• Sophia Blanton

A Big 2020 on Horizon for Hemp!

Updated: Dec 31, 2019

We're gearing up for a supercharged start to the 2020 season with the New Leaf Symposium, to be held at the Schoolhaus Ballroom in Jacksonville, OR from 11 AM - 7 PM.

In this post:

1) 2020 Oregon Hemp Projections with Thomas Wingens,

2) Crucial Shifts and Upcoming Trends with Damian Moran & Chris Fontes

3) Jump-Starting Sales with Jefferson Hemp Exchange,

4) East-Coast Sales & Distribution Channels with Denise Gerkey

5) Legislative Updates with Courtney Moran

1) 2020 Oregon Hemp Industry Projections

Thomas Wingens of Caldera Group/ Pacific West Manufacturing crosses over from the high-tech metallurgical sector as an international investor and consultant with SuperCritical Co2 Extraction equipment and technology. Acknowledging the misalignment of hemp supply & demand this past season, infrastructure issues, trials and errors, Thomas reminds us that the whole market dipped, not just hemp. But things are finally shifting with the rapid growth of the international hemp market and better-informed consumers.

“We’ve already seen the bottom”, Thomas says,” and the hemp market is growing domestically and internationally.” His projections for Oregon derive from his wide-angle perspective of the hemp industry as its progress increasingly intersects with high-tech trends.

“In the Rogue Valley of southern Oregon, expect to see an overall reduction in farms, accompanied by a streamlining of practices in areas like harvesting, post-fab channels & better off-take contracts. People have realized that a lot more planning is necessary in order to have a successful hemp business, so they’re going to be a lot smarter this year and more open to collaboration.” - Thomas Wingens

Caldera Group is planning to expand its 2020 investment in the Rogue Valley’s hemp economy, beyond their current industrial-scale supercritical CO2 extraction plant and subsidiaries in Medford. The company shares Hemp University’s belief that the Rogue Valley is headed to boutique-level regional identity nationwide and internationally and that it will be instrumental in maturing the hemp knowledge base while creating a more sophisticated hemp market and industry.

We’re proud to feature Thomas as our keynote speaker at the New Leaf Symposium on January 26.

2) Crucial Shifts & Upcoming Trends

Winner of the 2019 Supply Solution of the Year Award, The Hemp Exchange offers a safe, vetted online platform for seamless wholesale of hemp flower and products. CEO Chris Fontes and partner Damian Moran emphasized the need to properly vet our sources of information and knowledge about the industry to avoid knee-jerk reactions.

“What we saw in the last quarter of 2019 was a dubious narrative of supply far outstripping demand, which led to a panicked reaction among farmers, causing prices to dip,” Chris reports. “We need to re-set expectations with clear discussions of market volatility and the cyclical nature of the crop.” - Chris Fontes

With the prosperity of farmers driving its philosophy, Hemp Exchange will be offering key advice on the hemp marketplace on January 26. Chris, Damian and their team will be on hand all day to discuss better ways to sell product and what’s going to matter to buyers going forward.

“The national commodities exchanges are getting ready for us,” says Damian, veteran of the Chicago Board of Trade and chief strategy officer of the Amota Group. “Oregon needs to prepare for specialization in top-quality flower as well as scalability and issues with grading, standards and quality-control. 2020 will bring vast improvements in all sectors of the industry.”

Damian and Chris agree that most sales right now are driven by hand-finished, high quality flower, and they will offer a series of 15-minute “crash-courses” on spearheading sales at the New Leaf Symposium on January 26.

3) Jump-Starting Product Sales with Jefferson Hemp Exchange

Matt Ochoa and the whole team at Jefferson Hemp Exchange are creating a central exchange in White City where product can be taken, safely stored and displayed to potential buyers.

“We need to qualify buyers and reduce the amount of time it takes for them to see product. Buyers waste a lot of time going from farm to farm, so we want to streamline the process for them in a ‘one-stop-shop.” - Matt Ochoa

The JHE team will be facilitating farm signups on Jan. 26 for its new exchange!

4) East Coast Distribution Channels, Marketing & Branding Advice

Denise Gerkey of Hemp Dream Team has been pounding the pavement in New York State, opening new sales & distribution channels for Oregon-grown hemp flower.

“Southern Oregon can easily dominate the high-end hemp flower market. My advice to farmers is to diversify – instead of relying solely on wholesale, let us help you create a strong brand and export your superior product to markets like New York, where demand is growing but currently filled with lower-quality stock.”

Denise and her team will be present on Jan. 26 to talk to farmers about interstate sales channels, consignment & other options to maximize ROI.

5) Legislation Update – Courtney Moran to speak Jan. 26!

Co-author of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp advocate and lobbyist, she is the president of the Oregon Industrial Hemp Farmer’s Association and is on the front lines regarding the USDA rules. She will update the Industrial Hemp Community on OIHFA’s current efforts and how you can help in much-needed coalition-building. We need committed members to provide the USDA & FDA with the input needed to craft realistic legislation for our industry.

If you haven’t yet made your own comments on the USDA Interim Final Rules, you now have until January 29. Download Hemp U’s original Cheat Sheet here to help you hone in on the main issues and talking points. Make your comments at:



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I’m Sophia Blanton and I work in education, community development and branding for the Hemp Industry in Oregon. I’ve also benefited extensively from CBD. On a daily basis, I’m in contact with all leve

©2019 by Hemp Inc University.

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