Hemp Banking and Hemp Crop Insurance

The Ministry of Hemp Podcast
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The Ministry of Hemp Podcast
Hemp Banking and Hemp Crop Insurance
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In episode 13 of the Ministry of Hemp Podcast, we take a look at recent developments in hemp insurance, and ongoing problems around banking and finance for hemp farmers and hemp companies.

First, our host Matt Baum talks to Clark Wu, cannabis attorney, about why banks are still hesitant to handle hemp profits. Then, Matt talks with Jonathan Miller, General Counsel at the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, about developments in crop insurance for hemp farmers and what it means to the financial stability of the hemp industry.

We want to hear from you too. Send us your questions and you might hear them answered on future shows like this one! Send us your written questions to us on TwitterFacebook, email matt@ministryofhemp.com, or call us and leave a message at 402-819-6417. Keep in mind that phone number is for hemp questions only and any other inquiries for Ministry of Hemp should be sent to info@ministryofhemp.com.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Ministry of Hemp Podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast app. If you really want to help us out, we’d love for you to rate or review the show.

Thanks again for listening! Contact sales@ministryofhemp.com if you’re interested in sponsoring our podcast or other content on our website.

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Win Charlotte's Web CBD Oil for Dogs in this Ministry of Hemp giveaway. Photo: Charlotte's Web CBD Oil for Dogs posed with a leash, dog biscuit and tennis ball.
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More resources: Hemp farming and the hemp industry

Here’s some other articles we’ve published about hemp farming, hemp legalization, and the hemp industry:

In the Ministry of Hemp podcast we talked about hemp insurance and issues around banking and hemp. Photo: A man and woman meet with a bearded financial advisor in a suit in an office. Between them is a desk with a laptop and a cactus in a coffee mug. The two men are shaking hands.
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In the Ministry of Hemp podcast we talked about hemp insurance and issues around banking and hemp.

Hemp insurance and banking with hemp: Complete episode transcript

Below you’ll find the entire written transcript for this episode:

Matt Baum: 00:03 Welcome to the Ministry of Hemp podcast. My name is Matt Baum. I’m your host, and today we’re going to talk about money. If you’ve been paying attention, then you’ve probably heard that hemp is the new go-to cash crop for American farmers. It’s going to save American farmers. It’s going to change the way they do business and that’s true. It probably is going to change a lot of things, but right now the single biggest impediment to hemp farmers, to hemp businesses, to anybody that wants to do anything in the hemp industry, is moving your money around.

Matt Baum: 00:41 While the 2018 Farm Bill made hemp legal to grow in all 50 states, there are still some states fighting this like Idaho and South Dakota, and it may never be legal there the way that they’re going, but it is legal just about everywhere else and a lot of states are writing their own hemp programs right now. The biggest issue at the moment, big American banking doesn’t trust hemp. It sees an industry that is not fully regulated, that is currently in its infancy and just not worth putting their money behind. But there are some people that are working to change that, and today we’re going to talk to two of them.

Talking hemp law with Clark Wu

Matt Baum: 01:29 Meet Clark Wu.

Clark Wu: 01:30 Well, my name is Clark Wu. I’m a cannabis attorney with Rose Law Group here in Scottsdale, Arizona. We’ve been with the medical marijuana industry here since its infancy.

Matt Baum: 01:41 Clark and his partners have been fighting the good fight for a long time and he sat down to talk about the problems with banking and hemp in America.

Clark Wu: 01:51 We were a big part of the movements as well as the legislation that led to the medical marijuana program here. And we’ve also been with the hemp program here since its infancy. So we’re very connected in the industry, not just in Arizona but across the United States. We work regularly with cannabis clients in the medical marijuana industry as well as hemp clients and helping them resolve the various issues that’s associated with it.

Matt Baum: 02:16 So right now Arizona seems to be… I’ve talked to a couple of lawyers that are from Arizona and it seems to be a hotbed for you guys. Why is that? And why Arizona?

Clark Wu: 02:28 Yeah, there’s a lot of things going on here, which is very exciting stuff. We currently just wrote out our own hemp program in about June or early July of this year. Because of that, we’re finally rolling out industrial hemp licenses, which allows individuals in the hemp industry to grow, cultivate and sell hemp here now in the States. Well, the program is very new, but at the same time it’s been a very big development. It’s been a long time coming and we’re excited about that. And the backdrop of that, we also have legislation pushing for adult use. Now that bill is still in its early stages, so it’s yet to be seen what will come from that, but various exciting developments, nonetheless.

Matt Baum: 03:13 So is this hemp or hemp and cannabis?

Clark Wu: 03:16 Hemp and cannabis.

Matt Baum: 03:17 Oh really?

Clark Wu: 03:18 Yeah. So, we have a hemp program which just rolled out. We have our new Hemp Bill that came out earlier this year, around May or so, that’s when the rules first went into place, which established the hemp program here. But also, at the same time, we now have adult use legislation that’s running through our legislature, so hopefully we’ll see something come out of that as well.

Hemp and the war on drugs

Matt Baum: 03:41 Now, this is a little off topic from what we’re going to be talking about, but-

Clark Wu: 03:43 Of course.

Matt Baum: 03:44 … this is interesting and I want to get a little more of it. Let me ask you, is the cannabis coming hand in hand with it because the state realizes that it’s going to be very difficult to only legalize one without the other?

Clark Wu: 04:00 There might be a component of that. One is just… Since the Hemp Bill went into effect last year, the 2018 Federal Hemp Bill which legalized hemp across the United States, it created this huge gray area, because if you look at it from a practical standpoint, what’s the difference between hemp and marijuana? They all fall under the cannabis company.

Matt Baum: 04:23 Right.

Clark Wu: 04:24 And the only real distinction is the level of THC that’s involved in these plants. But if you’re looking at it from the outside, from someone that’s not in the industry, you can’t tell the difference.

Matt Baum: 04:35 You’re looking at a leaf, basically.

Clark Wu: 04:37 Yeah. And because of that it’s… Yeah, definitely. You’re looking at the same plant. It all looks like weed, so to speak. And because of that, there’s been issues around the United States in terms of how states are implementing their hemp programs because the Federal government, it kind of left it up to each state to determine how they want to enact their own hemp program. But there’s so much confusion right now in terms of the implementation of the hemp programs, how to deal with medical marijuana, in connection with that and how it’s treated as a whole. So, I think a lot of this legislation that’s popping up, well, one, it’s a movement that’s been coming for some time.

Matt Baum: 05:15 Right.

Clark Wu: 05:15 And two, it’s an effort to kind of reconcile all these legal gray areas and zones that’s been created by the new legislation that’s been rolling out this past year or so.

Matt Baum: 05:25 Now, I’m not a lawyer, obviously, that’s why I’m talking to you, but it would seem to me that legalizing marijuana takes care of 100% of the issues that you would also have with hemp. You don’t have to worry about the confusion. You don’t have to worry about transport. I mean, you just basically have to make sure this is marked as hemp and this is marked as marijuana. Right?

Clark Wu: 05:48 That would definitely resolve a lot of these issues. That would make my job a lot easier. So-

Matt Baum: 05:55 So, this is job security, right now, is what you’re saying.

Clark Wu: 05:58 Yeah.

Hemp banking and credit card processing

Matt Baum: 05:58 Okay. Well, that’s good. I’m just glad you’re working. Now, Clark, one of the biggest problems that is affecting hemp growers and hemp resellers is that electronic payment processors and banks don’t want to deal with hemp money because they’re terrified of the same stuff we’re talking about with the legalization and how it’s going to work. What are you guys working on right now to… I don’t even know… Like, not de-stigmatize, but get them to even consider taking these payments, I guess, is the right term.

Clark Wu: 06:34 Yeah. I guess, before we get there, we have to understand what the problem is and why are banks so hesitant to… or, the financial industry, why are they still hesitant to get involved with the hemp industry?

Matt Baum: 06:47 So let me ask you that-

Clark Wu: 06:47 What are the-

Matt Baum: 06:48 …. for your opinion. What do you think is… Why are they so hesitant? What’s the biggest problem?

Clark Wu: 06:51 Yeah. Well, the biggest problem has to deal with two types of legislation. One is the federal money laundering statutes that have to deal with cannabis. So, under these statutes that states that any transaction involving the proceeds of the manufacture, distribution or sale of marijuana to be illegal, even though the transactions are legal within the states or the county, which then incur such as medical marijuana programs and the various states where they’re illegal.

Clark Wu: 07:20 And the second part of that is banking regulations. Under current federal banking regulations, they prohibit what’s called depository institutions, which are FDIC insured banks, thrifts and credit unions from entering into financial transactions or accepting account relationships involving illegal proceeds. And in addition to that, the US Department of Treasury requires any transaction with illegal marijuana proceeds to be reported by following a suspicious activity report with the federal government.

Matt Baum: 07:54 Good Lord.

Clark Wu: 07:55 Yeah, yeah.

The 2018 Farm Bill and hemp banking

Matt Baum: 07:57 So, in a nutshell, it’s legal. Don’t worry about it. The Farm Bill made it all legal, but there’s still all these other rules. Why does the Farm Bill not supersede this stuff? That’s what I don’t understand.

Clark Wu: 08:09 So here’s the thing. So under the Hemp Bill, hemp is now legalized, which is… Oh, and that is true, and you would think that pursuant to that, banks would be more open towards working with cannabis-related companies, or I mean hemp companies. However, the issue comes with a huge risk in liabilities still with working in the hemp industry because under the law, the only distinction between hemp, which is now legal and marijuana, which is still a controlled substance, is the THC threshold. And the legally permissible threshold is 0.3%. Now, as any grower would tell you, it’s hard to pinpoint precisely cultivates, hemp products or any type of cannabis products to a certain degree of precision regarding THC that’s in these plants.

Clark Wu: 09:03 So, because of that, you carry the risk of, even though you’re dealing with hemp, which is technically legal, what if some of the plants that you’re currently cultivating or some of these products that you’re currently manufacturing, exceed that threshold, and now all of a sudden you have proceeds with what supposedly came from hemp transactions that are legal, it’s illegal now because now it’s proceeds from marijuana, because it exceeded that THC threshold, and banks don’t want to deal with that. That’s a huge risk, that’s a huge liability for them.

Matt Baum: 09:35 So it just basically comes down to how do we protect our investment? And they’re looking at it right now and saying, “Well, you can’t. There isn’t a good way to do that.” So it’s not a matter of, “We’re too conservative,” or, “We don’t think the laws are correct.” It’s more, “How do we protect ourselves and how do we protect our own money?”

Clark Wu: 09:51 Correct.

Matt Baum: 09:52 We don’t see a clear way to do that right now.

Clark Wu: 09:55 Yeah. And you know, banks have taken positions on this. So last April Edline, which is a payment processing subsidiary of the US Bank announced that it would stop working with businesses who deal with CBD, and other banks and institutions that follow suit, which leaves many business owners that’s in the hemp industry scrambling to find alternate providers.

Matt Baum: 10:17 Right. You know-

Clark Wu: 10:18 … entrepreneurs-

Matt Baum: 10:19 Is that just a matter of, they see what one company is doing and they go, “All right, these guys are big. Let’s do it, too.” They just follow suit?

Clark Wu: 10:26 I mean, that might be a part of it, but at the same time, the issues and the risks that are associated, it’s the same. So, these large institutions are doing this because to basically they’re covering and protecting themselves. But the industry as a whole, sales seems very hesitant to make this transition over and working with members of the hemp industry, even though now, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp. So, I know, that’s insane.

Matt Baum: 10:54 It’s… I keep shaking my head. This is an audio podcast, but I’ve just like shaking my head while you’re saying that stuff.

Why won’t banks work with hemp?

Clark Wu: 11:01 Yeah. Because, I mean, you keep at it from a business perspective, right? What these banks, and usually, as of right now, in the hemp industry, there’s some large corporations out there working in hemp, but they’re generally still smaller operations compared to other types of businesses. And because it’s a small business, it’s a relatively low cost for a financial institution to let them go, compared to the risk of a much higher cost if the products that these companies are selling turn out to exceed federally allowed THC thresholds, which in some cases is illegal and it drags these banks down.

Matt Baum: 11:34 So they’re hedging their bet. They’re just hedging their bets right now and saying, “We’re going to wait, see until somebody big gets in and see how they do it and see how it’s handled, and then we’ll open the flood gates.” Is that what happens next?

Clark Wu: 11:47 I mean, I think there’s a lot of wait and see right now for the financial institutions in the industry to see what’s going on. But at the same time there are things going on in the background on the federal level, which it’s promising and it will potentially offer… Well, hopefully resolve all of these banking issues for members of not only the hemp industry, but the legal cannabis industry at least as a whole. And one of these things is something I’m sure you’ve already heard about and you might have even discussed on your podcast, but it’s the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act, or the SAFE Act for sure.

Matt Baum: 12:25 Right.

Clark Wu: 12:27 And under this Act it would prohibit federal banking regulations from terminating deposit insurance, analyzing or even discouraging banking institutions from providing financial services to legitimate cannabis-related entities or service providers which encompass medical marijuana companies as well as hemp members of the hemp industry.

Matt Baum: 12:48 Now I would assume they’re going to have some pretty hardcore lobbying against that until such time that someone can either come up with a way that they can prove that the THC levels will always be the same, or, we can get marijuana to a point where it is legalized and such that it’s not an issue. Right?

Clark Wu: 13:08 Yeah, I think that’s a presentation of some of the challenges to this bill. I mean, in terms of the testing, I think there’s ways to work around that. An example would be looking at some of the state programs that rolled out, which require the mandatory testing of all hemp that’s being produced currently, or at least under those states’ programs. So, there’s already a push and a movement in certain states, at least, with mandatory testing and developing testing standards to ensure conformance and compliance with state and federal regulation to prevent issues such as this.

Matt Baum: 13:49 Sure. So come up with the testing standards first, show it to the banks, and then the banks are going to go, “Okay. I like that. We’ll put our money behind it.”

Clark Wu: 13:58 Yeah. I mean, from a practical standpoint, that’s something that businesses could do, or at least individuals in the hemp industry could do. I know we’re taking this one step ahead now, but that’s one thing that companies of the hemp industry could do to protect themselves. They could make sure that whatever products that they are currently working on or cultivating or if it’s other individuals, if they’re working with other individuals in the industry that they’re purchasing products from, that everything is properly tested and there’s proper certifications and you can present that to whatever financial institution that you might need lending services or banking services and provide that to them. You know, be transparent, be up front and hopefully that helps alleviate some of the banks’ concerns or whatever financial institution that you’re working with.

Matt Baum: 14:45 The whole thing just seemed so bizarre to me in the sense that, if you look at something like commodities markets, like pork belly, for example.

Clark Wu: 14:54 Yeah.

Matt Baum: 14:55 If pork belly is bad and people eat it, they can die. But if there is two percentage points too much THC in marijuana or in hemp and someone takes it as an additive, literally nothing happens to them. It’s so ironic and ridiculous.

Hemp, laws and the banking industry

Clark Wu: 15:20 Yeah. I mean, unfortunately we’re just… Well, we’re in a very exciting time regarding cannabis and hemp legislation. But we’re also in a very confusing time.

Matt Baum: 15:31 Right.

Clark Wu: 15:31 You know, they have velcroed a lot of gray areas and we’ve had this existing Controlled Substances Act, which classified cannabis a Schedule 1 drug. That’s, frankly, it’s outdated. [crosstalk 00:15:45]

Matt Baum: 15:45 It’s archaic.

Clark Wu: 15:46 [inaudible 00:15:46] Yeah. And it leaves a lot of issues and there’s steps that’s being taken. You kind of address these things at both the federal and local level or state level, I should say, and I think it’s just a matter of time. But as of right now, because of all the gray areas and the discrepancies between the federal regulations and all the state laws, to be frank, you have these issues. Individuals who are working in the cannabis and hemp industry are unable to get the banking solutions that they need and that creates a lot of issues. If you can’t go to the legitimate, and what would you consider regular financial institutions for your banking needs, you often have to operate as a strictly cash business. That creates security risks, that creates issues. That creates transparency problems-

Matt Baum: 16:34 What could be the problem there? I don’t understand.

Clark Wu: 16:38 Yeah.

Matt Baum: 16:39 Yeah. So, they know the money is there. They’re waiting for basically the insurance that if we put our money here, we know that there will be a return and not as much risk based on gray areas in laws where crops could be seized, millions of dollars could vanish. And once they feel comfortable with that, then electronic payment companies will follow suit, I assume.

Clark Wu: 17:04 Correct. And that’s something that the SAFE Act is hoping to redress because under the specific sections of this Act, it would effectively amend the Federal Anti-Money Laundering Statutes that’s currently prohibiting banks from dealing with cannabis-related cash, and there’s also protect amongst other activities, real estate, financing of marijuana products, broker dealer, custody of cannabis-related stocks, and the receipts of dividends even paid on those stocks. So, it opens the door to a lot more possibilities.

Matt Baum: 17:36 Right. So, best case scenario, I know this isn’t your job and no one’s going to hold you to this. What do you think? What’s a timeline look like here? Best case scenario.

Clark Wu: 17:45 Well, yesterday, we actually… I saw a statement from Rob Nichols, I think that is his name, who’s the head of the American Banking Association.

Matt Baum: 17:55 Okay.

Clark Wu: 17:55 And he predicted that as early as September, but no later than October, the current SAFE Banking Act will pass the full house of representatives by a bipartisan majority.

Matt Baum: 18:06 This September, October? Like, what, we’re living in now?

Clark Wu: 18:10 [crosstalk 00:18:10] That’s what we’re living in right now.

Matt Baum: 18:11 That is shocking.

Clark Wu: 18:13 That is shocking to me, but I mean, I’m optimistic. There’s currently 206 co-sponsors in the House right now.

Matt Baum: 18:20 Wow.

Clark Wu: 18:20 And 26 of those including Republicans. So, this is something that has support from both sides of the aisle. It looks very promising, and it’s still, even if it passes the House, it still need to go through the Senate.

Matt Baum: 18:32 Of course.

Clark Wu: 18:33 So that’s going to take time and it’s going to take time for implementation of these laws. So, in a perfect world, maybe by the end of next year, we’re going to start seeing some changes. Well, maybe some implementations of this Act if it actually passes, but that’s still a ways to go.

Matt Baum: 18:52 Right.

Clark Wu: 18:53 So in the meantime, we are still kind of wait and see. Unfortunately we’re still like in a wait and see mode, but I feel promising about this Bill.

Matt Baum: 19:06 You’re the first person that I’ve talked to that’s been this optimistic and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. Normally it’s a lot of head scratching. “Well, we’re doing our best, but sometimes it’s like beating your head against the wall.”

Matt Baum: 19:19 Clark, with guys like you on the frontlines fighting, I feel like maybe this is going to happen sooner than we thought. Thank you for your work, man. Like, seriously, it seems like an amazing minefield that you guys have to maneuver through, but you’re figuring it out and that’s all we can ask.

Clark Wu: 19:36 Yeah. And we’re here to help. We’ve been, not just myself, but the team I work with in my firm, we’ve been working in this industry for a long time. We’ve been deeply involved, like I said before, we were deeply involved in the enactment of the medical marijuana program as well as the hemp program here. So this is something that it’s very close and dear to us and that we want to see done, personally, as these changes, it’s finally be undertaken in the industry while, exciting as it is, I think is long due.

Matt Baum: 20:08 Yeah, absolutely. If this is going to be an industry, then we need to make it an industry. We can’t go halfway and it’s time for everyone to get on board and accept, this is the future, this is where we’re going. Now let’s figure it out so we can do it legally.

Clark Wu: 20:23 Right.

Matt Baum: 20:33 Thanks again, Clark, for coming on the show and I’ll have links to his law firm and some other helpful stuff in the show notes, but he brings up a really good point. Right now it’s a scary thing for the banking industry to put their money down on.

Jonathan Miller on hemp insurance

Matt Baum: 20:51 But there is something that might make them feel better about it. Betting on an unproven industry is very scary and the one thing that could put the banking industry’s mind at ease is crop insurance. I was lucky enough to sit down and talk with somebody on the very front lines of the subject. This is Jonathan Miller.

Jonathan Miller: 21:13 I’m the General Counsel of the US Hemp Roundtable.

Matt Baum: 21:16 US Hemp Roundtable is amazing and very important. They’re a group of people representing dozens of companies that come from every link of the hemp product chain, from seed to sale and all of the industries, major national grassroots organizations. They were key to the passage of the bipartisan legislation in the US Congress that established hemp federally as an agricultural commodity and permanently removed it from regulation as controlled substance. In short, they’re for real.

Jonathan Miller: 21:48 Yeah. So, we recognized early on how critical it was going to be to get a crop insurance for hemp farmers. For the first several years of the program there has been no crop insurance and farmers are taking tremendous risk that some natural disaster that’s going to happen that would wipe out his crop and not get paid for it. And so when we were meeting early on with Senator McConnell about language in the Farm Bill, we told him this is a big priority. We gave him some language to use to help ensure there could be crop insurance and he put it in there, so now it’s been authorized. The USDA, as you probably know, recently announced that they were going to offer whole farm insurance, which is great. But the trouble with whole farm insurance is that it’s only available to a select number of farmers that are generally larger farms that have been in hemp for four or five years from the very beginning, and-

Matt Baum: 22:57 Sure.

Jonathan Miller: 22:58 … not available to them. So we are working with AgroLogic, which has been given the go ahead from the USDA to set up pilot programs for crop insurance that every farmer could apply for. And they, right now, are finalizing their plans in terms of what states will be participating in the pilot program and we’re trying to help them collect information, data on yields and pricing and production so that they can put together the strongest pilot program possible.

Matt Baum: 23:37 So AgroLogic takes all the information that you are giving them. They put together how it’s going to work roughly and then they present it to the government and say, “This is what we want to try and do.”

Jonathan Miller: 23:49 Exactly.

Hemp crop insurance for smaller farmers

Matt Baum: 23:50 Okay. So let me ask you, when you said whole farm insurance, like that’s only going to cover a few. This would cover anyone that wants to grow basically any amount of hemp on their farm?

Jonathan Miller: 24:01 Yeah. No, I mean, not everybody’s going to qualify. You will have to… Again, there’s going to be some qualifications for getting insurance just like some people can’t get the car insurance-

Matt Baum: 24:18 Sure.

Jonathan Miller: 24:18 … Or the like.

Matt Baum: 24:19 Sure.

Jonathan Miller: 24:21 But the vast majority of farmers would be able to apply and to secure this kind of insurance. It’s precisely what is needed and we’re excited to be part of that solution.

Matt Baum: 24:34 Yeah. So the pilot project launches and a few states will be involved and then from there they monitor the pilot project, and if it looks like it’s working, does it become adopted by all 50 states? Is that just basically, like, “Looks good, we’ll do it.”

Jonathan Miller: 24:49 Well, I think, it really, insurance is done on a state by state basis.

Matt Baum: 24:54 Right.

Jonathan Miller: 24:56 And probably you’re going to see… I think the best case scenario is that in 2020 we have 10 or 12 or whatever, and then in 2021 maybe that expands to 25 to 30. Who knows? And certainly you’re not going to be able to get crop insurance in South Dakota, Idaho or Mississippi where it’s illegal. And in a state like Texas that just started, it’s going to take some time to… at least a year to be able to develop the data because as you know, growing hemp in Texas is going to be quite different from growing it in Montana.

Matt Baum: 25:34 Of course. Yeah.

Jonathan Miller: 25:36 I think that you’ll be seeing this roll out over the next couple of years. And then ultimately, if all those states pass bills that you’ll see in all 50 states, but they’ll probably take a little time for that.

Protecting the hemp industry nationwide

Matt Baum: 25:47 Sure. Now, do you think that this is the last major impediment to getting the banking systems into saying, “Okay, this is a lot more legit. Now that we know that these crops are insured, we’re not so afraid to put our money into the system.”

Jonathan Miller: 26:07 I think we still have other challenges for banking and that remains to be one of our biggest concerns.

Matt Baum: 26:14 Sure.

Jonathan Miller: 26:17 I think we need to get past these, the FDA guidance on CBD for farmers that are wanting to grow crops for CBD. There still are banks that are anxious about what the FDA has to say about that. There still is a lot of confusion in the marketplace. I think I’ve told John on your show before, I joke that my name is Jonathan “Hemp is not Marijuana” Miller. It’s actually [inaudible 00:26:46] But by doing this, and to be precise, it’s called multi-peril crop insurance. That’s the way to level the playing field so that all farmers can have access to it. This will be a tremendous leap forward, and should give banks and any other financial lenders a lot more competence that it’s a worthwhile investment.

Matt Baum: 27:12 Fair enough. That’s great. So best case scenario, you think two years? Three years? I mean, we’ve got insurance for everybody and it’s accessible and more and more farmers can come in and go, “Maybe it’s not as big of a risk as I thought.”

Jonathan Miller: 27:29 Yeah. If you saw that op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal by South Dakota’s governor, I’m… I don’t know whether South Dakota is going to come on board [crosstalk 00:27:38].

Matt Baum: 27:38 Yeah.

Jonathan Miller: 27:41 Idaho has also been quite a problem but-

Matt Baum: 27:43 And it’s just education? And you really… it just comes down to education and letting these old thinkers know, like, “You’re just wrong. You’re just wrong about this,” basically.

Jonathan Miller: 27:55 Oh yeah. But, yeah, I mean, I would think that it will take over the next three year period, you’ll see if not universal, you’ll see overwhelming access to it.

Matt Baum: 28:07 And I would guess the more farmers that are getting into this now that there is crop insurance would put even more pressure on states like Idaho and South Dakota when they come to them and say, “Well, we want to grow this.”

Jonathan Miller: 28:19 Yeah.

Matt Baum: 28:19 I mean, if nothing else, now that it’s not as big of a risk as it was, it should be more accessible. And if it’s more accessible in other states and they see them making money, I mean, hey, it seems like the governors should follow, I would guess, but who knows?

Jonathan Miller: 28:38 No, I completely agree.

Matt Baum: 28:48 Again, we find ourselves in this head spinning place where hemp is legal and we are encouraging farmers to grow it. But it is still a huge risk and until we can figure out these hurdles in banking and crop insurance, it’s going to be scary. There’s a lot of people that have already invested their time and their money in doing this and they are truly pioneers and they are working with people like Clark Wu and Jonathan Miller to develop hemp programs and to show the banking industry and the electronic payment industry and the insurance industry that this is not only a viable commodity, but it is the future and it’s coming, whether you like it or not. So let’s put our heads together. Let’s write the legislature that’s needed. Let’s pay taxes on this. Let’s do this the legal and correct way, and let’s take the burden off the farmer.

Matt Baum: 29:40 Let’s take the burden off the small businessmen and let’s make some money on hemp as a country. Keep in mind, and I cannot repeat this enough, this is a plant that the 2018 Farm Bill signed by both Republicans and Democrats, possibly one of the only things that they can reach across the aisle and agree on. Both sides came together and agreed it should be legal, farmers should be able to grow it, it should not be illegal to transport it through any state, looking at you, South Dakota, looking at you, Idaho, and no hyperbole, hemp is unique in the fact that it can be used for seed, for stocks, for flowers, for so many different things, unlike any other crop that farmers are growing in America right now. Hemp is a perfect way for farmers to make money and do their land a favor, and we’ll talk more about that in future shows. We just need to get the banking industry to recognize this and remove the risk from the farmers and the small business people that are trying to change the world.

Matt Baum: 31:04 Thanks again to Clark and Jonathan for not only fighting the good fight but coming on the show and spelling out what could be some pretty boring topics in a way that we can all understand it. I’ll have links to both of their sites and their law practices in the show notes along with some other really helpful hemp links. Thanks again to everybody that has supported this show so far. If you’re enjoying what you hear, the best thing you can do is go to iTunes and leave a star rating or a written review. It really, really helps to put this information in the ears of people that not only want to hear it but maybe need to hear it.

Matt Baum: 31:40 Speaking of that, we want to hear from you. You can call us at 402-819-6417 and you can leave a message with any of your hemp related questions, where I do a Q&A show every once in a while when I collect enough of your questions. And Kit, the editor-in-chief of ministryofhemp.com and myself, answer them right here on the show. It’s so much fun. If you can’t call us, you can also send an MP3 to matt@ministryofhemp.com or just email me your questions at mattadministrativehemp.com. You can also hit us up on Twitter @MinistryOfHemp, or Facebook/MinistryofHemp. Speaking of ministryofhemp.com go there every day to see the articles that Kit is publishing.

Matt Baum: 32:28 Right now ministryofhemp.com is pleased to partner with Charlotte’s Web for the latest CBD giveaway. This time they’re giving away CBD for dogs and I’m going to do a show about this soon, too, but CBD helps our four-legged friends also. Charlotte’s Web is one of the top CBD brands that you can find on Ministry Of Hemp. They’ve established an incredible and well deserved reputation in the industry for quality of their products. They make all their CBD from hemp grown in Colorado. We love their products and you can find them in our top CBD brands links. If you want to enter, follow us on Instagram and Ministry of Hemp and like our post. Mention three of your friends and subscribe to our newsletter. You could win some Charlotte’s Web CBD for your puppy dog.

Matt Baum: 33:18 The Ministry of Hemp podcast is edited and produced by me. So if you like it, let me know. It makes me feel good. Lets me know that I’m not just talking to myself here. It’s time for me to get out of here, so this is Matt Baum with the Ministry of Hemp saying, take care of yourself, take care of others, and make good choices, will you? This is the Ministry of Hemp, signing off.

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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