Podcast

Franny Tacy, The First Woman To Farm Hemp in North Carolina

Franny Tacy, The First Woman To Farm Hemp in North Carolina
Ministry of Hemp Podcast

 
 
00:00 / 00:36:00
 
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Franny Tacy is a remarkable person who began in the pharmaceutical industry before becoming the first woman to legally grow hemp in North Carolina.

In this episode of the Ministry of Hemp Podcast, our host Matt talks with Franny Tacy. Franny is the founder of Franny’s Farm where she grows hemp for products sold in her multiple Franny’s Farmacy locations and online. This is the second part of our ongoing Women in Hemp series of interviews.

First, Matt discusses the future of multi-use hemp varietals and what they could mean for farmers and the environment. Thanks to Let’s Talk Hemp for the scoop.

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This episode of the Ministry of Hemp podcast is brought to you by Hatshe.com. Be sure to check out their full line of topical CBD products to help active people with recovery and doing more of what they love.

For a limited time, Ministry of Hemp listeners can enter the code hemp15 at checkout to receive 15% off your Hatshe purchase.

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Photo: Seen from behind, a visitor to Franny's Farm spreads her arms expansively as she surveys her North Carolina, hemp farm and its young hemp plants.
Franny Tacy was the first woman to grow hemp in North Carolina. (Photo: Franny’s Farmacy / Facebook)

Talking with Franny Tacy: Complete episode transcript

Matt Baum: The Ministry of Hemp Podcast is brought to you by Hatshe. With a full line of CBD topicals that are designed to help you keep doing the things that you love to do, this female athlete owned company not only promises very high quality CBD and all their products, but they also work with local nonprofits to constantly evaluate their manufacturing waste stream, their packaging, shipping methods, and their ingredient sources. Go to H-A-T-S-H-E.com, that’s hatshe.com, and use the code hemp15 for 15% off for all of our Ministry of Hemp listeners in their online shop. Again, that’s hatshe.com, H-A-T-S-H-E.com, and use the code hemp15.

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.

The promise of multi-use hemp

Matt Baum: I talk a lot about farms on the show and we’re going to talk to another farmer today, but one of the reasons is because that’s where hemp comes from, and it’s important that we have a good starting place. Of course, at Ministry of Hemp we encourage everyone to use the best of organic farming practices mixed with modern farming practices when they make sense and they make a better plant, and they’re better for the soil, of course. One of the things I’ve been asking a lot of farmers and people producing hemp products is the idea of a multifaceted hemp plant. One that’s not just used for CBD, but one plant that can be used several different ways. For the flower, for the hurd and fiber, and for the grains even.

I get a newsletter in my email from a site called LetsTalkHemp.com. It’s a great site. You should check them out. In their latest newsletter there was a link to an article by Steven Hoffman where he is talking about predictions for hemp and the hemp industry in 2020, and one of them touches on this very subject, and that is using the whole plant. According to this article, in the coming decade, we’ll see a focus move beyond CBD to the whole hemp plant.

This is a quote from Marysia Morawska, a horticulture educator at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, and she says, “I think a lot of farmers are going to realize the cannabis plant is not a CBD plant. What we’re going to see is a movement toward a trifecta or even a quad usage plant, so something that’s utilized for the hurd, for the fiber, for the flower, and for the grain. And once we realize what those genetics are, we’ll end up realizing that each region specifically has growing styles that will be differentiated by the genetics of that region, and we’ll move into a place where processing will include not just CBD.”

Basically what she’s talking about is developing a hemp plant that does all of the above. It’s a plant that be used for CBD, can be used to make hempcrete, like we talked about a couple of weeks ago on the show, it can be used for hemp seeds for eating and hemp oil for cooking. A multifaceted hemp plant that farmers can sell not just to one supplier, but to four suppliers. It’s an amazing idea.

Before we get all cringy about the whole idea of genetic modification, this is probably the future of hemp. Already legal farmers all over the United States are choosing hybrids that work best in their region to grow the type of hemp plant they want. Whether it’s one that is high in CBD and low in THC, or high in fiber for textiles or hempcrete. Currently the vast amount of hemp grown legally in this country is grown for CBD, and like we’ve also discussed, there is a CBD bubble that is going to burst. When it does, farmers are going to need to look for a hemp plant that they can do more than just produce CBD flower with. That’s where this idea comes in, and I think it’s one of the most exciting things about hemp and its future on American farms.

CBD is great, don’t get me wrong. I use it every day. But there is so much more that hemp can do, from textiles to plastics to woods and even concrete. Now just imagine if you could develop one hemp hybrid that can supply all of that in one plant. I don’t know that there’s another crop out there that would be that versatile. Not just for farmers at the marketplace, but also for our environment.

There’s agriculture scientists that are hard at work right now developing this multi-use hemp plant, and it is coming and soon. Maybe not this year, but hopefully. And when it does show up, it will be the farmers that have to grow it. So in the meantime, we’re going to keep talking to them on this show. In fact, we’re going to talk to one of the busiest farmers I have ever met in my life today.

Meet Franny Tacy

Matt Baum: We’ve been running a series in the show about women in the hemp industry, and I’m talking to a pretty amazing one today. Her name is Franny Tacy, and she represents not only Franny’s Farm, but Franny’s Farmacy. She has been a firefighter, a pharmacy rep, a teacher, a world traveler, a hemp farmer, and a friend to some of the cutest goats you will ever see.

I spoke with Franny from her farm in Leicester, North Carolina, just outside of Asheville. And if you haven’t been to Asheville, it’s absolutely gorgeous, and the countryside is unreal. If you’re a child of the ’90s you might remember the TV show Dawson’s Creek, and it just happened to be filmed in and around Asheville if you’d like to see what I’m talking about.

So I was looking at your website a little bit ago and you call yourself the Hippie in High Heels. Lay that out for me real quick before we go into your origin story.

Franny Tacy: Okay. I worked in pharmaceuticals for 12 years, and that’s what the doctors called me. That was my nickname throughout the pharmaceutical industry. I was a specialty rep in respiratory sales.

Matt Baum: Okay.

Franny Tacy: I did training and marketing. That’s where a lot of my business experience and all the stuff, we have our own manufacturing for our product line, where a lot of my experience came from.

Matt Baum: Okay. Where did the farm come from? That sounds like from a very young age you were a farm kid.

Franny Tacy: Yeah, my dad was a farmer. My parents divorced when I was really young. So I’ve got my dad who was a cattle farmer, grew up riding horses, and my mom was super big time corporate business woman. She worked in the financial world.

Matt Baum: And you ended up taking a little bit of both of their magic and turning it into what you do now, Franny’s Farmacy, basically.

Franny Tacy: Yes. I’m the middle child. Three girls.

Matt Baum: All right, that explains it.

Franny Tacy: So I’m the typical middle child. Nobody knew who I was or where I was, but I was always doing something mischievous.

Matt Baum: Gotcha, gotcha.

Franny Tacy: Or adventurous. Because I was very curious.

From firefighting to North Carolina hemp farming

Matt Baum: So tell me your origin story. You grew up on the farm, you went into pharmaceuticals, you went back to the farm, and now you were involved in CBD. Tell me your origin story. How does this happen?

Franny Tacy: Well, by the time you get to 50, most people have done a lot. But I hear I’ve had a few lifetimes. So yeah, I mean, I grew up. I always wanted a farm from the time I was little because I grew up on a farm and loved that. So in college, I have a family full of engineers and Episcopal ministers, and I went to ag school, which was unheard of.

Matt Baum: Okay.

Franny Tacy: Then transferred into forestry, and I have a biology degree. I worked in forestry, I lived in the woods, I’ve been in every national park, camped for months. All this stuff. I am just a nature mama. That was my family’s nickname for me.

Matt Baum: Were you like a forest ranger when you say forestry?

Franny Tacy: Yeah!

Matt Baum: Really?

Franny Tacy: I was the first female firefighter in Idaho.

Matt Baum: Oh wow.

Franny Tacy: Yeah, in 1990.

Matt Baum: Oh my God.

Franny Tacy: Yeah. That was just not that long ago. I know. Yeah.

Matt Baum: Wow.

Franny Tacy: Isn’t that crazy. So that’s when I lived out West. Then when you have a $40,000 forestry degree, at some point you’re like, oh, I need to do something. So I went back and got a master’s in education.

Matt Baum: Okay.

Franny Tacy: Teaching is not the way to do that, but I loved teaching. I did six years in teaching and have a masters. Smithsonian Institute Scholarship for teaching with the brain in mind, was what I was working on in my PhD when I got into pharmaceuticals.

So now we’ve got all the things. Our lifetime is always what brings us to this. So in pharmaceuticals, I was called the Hippie in High Heels, the Anti-Drug Rep. The more and more I was involved in that industry, and being like a really big health freak that I am, it afforded me the opportunity to get out of college debt, buy my farm, and get out of that industry.

Matt Baum: That’s amazing.

Franny Tacy: So my story is pharma, P-H-A-R-M-A, to farm, and now to Farmacy. So we had the farm seven years ago, before hemp was even on the radar.

Matt Baum: Okay.

Franny Tacy: I was teaching. My hobby has always been farming. So I got city chickens in the ordinance in Asheville, because I wanted to raise my own chickens. That was before their farm. I worked with farmer’s markets, and all my best friends and hobbies was farming.

Matt Baum: Sure.

Franny Tacy: That’s what I did.

Matt Baum: Sure.

Franny Tacy: I cooked, I had a garden, a city garden, and fed 19 people. Finally, I mean my whole neighborhood, as much as I fed them, they were very thrilled that I finally got my farm. They’re like, out of here!

Got the farm, and I was teaching business of farming classes. And that is when, for the state of North Carolina, we farmers, all collectively, gathered together to figure out how we could grow hemp. North Carolina was the 11th state that came online with an industrial hemp pilot program. It’s the only state that was funded by farmers. Our state would not back us with money.

Matt Baum: Of course.

Franny Tacy: The farmers here in this state gathered together to raise $200,000, put together plans and everything so that we could grow.

Matt Baum: Yeah. Something very similar is happening in Nebraska, where I’m from.

Franny Tacy: You know, people dog politics a lot, but this was a really good situation. It was one of those at like 11:58 it passed at night, and we got the call the next day, and we’ve been working on this for like almost two years.

Matt Baum: Okay.

The first woman hemp farmer in North Carolina

Franny Tacy: So you get to the point where you’re like, whoa, we’ve got to grow now? We’ve got three weeks. It should be in the ground. Where are we going to get it? It’s illegal. So thus begins a whole other story of how I became the first female farmer in to plant hemp. Which I didn’t even know until after eight months after I planted it.

Matt Baum: So before we get into that, how did you get to hemp? You said you loved farming and you were very outdoorsy. How did you find hemp? What was your first experience with that?

Franny Tacy: Well, I’ve always been a supporter of cannabis in and what that plant can do, everything from fiber and food, for a long, long, long, long time, and very into plant medicine and herbs. It just makes sense to me. It just always made sense.

I knew the story. I mean, “The Emperor Wears No Clothes.” All this stuff came to me decades ago when I was out West. So it’s not like I had this epiphany like a lot of people now that have what I quote hemp fever.

Matt Baum: Right.

Franny Tacy: They’re like, I’m going to grow hemp. I’ve always been a supporter of it, and I’m a huge supporter of agro economy throughout the US. I love history and science, and it just fits. We need to return. I’m so passionate about what this plant can do for our economy and for farmers across the country.

Matt Baum: Okay. How much hemp are you growing on the farm right now?

Franny Tacy: So right now we’re in our third year and a lot is transitioned. I’m super proud, this was a huge goal. And a growing and agro economy is supporting now seven other farms that grow for us with our standards.

Matt Baum: That’s awesome. That is awesome.

Franny Tacy: Which is so amazing. I mean, it’s a lot of responsibility.

Matt Baum: How does that work, though? Did they find you, or did you go find the farms?

Franny Tacy: They found us.

Matt Baum: Okay.

Franny Tacy: I mean, I had about 800 applicants for people that want to meet the criteria in a work and grow, and there’s a lot of it. Region is one thing. We’ve put these farms under an NC state research program. So at our own farm right now, because we were already an established farm, we were an agrotourism farm. We had gardens and animals and goat yoga. We were on Vice TV and Lodging. I’ve kind of evolved the hemp for us to fit the model of our business plan here. So we grow about a quarter of an acre now.

Matt Baum: Okay.

Franny Tacy: We do different varietal trials with Front Range Biosciences and Triangle Hemp. We have a hemp history tour. We do workshops. People can come and learn. I do a ton of consulting. And this is become the hub for us doing our clone research and a bunch of other things to support these other farms.

Matt Baum: This is nowhere near just a farm. You’re a full on like education system, it sounds like.

Franny Tacy: Oh, listen. If you can dream it, you can achieve it, they say. Right? Well, I’m such a dreamer.

Matt Baum: I can’t believe how much time. How do you make this work? You have a farm, you’re teaching classes, you do goat yoga. You know?

Franny Tacy: I mean, we have three people that live and work on the farm.

Matt Baum: Okay.

Franny Tacy: I mean, it’s my passion. So I do this 24/7, even in my sleep in a lot of ways.

Matt Baum: I believe it. I believe it.

Franny Tacy: Started with really amazing women, a Women In Hemp nonprofit, which we use different fundraising and awareness and educational events to raise money to fund female researchers at NC State that are doing all the data collection and trials and so forth on our farms.

So there’s a lot of moving parts, but it’s so much collaboration.

Matt Baum: Yeah. So not only are you trying to do it right and you’re going for it the right way, but you’re doing it with lady power too. That’s awesome. I like that.

Franny Tacy: Yeah.

Matt Baum: That’s very cool.

Franny Tacy: I mean, that’s the reason I was chosen as a featured farmer for Hemp History Week last year in 2018. Not because I grow the biggest bud or because any one thing I do great, I just am an advocate for this industry and have helped in collaborations with data and research, because I’m kind of a science nerd from pharmaceuticals and all that stuff.

Matt Baum: Right. Right.

Franny Tacy: Just connecting and collaborating. That’s how we do it, with a lot of muscle and brain power.

Growing better hemp & making quality CBD

Matt Baum: So tell me about your hemp that you’re growing. You said you have standards and whatnot. What are you trying to grow and what are you using it for? What are you doing with the hemp?

Franny Tacy: So we’re vertically integrated, because when you’re first, there’s nobody to call for help. You’ve got to figure it all out.

Matt Baum: Yeah. Hey guys, you’ve got to do it yourself.

Franny Tacy: So that’s what we did. We have manufacturing and we have distribution. In our manufacturing, we have 50 different products right now.

Matt Baum: Oh my God.

Franny Tacy: Yeah, and [inaudible 00:16:02] we have a GMP, good manufacturing practices manufacturing plant, and we’re actually about to launch a public offering so that people can buy stock in that, and we’re going to expand it. We’re running 24/7 right now.

Matt Baum: Wow.

Franny Tacy: But how this ties into the hemp growing? That’s a really great opportunity if people are looking into it. There’s a lot of opportunities for farmers and for industry and business folks, and people that love it, but just want to support it from the outside.

So with the different breeders we’re working with, and we believe in working with breeders, don’t get your clones from mojo next door.

Matt Baum: Right.

Franny Tacy: There’s a lot to that.

Matt Baum: You know exactly what you are getting, basically. You can say I want it bred like this and I want it to do this, and you know exactly what you’re getting.

Franny Tacy: Well, we want the consistency for data, and how are these going to do in this area? So with Triangle Hemp, we use BaOx. And just theirs, not anybody’s. Just want to know that their genetics as the baseline for our products.

Matt Baum: Real quick, what is BaOx? I don’t know what that means.

Franny Tacy: BaOx is a hemp variety that’s grown for cannabinoid production.

Matt Baum: Okay. Gotcha.

Franny Tacy: So that’s where the CBD oils come from. We send that through extraction.

Matt Baum: Okay.

Franny Tacy: Then depending on what product it goes into, there’s different ways. Most of our products contain full spectrum, they’re used with a distillate.

Then we also, in all our dispensary’s, we have two corporate stores. But we franchise, so we have other business owners and will have 10 stores, six now, 10 by the end of first quarter.

Matt Baum: Is that all in North Carolina, or is it up and down the coast?

Franny Tacy: It’s North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Connecticut. Soon to be Connecticut and Florida.

Matt Baum: Wow.

Franny Tacy: Yeah. So there’s franchise opportunities as well.

Matt Baum: So and someone comes to you and they say, I like what you’re doing, I want to franchise, and you oversee it?

Franny Tacy: Yeah.

Matt Baum: That’s amazing.

Franny Tacy: And we’ve got it all dialed out. Here’s the plan, here we are, and I’m at every grand opening. So I’m excited about getting to travel, see some new places, and enjoy the towns and the people.

Matt Baum: Definitely. So, okay, you’ve got a thing on your website that says from farm to farmacy, which I love that. That’s fantastic.

Franny Tacy: Yes.

Matt Baum: I have a feeling you have some marketing background too, because you’re really good at this from what I can tell.

Franny Tacy: Well, thank you.

Vertical integration in hemp

Matt Baum: But explain that to me, your process, how you guys go from the farm to Franny’s Farmacy?

Franny Tacy: So like I was saying, vertical integration. So we take all of our hemp that’s grown everywhere, biomass goes into super sacks that goes to our processor. Then Front Range Biosciences is who we’re working with for all our top cut varietal trials, which is smokable flower, the buds.

Matt Baum: Right.

Franny Tacy: Then the trim from that that’s used in pre-rolls and all that type of stuff. We have a lot of genetic trials going on. It all goes through processing, always under the Franny’s watch, and then it goes into our manufacturing.

So we have different forms of it that is used through manufacturing. We have our topical division of manufacturing, then we have our edible division of manufacturing. And that’s where the expansion is going. Then we have our distribution center. We ship to every state in the country. We’re drop shipping. We white label, private label, about to break into some international markets finally.

Matt Baum: Oh wow.

Franny Tacy: That’s been a super long process.

Matt Baum: That’s impressive.

Franny Tacy: Yes. So our distribution center is where everything comes out of when you’re doing online orders. I love going in distribution. There’s boxes of products and foam.

Matt Baum: Oh yeah.

Franny Tacy: All the excitement.

Matt Baum: Just pure insanity.

Franny Tacy: That’s where everything ships out to all our dispensary’s. It is the hub. That’s like a big heartbeat there. There’s a lot going on. Then we have all our stores. So that’s how she goes. Vertical integration.

So our product is going all the way through that. So me and the NC State researchers are taking it from the farm processing.

Matt Baum: Sure. Do your stores only carry Franny’s Farmacy stuff, or do you carry other brands as well?

Franny Tacy: We carry other brands that are not competitive with ours.

Matt Baum: Okay, so they’re doing something different.

Franny Tacy: So we have our Franny’s Farmacy tincture, we wouldn’t carry something else. You know?

Matt Baum: Sure.

Franny Tacy: One of our alchemists also has a vape line, so we use some of their products. We’ve got a lot of the edibles and foods. When you go in our dispensaries, it’s like a hug. It’s a market.

Matt Baum: Yeah.

Franny Tacy: So you can get food and you can get other things. So there are some products that are not ours.

Supporting international hemp farmers

Matt Baum: Okay. Any textile stuff?

Franny Tacy: But mostly they are our proprietary hemp, blends. Yes.

Matt Baum: Any textile stuff, like clothes or hats or anything?

Franny Tacy: We have hemp hats.

Matt Baum: Oh, cool.

Franny Tacy: And right now that’s really, really a passion of mine. I’ll be in China for a few weeks this summer.

Matt Baum: Wow.

Franny Tacy: Visiting Patagonia and Astral Farms. So I’m a spokesperson or representative for several hemp lines that are really into the fiber. I just got my Astral shoes that are hemp boots to wear in Cuba. I leave for Cuba in a few days.

Matt Baum: Oh my God, I am so jealous.

Franny Tacy: We’ll be visiting 17 farms, 10 to 17 farms there we have on the agenda with the videographer and really understanding more agro economy, that’s what feeds our world.

Matt Baum: Yeah.

Franny Tacy: Not industrial agriculture. So between Peru and Cuba and all these places, it’s still building that. We are all connected. We all are human.

Matt Baum: Absolutely.

Franny Tacy: Food is one of the things that binds us.

Matt Baum: Tell me about Peru. You just got back from Peru. What were you doing there?

Franny Tacy: Oh, I spent three weeks in bliss of exploration, adventure, many amazing farmers. So I spent some time with farmers that were in the jungle and in the mountains.

Matt Baum: Wow.

Franny Tacy: Then seeing how community, the food brings everybody together, the market, and all that in the cities, casting a web of interconnecting agro economy, culture, food, and farming.

Matt Baum: Let me ask you. In a place like Peru, obviously this is pretty new in the States and we’re getting it figured out right now, what is hemp farming like in Peru? Is it friendlier? Is it looser? I mean, I assume it’s something that’s been going on for awhile.

Franny Tacy: No.

Matt Baum: Really?

Franny Tacy: Absolutely not.

Matt Baum: No kidding?

Franny Tacy: No. When I went there, there was actually an international hemp symposium that was not actually right in Peru, but outside of that. It is being grown in certain areas, but it is heavily guarded right now. It is not mainstream at all.

Matt Baum: Really?

Franny Tacy: There is a lot of confusion in there about how hemp is different from marijuana.

Matt Baum: No kidding? I don’t know why that is so shocking, but, I mean, yeah.

Franny Tacy: I know, because everybody thinks there’s like Rastas and there’s all this stuff.

Matt Baum: Right.

Franny Tacy: But it is still very, very, very much like we experience here.

Matt Baum: So it’s like hemp in North Dakota, basically.

Franny Tacy: As I’ve been along the educational highway, people just don’t know or understand and they assume it’s marijuana.

Matt Baum: Right.

Franny Tacy: So they’ve got some things to address before it really becomes mainstream.

Matt Baum: Really?

Franny Tacy: A huge interest there is on the food side of it, and it’s very, very interesting.

Matt Baum: So what about Cuba? What is Cuba like? Is it any looser there? Or what do you expect when you go to Cuba?

Franny Tacy: I am trying to be completely present and completely open to ask these questions, and they’re such good questions. Maybe we’ll get to have another discussion after.

Matt Baum: I would love to.

Franny Tacy: But I’m trying not to predict. I’ve got the videographer with me and we’re doing the docuseries while we’re there. So I’m there to learn.

Matt Baum: Yeah.

Franny Tacy: On our farm, we actually have Sundaze, D-A-Z-Y, on the farm, and the spring that launches. We do Peruvian meals and we have discussion topics about it, and I’ll share some of the information.

Matt Baum: I’ve got to get down there. This sounds incredible. I have got to get down there.

Franny Tacy: Come on. You are welcome here.

Matt Baum: I would love to. Oh my God.

Franny Tacy: Yeah, January 26 is when we’ll do our one on Peru, and then we’ll do one on Cuba.

Matt Baum: So when you go out and you meet these people, you just come back with more ideas, and better ways to do this, and people that you know in other countries now that you can hook up with and whatnot. Is it literally just a learning, or are you also teaching?

Franny Tacy: Oh, it’s both. It’s learning and teaching, because that’s how it’s supposed to be.

Matt Baum: Of course.

Franny Tacy: Win, win. Like in Peru, all the people that I was talking to, I mean, when it comes to farming too, I know how to butcher any animal on a farm, do [inaudible 00:25:34].

Matt Baum: I believe it.

Franny Tacy: From the kill all the way to the table. I even raise it. I’ve got a wealth of experience. So anything they need help. Laying on a concrete floor for a new pavilion going up. And just talking, just learning. I mean there is so much to figure out. And our Women in Hemp nonprofit is also going global, and there’s a lot of people, and a lot of what I do is talk about women have been written out of agriculture.

Matt Baum: Absolutely.

Franny Tacy: So a lot of my personal passion is finding out the stories, what their parents did, and what their grandparents did, and what was the role? Bringing women back to the face in the light of what they’ve done throughout history, and what they’re doing right now, and trying to find ways to support them and their communities.

Matt Baum: Right on sister. I like it. That’s awesome.

Franny Tacy: But I did not come out and go, oh great, I’ve got it all figured out. It is just like it has been here.

Matt Baum: Well, none of us do. Right. None of us do. We’re all learning, and the more that we learn, the better we get at this. Right?

Franny Tacy: Yeah, and the more you know, the more you don’t know sometimes.

Matt Baum: Absolutely.

Franny Tacy: Sometimes I’m like, I’ve got million more questions.

The future of Franny’s Farmacy

Matt Baum: Let’s go back to Franny’s Farmacy for a minute. What are you most excited about that you guys are doing right now? What’s selling the biggest?

Franny Tacy: Our number one product is the tincture, which people also refer to as the oil, or the drops you put under your tongue. Everybody tries to call it a bunch of things. That’s still our number one selling product. Our number two is our salve, which is insane all the success stories, all the testimonials on that. We sell insane amounts of that, and it’s all hand filled. It’s a very hard one to do systematically through manufacturing.

Matt Baum: I’m sure.

Franny Tacy: That’s part of the reason it’s so popular. But people love, the bath bombs are really popular. Chocolates and gummies and all the smokables.

Matt Baum: Yeah. That seems like something that’s really taken off this year really, smokable CBD and smokable hemp.

Franny Tacy: Yep.

Matt Baum: That seems to be very new.

Franny Tacy: And in North Carolina, we have been in a battle with that.

Matt Baum: I’m sure.

Franny Tacy: And we have dispensaries in South Carolina. I’ve had to stand up in the dispensary when they were shutting them down and pulling flower out of dispensaries without any legal right and say, guess what? I’m right here. I’m right here. We have flower. And I invite the police. You all come in. I’ve invited people to arrest me a ton of times. They don’t do it. I can’t figure out why. It’s probably because it would be way too great of a marketing plan. [crosstalk 00:28:29].

Matt Baum: Yeah. Exactly.

Franny Tacy: You know, a letter has nothing to do with it being legal.

Matt Baum: Right.

Franny Tacy: That’s what was happening in North Carolina and South Carolina. The government sending out letters and making raids that were really illegal. So I challenged it and we’ve never had a pull, but it’s been a real battle here.

Matt Baum: Are you still seeing that, or is it starting to mellow out a little bit?

Franny Tacy: It’s mellowing out a little bit as people are redirecting their focus. Right now, with the holidays and everything, everybody was out of session. They were taking a break. But I assume it’s going to heat back up here at some point.

Matt Baum: I’m sure. I’m sure.

Franny Tacy: Until there’s some type of conclusion.

Matt Baum: Well, we’re in an election year, too, so we’ve got to get out and huff and puff and save the children , right?

Franny Tacy: Exactly. Exactly. It’s an election year. Oh, gracious. [inaudible 00:29:25] for the ride.

Don’t forget the goats

Matt Baum: So completely off topic. Tell me about the goats. I’d see these pictures of the cutest damn goats I have ever seen, and you’re holding them. Tell me about the goats. I love goats.

Franny Tacy: Okay. They are so adorable and so funny. So agrotourism farm, we have farm camp here in the summer. Goats are so personable and funny. So we’ve had goats.

Somebody sent me a link a couple of years ago, three years ago, from it happening in Oregon. So we’re like, all right, well let’s do it. It’ll be fun.

Matt Baum: Yeah.

Franny Tacy: So we had baby goats, we did goat a yoga. Then when it was Halloween we did disgoat yoga, and everybody dressed up in disco outfits.

Matt Baum: Good Lord.

Franny Tacy: We had strobe lights. And they’re little and they’re bouncy, and they’re just like-

Matt Baum: And they love it.

Franny Tacy: They go through all stages. As babies, they fall asleep really quick, and people just pass them around. Then they go through the pinball bouncing phase.

Matt Baum: Right.

Franny Tacy: And then they get older and they just want to run through your legs for a cheese ball when you’re in a warrior position. I call it joyful yoga. It’s fun. It brings people out. Asheville is a huge hit for weddings as a wedding destination. So we have all these groups that come in and they’ll have tee shirts made and all this stuff.

Vice TV was coming to town, actually, on a very interesting subject of gerrymandering.

Matt Baum: Yeah. That’s been in the news a little bit in North Carolina, actually.

Franny Tacy: Yes, there is.

Matt Baum: Little bit.

Franny Tacy: So they were looking for radical smart people, the business people that were also doing crazy things, I guess.

Matt Baum: Right. And they happened to find you.

Franny Tacy: And they happened to find me. I was like, hi, [inaudible 00:31:14]. I was like, I’ll talk to you about politics, and put a goat on your back, and continue to smile. It all changes all the time.

Matt Baum: That is so cool. Are they working goats? Are they in the fields? Are they eating?

Franny Tacy: They actually are working goats, because between goats, sheep, two cows, and a donkey, that’s how we manage all our pasture land is by rotating them. So we have seven rotational pastures.

Matt Baum: That’s the old school way, man. That’s how you do it.

Franny Tacy: Yeah. Goats are browsers. They’re going to eat the brush.

Matt Baum: Right.

Franny Tacy: Sheep and cows are grazers, they’re going to eat the grass. So it helps us manage the land and keep it healthy, and they’re fertilizing it as they go. We’re a completely regenerative farm.

Matt Baum: That is so cool. That is so cool. I’ve got to get down there and see this. This sounds amazing.

Franny Tacy: You do! There’s so much hidden that people couldn’t even know or understand how everything was planted with intention. We have Blueberry Hill. We’ve got bees, a pollinator garden, an agroforestry project. Mulberries around all our pastures because they create a protein rich dense leaf that falls in the leaves, it’s a deciduous, to give our animals a little protein snack before they go into the winner of no grass. We’ve got hay.

Matt Baum: This is amazing. This is absolutely amazing.

Franny Tacy: That really, really goes back to what I did in college, is what I was developing, ecosystem and forest management plans. So I did a logging projects on nine acres of our farm, and created a different habitat for animals, and tulip poplar groves, and walnut groves. Yeah. Oh yeah. It never stops.

Matt Baum: Franny, I can’t decide if you’re a saint or a unicorn, to tell you the truth. You’re amazing. This is incredible.

Franny Tacy: Oh, you’re amazing. We all are amazing.

Matt Baum: Oh, stop. Stop.

Franny Tacy: Everybody is amazing in their own right. It’s just what is their hobby? Mine is thinking about a lot of things at one time.

Matt Baum: I can tell. Thank you so much for your time. This was fantastic. You a very busy woman.

Franny Tacy: Busy doing good things.

Matt Baum: That’s right.

Franny Tacy: Having the time of my life.

Matt Baum: That’s right. Keep it up, sister.

Franny Tacy: Thank you so much.

Matt Baum: We appreciate it.

Franny Tacy: If you need anything, you let me know.

Matt Baum: I absolutely will. Thank you so much, Franny.

Final thoughts from Matt

Matt Baum: As you heard, Franny is an amazing woman doing amazing work in the hemp business. You can find more information about Franny’s Farm, Franny’s Farmacy and their products, and, of course, goat yoga in the show notes for this episode.

That about does it for this episode of Ministry of Hemp Podcast. One final thought on female farmers. They are a group that has grown by 27% in the last five years. That is a pretty impressive number. Do not forget to support your local female farmers.

I hope you dug today’s episode, and if you want to let me know what you thought or you have a hemp related question, you can call me at (402) 819-6417. That is the Ministry of Hemp voice line. Leave your message there and you could have your question answered on a future show. You can also shoot me an email directly to [email protected] with your questions, your comments, or anything you’d like to hear on this show. You can follow the Ministry of Hemp on Twitter, @MinistryofHemp, on Facebook, backslash Ministry of Hemp, and we love to hear from you.

Speaking of ministryofhemp.com, be sure to stop by and sign up for our newsletter so you can get notified about all the cool stories that Kit, our editor in chief, posts over there. He’s got a great one about the FDA and some statements they made on CBD. There’s some really good clarification in there and I highly recommend checking it out.

As always, you can find a complete written transcript of this show in the show notes for this post, because at Ministry of Hemp, we believe a more accessible world is a better world for everybody.

Until next time, 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 Podcast, signing off.

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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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