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Sunday, June 4, 2023

“The year 2022 will be the year we move forward slowly and steadily.”

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interview: Jamie Campbell Beatty is executive director of the Midwest Hemp Council, which she co-founded with partners in 2018 to lobby for Indiana cannabis legislation and regulations that support growers and retailers. Petty was named one of the “100 Best People to Know in Hemp” by Hemp Connoisseur 2018, currently serves on the Board of Directors of Friends of Hemp and is a member of the Standing Committee of Hemp Organizations of the National Hemp Association. She works as a consultant at Hemp Brand Builders, a brand development and sales organization focused on normalizing cannabis products on major shelves, and recently joined Whitefield Global Holdings as Director of Industry and Government Relations.

HempToday: Can you take us on a little tour around the Midwest? What do you want to highlight?

Jimmy Campbell Petty: The burgeoning cannabis industry is just another example of how the Midwest can adapt and excel, particularly in the farming sector. Of course, we’re particularly proud that Indianapolis serves as America’s Crossroads, allowing products to be transported from Indianapolis to all points in the continental United States in 19 hours. As the heart of America, you will find many business opportunities and many sectors working tirelessly to produce and deliver high quality domestic products and services. The Midwest is rich in innovation, work ethic, and opportunity.

HT: With Indiana now under a USDA-approved cannabis plan, how’s that going?

JCP: We are pleased to agree to our plan. As you know, Indiana is the only state where the Department of Agriculture does not regulate a hemp plan. In Indiana, cannabis regulation is managed and regulated by Don Robinson, director of seeds for the Indiana State Chemists’ Bureau. Don drove this program with a focus on compliance on all sides, while encouraging and supporting farmer-friendly regulations. Don is always generous with his time talking to farmers and healers about remediation procedures and other obstacles. We work with Don to ensure that all licensees fully cooperate with accurate data collection and reporting.

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HT: What are the main provisions of the Indiana plan?

JCP: Testing and processing are essential. Although there is room for improvement, we are pleased with the progress. Midwest Hemp will continue to work with Don and the state chemist’s office in Indiana as well as in other states, and at the federal level, to ensure we continue to remove unnecessary paperwork and onerous testing requirements.

HT: Where are we now with smokeable cannabis in Indiana? What is the position of the MHC on this subject?

JCPMidwest Hemp Council believes in a complete plant-based economy for the benefit of our farmers and small businesses. Previous court proceedings were halted when the plaintiffs realized that the delay was negatively impacting their business, along with the unavailability of a market for cannabis flowers. The 2022 Indiana General Assembly is in session, and our team has worked with lawmakers to introduce HB 1043, which would re-legalize smokeable cannabis. Hopefully, lawmakers will have time to understand the market value, and the impact on our growers of an estimated $300 million market loss.

HT: What Other changes still required in Indiana?

JCPWe need high-quality, dependable processors for all things hemp. Equally important, we need the support of legislators to focus on removing any obstacles to high-quality, cooperative farmers.

HT: How do Midwest farmers feel now that the CBD has collapsed? What is its temperature at the moment?

JCP: very frustrating, in general. This extended to feeling grainy and fibre, too. However, we feel 2022 will be the year we move forward, slowly and steadily, to continue building a solid foundation for the industry.

HT: What can you say about the contributions of all those agricultural schools across the Midwest. What is the status of cannabis in the curricula and research in those schools?

JCP: surprising! Of course, Indiana is very grateful for the work of Dr. Ron Turco and Margaret Bolt at Purdue University. Equally important, Margaret has a strong working relationship with many other schools, particularly Philip Alberti in Illinois, Shelby Ellison in Wisconsin and James Dedecker in Michigan.

HT: How would you describe statewide funding among midwestern states. What should happen there? How can countries better support the industry?

JCP: I think some states have apparently seen benefits in supporting research and implementation of cannabis as a crop; However, for the state of Indiana, we had very little money available for cannabis. It’s a very real struggle for us. I think Illinois and Ohio feel the same pain. Of course, in the South, Kentucky has been a pioneer in providing a lot of support to its farmers, and we wish all states would consider the same path.

HT: Tell us about your new role at Whitefield Global Holdings.

JCPI have spent the past 10 years with the grassroots, non-profit sector of the cannabis industry. I will remain active and engaged, not only with the Midwest Hemp Council, but work with the NHA’s SCOHO Committee and other development opportunities. In fact, Whitefield comes along with Midwest Hemp Council as our newest strategic partner, allowing MHC to expand our presence in communications and education. Whitefield Global Holdings is made up of individuals and entities with whom I have spent a significant amount of time; It’s clear to me that we share the same goals for the cannabis industry. We have a strong group of leaders with expertise in agribusiness, agricultural engineering, manufacturing, insurance and marketing to create a transparent, consistent and collaborative group to lead production in this new chapter for food, fuel and fibre. Team members include Whitefield Ag, Assure Group, GrowTech Industries and HPP. I am very excited to join the team as Director of Industry and Government Relations, where my passion and knowledge of the industry will contribute to our growth and, most importantly, the growth of the entire cannabis industry. It has been, and will continue to be, a priority for me to encourage and facilitate collaboration and collaboration between businesses and nonprofits to grow this industry.

HT: And your new position on the board of directors at Hemp Brand Builders?

JCPYes, principle David King created Hemp Brand Builders to capitalize on his experience and success in servicing the cannabis supply chain. I was thrilled to join David in launching Hemp Brand Builders in early 2021, and help bring all things hemp into mainstream retail. The phenomenal growth of Hemp Brand Builders is a direct result of the quality of hemp and hemp is driving the collaboration with David King to ensure that their ingredients or brands reach the shelf space. Along with several projects where cannabis is being incorporated into food or cosmetics, Hemp Brand Builders is about to launch a multi-vendor cannabis program with a large box store that will be beneficial to all involved.

HT: What do you have on the farm?

JCP: a lot of love! Our two quarters of horses, two miniature donkeys, a dozen hens, five barn cats and four of our Redbone Coonhounds are convinced that our living room is their domain, not ours! My husband and I are very proud of the fact that since moving onto our property in 2010 we have learned to grow and process our own food all year round. We love having friends and family to share food, work and play! Especially during Covid, we remember how fortunate we are to have created our own little world where we are so close to being off the grid, working together every day, and able to rely almost entirely on our own resources to survive.

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