For those unfamiliar with the status of hemp these days, Dolgin supplies the 30-second download: “In the ’70s it got caught up with marijuana in the anti-drug laws. It stayed that way for several decades, until the tobacco industry hit rock bottom and states like Virginia realized they need a new crop for farmers. In 2014 the passage of the U.S. Farm Bill allowed states to conduct hemp pilot programs. You could grow hemp if you were certified and licensed.” Because of the government work Dolgin had done, he was able to work closely with state senators and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office to pass a series of bills that allowed JD Farms to grow hemp. The industry is currently a $688 million business in the U.S.
Fuentes says she has to deal with "tons" of shady people in the industry. She says vendors have offered to sell her extract that contains specified levels of CBD or other compounds. They send her samples, which she sends to her lab. The samples check out fine, so she orders a kilogram--but when she sends a bit of that order to the lab, "it's not the same thing they sent me as a sample. And there is no recourse." Green Roads spends $30,000 to $40,000 a month testing their raw materials for pesticides, solvents, and metals, and it requires certificates of origin from their suppliers as well.
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