Seed CX attended the 23rd annual Hemp Industry Association’s (HIA) Conference this week in Denver, Colorado. Bringing together many of the biggest ventures in the industrial hemp space, the Conference covered legislative efforts, agronomic and manufacturing advances and new business initiatives including Seed’s swap execution facility.
Since its inception in 1994, the HIA has been dedicated to education, industry development and accelerating the expansion of hemp’s world market supply and demand. The HIA and its members pride themselves on being at the forefront of the drive for fair and equal treatment of industrial hemp.
“This year’s HIA conference was really focused on the future of hemp and where we need to go to grow it as a resource and commodity,” said HIA’s Executive Director, Eric Steenstra.
We were asked to present at the Conference, so I decided to explain our plans for a federally regulated swap execution facility. Speaking to farmers, processors and trade representatives, I explained the benefits that standardization and supply infrastructure can have on a commodity, making analogies to other existing markets including wheat, corn and gold. By connecting buyers and sellers of industrial hemp, Seed will consolidate liquidity, provide the ability to hedge price risk and offer a trustworthy arbitration system if disputes arise. Seed SEF plans to launch 500-gram contracts of hemp derived extract and 5,000 pound contracts of hemp seed, subject to regulatory approval.
“Edward’s presentation explained the excellent work that Seed CX is doing to develop a trading platform [for hemp],” said Steenstra
The Conference’s varied subject matter meant that many different aspects of the industrial hemp market were discussed. Speakers in the genetics field included John McKay, Director of Genetics at New West Genetics. New West Genetics develops and improves industrial hemp for the US marketplace through selective breeding, which has allowed for the refinement of research into the potential medicinal applications of cannabinoids. Another speaker looking at the genetic makeup of cannabinoids was Jokubas Ziburkas, PhD, who spoke on the therapeutic potential of acidic cannabinoids and the cannabis entourage effect. Dr. Ziburkas is from SatiMed, a company that produces non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid products using EU-certified organic industrial hemp material.
One of the final panels of the conference was a discussion on “CBD, Pain & the Brain”, which included former NFL players Jake Plummer and Charlie Adams who previously played for the Denver Broncos. Both players talked about injuries they suffered during their years playing football and their experiences with CBD oil, a derivative of the industrial hemp leaf.
Conference attendees also learned about educational initiatives under way in the industrial hemp space.
One of those efforts is Hemp History Week, which in its eighth year of celebration is scheduled for June 5-11, 2017. Largely a grassroots effort, organizers plan events nationwide to shine light on the benefits of industrial hemp as well as gain support for recent hemp legislation.
“The goal of Hemp History Week is to provide opportunities and resources to educate people on the benefits of hemp and to build support for the Industrial Hemp Farming Act,” said Nancy Metcalf, Marketing Campaign Manager for Hemp History Week as well as hemp product brand, Dr. Bronner's. As many of us now know, Dr. Bronner’s formulated hemp oil into its body care products in 2000 as a way to support hemp and prove market demand.
The HIA Conference was an important gathering of farmers, producers and innovators to discuss the latest developments in the industrial hemp market, whilst providing an opportunity to define the organization’s priorities as a trade organization. It provided us with an opportunity to continue to refine our product offering and meet many of the people we engage with routinely. Seed is looking forward to bringing transparency, price discovery and risk management to this market.