“We see a future. We’re all in.”
That’s what Hemp grower Scott Booher of Four Winds Farm LLC in Homestead has to say after his first year of farming the crop that he had initially hoped to sell as “smokeable hemp flower,” but after learning the state wasn’t going to allow that to be marketed, is working on developing a market for oils, creams and salves he thinks has a bright future.
Booher, who has owned the small farm where he grew an acre of hemp for about five years, said he hoped to get about 600 pounds of product from the crop, but said he definitely didn’t get all that.
“The yield wasn’t what I expected,” he said, noting the derecho windstorm in August may have had something to do with that, but said he was fortunate in comparison to other neighboring farmers. He was fortunate because of the fact a problem with obtaining the right seeds delayed his planting until early June and his crop hadn’t grown much by the time the storm hit.
He said all 2,000 plants had to be raised from the ground after the storm, but said had they been bigger, they likely would have gotten shredded, pointing out he was also fortunate because the crop missed the majority of pollen that filled the air with that storm. “Having the smaller plants really saved us,” he said.
Although investing a small fortune into the business in the first year toward a building, manufacturing, marketing, growing the crop and licensing, Booher said he didn’t make any money in his first year, but learned a lot with his wife, Megan, who has helped take the small business in a different direction as a former employee of a lavender company.
Together, in their own kitchen, the couple is cooking up a variety of products from pain salve, face creams, massage oils and solid lotion bars, all approved as CBG products that may cost a little more than CBD products also produced from hemp, but are better quality, fast-acting, a better cannabinoid, and as Booher puts it, “you’re getting more bang for your buck.”
They plan to market those products on their soon-to-be up-and-running web site, but have also found local retail markets for the products. He says anyone thinking of going into the hemp business is smart to have a market for their crop. He said he gave away a lot of samples and has gotten a lot of good feedback, from adding to the quality of a client’s life after an injury, to relieving aches and pains, noting people are using it for old and new injuries and getting pleasant results.
He said the process hasn’t been easy, as the couple has had to jump through a lot of hoops to get through laboratory tests and obtain licensing and approval in selling certain products, but Booher sees the occupation as “a definite job that will keep our family going.”