Hemp in Vermont

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HempHARDWICK- Back in 2018, the Hemp Farming Act was passed, ending the prohibition of Hemp across the nation. Since then, many states across the country have been getting their feet wet in the industry. Here in Vermont, we dove in head first, and haven’t looked back since.

 

 

 

“It’s exploded, and we wouldn’t be doing it any other way” says Nick Cosentino of Tamarack Valley Farms. Since 2018, Vermonts hemp industry has been growing like a weed. According to the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, over 1,000 Hemp grower and processed permits have been filed this year alone, which is double of what it was in 2018. Of those 1,000 permits issued, 82% were for growers. The amount of land registered for cultivation in the state is about 7,800 acres, up 137% from last years numbers. “Hemp was an outlet for us that allowed us to do our passion” said Cosentino. 

 

Cosentino is not alone, many have seen the benefits and versatility that the plant has, from clothing and biofuels, to nutritional and medicinal alternatives. Matt Lindemer who owns Lamoille County Therapeutics, said that he “had a woman… who had really bad arthritis and was having a hard time walking. She tried some of our tincture, the next day they came up to us and they were so happy with the outcome. She was walking better than she had before.” 

 

“It’s a wonderful, wonderful time where we can share medicine with people, where we can share farming and regenerative practices as far as cultivating land” said Ben Lonzo of Family Tree Hemp Company. 

 

Hemp products have been sprouting up in stores all over the place, and while that is a plus , there are some downsides to that. “Basically there’s a lot of mislabeling going around in this industry right now. It’s really easy to do, so it’s always good to have backing evidence” says Lindemer. 

 

Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman began advocating for legalization of both Hemp and Marijuana in Vermont back in the 90’s because of this issue which primarily occurs in the Black Market. “It was actually around safety of product and cleanliness of product, and from chemicals in production. ‘Cause you never knew what you were getting sprayed on your chemicals” said Lt. Gov. Zuckerman. 

 

Recently the dangers of Black Market products surfaced in the vaping industry. “If people are in the black market and they’re not making sure that those chemicals are out of there, butane for one. If you read the symptoms of having an exposure to butane, its all the symptoms that these people are having that are in the hospitals,” says Krystal Kinney of NEK Vapor. Legalization supporters also argue that hospitalizations would not be as frequent once legalization takes shape on the federal level.