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Growing Hemp in Massachusetts
American Legion Dudley-Gendron Post
Sutton, MA
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Saturday Apr 06, 2019 9:45 AM - Saturday Apr 06, 2019 4:00 PM | $60.00 - $75.00


Growing Hemp in Massachusetts
Have you considered growing hemp commercially but you really need some more information? NOFA/Mass is presenting a full-day intensive workshop on growing agricultural hemp in the Northeast. The focus will be on cultivating a hemp crop for CBD production and will cover genetics, transplant care, soil preparation, fertility needs, pest and disease management, harvesting and extracting CBD oil on the farm, proper harvest windows and crop quality for a legal and marketable product.  Our region is known for its unique niche crops and Organic Certified Hemp is the newest addition to that list.  Presenters will help you understand the regulations and the permitting process to start growing hemp on your farm.

Agricultural hemp is a variant of the Cannabis sativa plant with less than .3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound most widely associated with cannabis use. Prior to the use of cannabis as a drug or medicine, low-THC cultivars of hemp were grown for textiles, rope, and paper. The plant is a vigorous soil-builder, improving soil health and acting as a beneficial addition to cash crop rotations. Modern applications of agricultural hemp include biofuels and eco-friendly component replacements for concrete and plastics. However, the strongest current market for hemp is in the production of medicinal CBD oils, which can be used as a non-addictive remedy for wide-ranging health issues including pain, anxiety, depression and neurological disorders.

Distilled CBD oil can sell for thousands of dollars per kilogram, and its profitability can exceed specialty vegetable crop and animal enterprises. However, the regional knowledge gap in crop production  from basic hemp agronomy to seed sources and expectations for harvest quality  presents significant challenges to local farmers hoping to participate in this competitive and rapidly developing market. Making matters worse, agricultural hemp producers are more reticent than the wider agricultural community about sharing knowledge. Local CBD oil producers, struggling to find high-quality local hemp, have been forced to order their raw product from Kentucky, Canada and even China.

To help change this dynamic, NOFA/Mass is working with Brenden Beer, a northern Vermont hemp farmer currently with eight acres in hemp production, to bring you an information-dense intensive workshop on agricultural hemp production.  Brenden will give detailed presentations on hemp agronomy and farm-scale CBD oil extraction, Taryn Lascola, Director of Crops and Pest Services for MDAR, will provide a thorough overview of the regulations around hemp production in Massachusetts including what farmers need to know to prepare their farms to grow this crop. She will also offer comments along with Marty Dagoberto, NOFA/Mass Policy Director and other local activists about current advocacy to improve the hemp laws and regulations in Massachusetts and ways to take action.

A working knowledge of and experience with farming and food production techniques is assumed for this intensive. Participants will leave this intensive workshop with the knowledge needed to prepare for and plan their agricultural hemp enterprise.

9:30am- Registration
9:45am - Welcome
10:00am - Taryn Lascola: Hemp Permits and Regulations
11:30am - Organic Hemp Certification
Noon - Potluck lunch*
1:00pm - Brenden Beer: Hemp Cultivation
3:30pm - Hemp Advocacy Update
4:00pm - Wrap Up


Taryn Lascola has worked for the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources for 18 years and currently is the Director of Crops & Pest Services, which includes the Pesticide Program, Apiary Program, Plant Program, Invasive Program and Hemp Program.

Marty Dagoberto is the NOFA/Mass Policy Director and Outreach Coordinator. With a background in biotechnology and genetics, he serves as a community organizer, educator, activist and lobbyist working toward food sovereignty, social justice, climate action and regenerative agriculture.  A member of Guiding Star Grange #1, he lives in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts where he spends time growing and wildcrafting medicine, renovating an old farm, and connecting with allies toward cultural regeneration and Nature reconnection.
Brenden Beer is a cannabis farmer and co-owner of Kitchen Cabinet Medicinals in Greensboro, Vermont. He has worked professionally in the industry for over four years including the management of the Vermonts first legal medical Marijuana greenhouse. Brenden works closely as a consultant with Black Dirt Farm and other local soil and farming operations, including work with the UVM Extension Program to examine best practices for farmers in Hemp production. Brenden has also been a guest speaker for UVMs Cannabis Science and Medicine Certificate course and NECANN conference.

Don Franczyk is the Executive Director of Baystate Organic Certifiers, the only Massachusetts based USDA accredited organic certifying agency.  Don has run Baystate since 2000 and having been a certified organic farmer has experience with the organic regulations both as a producer and a regulator.

*In order to keep this event affordable for our participants, lunch for this event is potluck-style. Participants are expected to bring a food item to contribute, with serving utensils and a list of ingredients to accommodate those with food sensitivities. Please bring your own reusable utensils to help reduce waste.


American Legion Dudley-Gendron Post (View)
156 Boston Rd.
Sutton, MA 01590
United States



Non-Smoking: Yes!


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