As the world continues to embrace the cannabis plant and its derivatives, new business opportunities have emerged. The growing interest in the hemp plant's benefits has led to an almost insatiable demand, which means it’s a lucrative industry.
In this article, we discuss how to start a cannabis hemp business.
Step 1: Start a Hemp Farm
Hemp farming is a great way to penetrate the cannabis industry. Unlike marijuana, the plant has limited legal restrictions. It is also versatile, with thousands of applications in engineering, textile manufacturing, paper products, and bioplastics.
What are the Best Conditions for Growing Hemp?
Hemp is an annual crop that fares well in most climates, except for extreme desert conditions and high-altitude areas. It does particularly well in warm weather and grows best in well-drained soils rich in organic matter.
Hemp plants don’t require a nursery, so they're sown directly where they are supposed to grow instead of transplanting pots.
Hemp seeds should be planted immediately after the last frost, as the seedlings are susceptible to ice and sudden temperature drops.
Once established, hemp plants are somewhat drought tolerant, but seedlings need irrigation for the first six weeks whenever the soil is dry.
Hemp takes between 10 and 20 weeks to mature. The time to maturity depends on which strain you've cultivated.
How Hard is it to Grow Hemp?
Hemp is often hailed as a miracle plant, capable of reducing agricultural pollution, absorbing carbon, and enabling farmers to make substantial profits from small tracts of land. However, the reality is not so straightforward.
There are a few things you need to consider before you start growing hemp for profit. If you were asking yourself, “What do I need to start a hemp farm?” this section will answer your question too.
You Need Lots of Land, and a Plan
Hemp is best suited to commercial applications, not market sales. Like most grains, it’s going to be hard to grow and profit from hemp if you're growing less than 50 acres.
You will also need a hemp farm business plan – it’s a roadmap to profitability and sustainability that will enable you anticipate potential market changes and monitor your financial performance
Because of its legal status, farmers need state licenses to operate hemp farms, which corresponds to paperwork and fees. Industrial hemp growers may also be subject to a criminal background check.
In the states where it is legal, the plants may be tested to ensure their THC content does not exceed the threshold. Your plants may be destroyed if they have excessive amounts of THC.
It can be Hard to Find Suitable Seeds
Hemp farming regulations require farmers to plant seed that's been certified for low THC content. However, the seed industry has failed to meet demand. Also, cannabis seed shipments are often delayed by state border authorities to ensure regulatory compliance.
Where Can You Buy Hemp Plants or Seeds?
You may buy hemp plants or seeds from any licensed distributor. If you're purchasing seeds, remember to verify whether they are suitable for growing since there's no way to tell them apart from seeds meant for human consumption, which are sterilized.
Consider the following factors while choosing your seeds.
If you've decided which hemp product you want to produce (paper, textile, CBD, etc.), you should search for seed companies that offer strains bred for that specific purpose. These companies usually spend years crossbreeding strains to enhance their suitability for a particular commercial application.
For instance, a hemp seed that provides just a 2% increase in CBD from each plant can provide thousands of dollars in extra cash for every acre you plant.
You’ll also want to look for seeds that produce resilient plants capable of surviving in different environments and weather conditions.
Buy Feminized Seeds
If your primary goal is to produce CBG or CBD oil, you need to consider your seeds' feminization rate. Hemp plants can be either male or female. Both CBG and CBD are obtained from the flowers of the female hemp plant.
When the female plant is pollinated, the amount of CBG and CBD oil it contains falls drastically. Having even a few male plants in your field will substantially cut your CBG and CBD production, thus reducing your profits.
It is crucial that you find a seed provider capable of providing feminized seeds. It is impossible to guarantee 100% feminized seeds, the best companies get really close, and they will show you how to identify and remove male plants.
Do You Need a License to Sell Hemp Flowers?
Hemp lost its status as a schedule 1 drug and was consequently removed from the controlled substances act after the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill.
According to the bill, the word hemp refers to the cannabis Sativa L. plant and its parts, including the seeds and all derivatives, whether growing or not, with THC concentrations of less than 0.4 percent on dry weight.
Although this statement implies that hemp flower is legal, there are still plenty of stipulations to meet before you can legally sell hemp flower in the United States. Each state has different regulatory requirements for hemp growing, so what works in one may not necessarily suffice in another.
Step 2: Sell Your Products Online
Selling your products online allows you to reach a broader market and may help you secure a better price.
Starting online CBD business
As previously mentioned, the federal government considers hemp extracts to be legal, provided that they are obtained from industry-grade hemp. However, if you want to avoid interference from local and state authorities, you'll need to prove that you’re complying with local rules and regulations.
Your enterprise should have a TIN/EIN. Also, you should do comprehensive research to ensure all your products have tolerable THC levels.
Choose a Business Plan
Just like a hemp farm, your online CBD business needs a business plan. You’ll need to lay out a strategy to develop your business, manage your finances, and achieve specific objectives. Your business plan will not only help you manage your business but also apply for funding.
You might not need it right now, but it’s always better to prepare early, so when the time comes, you have all that's required to ensure your loan gets approved quickly.
Establish a Reliable Supply Chain
Whether your goal is to resell, distribute, or create proprietary CBD products, you need to find reputable partners. Doing so limits the chances that you'll suffer unnecessary delays and low-quality inputs. Also, reliable partners will give your customers top-quality products. This will boost customer relations and draw more people to your business.
Build and Optimize Your Website
You’ll need to create a website for your brand to maximize sales and visibility. You can hire a web designer to ensure your site is easy to navigate, filled with compelling content, and mobile-friendly.
Market Your Cannabis Hemp Business
Once you've attained all the necessary permits, found suppliers, and built your website, you need to market your products. You can use SEO, display ads, and other appropriate channels to reach your target market.
People will have lots of questions about your products once you launch your site, so you should be ready. Train your employees to be helpful and provide accurate information, along with compelling arguments they can use to win over customers.
Conclusion on Cannabis Hemp Business
Hemp is resilient and versatile. You can grow it nearly anywhere and turn it into just about anything, offering you many ways to make money by meeting demand. If you want to learn more about starting a cannabis business, enroll in the cannabis training university.