Santa Fe firm offers assist for hemp farmers » Albuquerque Journal

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Dave Weir is CEO of First Crop, a hemp manufacturing firm that just lately opened in Santa Fe. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal

The variety of shops promoting CBD merchandise in Santa Fe is rising like a weed. And now a brand new firm on the town is working with farmers to provide the hemp vegetation from which CBD is derived so it may be processed and become marketable CBD oil tinctures for medicinal use.

First Crop was based simply this yr, says co-founder and CEO Dave Weir, and has its headquarters on Pacheco Road in Santa Fe.

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“I stay right here, and I prefer it right here,” Weir mentioned when requested why they selected Santa Fe. He added that three of the 5 founding companions are from New Mexico (the opposite two are from Colorado), so “majority guidelines.”

Whereas the corporate was conceived earlier, Weir mentioned the 2018 Farm Invoice, which legalized the business manufacturing of hemp and established it as an agricultural commodity, was a game-changer for the hemp business, opening up alternatives for farmers and entrepreneurs alike.

There are nonetheless issues that have to be labored out with the federal legislation – as an example, the Senate Banking Committee met Wednesday to debate present restrictions in opposition to monetary establishments offering banking companies to cannabis-related companies – however Weir mentioned hemp is properly on its approach to turning into a viable money crop for farmers.

“It’s a extremely massive change,” he mentioned of the Farm Invoice. “The outlaw of hemp and all of its types goes again to 1937. It’ll take some time for the federal guidelines to be rolled out.”

Similar goes for the state of New Mexico, which this yr handed the Hemp Producers Act. The state is presently taking public remark whereas working to create guidelines that defend shoppers, and clear obstacles for farmers and budding companies like First Crop.

“They’re quickly placing into place their very own guidelines and rules,” Weir mentioned of New Mexico. “Colorado has been working underneath a previous legislation that got here out of the 2014 Farm Invoice, in order that they have just a few years head begin in how they’re working. New Mexico is working exhausting making an attempt to catch up.”

Weir mentioned that the 2018 Farm Invoice helped form First Crop’s distinctive enterprise mannequin. The corporate is ready up as a public profit company, which signifies that though it’s a for-profit enterprise, it’s also designed to profit communities and the setting.

“Our social and environmental mission is a part of all the things we do,” he mentioned.

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The corporate’s mission as said on its web site is: “Therapeutic folks and planet one seed … one soul … one regenerative motion at a time.”

First Crop will work to realize that, partly by offering experience to farmers, who additionally share within the firm’s income. First Crop additionally offers them with seeds at a sponsored price, services to dry and retailer their crop earlier than processing, and teaches them regenerative farming practices to make sure high quality and optimize crop yields, whereas rejuvenating the soil.

First Selection is working with a few dozen farmers, with farms scattered between Tesuque and Abiquiu in New Mexico and the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado, Weir mentioned.

Hemp farmers can earn as a lot as $20,000 per acre, in comparison with $800 per acre for different staple crops, like corn and soybeans.

“So it’s a really excessive margin money crop for these farmers,” he mentioned.

As well as, the First Crop Basis, a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit group, donates 10% of the corporate’s income to social, financial and environmental targets, like decreasing homelessness, and enhancing air and water high quality.

Weir mentioned First Crop will initially concentrate on processing hemp for CBD merchandise, however might be seeking to increase into meals merchandise for animals and people, fibers and different merchandise.

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