James Magazine Mar Apr 2020 - Page 9

he legalization of hemp production at
the federal level two years ago, and in
Georgia in 2019, has the potential to transform the state’s agriculture industry in coming years. Nationally, the demand for products
derived from hemp is booming. And with agriculture as Georgia’s leading industry, the state is
in a prime position to benefit from demand for
hemp products.
Before our James readers become concerned
about hemp production in Georgia, though, it is
important to understand the important difference between hemp and marijuana and how
they relate to cannabis. Hemp is a term used to
classify varieties of cannabis that contain 0.3
percent or less of TCH which can induce psychotropic or euphoric effects on users. On the
other hand, marijuana can contain up to 30 percent of THC content.
Hemp-derived CBD oil is widely used commercially in a variety of dietary, beauty and skin care
products, drinks, foods and pharmaceuticals. And
the FDA continues to issue new guidelines providing manufacturers and entrepreneurs more legal
clarity, which is opening the door for new uses of
these products.
The demand for hemp products is booming
and the industry is working to keep up. Buyers are
telling growers they need as much hemp as can be
produced and experts predict the hemp industry
will more than double revenues up to $2.6 billion.
Second Century Agriculture, operated by Clay
Taber, Will Wingate and Thomas Farmer, is a
prime example of a Georgia company working to
ll the void for hemp-derived products— and to
help establish a new farm-based crop in Georgia.
How will hemp production be successful? The
three Second Century Ag businessmen explain
that rst you must have strong genetics in what
you are growing to ensure you maintain THC levels that are below the federal threshold. Then you
transplant baby plants (at a rate of 1,500 per acre),
water them, and start your battle with weeds by
manually pulling them.
Wingate is a Georgia Tech honor graduate
who is an expert on land conservation in the
Southeast and co-founder of Wingate
Conservation Services which assists landowners
in placing land in permanent conservation easement. “My great grandfather farmed in Irwin
County for years,” Wingate notes. “This project
has been a unique opportunity to utilize my background in tobacco farming, continued on page 10


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