is your market for the end-use product? Is it a flower crop? Is it a CBG crop? Is it a THC crop? If you look at it through the lens of traditional agriculture and other crops and other supply chains, it really is about, is there a market, who’s going to buy it, and what are the reasons they’re going to buy it for? And that’s why growers should be growing things. How do minor cannabinoids fit within the growing wellness category? I think there’s a huge opportunity. It’s a big trend on the consumer side but also from the medical research side that we can be healthier as a society and as people if we eat better, if we take things that are more preventative in terms of wellness versus waiting to have a real problem and then trying to treat it. We know that the endocannabinoid receptor system is throughout almost every major organ system in our body, and we know that it’s involved in a number of different physiologic processes that are happening in our bodies that either affect disease or wellness. Combine that with the fact that there are well over 130 unique cannabinoids produced in this plant – maybe even more at this point – and some we haven’t even discovered. Also, cannabinoids have been generally safe compounds. There are no reported examples of extreme adverse events or deaths, and there are limited clinical studies. But in the ones that are out there, cannabinoids seem to be fairly safe. So all that together is the recipe for an incredibly exciting area of growth in the wellness sector. How could companies developing synthetic cannabinoids affect the market for naturally occurring minor cannabinoids? I think there’s room for both in the supply chain. If you’re talking about an active pharmaceutical ingredient that needs to be 99% pure, there may be applications where synthetic biology is the right way to support that supply chain. Whereas, if you look at a full-spectrum or a broad-spectrum extract, that’s more of a wellness product. You don’t want a pure compound. You’re looking for the combination of cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes – and the other amazing things that are found in this plant – all together in a consumable package. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Laura Drotleff can be reached at [email protected]

State ag departments join call for 1% THC in hemp

The nation’s state agriculture departments have joined the call for raising the THC limit in hemp from 0.3% to a full 1%. But the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture did not say in its policy statement how states propose making that change. The platform was adopted Thursday during the group’s winter meeting. The Hemp Industries Association and other advocates have called a 1% THC limit a necessary change to encourage participation in the hemp sector. “The 1% threshold will help give growers all across the country, especially those growing for CBD, some greater flexibility with variety selection and maximizing CBD percentages before a crop goes hot,” said Rob Richard, president of the Wisconsin Hemp Alliance. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has insisted that it can’t raise the THC limit on its own. NASDA’s policy statement does not take a position on whether the Controlled Substances Act should be changed in Congress. RJ Karney, NASDA’s senior director of public policy, said the group is simply looking to promote more breathing room for hemp producers. “This is still an upcoming industry that can benefit from greater flexibility to thrive,” he said in an email. “By expanding the federal definition to less than or equal to 1% THC in dry-matter hemp, we can give farmers more certainty that their crops will be able to make it to market.”

‘People expected me to fail’: Black female hemp farmers discuss disparity in the industry

Jillian Hishaw (Editor’s note: This story is part of a recurring series of commentaries from professionals connected to the hemp industry. Jillian Hishaw is an agricultural strategist and former U.S. Department of Agriculture Adjudicator of the Office to the Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights. She’s now Founder & CEO of Family Agriculture Resource Management Services (F.A.R.M.S.) and author of “Systematic Land Theft” and “Don’t Bet the Farm on Medicaid.”) Disparities in the hemp industry, just like the field of agriculture, are apparent. Many top hemp companies are run by white men supported by an executive staff and board that are seldom diverse. It’s a similar landscape at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Since the USDA was established in 1862, just one white woman (Ann Veneman) and one Black man (Mike Espy) have been secretary. There was some speculation President Joe Biden would choose the first Black female to lead the agency. Instead, Biden chose Tom Vilsack, a white man and a former Agriculture Secretary under President Barack Obama. Vilsack has a record of ineffective race relations matching the history of USDA. This history has led to the drafting of the Justice for Black Farmers Act — legislation sponsored by Sens. Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand — providing Black farmers with debt relief and more. The USDA’s record on Black farmers and landowners is shameful, and the disparities continue. Black farmers were foreclosed on at a 13% rate between 2006 to 2016 but made up less than 3% of USDA’s direct-loan recipients. Currently, whites own 98% of U.S. farmland while Black, indigenous and people of color own the remaining 2%. These statistics are even more dismal in the hemp and cannabis industry. Black farmers’ approval of hemp licenses is extremely minimal. And even after acquiring their licenses, many cannot afford to grow due to lack of capital and infrastructure. “The lack of capital and the historic system of being forced to compete in the good-ole-boys network locks many Black farmers out of the industry,” said Gagan Hunter, CEO of Mother Earth Bounty, a seller of natural cannabis products that’s been in business for nearly 20 years. No social equity in hemp The term “social equity” is often tossed around as an application requirement to secure a cannabis license. But the term has become words on paper. The 10-year restriction on getting a hemp license for anyone with a drug felony conviction is just another example of Congress allowing USDA to lock Black Americans out of the industry. “If equity was really in place, we would be put in the front of the line,” Hunter said. The challenges of living in the Southeast and being a Black farmer are far too familiar — but the work it keeps getting done by farmers on a shoestring budget. I recently spoke with Dreu VanHoose, CEO of VanHoose Co., a hemp farming company in Alabama. She’s a first-generation farmer growing on her grandfather’s land. Dreu VanHoose on her farm in Alabama “I expected challenges, but I learned about resilience and failing forward,” she said. VanHoose’s grandfather was one of the first Black pharmacists in Washington DC. “And now I am happy to continue in his footsteps of growing natural hemp products ” for medicinal and industrial purposes, she said. VanHoose experienced a setback at the beginning of the planting season last year when she purchased “organic” fertilizer that was not so organic. After her transplants were either burned up by the fertilizer or eaten by the bugs, VanHoose replanted a late crop, which resulted in a successful harvest. But VanHoose did have her share of challenges during her first year of being a rural Black farmer. “Relocating from DC to Alabama was an adjustment period, you can say– realizing things you can do in the city cannot be done down here.” VanHoose said the key to her success this year was the guidance she received from neighboring older Black farmers and the support from organizations like F.A.R.M.S. and Tricolla Farms located in Upstate New York. Lonely profession Other farmers did not fare as well this past season. Ali Tannur (photo courtesy Javetta Sabra) Tannur Ali, CEO of iLogic at Solomon’s Garden, located in Alabama, is a Black produce farmer and aspiring hemp farmer who has experienced many of the challenges Hunter saw. Like Hunter, Ali moved from the Northeast. “My first couple of years of farming were spent proving myself. People expected me to fail and move back home,” she said. Last year Ali secured her hemp license but was unable to plant. “It took me getting my license to identify the full costs associated with growing hemp, and it wasn’t something I could afford. It was either take out a loan to plant hemp or just not plant, and I chose the latter.” The isolation she felt made things worse. “The most challenging thing (about) being a woman farmer is the loneliness, because women farmers are so few and far between,” she said. Despite these challenges, Ali said, “I remain optimistic about the whole process. I knew there would be difficulties I didn’t see coming. “In my mind, the process speaks for itself — first you build the soil, then you expect the plants to grow.” Her background in administrative and community work gave her an advantage, she says. “Following the law is an essential part of farming.” As we end Black History month and enter Women History’s month, the words and work of VanHoose and Ali will resonate with future women farmers who plant behind them. The barrier of discrimination in the agricultural industry, no matter what the crop, is historically apparent. Unlike VanHoose and Ali forging a new path for Black women in hemp, Biden missed an opportunity to appoint the first Black woman Agriculture Secretary. As more women enter the field of agriculture, the demographics in the field will ensure an accomplished woman of color will be Agriculture Secretary one day. Jillian Hishaw can be reached at [email protected] To be considered for publication as a guest columnist, please submit your request to [email protected] with the subject line “Guest Column.”

Federal judge hands Indiana producers a setback on smokable-hemp challenge

A federal judge in Indiana is reversing course on a state law banning smokable hemp, handing growers and processors another defeat as they seek to find a path to market for the most profitable part of the plant. U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker told the Midwest Hemp Council and several hemp businesses challenging Indiana’s 2019 ban that she would not put the ban on hold pending their legal challenge. Barker had earlier placed an injunction on Indiana’s smokable hemp ban. At the time, she ruled that Indiana’s prohibition on growing, selling or possessing smokable hemp was likely unconstitutional because it violated national interstate commerce protections. Barker’s 2019 injunction was overturned by a federal appeals court in Chicago, which said her order “sweeps too broadly” and that Indiana should be allowed to ban smokable hemp until the question is settled in court. The appeals court then sent the injunction request back to Barker for review. The judge’s latest ruling comes days after the Indiana House of Representatives voted to change the law to allow smokable hemp. But the bill to allow “craft hemp flower” still must pass the state Senate and be signed into law by the governor in order to allow smokable-hemp flower in Indiana. The challengers of the ban don’t yet have a court date for hashing out the dispute. But they say Indiana is trying to supersede the federal law that legalizes hemp and all its components. Justin Swanson Justin Swanson, president of the Midwest Hemp Council and owner of Heartland Harvest Confections, a CBD chocolate maker in Indianapolis, said the state’s 256 licensed hemp growers are wrongly being cut out of the boom in smokable flower. “These bans do nothing to curb demand for the product,” Swanson told Hemp Industry Daily. “Instead, it shifts (smokable-hemp buyers) to out-of-state farmers and out-of-state online retailers,” he said. “This is a federally legal product that is free to be shipped.” Another smokable-hemp ban is on hold in Texas pending a legal challenge. California is considering a ban, too. Analytics firm Nielsen Global Connect predicts that by 2025, the U.S. smokable-hemp market could reach $300 million to $400 million, representing roughly 5% of the potential $6 billion to $7 billion hemp-derived CBD consumer products category. Read more about the U.S. smokable-hemp market in this free report, “Sector Snapshot: Opportunities & Challenges in Smokable Hemp.” Kristen Nichols can be reached at [email protected].

GoodHemp™ seed varieties earn AOSCA certification

— Four varieties are among select few certified by Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies — DAVIS, Calif. (February 3, 2021) – Arcadia Biosciences, Inc.® (Nasdaq: RKDA), a leader in science-based approaches to enhancing the quality and nutritional value of crops and food ingredients, today announced that four of its GoodHemp™ varieties – Rogue, Umpqua, Santiam and Potomac –  have all passed the rigorous standards of the national Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA) variety review board. “In an emerging industry such as hemp, where variable quality of seed has historically plagued growers, being able to provide the quality assurance that AOSCA certification brings is critical,” said Randy Shultz, Ph.D., chief technology officer of Arcadia Biosciences. “We are pleased to be setting the bar for quality, uniformity and performance in the hemp seed industry and look forward to supporting growers with superior genetics to enable successful outcomes for them and for the industry as a whole.” “The goal of seed certification is to maintain varietal purity to ensure that growers receive the pure, high quality seed they expect,” said Chet Boruff, chief executive officer of AOSCA. “Hemp varieties that have successfully passed through the AOSCA variety review process are eligible for the production of certified hemp seed, transplants or clones, following AOSCA standards. The variety review is conducted by representatives of seed certifying agencies, academia, the seed industry and USDA, following requirements established in the U.S Seed Act, to make certain new varieties are distinct, uniform and stable,” Boruff explained. “AOSCA certification signifies to the industry that GoodHemp seed is produced to the highest standards for genetic purity, uniformity, high germination and feminization rates and varietal identity. It also enables sales in states such as Florida, that require AOSCA certified hemp seed for planting,” said Shultz. The four AOSCA-certified GoodHemp varieties are: Umpqua: CBD dominant, early photoperiod variety for both the smokable and CBD extraction markets. Prized for its unique terpene profile. (Available now.) Rogue: CBD dominant, high yielding intermediate photoperiod variety for the CBD extraction markets. Brings exceptional yields under low planting densities. (Available now.) Santiam: CBD dominant, early photoperiod variety with exceptional utility in northern latitudes for both the smokable and CBD extraction markets. Delivers step change yield potential. (Available now.) Potomac: CBD dominant, full season photoperiod. Produces large plants and a heavy yield, best suited for biomass. (Available soon.) GoodHemp is Arcadia’s commercial portfolio of genetically superior hemp seeds, transplants and extracts introduced in 2019. Since then, Arcadia has been rapid-prototyping novel non-GM hemp varieties that target quality and performance characteristics highly desired by growers to overcome their greatest challenges – working directly with them in field deployment and monitoring to accelerate their speed to success. This new and proprietary discovery process, ArcaTech™, combines Arcadia’s modern breeding science and genomics technology with real-time market intelligence from the field. For more information about GoodHemp’s unique seed varieties, visit www.growgoodhemp.com. About Arcadia Biosciences, Inc.     Arcadia Biosciences (Nasdaq: RKDA) is a leader in science-based approaches to enhancing the quality and nutritional value of crops and food ingredients. The company’s GoodHempTM seed catalog delivers genetically superior hemp seeds, transplants and extracts, applying the company’s proprietary crop innovation technology, ArcaTech™, to an emerging crop. The company’s GoodWheat™ branded ingredients deliver health benefits to consumers and enable consumer packaged goods companies to differentiate their brands in the marketplace. For more information, visit www.arcadiabio.com. Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding the AOSCA certification and the impact of that on Arcadia’s business. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially, and reported results should not be considered as an indication of future performance. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: Arcadia’s ability to meet AOSCA’s “Blue Tag” standards in future hemp seed production lots; Arcadia’s and its partners’ and affiliates’ ability to develop commercial products incorporating their traits, and complete the regulatory review process for such products; Arcadia’s compliance with laws and regulations that impact Arcadia’s business, and changes to such laws and regulations; Arcadia’s future capital requirements and ability to satisfy its capital needs; Arcadia’s ability to develop, enforce and defend its intellectual property rights; and the other risks set forth in Arcadia’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time, including the risks set forth in Arcadia’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019 and other filings. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements. Press Contact:Joli A. Hohenstein[email protected] Investor Contact:Pam Haley[email protected] Instagram: GrowGoodHemp LinkedIn: Arcadia Biosciences Twitter: @ArcadiaAg # # # This is a paid post. Contact [email protected] for more information.

Tom Vilsack confirmed in Senate as new US Secretary of Agriculture

Three weeks after clearing his Senate agriculture committee hearing, the full Senate voted 92-7 Tuesday to confirm Tom Vilsack as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Vilsack, an Iowan, served in the same role for all eight years of the Obama administration, and oversaw the USDA during passage and implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill, which allowed states to experiment with hemp production. With bipartisan support, Vilsack received unanimous votes in his favor from Democrats, although his nomination was sharply criticized among civil rights advocates for his role in the agency’s foreclosure on Black farmers who had outstanding discrimination complaints, and inequitable farm loan distribution to Black farmers. During his virtual Senate agriculture committee hearing, Vilsack said he would form an equity commission. Vilsack did not mention hemp during the initial hearing, but he did update senators about Biden’s plans to make agriculture carbon neutral, an idea that could lead to new opportunities for hemp farmers. Immediately out of the gate, Vilsack will likely be focused on pandemic-related farm aid, including the $3 billion in farm relief that Congress made available through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program and other initiatives. As is customary with new administrations, President Joe Biden put a freeze on all spending during the transition, including a freeze on direct payments to farmers “until further notice.” Over the past four years, Vilsack served as president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council.

Hemp in US animal feed is one step closer to fruition

In the United States currently, humans can eat foods made from hemp – yet we can’t legally eat meat or eggs from animals that...
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