The HempList #35: Growing Hemp for Charity w/ Full Circle Organic Hemp in New York

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In Summary

Gunther Gartman, of Full Circle Organic Hemp, joins us on the HempList this week. Hosted By Chase Nobles, Founder of Kush.com

Full Circle Organic Hemp brings together organic hemp growing with charity, and community service. Gunther’s father (a neurosurgeon) had started to deal with Chronic Pain, but after having great results with CBD topicals they started a hemp farm, and are donating all profits to an organization that helps people with addiction in New York! Gunther walks us through how he brought together a High CBD Hemp Farm, his passion for helping people with addiction / homelessness, and what they learned after their first year of growing hemp.

Transcript (auto-generated)

hey everybody chase nobles here over at
kush.com i’ve got gunther gartman from
full circle organic hemp with us today
how are you gunther
i’m doing well i’m doing well how about
yourself i’m excited to be on
yeah doing well doing well well i guess
the the first big question
is has to do with the uniqueness of your
business and the mission behind what you
all are doing
um and it’s got me really curious
because i haven’t seen many other
companies with a mission like this would
you mind
telling us a little bit about the hope
home
yeah i truly feel that our uh our
position is a unique one you know we
we wanted to bring something kind of new
um to the market and uh as far as the
mission we’re supporting we have a
couple of faith-based non-profit
charity organizations namely set
to conquer the addiction recovery
process in upstate new york
um and in our company the profits from
our company our uh
full circle organic hemp products goes
directly to supporting
missions beautiful beautiful and so how
did you all get started it looks like
this is your first year growing him
how did you all come to the the decision
let’s let’s go ahead and put all these
plants in the ground and go into the cbd
another minor cannabinoid realm
it was our first year it was an excited
learning process
um but we kind of came into it my father
has a very
um external career
in neurosurgery actually and he dealt
with a lot of
um chronic pain patients he operated for
roughly like 27 years
in our hometown um and eventually
he ended up becoming a chronic pain
patient himself
um he had a very conservative approach
to medicine
but it really ate him up and i actually
uh when
cbd started to get a little bit of
traction for a christmas present i
believe
i got him kind of like a value kind of
box
um you know different gummies and
tinctures things for him to try
and his um you know conservative
approach
to medicine normally like paled in
comparison to the relief he was getting
from these products
um we were so fascinated by it
um you know especially him given uh
career
we saw you know a number of applications
right the we like to call it a
two-for-one sale on uh blessings of
servitude
our mission serve for the good of
two separate aspects i guess of need
um the the whole idea of being able to
um provide a kind of a more holistic
natural or certified organic product
that’s able to handle
a number of these issues that my my
father had um
you know that’s obviously one blessing
and then being able
non-profit organization and
working in order to benefit on the back
end too
so it just seemed like the perfect fit
we put the necessary people together
through um
through our church and it really took
off it ended up being uh
a year full of ups and downs certainly
some surprises
but we’re just so it’s on our board that
when everybody comes together
for a single goal um it’s it’s
unbelievable
how everything’s come together there’s
been a tremendous increase
and uh we’re excited to see where we can
take it and so with your father
seeing you know all of the chronic pain
patients
and i’m sure that led to him seeing a
lot of addiction issues
especially the opioid crisis and
everything like that
is that the big motivation you know kind
of the experience that he had and the
things that he saw as a doctor
and you know whatever oxycontin was you
know kind of up and coming yeah
that that’s been the last 20 years right
where that just ravished
you know i’m from east tennessee you
know and it had a big impact there and
sure did in new york as well
was that the motivation to you know to
give back to the community and try to
overcome an issue
from uh from a hint perspective you know
as an alternative product but also
you know seeing everybody that’s dealing
with the addiction issues
yeah uh i would definitely say it was a
primary motivation
uh believe it or not our our various
programs that we’re involved with
involved in have existed for years
before the
actual um before our farm before our
business
um you know these ideas came later so we
signed up to
solve a number of the issues we’re
seeing whether it’s you know
addiction homelessness of all kinds
um you know we signed up for those
things long before
um the business was put together this
was just an idea where
we had the manpower and like i said
everybody on the board has
very unique talents in their in their
own regard
and um but yeah as far as the addiction
um in the pain crisis i mean it’s
terrible my father certainly saw a lot
of that
his time practicing yes um you know in
another
uh in another life i was i was offered
the opportunity to study in his
in his um former practice and i saw
a bunch of it in the office shadowing
his former partners
um and yeah that’s certainly a
meaningful aspect to
to being able to deliver this kind of
solution um
but we see the potential you know for
further than chronic pain or
um or specifically trying to overcome
the stronghold of addiction
um we you know with my father’s uh
experience in neurosurgery
uh i studied you know neurology in
college you know
the the data that suggests um it can be
effective in a number of neurological
disorders obviously mental disorders you
know
things like you know chronic anxiety um
you know we see benefits across the
board
we always talk about when you get into
opportunities like this
um you know you never know how you’re
going to slip in or what’s going to
attract you
but we certainly saw doors open um once
we
started you know making you know
our lives the priority of solving
problems
first giving back um you know we’ve
been given an enormous amount of
increase and and uh you know that’s all
success of the vision
and how you know with your father being
a neurosurgeon and you having studied
neurology
how do you all look at the medicinal
potential
of hemp and cbd from everything from the
fda
to you know the current regulations in
the the gray area that
you know hemp exists in when it you know
when it’s referred to
uh you know by the dea and you know the
fda is still
not really fully endorsing these
products how do you look at that from
the potential and the research and the
things that need to be done
in order to get it to be a mainstream uh
solution for more people
so we certainly see the value in that
and my father would be better to speak
about the specific medicinal
benefits of it um but
either way we see the benefit of it we
see the benefit in um
in the thc products at cannabis medical
cannabis um and these things being uh
you know just now emerging in
legislation
um you know we’re involved with uh with
a partnership
partnership actually our um
uh extracting partners some of the
people that you know walked us through
the ropes of becoming certified organic
helped us overcome our initial pitfalls
our our
our processors now um are new york hemp
oil and there’s
um headed by a guy by the name of alan
gandelman
and and you know they really spend uh
quite a bit
of time as they as they rightly should
defending um
you know the rights of growers and and
legal
um extractors in in new york state
and you know we completely agree with
that and we we
see the need for it to be available we
just as an organization aren’t
specifically taking
um you know a stance one way
or the other we want to make get the
greatest benefit out of um
what’s available and legal for us to
have under our licenses we have no
issue um with cbd
and we’ve made the decision as an
organization based that we
um that we we’re going to stick to the
to the cbd products
um you know for the sake of our value
and what we’re doing
i think it’s beautiful i think it’s a an
incredibly
valuable uh uh mission that you are on
to you know cross that chasm especially
you know seeing
how much this product can help so many
people um especially you know it’s a
product that
a lot of people do lean on to overcome
addiction i think it’s just
it makes so much sense to make that jump
i was just you know i think
to do that is uh uh
and to take that that position and to go
deep
into that understanding of you know
partner organizations like that i just
think it’s such a beautiful thing that
you know
10 years ago you wouldn’t really expect
to see and it’s one of those evolutions
that you’re at the
very forefront of so i think it’s great
now let’s talk about the farm let’s talk
about the products what you all did what
y’all are doing and kind of where you’re
going with the business
what was this year like farming for the
first time how you know what were the
lessons learned what went well what
didn’t go well
you know what advice would you give to
people listening to this that are
looking at potentially growing or
getting into the hemp industry
well i can tell you that it was
certainly full of ups and downs
we’re fortunate enough that uh one of
the the guys on our board
um actually husband wife ron and sherry
thanks
uh shouts out and thanks if they if they
get to see this
they just absolutely pulled the freight
when it came to the farming aspects of
it
um you know ron knows his dirt he’s uh
one of a number of generations to
essentially you know live on that
hillside and work the land
um the guy knows his dirt the guy knows
his water and his drainage
um you know we it was an all hands on
deck situation the entire year
uh and that’s what gave us such a unique
opportunity and essentially the idea
um to use the the hope home uh in the
farm it was something that
arose out of a need uh just an all hands
on deck type of need
um and you know we we had the guys at
our disposal a lot of them offered to
help and it became
became kind of a habitual thing we we
struggled together we learned together
things broke um it was exhausting
but it was unbelievably uh memorable i
was flying
to new york and back from my home in
tampa you know pitching in doing
everything we could
we were covered in the uh the sticky the
sap
um from from all the plants rubbing up
against them we i mean
it was it was a full on effort on
on all parts we it was it was it was
just plain fun
that’s when we had the guys out there
from the hope home were able to minister
and build
um you know relationships we saw a bunch
of people step up
and become really extraordinary leaders
as they sort of assumed
their identity in the face of a long hot
work day
um you know we saw the workload just
made humble men out of all of us
uh and and it feels really good to come
to the end of something like that
um and be able to rest and look at our
accomplishments this past season
what i’m hearing from you is uh you know
the farming was great but it was the
experience with the people that you were
with and kind of that camaraderie that
went along with it which was
seems to really have the most impact on
you would you agree with that
absolutely i mean i found myself looking
for plane tickets to come up and get
another weekend in or another five days
and uh you know i would have thought i
was crazy if i’d ever be that excited to
get on a plane fly somewhere to
you know to work in a field but it was a
full team effort
and made some some great friends and and
some
uh unbelievable memories trying to
figure that whole thing out that’s
that’s one of the most fun things about
starting a new adventure
a new mission or a new project like that
is kind of going through that with the
other people and having you know shared
experience that
did have its ups and downs which i’m
sure it did now let’s talk about new
york real quick you’re growing in
upstate new york what was the
environment like is that a good place to
grow
is you know what what was that like
compared
to you know um looking at people and
reading about you know south carolina or
north carolina or texas or you know
oregon obviously what what was upstate
new york like
and what’s the industry you know doing
right now in that area
well we’re very happy that um we’re able
to have a license
and and grow hemp in new york and i
would say when it comes to any part of
the united states where people are
growing
there’s always that unique um you’d
almost call it
flavor you might almost call it feel but
i mean you can notice
where hemp is coming from they tend to
look similar in similar regions
of the world they seem to to all kind of
carry that almost like uh
grapes at wineries being on one side a
hill from another
you know if your guy really knows his
dirt you can tell that
um but in any place you’re gonna find
somebody that is just
experienced with with what they have um
and their ability to execute on
something like that again our
our you know the people on our board who
are in charge of farming they
they just know their dirt they know
their water um we know of a number of
farms that are up
you know by us who are able to get
unbelievable yields
um you know a number of acres of just
robust
healthy high quality hemp plants you
know in new york
i think that since it’s an emerging
state and we are organic certified
you know people who really do care about
their hemp and care about quality and
kind of want to experience
what uh upstate new york temperate
you know um uh hemp product is
like i think that you know i think you
can taste the
the place and and the product i think it
has a feel i think it has a
a look to it and and since there isn’t a
lot of it necessarily in the market
compared to like the heavy hitters you
think of like oregon and colorado like
you said
um we think it’s a a unique offering you
know we have
two strains that we did they both came
out great unique
in their own water for their um
for different things and we think we got
a high quality
product you know new york was good to us
we got lucky with some weather
um you know we we didn’t have hot crop
we felt we felt great from the whole you
know the front to back
the everybody had it figured out and we
uh
we we got very fortunate in that regard
and so
when you’re looking at new york i would
imagine it’s a total thc
state was it a challenge to stay under
that point three percent
thc well i don’t have that exact figure
sitting in front of me but we do
we did we did not have uh hot plants
actually
um when they tested us i guess like
halfway through the year there’s a
period of tests that go
kind of along the growing process um and
it’s just a sample of the biomass in
general
um you know we we were nervous we were
going to be hot we were very close
maybe
just down the line it we sent in a full
sample of flour and so that’s obviously
gonna have a higher yield but um besides
that
we we didn’t really have any um trouble
with hot crop
we didn’t really have very much trouble
with disease or pests
um you know we in our experience
from what we’ve read a lot of people
have hot crop when they have stress
plants and uh you know our guys stayed
on top of it so frequently
we have you know prime location uh i
mean
our farm looks like the um
uh the pepperidge farm farm from like
the logos i mean it’s beautiful it sits
on a hillside we got good drainage
and i don’t think our plants were very
str uh stressed the entire time i mean
it’s
outdoor naturally grown uh we put in
miles and miles of irrigation this
summer
um really kept back though the weeds and
everything with other methods and
spraying because we’re organic
and we didn’t seem to have too much
trouble with that uh
we we’ve been more than compliant and
and by all standards including nova was
probably the most difficult to deal with
nova
nofa the um organic certification ah
and i i do look forward to talking about
that here in just a second but before we
do
new york stipulations where was new york
hard to work with
was new york easy to work with how would
you rate the experience with the
regulations of the state are they still
working out a bunch of kinks what
what what was it like growing in new
york compared to you know stories that i
hear
from colorado or oregon or you know the
carolinas and
things like that right um
again you know any stories i would hear
are you know just that
stories but i would say that um you know
in any business endeavor that’s unique
in
in any capacity there always seems to be
a couple month period
of just hassling with the state that
you’re in um
you know paying your dues organizing
getting the proper licensing and
certificates
and we saw a lot of a lot of that we
don’t necessarily
believe it was you know gatekeeping
access to our license
um we were uh actually kind of guided
along and mentored throughout the
process by
um a partner we had at the beginning
another
new york state have farmer and uh you
know we we put things together
on a reasonable timeline without without
too much hassle
as for um you know how how is it in
general you know
you do see that um there’s some
we still need some answers as far as
that goes in new york you know you can
tell that things
um are are really worth showing out and
fighting for
as far as uh growing legislation goes
because they do
kind of go back and forth on a number of
things
um you know things get snuck into bills
and and farmers complain or they worry
about their futures
um you know that affected us one story i
have for you that
you know i actually would appreciate
getting the attention of new york state
we put um quite a
somewhere between 20 and 30 acres of of
planted farmland over two strains
we had an issue with new york state
where we were told that
from the point of first harvest
harvesting our first plant
to the time of finishing harvest could
be 15 days or less
no longer we were harvesting 30 acres
roughly 15 days yeah yeah it was
i mean that’s why we’re all hands on
deck we were we felt rushed
the entire time and it is
you can’t just harvest it and leave it
you know in the field unless that’s what
you’re doing well that’s
right what do you guys think given that
it was our first year
we didn’t have that answer yet so when
they said 15 days
we thought you know what representing a
church more you know more than anything
we want to be compliant and
complicit and um and and take care of
this
and and so we stopped everything we i
mean we
quit harvesting we didn’t we didn’t want
you know we’re going to our processing
and our bail bags had dates
on them um you know for when they were
dried whether it be hung or in our
dryers or
whatever the process was the weight all
that kind of stuff
and we didn’t want our tags we didn’t
want to have any tags that were
harvested
you know greater
or you know something that’s a little
bit more exposed things aren’t going to
be
you know not all your not all your
strawberries are right at the same time
you know what i mean
like how right
well we built a little bit of um
staggered planting into that so we
already accounted for
you know not pulling it out all at once
right um
and then you do see you know based on
conditioned shade
side of the hill i mean how much water
they’re getting the plants will grow at
different rates
um we didn’t see too much too much of
that but
um you know the the main thing to
consider or take away here
is that you know we were told something
by the state
um that we had 15 days i believe it was
through an email or letter
correspondence so
um you know it seemed official and then
we stopped harvesting and then the next
person we talked
to um ended up saying you know we never
heard of that
that’s not that’s not a real thing we
started talking to our friends and
partners in the industry
and they were like well then how are you
supposed to get it all out of the field
in 15 days and i said i don’t know i
thought that was our problem to solve
you know my
my father and i were coming to the
realization that this wasn’t a real
thing at all so we ended up
leaving uh 40 of our crop just in the
field
um you know yeah we were worried
yeah that’s a first year hit that we had
to take
yeah it was it was a it was a gut punch
for sure especially new york state just
seemed very lackadaisical and negligent
getting back to us and providing us with
the correct answer when we
you know blatantly asked for it um you
know we
we still got probably four and a half
tons of biomass out of the field in
total so it was not a small yield
by any stretch of the imagination but
we just feel like there was so much um
you know
money in the field opportunity in the
field um
it could have been i don’t know if
if that never happened who knows you
know how much biomass would ended up
with or how much
um you know product to sell
and considering that it’s all going to
charity our profits are going to
charities
um you know it’s a shame that we weren’t
able to get everything we
we could out of our land and that’s one
of the most frustrating things
when regulations are being implemented
and interpreted
at the same time it’s so hard to get a
straight answer from
you right it’s almost like you have to
just have a lawyer reading the letter of
the law
and telling you what’s okay is almost a
better solution because the state
is so challenging to get a straight
answer because it’s going to change day
to day like it did to you and the next
thing you know
40 wasn’t harvested because you have a
board you you have to do things right
you don’t want
you know to run on the wrong side of
this new market
in new york state you know because you
don’t know what kind of fines or
or you know whatever else could happen
that’s why i i hate to hear that
happen to you guys but uh glad you were
able to still get
a decent harvest out of the ground so
let’s talk about yeah
let’s talk a little bit about the
product for anybody listening that
doesn’t understand the difference
between non-organic and organic hymn
you seem to know the answer of what
exactly
it requires to be an organic hemp farmer
tell us what that is tell us what the
difference is and why
you know you all with that root
well um we see
i mean we just see such an alignment
with having a
a holistic natural um
you know product that we’re able to to
deliver um to a consumer
given that it’s emerging and that it’s
new you know we kind of
we feel like the the more natural and
the more whole
holistic or i guess i guess really
those are kind of pure i guess we can
make the product is
is kind of what we hang our our label on
my
my mother and father are extreme just
gardeners either
way they always have tomatoes and summer
squash that you know when we have
barbecues and stuff
um my mother’s always getting her fresh
fruit out and and
our cbd products are hem kind of feel
like that to me
when we when we use them or when we see
the products that are made from there’s
it’s essentially like buying them uh at
like a
at a country store or something because
of um
the just how naturals you know they are
coming from a bunch of legitimate new
york farmers who have been doing this
for
you know for years we uh
we saw that as just being organic is an
absolute priority
you know for our mission and what we’re
doing and just kind of what it stands
for and luckily for us
you know we’ve adhered to that since
before um
you know we we started the companies as
i’m sure many people know
the soil panels and stuff from your farm
have to go back a number of years to not
find traces of heavy metals or
pesticides
and we’re lucky enough that we already
had you know the
the land sculpt out and it was already
cleared so it was just about kind of
going through the process
there really wasn’t too many hoops to
jump through
considering we were already
implementing those procedures to the way
we thought it should be done
generally um when it comes to extracting
there’s you have to use organic
ingredients
any anything else that’s in your
products or in your solutions or
part of the extracting process has to be
certified organic as well
all of these things need documentation
that gets reported to the
governing body called nofa um
and you know the the process itself
of extracting and processing from
organic hemp
to organic just we’ll call it winterized
crude oil which is a product that we
sell
you know that process has to be organic
and there has to be documentation for
that
um you know us upstate new york state
i’m flying so it’s not a light
process it’s a it’s a pretty big
undertaking if you want to grow or
it’s heavily intensive it involves an
in-person inspection as a matter of fact
yeah that sounds like i mean you know
along with the mission that y’all are
executing on you know the
the homelessness and with the addiction
crisis everything that you’re doing
to go you know the question would be why
not
take this extra step to be a little bit
more considerate about our products now
it sounds like you’re selling winterized
crude oil um but are you all
manufacturing this into finished goods
if so you know kind of what’s the plan
with the market
you know full circle hemp uh organic
camp is on bush.com we’ve got your
storefront uh
you know we’ve got your products on the
platform what’s the plan
now that you’re past harvest season and
into the extraction season and
you know getting all these products to
market what’s what’s the plan for full
circle organic kit
well i’ll tell you we’re very excited
about the future um for a number of
reasons first of all we get to
experience a new stage of the business
if you call it like for one year
an entire life cycle would be a full
year and you know it’s going to end as
far as this harvest goes
with um with selling and implementing
these are our harvest into products that
people can use or people can make
their own products with them um you know
we
were interested in selling uh crude oil
and navigating that situation
um as far as wholesaling and white
labeling um it’s the quality of our
product that we stand behind
um and and we’re excited to get that off
the ground we have
a number of you know just general
product offerings that we’re looking
forward to
uh displaying on um
you know so so stay tuned for that we uh
i think what we’re most excited about is
that given kind of the tinkering nature
i’d explained earlier
my father and i and and the the rest of
our board of
you know we collaborate on things that
we think cbd or amp would be
would be good for in in today’s time
with you know our unique backgrounds we
come up with unique applications and
um we’re excited to to release a couple
new products too specifically that i
know we’d like to
get released for for the summer time um
i can give you a little information
about one we have a
cbd infused hand sanitizer we have a
unique proprietary formula that that we
have been prototyping and finally
settled on an organic um
cbd hand sanitizer my father’s
my actually my mother is a nurse as well
or my mother’s a nurse so both health
care practitioners of some capacity
you know their friends that still
practice through this whole covet thing
you know it’s they report and it aligns
with some
data we’re seeing in the literature that
you know people’s hands drying out with
the frequent use of sanitizers
um you know increased in currents of uh
you know
psoriasis plaques and and high frequency
you know
applicator high frequency users um you
know we’re able to help and contribute
on that
end with um you know i really like the
conversation we had on the phone
about how it’s not about just slapping
cbd
recklessly into an already existing
formula
you know we really wouldn’t design this
from the bottom up um it took a number
of iterations to settle on something
that you know we enjoy and use ourselves
um and we’ve seen tremendous traction in
the health professionals that that we
know that have tried it
we’re excited to increase capacity and
you know get that for the world for for
everybody else to try
um you know we love it we’ve got a
couple flavors
and a couple cents if you will or
flavors if you will sense
and um and yeah that’s great the
second thing we have is is a little more
secret because we’re still developing
that
um but it goes back to my father’s
experience in medicine
uh an exciting um topical cream with uh
with a secret ingredient that you know
we’re excited to release
when we’re ready it’s it’s a it’s an
ingredient that
that we’re excited to use because it
hasn’t been utilized in this capacity
um you know essentially ever and it’s
it’s a wonderfully safe alternative
to uh a number of um
you know joint pain type issues
with your with your father’s background
and your experience that’ll be
really exciting i think you’re teasing
the teas in the audience on
you know what’s going to be coming out
and uh if they want to learn more
you should uh you should go to full
circle organic camp
on cush.com you’ll be able to see
everything there and
i’m sure there’s a lot of exciting
exciting product lines coming
um i can’t wait to see what you all do
over the next year
guthrie i think it’s going to be really
interesting you know what comes out of
the organization it sounds like you have
a lot of people
you know with a lot of experience and
different perspectives and that always
leads to a unique business
so we are wishing you best for the
mission
for the products for the farm for
everybody that you’re working with i
hope you guys are being safe and uh good
luck for the for the rest of the year
proud work getting it up and running
this year
yeah we appreciate you having us on
again if anybody
is interested in learning more about our
mission
royal family kids camp is a is something
we run
through the um the rescue mission uh the
hope home
and we also have links to the hope home
um
uh on two rivers as well so everybody
can check out our mission our values our
standings everything that
that we’re uh this company is providing
for well if you wanna
support a positive change in the world
check out full circle him gunther
gartman it’s been a pleasure talking to
you
let’s be in touch i can’t wait to do
this again and check in on you here in a
month or two and see how things are
going




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