Tiny house enthusiasts are looking for other ways to improve their lives, one tiny addition at a time. But did you assume that the minimalist movement only includes tiny houses? Think again! Tiny businesses and farms are springing up, and with cannabis and marijuana legalization becoming the norm, a tiny hemp farm may be the perfect hobby or business for you. (Oh, and you can also build a tiny house completely out of hemp. True story.)
Why a Hemp Farm?
Cannabis has two primary species: hemp and marijuana. The hemp plant is similar to the marijuana plant in appearance, but it has one marked difference: the level of THC. Hemp plants don’t have enough THC to get you high, while marijuana plants do. Hemp can be used in all sorts of products, ranging from topical beauty treatments to tinctures and sprays that can be taken orally. Hemp is also used as a clothing and building material.
Thanks to recent changes in federal and state legislation, it’s now legal to grow hemp in several states. When the 2014 Farm Bill was passed, states got the go-ahead to grow hemp for research purposes. State governments took this as a sign that the federal government was loosening its regulations, and many changed state laws to allow for it at varying levels. To see where your state currently stands on the issue, visit the State Industrial Hemp Statues.
Best Growing Conditions for Your Tiny Hemp Farm
Before you go full steam ahead with your plan for creating a tiny hemp farm, it’s important to consider your location. Once you’ve determined that you’re allowed to grow hemp based on state regulations, you have to think about the weather in your part of the country. If you’re in extreme conditions, like in the desert or the mountains, you may not have the best conditions for growing hemp. Other than that, though, you may do just fine. Here are some things to remember when growing hemp:
- Hemp grows best in warm weather.
- Soil should be high in organic matter and well-drained.
- Hemp seeds should be sewn directly where you want the plants to grow.
- Plant hemp seeds after the average date of when the last frost passed.
- For their first six weeks, seedlings need to be irrigated when the soil is dry.
If you’re lucky enough to be in a state that has legalized hemp farms and you have the right conditions for hemp to grow, you could have a lucrative business opportunity on your hands. CBD oil is a huge industry right now, and if more states legalize cannabis, it will only grow in popularity. CBD oil is becoming as popular as essential oils, as it has a host of health and wellness uses to help with everything from anxiety to back pain.
4 Considerations When Planning Your Tiny Hemp Farm
If you already have a green thumb, you may assume that growing hemp isn’t much different from the other planting and gardening you’ve always done. There are more hoops to jump through when it comes to managing a hemp farm, though — especially if you’re going to run it for business purposes. Here are a few things you should know:
- There’s some red tape to cut through. While hemp is much more legal than it once was, there are still a lot of to-dos to get through before you can legally grow it. You’ll have to pay fees and fill out paperwork in order to get state licensing. You may also have to have your hemp seeds tested to ensure their THC level isn’t too high.
- You’ll need insurance. Once you start running your farm as a business, you’ll want small business insurance to protect yourself against legal claims. If you don’t have insurance, you could be responsible for damages from accidents or other legal issues, which means your business may never recover from the expense. The last thing you want is to lose the farm you put so much time, energy, and money into.
- Finding seeds isn’t always easy. The seed industry is having a hard time keeping up with the demand for hemp seeds that have the right level of THC. Since hemp isn’t legal on a federal level, you may run into legal issues if you have seeds shipped from state to state. If you wind up using hemp seeds with too high a THC level, your crops could be destroyed.
- Keeping it tiny may not be lucrative. Hemp crops are often grown for industrial purposes, not smaller sales. In order to be profitable, you may need 50 acres or more for planting, which also means you’ll need to create job postings and hire employees to help you. However, if you’re doing it as a hobby or you want to try your hand at hemp farming before seeing if you want to turn it into a business, a tiny hemp farm may be the best way to start.
Knowing the potential pitfalls of planning a tiny hemp farm isn’t meant to scare you away from the entire process. Instead, it gives you a realistic overview of what to expect. When you know what may be coming, it’s much easier to get out in front of those problems to prevent them.
Starting your own hemp farm and CBD oil business is exciting, but it’s also full of potential problems and learning curves. If your goal is to sell hemp or create cannabis products, start thinking of the business side of it now, even if you’re only experimenting with a small plot of land for the time being. By having a framework, you’ll be that much farther ahead as you evolve and grow your business.
Image Source: Unsplash