WV Hemp: Market Potential Opportunity

You’re growing marijuana? No? Well, what do you do with hemp? How much money do you make an acre? Who buys it? These are all questions worth asking, and I want to try to paint an accurate picture of West Virginia’s role in the development of hemp industries.

There are hemp companies worth millions of dollars in North America, but they’re in the minirity such as Dr. Bronner’s or Canadian seed companies. They’re in the minority because America is stuck currently in a research and development phase, with emphasis on the development part. Ideas and companies are forming around this emerging industry rapidly as the market is not saturated yet because it’s not even fully developed. 

There is a grand opportunity to capitalize on an emerging market, and you could speed up the development process by developing your entrepreneurial idea!

A WV Candidate: Hemp Jobs for Victory

J. Morgan Leach is the executive director and co-founder of the West Virginia Hemp Farmer’s Cooperative Inc. He studied sustainable energy and development through WVU’s College of Law, and he has found a keen interest in the developing hemp industry in West Virginia because he understands the sustainable impact it could have on our state.


Morgan is running for office in Wood County, district 10, to fight for farming rights and agricultural diversification. He is working to combat the state’s drug problem through community projects, and diversifying our economy through the development of the hemp farmers’ cooperative. With Morgan elected, we will know we have a young energetic Delegate fighting tooth and nail to reform our drug situation as well as create economic opportunities that are long overdue.

If you would like to support Morgan’s efforts or learn more about him, check him out:


WV Hemp: Where We’re at & the National HIA Conference

The West Virginia Hemp Farmers’ Cooperative Inc. is facilitating the groundwork to build future industry in West Virginia, and we are having a great first year! We have 9 participant farmers contributing to hemp research with a little under 10 acres of hemp being grown collectively in the state. Tons of interest is generated for 2017, so we’re going to see some growth! Kentucky is growing 4,500 to put WV into perspective, but we can work in synergy with them to help develop the market! Cannabis Sativa, i.e. hemp, can do wonders for the sustainable business landscape and we’re happy to be playing our part.

Industrial hemp is not limited to the Appalachia region, as it is being grown in over 20 states domestically and in over 20 countries around the world.

“In the 2013 Congressional Research Service report entitled “Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity”, reported that the U.S. retail market for hemp is estimated to be $500 million. It is estimated that the United States imports 60% of hemp produced worldwide, which would indicate that the global hemp market is well over $800 million.” –  Global Hemp Group

We will be traveling to Denver, Colorado this weekend to attend the national HIA conference to build relationships with other industry leaders who want to see the sustainable changes we do. It is important to build these relationships because we can’t have farmers if we don’t have outlets, and we can’t have outlets for hemp if we don’t have farmers! West Virginia is in anguish. We have to do what we can to create jobs for West Virginians.

Sixty percent of the hemp produced worldwide, being imported by the United States, is not going to last because we’re going to produce our own! Thank you for your continuing support, ask us how to get involved, and if you plan on being in the Denver area contact us for a potential meeting!


Thank you all,

The West Virginia Hemp Farmers’ Cooperative Inc. 

Another Successful Hemp Harvest in WV!

Owner of Mother Earth Foods, Dave Hawkins, is a WV Hemp Farmers’ Cooperative member and hemp farmer, and he had a successful hemp harvest this week with some help! We had a hemp volunteer day to assist with their harvest.



Charlotte Pritt is the Mountain Party candidate for governor, and she was out with us volunteering in the hemp field! A lot of farmers wonder what they can do with their crop after they harvest, and a frequent question for us is whether or not a farmer can sell their crop before they even apply to grow. And that is a great question to ask!

Finding an outlet for hemp crops is one of the many services we provide for our cooperative members. Some other services include assistance during the application process, knowledge and resources, using us as a seed source on your application, ownership in our cooperative, as well as finding outlets to sell hemp crops.

If you or someone you know have any questions on how to get involved in the hemp industry in West Virginia, our email is wvhfc.inc@gmail.com or contact our communications director at (304) 917-9189!

Hemp: What is CBD? Is there Market Potential?

What is CBD and why is it important to exploit its market? CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol, one of the most voluminous lipid based cannabinoids in the hemp plant, or any cannabis plant for that matter.

Legal THC thresholds for industrial hemp range from 1% – .3% THC, and there are breeders of high CBD cultivars of industrial hemp that have THC below this threshold. This opens up opportunities for individuals who do not have access to medical marijuana to have access to their herbal medicine they may desperately need.

Some health benefits of CBD include:

  • Slows Bacteria Growth (antibacterial)
  • Reduces Blood sugar Levels (anti-diabetic)
  • Reduces Vomiting and Nausea (anti-emetic)
  • Reduces Seizures and Convulsion (anti-epileptic)
  • Reduces Inflammation (anti-inflammatory)
  • Reduces Risk of Artery Blockage (anti-ischemic)
  • Inhibits Cell Growth in Tumors and Cancer Cells (anti-proliferative)
  • Treats Psoriasis (anti-psoriatic)
  • Suppresses Muscle Spasms (anti-spasmodic)
  • Relieves Anxiety (anxiolytic)
  • Promotes Bone Growth (bone stimulant)
  • Relieves Pain (analgesic)
  • Antioxidant
  • Neuroprotectant

If you think about all of the drugs synthesized and manufactured to supply the demand to treat these ailments, there is a lot of money involved in this market. CBD is legal to sell in all 50 states, and there are no documented negative side effects. So it is great for our economy and our public health! There are some states, like West Virginia, who are more involved in the industrial hemp market as opposed to the THC voluminous cannabis market. This opens up an opportunity to tap into a national market of CBD products, and hopefully our state can take advantage of this market potential in the future!

What is Retting?

We’re entering in our first harvest season, and our farmers are experimenting with some fiber processing. 

Retting is the process of soaking the hemp stalks by completely submerging the fiber in water. The stalks soften, separate, and become workable for the next value added step in the process.

Click Here To watch a brief video on the retting process. They’re water retting Jute, though, which is in the cellulose rich bast fiber family just like industrial hemp! 

Value Added Hemp Fiber: A Pathway for Economic Prosperity in and for WV

Synthetic fibers, petroleum based plastics and fuel, cellulose based alcohol production, all cotton products, all wood products, advanced nano technology markets, and gasification facilities producing electricity have a run for their money whenever it comes to competing with hemp fiber in the international market. And the fiber from the hemp stalk isn’t even the only revenue stream, but anyways:

Synthetic fibers, Nylon comes to mind, is a petroleum based synthetic fiber widely known for its use in ropes. Moving away from petroleum based products seems like a beneficial direction to move in considering the power of oil on the global market, and it’s environmental impact being at odds with profit. Now, sowing land with hemp like you’ve never seen on a scale people haven’t really grasped (yet), could provide the supply to bio-alternatives to petrol-based products, while revitalizing environments, creating farming and industry jobs domestically, and bringing our troops home instead of using them as pawns in a scheme to obtain resources in countries .

Corn and Soy Bean are both widely used for their cellulose production in the ethanol market. Hemp is much more cellulose dense, uses much less water to grow, and it does so without the need for herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides. Using hemp for ethanol production would decrease the price of corn and soybean, and they could actually be used for food. The cellulose in hemp, although over my head, has shown great potential in the plastics market, and this is appealing to me because more plastics are petroleum based. With the globe becoming more environmentally conscious, this is another trend that signifies the potential for hemp cultivation.

Cotton is very exposed to the weather, as opposed to the hemp stalk. Hemp is more vigorous against pests and molds, plus hemp uses much less water to grow than cotton. China is looking to replace some of it’s 5 million acres of cotton, with food and hemp crops. Hemp biomass can be burnt in unison with coal to create electricity in gasification facilities, cleaning carbon emissions. Carbon derived from hemp can me manufactured into activated activated charcoal and graphene nano sheets. Wood is obviously much less renewable that the annual (bi/triannual?) crop which is hemp which makes it ideal for paper making.

Hemp has much potential for taking names in the global market, and with West Virginia making the progress that is has and will make in the future, a pathway to international partnerships that lead to economic prosperity will open up as America waits for a federal amendment to flood the American hemp market with legal domestic business.




How is Hemp Stalk (Fiber) Processed?

There are multiple revenue streams from industrial cannabis, i.e. the hemp seed, hemp leaf extraction, and hemp fibers. You can even take left over raw plant material and burn it to pierce the activated charcoal market as well, but many people do not understand the processing hemp stalk goes through.

Through a machine known as a decorticator, hemp stalks are fed, smashed, and inevitably separated from their collective fibrous stalk and “decorded”.

The hemp comes out of the other side of the machinery as raw fiber ready for the next stage in the value added process.

Click Here for a brief video of hemp being decorticated!

The Art of making Hemp Paper

There are so many variables that could affect the quality of hemp paper. The ratio of bast to hurd fiber used, the amount of water used, the materials stripped or strained, levels of heat, and the paper maker themselves could all affect the final paper product.

It is an art, and Elisheva Shalom is an artisan paper maker from Maryland who is perfecting her craft. Click Here to watch Elisheva with Artisan Hemp walk you through the process in this brief youtube video!