A growing industry: Hemp brings challenges, opportunities

A Colomont greenhouse in Franklin County. (Photo courtesy of James McNab, Colomont).

SOUTH BURLINGTON – An internationally recognized leader in hemp research and the entrepreneurial founders of a Vermont CBD company will headline the second annual Industrial Hemp Conference, Feb. 20 in South Burlington.

Dr. Jay Noller, director of Oregon State University’s Global Hemp Innovation Center, opens the conference at the DoubleTree by Hilton (870 Williston Rd.) with a keynote talk on hemp and its potential research implications. Luncheon speakers Alejandro Bergad and Jacob Goldstein will share the story of Sunsoil CBD, the company they established in Hardwick in 2015, along with their insights for the future of the hemp industry.

The conference will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with registration and exhibits open at 8 a.m. It is sponsored by the University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets and is open to anyone with an interest in growing or marketing industrial hemp.

Registration, which includes lunch, is $100 per person. A live broadcast will be available for a $75 fee for anyone unable to attend in person. For program details and to register for either option, visit the conference website at https://go.uvm.edu/2020hempconference.

The deadline to register is Feb. 13. To request a disability-related accommodation to attend, please contact Susan Brouillette at (802) 524-6501, ext. 432, or (800) 639-2130 (Vermont calls only) no later than Jan. 30.

Participants will have a choice of five concurrent sessions featuring speakers from farms, universities and businesses from throughout the U.S. and Canada. Sessions will cover a range of topics including the basics of growing hemp, fertility practices, diseases, current research, Vermont regulatory requirements for sampling and testing, the market outlook and the economics and legalities of growing and marketing hemp products. Two farmer-led panels will focus on growing CBD hemp for direct sales and bulk sales.

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