The Ministry of Hemp Podcast

Texas Hemp Stories: Will New Regulations Endanger Texas Hemp?

The Ministry of Hemp Podcast
Texas Hemp Stories: Will New Regulations Endanger Texas Hemp?
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In today's Ministry of Hemp podcast, we're taking a look at the state of the Texas hemp industry.

First, we look at developing Texas hemp regulations and how it could change the future of the plant in the Lone Star State. Matt talks to James Higdon, owner of Cornbread Hemp in Kentucky, about his concerns as an out-of-state hemp producer. James also appeared in episode 32 of the show, our Kentucky Hemp podcast episode.

For a closer look at the Texas hemp regulations, we also got a brief statement from Coleman Hemphill, president of the Texas Hemp Industries Association. Hemp is legal in Texas, but the new regulations could dramatically alter the shape of this fast-growing industry.

To close out this episode, we get an entrepreneur's perspective on being a hemp producer in Texas from Micheal Tullis, owner of a small hemp boutique. Early Fruit Hemp Co. is finding success in Lubbock Texas despite the small, sometimes hostile market.

Texas to rule on Lone Star hemp regulations

The Texas Department of State Health Services is preparing to make sweeping regulatory changes to how hemp is manufactured, labeled and sold in the state of Texas. Here' the major proposed changes, summarized from a post by Texas NORML:

  • A ban on the "manufacture, processing, distribution, or retail sale of consumable hemp products for smoking"
  • Stringent licensing requirements for CBD retailers
  • Stringent testing requirements for CBD products sold in state
  • Strict requirements for the labeling of hemp products
  • Regulations which could restrict sales of CBD products from states like Kentucky and Colorado

Matt and Jim primarily talk about the labeling requirements, and the changes which could ban sales of products from his state. However, hemp advocates locally and nationwide are concerned about the entire set of changes.

We contacted Coleman Hemphill, president of the Texas Hemp Industries Association, but reached him too late to include him in this episode. However, he suggested the state is poorly equipped to implement these changes, since just 2 staff members are assigned to this aspect of the hemp program and no budget dollars have been set aside to implement the complex licensing and testing program.

In addition, Coleman thinks the new regulations might not withstand legal challenges, even if they do go into effect. Not only does he think these regulations clearly conflict with the 2018 Farm Bill which federally legalized hemp, they also cause substantial damage to existing Texas businesses. Both these factors are likely to be compelling in court. Finally, he told us that sales of all out-of-state hemp products should be safe for at least the remainder of 2020.

How to tell Texas to keep all forms of hemp fully legal

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwHl0Gx26E0&feature=emb_title

We'll have more a deeper look at this story soon. In the meantime, you can leave a comment on the hemp regulations using this Action Network form or via the formal comment process. You can also call and leave a message for the Texas Department of State Health Services at (512) 231-5653. Coleman recommends both leaving a comment and calling for maximum effectiveness, but the deadline for formal comments is July 8, 2020 (Monday).

You've got hemp questions? We've got hemp answers!

Send us your hemp questions and you might hear them answered on one of our Hemp Q&A episodes. Send your written questions to us on Twitter, Facebook, matt@ministryofhemp.com, or call us and leave a message at 402-819-6417. Keep in mind, this phone number is for hemp questions only and any other inquiries for the Ministry of Hemp should be sent to info@ministryofhemp.com

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Texas hemp regulations could interere with the industry. Image: A photo of smokable hemp buds with the outline of the state of Texas superimposed.
The Texas hemp industry is growing fast, but advocates fear new regulations could slow that growth. (Photo: Early Fruit Hemp Co. / Ministry of Hemp)

Texas Hemp Stories: Complete episode transcript

Below you’ll find the complete transcript of episode 42 of the Ministry of Hemp Podcast, “Texas Hemp Stories”:

Matt Baum:
I'm Matt Baum and this is the Ministry of Hemp podcast brought to you by ministryofhemp.com. America's leading advocate for hemp and hemp education. (silence) Today on the show, we're talking about Texas. Texas represents one of the largest hemp markets in the United States. Recently, there's been some new regulations introduced that are a little, well unclear to say the least. Back in episode 32, I talked to Jim Higdon, he's the cofounder of Cornbread Hemp out of Kentucky. He wrote a fantastic book about the history of hemp in Kentucky. He contacted me to tell me about these new regulations.

Troubling new Texas hemp regulations

Jim Higdon:
I'm confident that I'm still confused, but at least I've got some firm understanding of what it is I'm confused about and also everyone asks you like lots of dogs hearing noises for the first time. [crosstalk 00:01:06]

Matt Baum:
Right, right, right. I would say any good legislation should be like that though. Right? It should be completely confusing and absolutely unclear, so we can argue about what it actually means just in case we want it to mean something else. Right?

Jim Higdon:
It disappears by my reading to mean something bad. Everyone who should know this is like, "Well, I think I'll look at that. That's interesting." Not like, "Oh, we looked at that and that's not the case because of XYZ you're not. Just like uh, uh."

Matt Baum:
Right. So, let's talk about it. As we understand it, what is being proposed and then we'll talk about what that could possibly mean and what the issue is.

Jim Higdon:
As I understand it, talked with you from Louisville, Kentucky, the great state of Texas has already passed CBD legislation to legalize the sale of CBD products in Texas.

Matt Baum:
Right.

Jim Higdon:
What we're looking at now is the Department of Health and Human Services maybe. The State Department of Health in Texas is issuing regulations on how that would go about. So, it's the executive branch of the Texas state government setting the rules up for how that CBD industry will operate legally at Texas.

Matt Baum:
Got you.

New labeling requirements for Texas CBD sales

Jim Higdon:
Okay? So, law is passed. It's legal. This is just the framework for how that would go about. In the regulations, it says out of state CBD products can be sold in Texas. Well, before we get to that, before that, there's some curious novel label requirements that are going to be required in Texas. They're going to require all the labels to have the URL of the business, the email address of the business, and I believe a phone number of the business on the label, which is regulation that we've not seen before from any other state and [crosstalk 00:03:10]

Matt Baum:
Yeah. I mean, I guess I get a URL, that makes sense. I can see, like for marketing purposes, why you might put your URL on a label or something, but a phone number, that's kind of odd.

Jim Higdon:
The phone number is odd considering the font size. It's going to have to be the fit, is going to be like five point font or something. The other thing is that all that is made redundant by the QR code, which is also required in the Texas proposed regulation. That's a good thing because all CBD products should have QR codes that link to lab reports. So, you can determine the potency and safety of all those CBD products, absolutely should have QR codes and the Texas regulation requires, mandates QR code and that's good, but with the QR code, it makes redundant needing a URL or a phone number because you just like QR code it and there you are. So, the label requirements are a little funny and could require supplemental labeling at one form or another, not just for my company, but for many company looking to do business in Texas.

Matt Baum:
The catch is not that like, it's a big deal that the phone number there, but the catch would be, well, now all these companies may have to completely redo their labels just so they can be sold in Texas.

Jim Higdon:
Correct.

Matt Baum:
Got you.

Lack of clear FDA regulations hurts industry

Jim Higdon:
This is just one example of the lack of FDA regulations is causing a vacuum where individual states are making their own regulations, and Utah has strict regulations, but Utah is a small market. Texas is now implementing a unique kind of strict regulation, which is fine, but Texas is a huge market. There's going to be a lot of CBD companies who want to comply with those Texas regulations, but they're different in every state. So, as this patchwork of regulations, we're going to … could have contradictory labels where you have to have different labels for different states and they can't go to each other states. So, it's just an example of how desperately we need federal regulations to make these uniform, so states like Texas aren't stepping out and making these decisions on their own without consulting other states in the process. This is unfortunate-

Matt Baum:
Leaving small business people-

Jim Higdon:
… frustrating, but not really Texas' fault, necessarily. It's the federal government's fault.

Matt Baum:
But, it puts a small business person in a situation where they may have to decide, "Okay. Is it worth it for us to make new labels just so we can get into Texas or do we make new labels I can get into Texas and say, "All right, screw Utah, I guess we're not going to sell stuff there because their label has to be completely different."? It's just a mess.

Jim Higdon:
Well, and I don't mean [inaudible 00:05:58] Utah as contradictory to Texas, but just as an example like Utah like-

Matt Baum:
Hypotetically. Yeah.

Jim Higdon:
… If you're selling in Utah, you have to submit all your labels to the state of Utah for approval. If you're selling in Denver, in Colorado, you have to get approved by the Denver Department of Public Health. Every state has some very curious regulatory compliance to go through and it's this crazy bureaucratic patchwork that companies like mine have to navigate. Texas is about to come online with this particularly strange set of requirements, but so the phone number on the label like it's inconvenient, but whatever. It's fine, we'll deal with it. The problem is in the same set of regulations for out of state CBD companies, Texas is like fine. You can sell out of state CBD products under these three circumstances.
Circumstance number one is coming from a state with a hit program that's been approved by the USDA under the 2018 arm bill as I understand that language to be. Now, the problem with that, it sounds very normal and rational is if Texas wants out of state products, then you get products from states with the USDA approved program. The problem is, is the rules that the USDA implemented in late last year are so strict that 14 states have chosen not to comply with those standards and go by 2014 farm bill standards. Those states include Kentucky, Colorado, and Oregon, where the top three producing cannabinoid states in America with the top brands located in those three states. It seems like the Texas regulations bar CBD products from Kentucky, Colorado, and Oregon, unless the second provision in the out-of-state CBD regulations apply, but it's written in this confusing manner that I don't know what it means, and I couldn't get anyone on the phone today in the Texas state government to tell me. So, it's-

Matt Baum:
So, let me see if I've got this. So basically, Texas is saying we will only be able to buy CBD products that are adhering to the 2018 farm bill and the three biggest states who are arguably doing it the best and have the most support for CBD and hemp are going by the 2014 farm bill, because that one was looser than the new regulations, therefore you can't sell stuff from Kentucky, Colorado, and what was the other one? I'm sorry.

Jim Higdon:
Oregon.

Matt Baum:
And Oregon in Texas.

Jim Higdon:
Again, this is my reading of Texas proposed regulations. I've not had any help from anyone and it's confusing and I'm not a Texan. So, I could very well be getting this wrong, but as I understand it, here's the language. A registered selling consumable hemp products processed or manufactured outside this state must submit to the department, evidence that the products were manufactured in another state or foreign jurisdiction with one, a state or tribal jurisdiction plan approved by the US Department of Agriculture under US code, which I believe is this 2018 farm bill thing, to a plan established under that same code. That if that plan applies to the state or jurisdiction, this is the part that I don't understand, if that plan applies to the state of jurisdiction. So, maybe this is the caveat that the 2014 farm bill applies, but if that's the case, then why have the number one, if the number two is to get out of jail free card?

Matt Baum:
Right.

Jim Higdon:
Then the third option is foreign jurisdiction. So obviously, that's not the case. So, [crosstalk 00:09:53]

Matt Baum:
I know nobody can see this because if you're listening to the show, but I am making that twisty dog head we talked about as you read this. Yeah, this is a sticky wicket.

Jim Higdon:
Yeah. It seems like it's saying that only USDA approved hemp states can sell in Texas. That excludes 14 states as I understand it, that includes Kentucky. So, if I want to sell to Texas, I can maybe do it online, but not in retail. I'm fulfilling online orders into Texas every day.

Matt Baum:
Right. It sounds like we need to get someone from Texas on the phone to clear this up, but I wouldn't even … Where do you go?

Jim Higdon:
I mean, I don't know who's covering the hemp [inaudible 00:10:40] in Texas. Texas is a foreign land to me. So, I'm a little bit out of my depth. I just am focused on this as a business person, because we're trying to get Cornbread hemp everywhere we can, and really interested in doing the work in Texas. We have … Cornbread is a brand that will resonate really well in Texas.

Matt Baum:
Definitely.

Jim Higdon:
We can't do that if these proposed regulations read like that, like they seem to read.

Matt Baum:
If this continues, it might not just be Texas. It could be a lot of states.

Jim Higdon:
Right. Not just Kentucky. This isn't just my self interest. This is … if they want to buy at Charlotte's web retail out of Colorado, it would also apply it seems. It's just strange and it's also strange that … I mean, it makes me feel particularly vulnerable that I'm totally wrong because I'm the only person saying, "Hey, is this a problem?"

Matt Baum:
Well, if nothing else, we'll find out if it is, I guess.

Jim Higdon:
If I'm wrong, then that's going to be great. If I'm right, then that's bad, but then maybe there's still time to change it.

Matt Baum:
Right.

Jim Higdon:
Because these regulations are still in the post stage. We still have time to raise public awareness enough so that they realize that they're making a bad regulation. So [crosstalk 00:11:53]

Matt Baum:
Well, and even scarier part is maybe you're not wrong and they don't understand and didn't even realize what you're saying. That's the really scary part. If they go, "Wait a minute, we didn't even think about that."

Jim Higdon:
That feels like the rightest answer. I think that's the situation because they wrote these rules and didn't realize they were excluding people. They just wrote the rules. Trying to be boy scouts about it. By boy scouting it, they cut themselves short.

A developing story in Texas

Matt Baum:
As of June 4th, Thursday night, when I'm editing this, we still haven't heard from Texas. We still don't know what these proposed regulations mean or who to even talk to about them. Therein lies the insanity of the hemp business right now. All people like Jim are asking is tell us the rules and make those rules apply to every state so we can adhere to them. I can't think of another business in the world that is asking for this much regulation. Here is hemp saying tell us what to do and we'll do it, but when it comes down to individual states making rules that only apply to those states, you end up in a quagmire, just like this where three of the most important states working in the hemp business right now could be excluded from retail in Texas, one of the largest markets in the United States, and that is insane.
Now, I'm not trying to demonize Texas. I'm not saying there's anything fundamentally wrong with Texas. In fact, in our next story, we're going to hear a really nice story about Texas, but this is a perfect example of where the federal government needs to step in and make these guidelines so they can apply to every state. Jim and I went on to talk about how Mitch McConnell, the Senator from Kentucky, who's been an important Kentucky hemp advocate is noticeably silent and absent of late. Yes, there's a lot of stuff going on right now between COVID and protests against racial injustice, both of which are important and need our attention, but at the same time, when you have a discussion of regulation like this, that ends on the 8th of June, four days from now, and we can't get an answer, that is scary and that could set a precedent.
Jim isn't alone here. He gave me the contact information for Jana Groda, who is the vice president of the Kentucky Hemp Industry Association, who has also reached out and can't get any information out of Texas yet. My initial plan was to reach out and find out for myself, but I can't get that information either. So, we're going to continue to follow this one and I'll let you know, and here's hoping the Jim is wrong and this is just some strangely worded regulations.
No, it's not all weird, confusing, bad news coming out of Texas. There's some good stories too. My next guest, his name is Michael Tullis and he is the proprietor and owner of Early Fruit Hemp in Lubbock, Texas. You might know Lubbock as the birthplace of Buddy Holly. It's a smallish Texas town in northeast Texas with a population about 250,000 people. I was surprised to hear how well a small hemp business could do in a town like this. Here's my conversation with Michael Tullis of Early Hemp.
Tell me your story. How do you end up in the hemp world as a small retailer in Lubbock, Texas of all places.

Selling hemp in Lubbock, Texas

Michael Tullis:
Completely by accident. So, really I was interested in hemp and I started seeing on the shelves here in Lubbock and I was like, "Wow, that's really cool. Let me buy one of these pre-rolls to test it out and see how it goes." I liked the idea of it really, but I didn't like that product at all.

Matt Baum:
Really?

Michael Tullis:
Yeah. It didn't smoke good. It didn't taste good. Nothing.

Matt Baum:
How long ago was this? When was this?

Michael Tullis:
So man, it started showing up around here around 2018. Maybe the end of it is probably when I first noticed it.

Matt Baum:
So just a couple of years ago?

Michael Tullis:
So, [crosstalk 00:16:04] here in Lubbock a couple of years. Yeah. I honestly never even heard of smoking hemp flower. I knew CBD oil was getting pretty popular. So, I was just taking it back and decided to give it a shot.

Matt Baum:
So, that was … you tried it and you were like, "I'm going to do this. I'm going for it."

Michael Tullis:
I was like, "Well, I'm now going to do this if this is what it's going to be like." But, I do like cannabis a lot and I have for a long time. So, I figured I'd try some more out and did some research and I found some really cool farms that are doing some really good stuff. Mostly up in Oregon, but across the country. By the time, I tried a bunch of different products of theirs, I decided I might as well go at it myself, see if they'll open up any deals with me. So, I've got a couple of farms that are working with me, I guess, wholesale. Producing everything there from seed to packaging, which is really cool. It's really small naturally craft type product.

Matt Baum:
So, not that I expect you to be like a full on hemp scientist here, but you said when you first tried smokable flower hemp, you didn't like it. Do you know … What went into the process of deciding "I know I don't want it to be like that." What is the process of improving it, I guess? What process you went through to-

Michael Tullis:
I mean, I smoked prerolls before not hemp marijuana prerolls. I mean, I kind of know what they're supposed to smoke like, know what the insides of them look like. This one didn't didn't work at all after several attempts. So, I opened it up and it was like a powder. It wasn't even … and there was little metal pieces in there. It was like really sketchy. I'm like, "It just looks like they just scraped together something out of a grinder at the end of a long day." I guess I didn't really think that I could do it better, but that there was definitely someone out there who was doing it better or it wouldn't be a thing. [crosstalk 00:18:03]

Matt Baum:
Sure. Was that you guys your first product, the flower, or did you start with tinctures and whatnot?

Michael Tullis:
The flower was where we started. We realized pretty quickly that people wanted the tinctures more than anything or the salves. A lot of people want the gummies too, which is pretty crazy. I've never even tried the gummy myself.

Matt Baum:
I've tried a few and there's a few I've liked, but it's definitely not my favorite delivery system.

Michael Tullis:
Really?

Matt Baum:
Yeah.

Michael Tullis:
I've heard they're pretty good [crosstalk 00:18:34]

Matt Baum:
Yeah. Like anything, it depends who's doing it right and what they're putting in it. Right?

Michael Tullis:
Right. Right. So, these same farms that I was getting flower from, they were rolling out their own tinctures and their own salves around the same time. So, I just asked them for some of those. I hooked it up and some of them didn't work as good as others. It took some time to weed through some farms, but we've found some really good tinctures as well.

Hemp at the farmers' market

Matt Baum:
Nice. The majority of your business, is it online or is it local? Is it people from Lubbock coming to Early Hemp or Early Fruit? I keep saying Early Hemp. Sorry. Early Fruit.

Michael Tullis:
No, it's okay. The majority of our business is local, which is really cool. So, we set up a booth at a farmer's market once a week. That's about all we do here, but the response has been amazing.

Matt Baum:
Really?

Michael Tullis:
Yeah. It blew me away. I didn't think at all that Lubbock, Texas would respond well to a cannabis company.

Matt Baum:
Is Texas hemp friendly? I mean, I know they've got some fairly good laws there. In the beginning of this show, I'm actually discussing an issue with some verbiage in their latest rules that are coming out for CBD and hemp in Texas. From your experience as a small business person opening a small hemp business, has it been friendly? Have you felt pushback?

Michael Tullis:
Actually, I haven't felt any pushback at all.

Matt Baum:
Wow. That's great.

Michael Tullis:
I haven't had anyone … I've had a couple of people who will come up and give me their opinion about it, but that's not the law coming up and giving me their opinion bottom online.

Matt Baum:
Sure. As far as like administrative or governmental, it-

Michael Tullis:
Yeah. Nothing's been a problem at all. Banks around here were an issue for a minute.

Matt Baum:
I can see that being tough definitely.

Michael Tullis:
Finding a small bank, I think was the trick. A lot of the big banks were still scared, but [crosstalk 00:20:28] local banks, they'll help you out.

Matt Baum:
You're dealing with a local bank?

Michael Tullis:
Yeah.

Matt Baum:
That's amazing. That's totally amazing. What about like credit card processing? You don't have to tell me who you're using, but I assume that was difficult to get that going.

Michael Tullis:
It was pretty hard. The company ended up with, there was supposedly a six week wait, ended up actually being 12 weeks. So, we got pushed back pretty far, yeah, at the beginning.

Matt Baum:
Yeah, that's great. It just sucks right now because everyone is so terrified that at any minute it could be made illegal again. So, major credit card processors are still scared and waiting for the FDA to say, "Nope, it's okay." Or … It's bizarre. What do you think your biggest challenge has been so far? So, for Early Fruit.

Challenges at every step

Michael Tullis:
Really, I think every step of the way has been the biggest challenge. But, once I got banking, it kind of went downhill from there. Everything started falling into place. So, I would say that was it and-

Matt Baum:
The whole discussion with the local banks, getting that set up, was it … this is literally just you face to face saying like, "Look, this is what I want to do. I believe there's a market here." You can tell by state law and the farm bill that it's legal and they were receptive? They were just like, "Michael, we like the cut of your jib. Let's do this."

Michael Tullis:
Yeah. It took a few tries and it took a few banks, but I eventually got … I guess I have to get the right pitch down.

Matt Baum:
Fair enough.

Michael Tullis:
They were pretty welcoming. They weren't too surprised. I guess maybe a few people have been trying around that time and they were willing.

Matt Baum:
That's great. That is a much better story than I've heard from a lot of other people in different states.

Michael Tullis:
I know. I was terrified the whole time. I was like, "Man, this is going to be the hardest thing in the world." But-

Matt Baum:
Oh yeah. Convincing people that you're not a marijuana salesman, right?

Michael Tullis:
Yeah. Around here, it's pretty hard. There's not too much education on the difference between hemp and marijuana around here.

Matt Baum:
You guys are maintaining a blog on your site. That's really good. I checked out, by the way, for education-

Michael Tullis:
Well, thank you. Thank you.

Matt Baum:
What about like locally? What are you doing for … Are you doing anything to try and educate the local populace?

Michael Tullis:
Just kind of while I'm there I'm providing as much education as I can answering questions, things like that, but no, I'm not really an outreach person. I even have trouble even typing up these little blogs that I post.

Matt Baum:
Sure.

Michael Tullis:
It's just some severe stage fright that eventually maybe I'll get over. But, for now I think I'm doing pretty good getting some education out at the farmer's market that I go to.

Matt Baum:
Cool. What do you see-

Michael Tullis:
Now, if they want more, they know where to find me.

Matt Baum:
Yeah, right on. What do you see the future for Early Hemp? What are you hoping for? Are you going to try and get into your own farming or you just want to be an out like a retail outlet?

Planting hemp in Texas

Michael Tullis:
Yeah. So, it started as a retail outlet, just trying to get something quality here in Lubbock. Since then, it's worked and I've met a lot of great people. I've built some relationships in the hemp industry, which is really crazy. So, I'm actually looking to … not looking to. We just planted 16,000 plants.

Matt Baum:
Oh man!

Michael Tullis:
Yeah.

Matt Baum:
That's huge.

Michael Tullis:
Where we grow in our own this season.

Matt Baum:
Wow.

Michael Tullis:
We're a little bit late into it, but I think it'll still work out fine. Texas stays hot.

Matt Baum:
Yeah.

Michael Tullis:
It doesn't cool off for most of the [crosstalk 00:24:05]

Matt Baum:
Not too much. No. Barring catastrophic climate change, which is a reality.

Michael Tullis:
My gosh, these days, anything can happen.

Matt Baum:
Tell me about it. So, do you have processing set up? 16,000 plants, that's not exactly a small experiment you're jumping into, is it?

Michael Tullis:
No. I tried to keep it as small as possible, but I've got some friends that talked me into crazy things.

Matt Baum:
We all do, I suppose.

Michael Tullis:
Right.

Matt Baum:
How are you guys going to go about processing that?

Michael Tullis:
I'm not quite sure. I know we've got a place to dry it, which is the scariest part. If you think about that many plants, that's a big facility.

Matt Baum:
Yeah. That's like an airport hangar, right?

Michael Tullis:
Yeah. Gosh, I hope we don't need that much, but yeah, it's really going to be a lot. So, we've got that figured out. As far as processing, we've got a few different options. Unfortunately, not many here in Texas.

Matt Baum:
Yeah.

Michael Tullis:
Yet. Hopefully, within the next couple of years, they'll start filling in. Well, we'd like to just do something simple with it. If we need to take it and extract it with ethanol ourselves, hopefully not, we'd rather have a CO2 extraction, something a little more pure.

Matt Baum:
Sure.

Michael Tullis:
But, if we have to, and then get into our own products. If even the grow itself works, we'll be able to get our own tinctures and our own salves made and hopefully our own smokable flower. We're growing outdoors though, so it's not really aiming for that this year.

Matt Baum:
Are there rules against that right now in Texas?

Michael Tullis:
Yeah. Yeah. There's rules against a lot of stuff. Manufacturing and producing and even retail smokable, hemp I think right now is all really questionable.

Matt Baum:
So, it has to come from like greenhouses more or less.

Michael Tullis:
Yeah or out of state.

Matt Baum:
Yeah. So, do you truly are in the experimental phase right now? You're like, "Let's see if this stuff will even grow, basically."

Michael Tullis:
Yeah. Yeah. So, really this whole thing started off as an experiment. A year and a half ago, I didn't think I was going to be even successful doing retail much less have an opportunity to really dive into the hemp industry, really dive into growing and learning everything that I've learned. So, I guess at this point, I'm happy if everything just shuts down and it doesn't work. From here on out, I learned a lot and I had a great time.

Matt Baum:
Fair enough. I like that attitude.

Michael Tullis:
I've surrounded myself with a lot of really good people.

Matt Baum:
It's fantastic.

Michael Tullis:
Right. Thank you.

Matt Baum:
You're like, "Oh, I learned a lot and I can take that away." Good for you, man.

Michael Tullis:
Thank you. Thank you.

Matt Baum:
I'd be terrified person.

Michael Tullis:
I have a lot of really smart people around me too. I've got some brilliant people, so I'm not … maybe not as scared as I should be.

Matt Baum:
Fair enough. How many people you're working with on this project?

Michael Tullis:
There's four of us that are working on a project and then [inaudible 00:27:13] got a couple extra people helping out.

Matt Baum:
That is awesome. So, you said hopefully you would like to have it processed somewhere and then you want to turn it into your own tinctures, your own oils and topicals and whatnot.

Michael Tullis:
That's the plan. That's my plan for it anyways. We'll see what everyone else wants to do.

Matt Baum:
Sure.

Michael Tullis:
But, we're all moving in that direction. It'd be nice to be able to brand it and get our own products out there. So, we're doing this … My store this kind of small batch from farm to table type product and I'd like to be able to do that for myself, integrate my own … in that direction as well, you know?

Matt Baum:
Then it's world domination after that. Right?

Michael Tullis:
Yeah. If I can take care of my house first, but you should let me take over the world, we'll have a good time.

Matt Baum:
Yeah, that's important. Definitely. I've talked to people in LA and Minneapolis and Seattle, but not a lot of small town hemp retailers out there right now. So, it's cool that something like this can even work in Lubbock.

Michael Tullis:
Yeah. I thought so too. Hopefully, it stays working.

Matt Baum:
Yeah, man. I hope the best for you. I appreciate the flower that you sent me. It was fantastic, by the way. I really enjoyed it.

Michael Tullis:
Really? Yeah, I'm glad you liked it.

Matt Baum:
Definitely.

Michael Tullis:
Glad you liked it.

Matt Baum:
I'll have links to Michael's Early Hemp site in the notes of this episode. I was really fortunate and glad that I could get two stories from Texas, one that's kind of weird and hopefully turns out to be good and one that just is good. A small business run by a local proprietor who's trying to spread the word through education and quality products. I think it really illustrates how somebody who cares about hemp and CBD and does their homework and works with the right people and seeks to educate their local populace can succeed no matter where they are. I hope if you're listening, you'll throw a click Michael's way and at least check out his site.

Black Lives Matter: Final thoughts from Matt

That is it for another episode of the Ministry of Hemp podcast. Thank you for listening. Thank you for supporting. If you haven't had a chance yet, please head over to Patreon\ministryofhemp and become a ministry of hemp insider. It will get you early access to our articles, extra content, podcast extras and more importantly, it helps us spread the good word of hemp.
If you dig the show and you believe in what we're doing, please help out. If you can't, that's fine too. You can write a review of this show or leave it a star rating on your podcast app. It really does help to get this information to other people. If you need more Ministry of Hemp, you can follow us on Twitter, on Facebook, we're everywhere on social media at ministryofhemp\ministryofhemp, and we're always publishing amazing stories over at ministryofhemp.com. Like a story about hemp masks that are offering sustainable personal safety during the COVID-19 crisis.
Now, I know we're trying to return to work and return to life and whatnot, but you still need to wear a mask. If you want to do so and make a statement and do it sustainably, why not wear a mask made of hemp fabric. There's also a great post about how to maintain focus while working at home without guzzling gallons of coffee, which is something I am very guilty of.
At the Ministry of Hemp, we believe that an accessible world is a better world for everyone. So, we will have a full written transcript of this show in the show notes for this episode. Before I end the show with my usual sign off, I want to say that the Ministry of Hemp and myself stand with Black Lives Matter and stand with the protestors and support everyone that is out there right now fighting the good fight, but please, please take care of yourself. COVID-19 is still very much a reality. So, please wear a mask, wash your hands, take care of yourself, take care of others and make good decisions, will you? This is Matt Baum with the Ministry of Hemp podcast signing off.


Brought to you by Matt Baum of The Ministry of Hemp Podcast