Podcast

A Cuppa CBD Tea? We Meet Mike And Paul Harney Of Harney & Sons Tea

A Cuppa CBD Tea? We Meet Mike And Paul Harney Of Harney & Sons Tea
Ministry of Hemp Podcast

 
 
00:00 / 00:34:34
 
1X
 

We love relaxing with a hot cup of tea, and adding CBD just seems to make the experience better.

First up on this episode of the Ministry of Hemp podcast, Matt talks about the importance of wearing masks in public as the Covid 19 outbreak continues to spread and where you can find hemp fabric masks.

Then Matt has a conversation with the Mike and Paul Harney the co-vice-presidents of Harney & Sons Tea. This decades-old tea company added The Hemp Division product line in 2018, infusing tea with CBD and hemp leaves. They’ve also begun growing their own hemp.

Matt also mentions our recent roundup of the 6 best CBD bath products, (which would be perfect to combine with a hot cup of CBD tea).

About Harney & Sons & The Hemp Division

In 2018, brothers Michael and Paul Harney embarked on a mission: create an all-new, extraordinary fusion of fine tea and premium CBD. Fueled by their 30+ years of combined tea experience, they decided to do it from the roots up and worked with hemp farmers to plant 7000 hemp plants on the Harney & Sons headquarters in Millerton, NY forming their new sister company: The Hemp Division.

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, [email protected], 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 [email protected]

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A tin of Cinnamon Spice CBD tea from Harney & Son's The Hemp Division, posed with oranges and cinnamon sticks.
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Harney & Sons are growing their own hemp to produce their CBD teas from the The Hemp Division.

A Cuppa CBD Tea: Complete episode transcript

Below you’ll find the complete transcript of episode 46 of the Ministry of Hemp Podcast, “CBD Tea”:

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.

Matt Baum:
Welcome back to the Ministry of Hemp podcast. Today on the show, I am going to talk to Mike and Paul Harney of Harney & Sons Tea Company. They’re a family owned tea company that travels the world to find amazing blends of tea, using several different herbs and spices. And recently they moved in the realm of hemp and have started incorporating hemp into their tea lines in several different products. They are currently growing their own hemp and doing it right. So stick around for that. But first I want to talk about masks for a minute.

Talking about COVID-19 and hemp masks

Matt Baum:
This summer has been one of the strangest ones I can remember in my life. I’m a comic book nerd, and I also host a podcast called The Two Headed Nerd Comic Book Podcast. So normally at this time I would be going to blockbuster, summer comic book nerd movies, and attending comic book conventions. But all of that is on hold because of COVID-19. And as much as a lot of people want us to return to normalcy, they’re still a problem, a huge problem. And one of the best things that we can be doing right now is wearing a mask in public to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

Matt Baum:
Now you’re saying, “Matt, what does this have to do with hemp?” That part is coming. But first I just want to stress the fact that yes, there was some conflicting information at first from the CDC. And we weren’t really sure if masks helped or not. We quickly learned more about the disease. And now we know wearing a mask absolutely helps. This is not a political statement and do not make it political because that’s not what this is about. We now know that wearing a mask absolutely reduces the chances of both you catching and spreading COVID-19. So do the responsible thing and wear a mask when in public.

Matt Baum:
What does this have to do with hemp? I’m glad you asked. There are people making hemp masks, 100% organic hemp masks out there, and I’ll have a link to a story that we have on ministryofhemp.com all about it. It’s a great way to both support hemp farmers and do the responsible thing as a citizen, not as a political statement, but as a citizen that cares about other American citizens and help stop the spread of COVID-19. If you’re wearing any kind of mask, you’re doing the right thing, but if you’re a hemp advocate like me, and if you’re listening to the show, you probably are, buying a hemp fabric mask is a great way to support hemp farmers, hemp fabric producers, and make a statement that you’re not only doing your best to take care of those around you, but you’re also making a conscious decision to support responsibly grown hemp as an alternative to cotton, polyester and plastics that go into other fabrics.

Matt Baum:
The truth is until we have a vaccination, we’re going to be living with this and wearing a mask is the easiest and simplest and most effective way that you can make a difference while we wait for a vaccine for this horrible disease.

Growing hemp in Connecticut & New York

Matt Baum:
My conversation today is with Mike and Paul Harney of Harney & Sons Tea Company. And full disclosure here, we already did this interview once and something happened with my computer and I ended up losing the whole interview, so we had to do it again. And we’re going to joke about it during the interview. So I just figured why not come out and let you guys know? Stuff happens, right? I had a great time talking to these guys and you’ll hear it. We laugh through pretty much the whole thing. I caught up with them both after a day where they had been planting more hemp on their mother’s property in Connecticut. And that’s where we start off talking. They were a riot to talk to. And I hope you guys enjoy this as much as I did talking to them. Here’s my conversation with Mike and Paul Harney.

Matt Baum:
So today you were at mom’s place in Connecticut from what I understand, with a backhoe tearing up some soil that has not been turned over for 100,000 years.

Paul Harney:
Yes we were. It was a little… I don’t think technically, it’s hard pan. I don’t know what it is.

Mike Harney:
It doesn’t look like anything because it was a doctor’s house, so it wasn’t probably a working farm back in the day. I mean, maybe it was, but in 1830 the doctor started to assemble it. So it’s in the middle of town, so a doctor, lawyer, whatever. It was a bookstore when my parents bought it.

Matt Baum:
Okay. How much land does she have out there?

Paul Harney:
Yeah, I think this part of it is about an acre. I mean, she’s probably got three acres in it.

Matt Baum:
Okay. And she said, “Yeah, my boys are getting into hemp for their tea company.”

Paul Harney:
Why not?

Matt Baum:
“They can absolutely plant here and see what happens.”

Mike Harney:
We have a New York license and we also have the processing license. So I said, “Well, why don’t we get a Connecticut license? Sort of a CYA.” Right?

Matt Baum:
Fair enough. Was it easier or was it harder or the same as getting the New York license?

Paul Harney:
I’d say it was more work, yeah. I had to go get fingerprinted.

Matt Baum:
Oh, you’re kidding me.

Paul Harney:
And New York State is pretty mellow.

Matt Baum:
So they want to make sure you’re not a felon or something before you grow hemp?

Mike Harney:
That’s right, yeah. They had to go down to central headquarters for the state and give my left you-know-what. But it was a little bit more work. They say Massachusets are the biggest pains. We have a friend that, I guess he qualifies as a former employee, that when they came in time for harvest, they came out and looked. He only had seven plants, he had to test each plant separately.

Matt Baum:
Seven of them?

Mike Harney:
Yeah, seven plants. He went, “This is crazy.”

Matt Baum:
So if you had 700…

Mike Harney:
Yeah, that’s what I mean. So you can go like…

Paul Harney:
I don’t know what they did, if you did have seven…

Mike Harney:
We had 7,000 last year, so I mean, we were like…

Matt Baum:
Good lord.

Mike Harney:
State of New York is a little bit more mellow, we’ll see how it works out this year.

Matt Baum:
So how many plants are we planting in mom’s place?

Paul Harney:
We’re going to only plant about 350.

Matt Baum:
Okay. And it’s going to be the same species that you’re growing in New York right now?

Paul Harney:
Painted Lady.

Mike Harney:
Yep. Yep.

Matt Baum:
Painted Lady.

Mike Harney:
And with the state, we had to commit over there. That’s the other thing that’s more complicated. But we’re thinking maybe getting more plants, so then we’ve got to work the bureaucracy a little bit.

Matt Baum:
So when they say, “Well, we need to know what kind of you’re planting,” and you look at them and you say, “Painted Lady,” do they have a dog faced reaction? Or do they go, “Oh yeah. Okay,” and just write it down?

Mike Harney:
Basically. No, we had to send in the seed bag.

Matt Baum:
Really? Are they testing it?

Mike Harney:
And the bag has to be approved. So I just remembered that, so that’s what we have to get set while we get the seed bag and it’s got to have a little stamp on it from, been approved by somebody.

Matt Baum:
What are they going to do with the seed bag? Do they literally just want to see the stamp? Are they putting the seeds under a microscope?

Mike Harney:
Yeah, every state, I mean, federal rules are the same, right?

Matt Baum:
Right.

Mike Harney:
But every state interprets them a little bit differently.

Matt Baum:
Yep.

Mike Harney:
And that’s the way Connecticut as interpreted. We just heard how Massachusetts interpreted, and then New York State sort of interpreted, it’s like old school.

Matt Baum:
Good lord. So you’ve got 350 there. How many plants are you growing right now in New York?

Paul Harney:
A little over a like 2,800, I think.

Matt Baum:
And all of this goes to the hemp division?

Paul Harney:
Yep.

Getting into CBD tea with Harney & Sons

Matt Baum:
And so, tell me about that. Let’s start real quick. I’m going to act like we didn’t already have this talk and I’m surprised and I don’t know anything about you, but I’ll edit this part out, obviously. Tell me about how this starts. Let’s start with Harney & Sons, the tea company. This is old school…

Mike Harney:
We can start with Harney & Sons.

Matt Baum:
Old school family tea company. Everybody on the about page has the same last name, I couldn’t help but notice.

Mike Harney:
Well, we’re from Appalachia.

Matt Baum:
You used that joke on me last time too, and it still works. I like it.

Mike Harney:
Did I use that the last time?

Paul Harney:
Yes, you did.

Matt Baum:
Yeah, it still works.

Mike Harney:
Well, that’s good then. That’s good.

Matt Baum:
You know what? I’m going to leave all this in, so they know that we talked before and we’re friendly now, because it sounds like this is an even better interview as far as I’m concerned.

Mike Harney:
There you go. So yeah, I use the same joke.

Paul Harney:
You did.

Matt Baum:
How old is the tea company? How long have you guys been around?

Mike Harney:
Oh, our father started it in that 1883? No, 1983.

Matt Baum:
I was like, you’re not that old. I can see you.

Mike Harney:
And then he got me to come in after a couple of years and he got Paul to come in a couple of years later. Paul was a Marine officer. So he saluted Paul, my baby brother. And then we started, we’ve been doing tea and we still continue to do tea. It does pay for the lights above us and the computer screen to work and all that sort of stuff.

Matt Baum:
There you go.

Mike Harney:
But 2018, we started the hemp division.

Paul Harney:
Yep.

Matt Baum:
So what makes two guys that are firmly entrenched in the tea business, and from what I can tell kind of kicking ass, what makes you decide, well, we need to branch out, we want to mess with this hemp stuff? Where did that come in?

Paul Harney:
Well, we had a suggestion from a family friend that had been saying, “Hey, CBD is something maybe you guys should think about.” And that was in the summer of 2018. And the first license that was available in the state of New York was for growing. And we’re sort of in a farming area.

Matt Baum:
Right.

Paul Harney:
And so, there’s a fallow field as part of our land here. [crosstalk 00:10:41]

Matt Baum:
You can’t grow tea there, obviously.

Paul Harney:
Yeah, and you can’t grow tea, so it was appealing to… We go to origin, we go all over the world and see.

Mike Harney:
What do you mean by origin?

Paul Harney:
Where tea is grown, tea plantations, all that sort of stuff. So we go to these places and this was a chance for us to bring the origin home.

Matt Baum:
Fair enough.

Mike Harney:
Right in our hands. We go from the roots up.

Learning to grow hemp for CBD tea

Matt Baum:
How does it go from traveling all over, looking at these leaves, understanding tea mixes and stuff like that to growing your own hemp? You just threw it in the ground and went for it or did you watch a YouTube video?

Paul Harney:
We threw it in the ground and went for it, yeah. We didn’t know a lot.

Mike Harney:
We did ask somebody. Yeah, we asked somebody who knew a little bit more than us, but I think she was only one page ahead of us, frankly. And it was an expensive textbook, just like in college.

Matt Baum:
Of course. An expensive one page anyway.

Mike Harney:
Yes, yes, yes.

Matt Baum:
But sometimes that’s good too.

Mike Harney:
So we did that and we learned a lot. We learned a lot. I mean, I think we said we planted it all in one day, so that was a hot day in July. July 8th.

Paul Harney:
Yeah, that was early July. And I think we have about, on a shift, somewhere around 150, 160 people. Plus my mother who’s…

Matt Baum:
And you just grabbed him and said, “Everybody out, we’re planting. Let’s go. Put on your gloves. Hope you didn’t wear nice clothes today.”

Paul Harney:
Everybody went out there and popped some in the ground. And I think we didn’t even start early. We started at 10:00 and I think by 6:00 PM we were done.

Matt Baum:
So why July?

Mike Harney:
You had your daughter.

Paul Harney:
I did. My three year old daughter, so she’s out there this year. She was two then, so now she’s three. And my 13 year old son, they’ve been hitting it every day.

Matt Baum:
New York has more favorable child labor laws too, is what you’re saying?

Paul Harney:
Yes.

Matt Baum:
That’s great. That’s excellent. We could use those here.

Mike Harney:
The local law, the law that they could affect them.

Paul Harney:
Right, yes.

Matt Baum:
I’m from Nebraska…

Paul Harney:
But she wasn’t good, Mike. She really just sits around and talks to people and I think she was putting in the little, what type of tea plant or what type of hemp plant it is.

Mike Harney:
She puts in the card, she puts in the stick.

Matt Baum:
Oh, that’s an important job though. I mean, come on.

Paul Harney:
That’s why we’ve got some of these little brains doing it.

The challenges of growing hemp

Matt Baum:
There you go. Now I’m from Nebraska. I’m not a farmer, but it seems like July is awfully late to plant. Why July?

Mike Harney:
Well, as we said, the lady was one page ahead of us.

Matt Baum:
Gotcha.

Mike Harney:
It was that perfect.

Paul Harney:
It was not really. We weren’t farmers either, but we had identified, we asked that same question.

Matt Baum:
Right.

Mike Harney:
But there was no easy, well, it’s a difficult business, this hemp growing stuff. It’s hard. The idea is that you’ve got to get the plant. You’ve got to grow the plant, so you’ve got to put the money down for the seed. This is a little bit like a Nebraska story.

Matt Baum:
Sure.

Mike Harney:
And then you don’t get paid for that stuff for actually a year, year and a half later, so money is tight. So it’s a difficult business.

Paul Harney:
Yeah, she had actually grown it from seed, all the plants.

Matt Baum:
Right.

Paul Harney:
So we had to wait until…

Mike Harney:
She had a get the money to buy the seed, and it’s a buck a seed or whatever, which turns out, it doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you’re getting 30,000 plants, you’ve got to have the scratch for that.

Matt Baum:
Sure.

Paul Harney:
And then you’ve got to grow.

Matt Baum:
And then you’ve got to have room to grow them and get them going before you can drop them in the ground.

Paul Harney:
Yeah.

Mike Harney:
All that.

Paul Harney:
Before you can get them in the ground. So yeah, last year we were a little further behind this year.

Matt Baum:
So this year, much better?

Paul Harney:
This year, much better. Absolutely.

Matt Baum:
We learned.

Paul Harney:
We learned a little bit. We spread them out a little bit more so we’re growing a little less plants, but we’re hoping that…

Mike Harney:
Better production.

Paul Harney:
We’re going to get a little better production out of it.

Matt Baum:
Did you get them from the same place or did you say, “No, we’re not using that. We’re going to use something else for this”?

Paul Harney:
No, we went somewhere else.

Matt Baum:
Okay. But the same species, like the same type?

Mike Harney:
Different species.

Paul Harney:
Different species too.

Mike Harney:
Last year, it was Cherry Wine. This year, you’ve got that Painted Lady.

Matt Baum:
Okay. So tell me…

Mike Harney:
That’s from San Francisco, I’m not sure what.

Matt Baum:
Why do we make that choice? Is that better for the tea? Or is that better for the CBD? Or both?

Mike Harney:
Or neither?

Matt Baum:
Or neither?

Paul Harney:
Mostly, it’s more related to what’s going to grow the best up here.

Matt Baum:
Okay. That makes sense.

Mike Harney:
We had a fungus problem last year. Not a fungus problem, a mold. No, fungus problem. Yeah.

Matt Baum:
Fungus?

Mike Harney:
Yeah, fungus. In our toenails. But what happened was it came in off the woods. And so, we got it from a place that was dryer in our opinion. So there was a guy that just got in the business in Connecticut, so he’s less than 10 miles from here. So we think he’s acclimated, he’s chosen plants that are correct. We don’t know that fact, that’s why I said neither. We’re not sure if we got it better yet. It sounds good. Everything sounds good when you’re putting it in the ground.

Matt Baum:
Of course. So it’s growing now, though? You can look out and be like, “God, I feel like we’re getting somewhere.” Or are you like, “Oh, God”?

Paul Harney:
It’s about this high. So it’s about 12 inches high at the moment.

Mike Harney:
Not quite knee-high before the 4th of July, but we’re getting there.

Matt Baum:
Fair enough. And hopefully you’re going to, what? We’re talking September, October, you harvest?

Mike Harney:
September. We’re hoping we’re getting it out two weeks earlier because we got it out a bit late last year.

Paul Harney:
We got it out in Halloween.

Matt Baum:
That’s late.

Paul Harney:
And then you struggle because it doesn’t dry off after the frost, it’s colder.

Matt Baum:
Yeah. Definitely.

Paul Harney:
Just have to really struggle with the bud and stuff.

Mike Harney:
And then the other thing is with the plants we’ve got, supposedly won’t go hot because you always have to be careful that it doesn’t get much THC.

Matt Baum:
Of course.

Mike Harney:
Because the US government, that’s one thing they do watch, is the 0.3%.

Creating The Hemp Division’s CBD tea

Matt Baum:
So last year, obviously you brought in hemp from other places to infuse. Let’s talk about that.

Mike Harney:
In the beginning, yeah.

Paul Harney:
Yeah, we made the bottles out of that. Yeah.

Matt Baum:
So what kind of products…

Paul Harney:
Yeah, we started…

Matt Baum:
I’m sorry, what kind of…

Paul Harney:
We started with a CBD, with an isolate.

Matt Baum:
Okay.

Paul Harney:
Was how we started last year. In 2018, after we’d gotten our processing license, that’s where we started, was buying an isolate. And then, we’ve gone from there into more broad spectrum with the terpenes. And then, what we’ve done since we had our own product was we’ve actually turned it into hemp tea, processed it, decarboxylated it and blended it into different blends.

Mike Harney:
So right now, we’ve got people up there who are taking the stuff that we did last October, and we have big bags, white bags of them, and they’re just going through and getting rid of the riff-raff. And then that’s what Paul says we’re going to use that stuff in the tea bags. So we have three different options, right? You’ve got the bottles with the isolate.

Paul Harney:
Yeah. So we have bottles, we have sparkling waters, the Spark.

Matt Baum:
Love those. Yeah.

Paul Harney:
Yeah, and then we have some tea tins that are packed in sachets, and some of those have CBD powder in them and then some of them are just blends with the hemp tea.

Mike Harney:
Where did we send the isolate to, Paul?

Paul Harney:
Colorado.

Mike Harney:
Did you see it? Did you wave to it as it went by in Nebraska?

Matt Baum:
I didn’t see it. I’m sure it came by. I may have been asleep or not paying attention, but normally I would notice that stuff, yeah.

Mike Harney:
It went by there. It went by your house, of course.

Matt Baum:
I’m right on the interstate, usually just waving at trucks.

Mike Harney:
All right. Just checking.

Matt Baum:
So next year, now that you’re growing this, the idea is we’re going to use our hemp?

Mike Harney:
Yeah.

Matt Baum:
And you’re going add-

Paul Harney:
We are using our extraction and our hemp now.

Matt Baum:
Oh, okay.

Paul Harney:
But yeah, the idea is that going forward, it’s that we are covering it from the roots up, so to speak.

Matt Baum:
Right. Control every aspect of it.

Paul Harney:
Control every aspect.

Mike Harney:
Almost every aspect.

The process of making CBD tea

Paul Harney:
The idea is to really try to use the same level of skill we use to blend teas to ensure that we to get the proper dose, all this sort of stuff, into the products.

Matt Baum:
Someone else is doing the extraction though?

Paul Harney:
Right, yeah. Someone else.

Mike Harney:
He’s out in Colorado, so maybe you’ll catch him on the way back.

Matt Baum:
Yeah, maybe. I’ll watch for him. So when they do this extraction and they send it back to you, are you guaranteed, and I’m sorry, I know nothing about this, but is it the type of thing, like say you’re making your sparkling water drink, where we know if we put X amount in this vat that it’s going to become sparkling water, it will be so many milligrams of CBD per can basically?

Paul Harney:
Right, right.

Mike Harney:
They’re doing the concentrate, right? They’re not making the product. You’re making the product.

Paul Harney:
We make the product. All they’re doing is they’re doing the extraction.

Mike Harney:
And emulsification.

Paul Harney:
Yeah.

Matt Baum:
Right. And they basically give me something that’s…

Mike Harney:
But it’s oil and it won’t go into water. So we’ve got to do the magic, the secret sauce, in Colorado.

Paul Harney:
And then it won’t stabilize either if you just put the oil in the water.

Matt Baum:
Okay. To boil it down, I mean, to a ridiculous metaphor, you add a 1/4 cup of this to a gallon of this and there you go. You know what you’ve got.

Paul Harney:
Pretty much.

Mike Harney:
That’s right, now.

Matt Baum:
So with the teas themselves you’re using a powder, you said, to infuse those?

Paul Harney:
So we’re using a powder as well as we’re using the hemp leaf. The hemp leaf doesn’t give off…

Mike Harney:
The hemp flower.

Paul Harney:
The flower when you brew it, though you get an effect, it does not give you…

Matt Baum:
Much lighter, I’m sure.

Paul Harney:
The CBD number.

Matt Baum:
Yeah.

Paul Harney:
Due to water solubility and stuff like that. So generally, we add in some powder with the leaf to give it a solid number, but it’s very effective.

Matt Baum:
So what’s the leaf do to the flavor? What’s that taste like?

Paul Harney:
Tastes a little happy.

Mike Harney:
Like marijuana.

Matt Baum:
I would guess. I like that flavor, I kind of look for it in certain, like when people send me CBD oils and whatnot.

Paul Harney:
Sure.

Matt Baum:
I’m fine with ones that are flavored and I understand not everybody’s looking for that, but I feel like the flavor itself is very interesting and adds something to it. And maybe that’s from a lot of practice of trying other types of cannabis perhaps, I don’t know.

Paul Harney:
Yeah, you remember.

Matt Baum:
I would think that could be a turnoff for some people in tea. Is that something you try to hide?

Paul Harney:
Yeah, we’ve got them both, where you can find it, where you do taste it, and then others, you don’t taste it at all.

Matt Baum:
Yeah.

Paul Harney:
We have one that’s called Center and that one is based a little bit off of our Hot Cinnamon Spice tea, which tastes like an old red hot candy.

Matt Baum:
So tell me about that one real quick. It’s like you’re using more of the stuff to give it the red hot flavor and just a little bit of the hemp leaves?

Paul Harney:
Yeah.

Mike Harney:
Yeah. And the hemp, with a lighter dose, you really don’t taste it.

Matt Baum:
Right.

Mike Harney:
You can taste a little bit, but it’s not strong like you’re talking about.

Matt Baum:
And obviously-

Paul Harney:
There are ones that are stronger, but that’s certainly the one where we just took one of our great blends…

Creating different CBD tea blends

Mike Harney:
And then you also came up with some other stuff, right?

Paul Harney:
We did. We did.

Mike Harney:
What have you got? Moringa?

Paul Harney:
We got one with moringa, yeah, it called a Deep Sleep.

Matt Baum:
I don’t know what moringa is. What is moringa?

Paul Harney:
Moringa’s a herb.

Matt Baum:
Okay.

Paul Harney:
So that’s an herb and it provides a little balance. So some of them, like we have another one that’s called Focus and that one has a yerba mate, which is a caffeinated leaf. Yaupon, which is the only caffeinated leaf grown in the US, and guayusa and some mint.

Mike Harney:
From Ecuador.

Paul Harney:
Yeah. So that particular blend is actually pretty high in caffeine.

Matt Baum:
That sounds amazing.

Paul Harney:
Yeah, but when added with a little CBD, it gives you, that’s what we call Focus.

Matt Baum:
Yeah. Because you’re riding the wave instead of vibrating.

Paul Harney:
Yeah, exactly. And it is, people like that one a lot. Sleep is certainly a calm, Sleep.

Matt Baum:
Right.

Paul Harney:
These sort of things that are somewhat lifted even more.

Mike Harney:
But Focus is good because it elevates you without taking you up over the top.

Matt Baum:
Yeah. I had a guy send me some CBD-infused coffee and I drink coffee like it’s going out of style, like I like a fricking need it. And I couldn’t get to that point where my eyes felt like they were boiling. And I was almost like, “Is something wrong?” And I was like, “No, I feel normal. This is what I’m supposed to feel like. I’m awake.”

Mike Harney:
That’s what normal looks like.

Matt Baum:
Yeah, I’m focused and I don’t feel like I’m going to pass through a wall because I’m vibrating too fast.

Paul Harney:
Yeah.

Matt Baum:
That’s cool. So as far as that flavor profile goes, do you treat it the same way that you would treat any other herb that you’ve worked with?

Paul Harney:
Absolutely. I mean, I think that’s one of the advantages that we have, is that we’re used to dealing with a lot of crazy herbs. Kava’s another crazy herb that mellows you out.

Mike Harney:
What about chaga?

Paul Harney:
Ashwagandha and chaga mushrooms, so we’re used to dealing with a lot of-

Mike Harney:
We’re not too used to it, though.

Paul Harney:
Barely into it.

Mike Harney:
Not too used to it, no.

Matt Baum:
Well, sure.

Mike Harney:
Well, we’re used to it.

Paul Harney:
We’re sort of used to it now.

Matt Baum:
Sort of used to it. That’s what I like to hear of my professionals, “I’m sort of good at this. Don’t worry.”

Paul Harney:
It’s a work in progress.

Expanding into herbal wellness

Mike Harney:
Well, no. I mean, that’s because as a tea company, mostly it was just tea, but in the last year or two Paul’s been pushing us more and more into wellness, so you have to say if it’s hemp bud in there, that’s part of the wellness concept.

Matt Baum:
Right. Tell me about the wellness concept. Where did that come from? You were a Marine and you decided, you know what?

Mike Harney:
Yeah, you must have gotten tired of the softer stuff.

Paul Harney:
That’s it, yeah.

Matt Baum:
I fought for freedom and now I want to fight to detox.

Paul Harney:
Well, mushrooms obviously are… Neurotropics are a really big thing right now.

Mike Harney:
Adapto.

Paul Harney:
And adaptogenic, yeah. Absolutely. So there’s a wide variety of herbs, ashwagandha, all this sort of stuff that people are using and blending to mellow you out, take a little of the edge off and all that sort of good stuff. And we started, as we had these hemp products coming out, then we started adding a few more traditional wellness products that helped…

Matt Baum:
It was a gateway drug, if you will.

Mike Harney:
And during this COVID period here, you know what I mean?

Paul Harney:
It became particularly of use.

Mike Harney:
Well, wellness, everybody’s jumped…

Paul Harney:
Everybody’s like, “Look, probably. Probably, I need it.”

Matt Baum:
It turns out hemp is a gateway drug. There we go. They were right.

Paul Harney:
Yeah, that’s correct.

Mike Harney:
After hemp, it becomes chaga.

Paul Harney:
That’s right.

Matt Baum:
Next thing you know, you’re chewing on yerba mate leaves.

Paul Harney:
Yeah, it’s crazy.

Matt Baum:
Strung out somewhere, shaking on caffeine.

Paul Harney:
Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

Matt Baum:
So where did the wellness thing come from though? Where did you find that day? Is it just something you heard about and said we should try it? Or was it something that you experienced in your life?

Mike Harney:
These all have been considered a wellness beverage.

Matt Baum:
Yeah.

Mike Harney:
And we’ve done other things, chamomile to help you sleep in the old days.

Paul Harney:
Yeah.

Matt Baum:
I mean, I guess that makes sense.

Mike Harney:
And peppermint for the upset stomach. So then my brother here, Paul, he looks at that side more than me. So Paul.

Paul Harney:
Well, no, the base was already there.

Matt Baum:
Right.

Paul Harney:
And you know, green tea is obviously a very healthy product for you.

Mike Harney:
And well known.

Paul Harney:
And well known. We just didn’t, I think we didn’t play on it very far. And then, as hemp matured a little bit, and we had more of these products, last year was a little different because we had the powder and that was the first year of this.

Matt Baum:
Right.

Mike Harney:
Making a name for ourselves, yeah.

Paul Harney:
But then, once we had the hemp to really start blending in these things, then it was like, “Hey, maybe we need some chaga in there with that.

Matt Baum:
It was just the next logical thing, basically?

Paul Harney:
Yeah.

Mike Harney:
Logical.

Paul Harney:
Well, it was relatively logical.

Mike Harney:
I don’t know if it was completely logical, but…

Matt Baum:
I love you guys because you both do this Columbo thing where you’re like, “I mean, I’m just, I don’t really know,” but you totally know. You guys do, okay?

Mike Harney:
You’ve got to be telling us the truth then.

Looking forward to the harvest

Matt Baum:
So tell me about, you’re going to harvest next, hopefully early October.

Paul Harney:
Yeah.

Matt Baum:
You had mentioned that you were going to do stuff with every aspect of the plant, like you’re going to try grounding up the roots and stuff.

Paul Harney:
We are. We had some roots this year. We did not get very far, but obviously, roots is considered also a very medicinal piece of the plant.

Matt Baum:
Right.

Paul Harney:
And it’s something we tried to get to last year, but roots obviously need to be cleaned quite well if you’re going to try to use them later on.

Matt Baum:
Of course.

Paul Harney:
So that was a bridge too far. So this year, we hopefully will get there and dry them out and grind it into something, and see if we can figure out a use for it.

Matt Baum:
See what it does, basically?

Paul Harney:
Yeah. It’s been fun. It’s been a great project and we’re definitely enthusiastic about it. And we’re fully involved in all aspects of it. We’re out there planting ourselves and all that sort of stuff, so it’s been a fun ride so far.

Mike Harney:
Actually, we just did a video we’ll have to send to you where it’s a planting from last week.

Matt Baum:
Oh yeah, please. I’ll add that to the post. Definitely.

Mike Harney:
But yeah, so you’ll find that fun.

Matt Baum:
That’d be a riot, yeah.

Mike Harney:
Paul, I know you’ve got it.

Matt Baum:
Definitely. That’d be…

Mike Harney:
It’s got Paul. It’s got a little surprise thing with Paul in there. I don’t want to ruin it for you.

Matt Baum:
It’s family friendly though, right?

Paul Harney:
We don’t want to ruin it for you. You’re going to have to watch the video.

Matt Baum:
This podcast is PG-13, so as long as it’s family friendly.

Mike Harney:
And you’re going to do a TikTok, right, Paul?

Paul Harney:
Yeah, we’ve got a TikTok. Everybody’s got a TikTok going. We can’t get mad, just get our TikTok going.

Matt Baum:
Sure. You and all the K-pop kids, right?

Mike Harney:
That’s it, man.

Matt Baum:
So real quick, and I’m sorry if I’m dwelling on this root thing too much, are there other tea plants out there where you literally take the leaves and grind up the root to add to tea?

Mike Harney:
Not for tea because it’s a perennial.

Paul Harney:
Right.

Matt Baum:
Oh, because it’s going to come back.

Mike Harney:
You don’t want to get rid of it. Yeah, next year’s crop.

Matt Baum:
That makes sense.

Mike Harney:
You just want a handful.

Paul Harney:
But ginger, right? Ginger’s certainly…

Matt Baum:
Sure.

Mike Harney:
But you don’t use the top of ginger to my knowledge. I mean, I don’t know. You’re from Wisconsin, so you would know more about it. I don’t know.

Matt Baum:
I don’t think you do. I think really, it’s just ginger root.

Paul Harney:
Yeah.

Matt Baum:
Like ginseng is the same thing. They really don’t use the plant for anything.

Mike Harney:
Yeah. So that’s what I mean. So we’re going to find that out. But I mean…

Paul Harney:
We’ll report back, man.

Matt Baum:
Yeah.

Mike Harney:
Bill will report back.

Matt Baum:
I’m real curious about that. That sounds really interesting.

Mike Harney:
A crop report, we’ll give you a crop report.

Paul Harney:
Rather than a crap.

The future of The Hemp Division’s CBD teas

Matt Baum:
What’s the plan going forward for the hemp division? What comes next?

Paul Harney:
That’s the plan is, to get this harvest through and to see what sort of other products we can come up with, but we’ve got a couple more sleep teas coming out. And we’ve got one called Boom. It’s got a little chocolate and coconut in it for you.

Matt Baum:
Oh, that sounds nice.

Paul Harney:
That’s a nice one. Mike came up with the name, he’s a namer.

Matt Baum:
Dumb question. How do you do the chocolate without it melting?

Mike Harney:
That’s what I said, yeah.

Paul Harney:
I don’t know.

Mike Harney:
Paul, you came up with it.

Paul Harney:
You came up with the name.

Matt Baum:
I’m not a tea guy, so I have no clue.

Mike Harney:
I’m a tea guy, I have no clue.

Matt Baum:
We put some chocolate in the bag and it melts into you tea.

Paul Harney:
That’s it. That’s pretty much it.

Matt Baum:
Really?

Paul Harney:
You put one of those Hershey kisses in there, that’s it.

Matt Baum:
Yeah, sure. Guys, thank you so much. It’s been great. I appreciate your time.

Paul Harney:
Right, Matt. That’s great.

Mike Harney:
Thanks, Matt.

Matt Baum:
And this time it’s going to work. It’s going to work, we’ve got it.

Mike Harney:
We’re with you, buddy.

Matt Baum:
And if not, I’ll fly out and make it worth your time.

Paul Harney:
There you go.

Mike Harney:
You can help plant.

Matt Baum:
That sounds good.

Mike Harney:
We’ll get you that video.

Matt Baum:
Excellent.

Final thoughts from Matt

Matt Baum:
As always, there will be links to Harney & Sons Tea Company in the show notes for this episode. Also, at Ministry of Hemp, we believe that an accessible world is a better world for all, so you can find a complete written transcript of this episode there too.

Matt Baum:
I just want to say a huge thanks again to Mike and Paul for being so easy and fun to talk to, and thank you to you for downloading this show, and I hope you’re enjoying it. And if you’ve got questions, criticisms, or maybe a subject you want to hear about call me. 402-819-6417, that is the Ministry of Hemp Google Voice line and you can leave a message there. Ask any question you would like and I will answer it on this show. Typically, I do that with help from Kit O’Connell, he is the editor in chief of ministryofhemp.com. And I’ve been poking and prodding my buddy, Drew to come on one of these Q&A shows too, so I bet we’re going to get her on next time as well, but we love to answer your questions. Please give us a call. And if you don’t want to call, email me directly, [email protected] That’s M-A-T-T. I’m not cool enough to spell it with one T.

Matt Baum:
Speaking of ministryofhemp.com, get over there right now and you can check out an article we have up on CBD bath products. It’s our Six Best CBD Bath Bombs and Soaks. These are super popular and they are an amazing way to relax after a stressful day. You drop the bath bomb in hot water, the CBD releases into the water, you get in and you soak it in. It is wonderful. Like I mentioned in the beginning of the show, there will also be links to the story about hemp masks and where you can get those. And if that’s not enough, you can find us at all your favorite social media sites, \ministryofhemp, @MinistryofHemp.

Matt Baum:
And if you really want to make a difference and help us out, go check us out at patreon\ministryofhemp and become a Ministry of Hemp insider. You will get access to podcast extras, to early articles, to bonus articles that don’t even make it to the site. And this week’s extra is actually going to be a video extra. We talked about it in the interview that I had with the Harney brothers. It’s them planting and it is a pretty hilarious video, but it’s also cool just to see how grass roots this organization is. So please head over to Patreon and become a Ministry of Hemp insider. I cannot stress how much it helps us in spreading the good word of hemp.

Matt Baum:
But that’s it, we’re done here. I’ve got to get out of here and I like to end the show the same way every time by saying remember to take care of yourself, take care of others and make good decisions, will you? This is Matt Baum with the Ministry of Hemp, signing off.

A tin of Cinnamon Spice CBD tea from Harney & Son's The Hemp Division, posed with oranges and cinnamon sticks.
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Matt Baum has been hosting, producing, and editing podcasts for almost ten years. He's been a touring musician, chef, journalist, and avid comic book fan for as long as he can remember. Currently, Matt lives in Omaha Nebraska with his wife Kacie and pugs Mable and Bobo.

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