TUPELO • With the infrastructure in place after 10 years of organic farming, Native Son Farm is opening another world of opportunity.
Owner Will Reed said the farm has become the first certified hemp producer in the state, getting a United States Department of Agriculture Hemp Producer license.
Hemp, or industrial hemp, is grown specifically for the industrial uses of its derived products. It can be refined into a variety of commercial items, including paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food and animal feed.
He hopes to have a crop in the ground by next spring.
“There’s lots of possibilities for the whole sector,” Reed said.
Native Son Farm currently works on 20 acres, plus has another acre of greenhouses used for a variety of fruits and vegetables throughout the year.
While it’s too late in the season to plant anything for this year, Reed said he plans to talk with other hemp producers to see which seeds will work best in the hot and humid Mississippi climate.
But hemp production and its use in and around Northeast Mississippi, which is what Native Son is marketing, will be limited at first until other related supply chain infrastructure is in place.
“We don’t have processors in areas yet to make CVD flowers to oil, or distillate or lotions,” Reed said.
CBD oil is a natural product created from the industrial hemp plant. It is not the same as CBD oils made from marijuana. CBD oil from hemp does not contain THC , the psychoactive chemical that causes the marijuana “high.” In fact, CBD is the plant’s non-psychoactive compound.
Native Son will be following federal guidelines for hemp production, regulating the level of TLC.
Because growing hemp will be something completely new for him, Reed said he’ll be trying a variety of seeds to see what will grow best in the area’s soil.
He also wants to have CBD flower available one day for customers who want to get it themselves for medicinal purposes
CBD flower is the raw, dried flower of the hemp plant. It is non-psychoactive, and people use CBD flower to treat anything from headaches and hangovers to more serious chronic health conditions.
Reed said he hopes to create partnerships and form collaborative partnerships to explore all the possibilities that are available for hemp production.
“Hemp is an incredibly versatile plant, with a long history of uses in our country,” he said, noting its extensive use during World War I and World War II.