Trojan HorseAfter four years of growing experience and a host of invaluable lessons learned, Adams, 32, is emerging as a leading hemp producer in the Midwest. He tends a diverse crop roster on 9,000 acres located on both sides of the North Dakota-Minnesota line in fertile Red River Valley soils: sugarbeets, hard red spring wheat, hemp, soybeans, and six varieties of specialty dry beans. Bucking the middleman, Adams also operates an export business, and delivers crops (via containers loaded and sealed on-farm) straight from his fields to the doorsteps of foreign buyers. Convention ranks low on Adams’ priority list and his maverick approach afforded early entry into seed hemp in 2016, soon followed with hemp for CBD purposes.
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“Ignorance can get you leached if you just listen to anyone and start off doomed from the get-go. After this year, guys are going to get more selective, but these problems aren’t just going to go away overnight. Safe to say, bad genetics is going to be a problem for at least several years, and that’s just a single aspect of hemp fraud—there are others.” Adams views CBD purity claims from a highly dubious perspective, and hopes pending USDA regulation will lay down proper oversight. “I don’t know what is going on with extraction, but I’d bet 70%-80% of CBD products on the shelf are not what they’re labeled. That means a lack of know-how and a lack of integrity. Don’t tell me the crap sold in convenience stores contains real CBD. I don’t know what’s in it, but I guarantee it’s some really Wild West stuff.” Adams fields six to seven calls per day from potential hemp growers, often asking questions on the basic differences between production for CBD, seed and fiber. “Even now, there are plenty of guys that don’t know the difference. They get offers on seed contracts for CBD production. Sure, you can get CBD from seed hemp, but the CBD percentage is tiny, maybe 1%-2%, but I’m not sure the growers are told that. They’ll have to process into an isolate and it’ll take an unreal amount of plant material to get a good amount of CBD isolate.”