The Hemp Commerce & Farming Report
Volume 2, Issue 13, August 2000 ISSN 1488-3988
This issue of the HCFR comes in three parts
© 2000 AHEM, ARTHUR HANKS
IN THIS ISSUE:
Top of the Crop:
1) Health Canada's 2000 License Report released
2) New Study Finds Hemp Foods and Workplace Drug Testing Not in Conflict
3) New Zealand Approves Hemp Trials in Principle
4) Hemp Draws SRO Crowd of State Legislators
American Beauty: the good, the bad, the Navajo, Nader & Pokemon too
Herbs 2000: Show Report and Review
Hogtown Hops Ahead With Heady Hemp Beer by Dr. Alexander Sumach
Marketing Hemp Products by Lucy Letourneau
Location, Location, Location (Part II: Seedbed preparation) by Jon Cloud
Harvesting, Handling and Storage Checklist by Sasha Przytyk
Harvest Timing for Hemp Grain/Seed Production by Jack Moes
Hemp Germplasm Trials in Canada by Ernest Small & David Marcus
Feral Hemp Project Update by Dr. Alexander Sumach
a) Review: Hemp Diseases and Pests: Management and Biological Control
b) Ethics in Action nominates two west coast businesses
c) International Hemp Journal Yearbooks Released
Alberta New Crop Network created
Masthead, Credits, and more info
Welcome to our new issue! We've assembled a lot of great information for this edition of the HCFR in an effort to keep all of the different stakeholders in this industry up-to-date and educated. Maybe too much information (something of an HCFR hallmark) but there you go.
Hope you enjoy it for now, as this is going to be our last issue.
Now that I have your attention don't worry! We are just moving along in the next step of our necessary business evolution. The HCFR is going through some changes, some of them cosmetic, and others more structural and fundamental.
To begin with, the HCFR is renaming itself the Hemp Report www.hempreport.com . And after this issue our thirteenth we will no longer be posting our trade information on the many web sites that have willingly cooperated with us for the past year and a half. Now, it's been great working with Natural Hemphasis, Hemptrade, HempCyberFarm, Global Hemp, The Hemp Industries Association and the GreenMan Papermill (and Hemppages too when we started up.) I have no complaints, and much praise to give out, and it is my belief that these have all been mutually beneficial relationships. Thank you webmasters. Please take a bow.
Our alliances will continue as the "hempreport" grows, and we will continue to work as closely as possible with our web friends as circumstances allow. But things change.
Going exclusive on our own domain (hempreport.com) will make it easier for us to attract readers and build brand name identity. It will also allow us to reorganise our information and improve the HCFR's readability. Change will also help us grow, survive and thrive as a business.
The next big change is our publishing schedule. We will be cutting back some on the frequency and some of the quantity of information we publish every month. But not the quality. We are going to stick with presenting original, well-researched and well-written material, but will be publishing on a bi-monthly basis for now on. However, we will be looking at publishing "special reports" to keep up with the sometimes fast flowing events of hemp and as research and material becomes available. Look for the first special report in a few weeks time.
Finally, the HCFR is looking at becoming part of a broader information concept. A few intriguing offers have come across my desk in the past few months, and it's time to make a decision. As I write this on a sunny Saskatchewan summer morning, I am very aware that winter is only few months away and the future must be prepared for. Not only for this publication, but also for myself.
It's been great so far. And we'll be back again. It's just going to be different.
PS: Next full-sized issue will be posted by October 5th. Exclusive on hempreport.com
THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE. PRINT THIS ISSUE OUT ON HEMP PAPER
HempCyberFarm: HempCyberFarm.com is your source for hemp farming information. HempCyberFarm has been a hemp farming discussion platform since 1995. Sell your harvest here! Find hempseed vendors here! Exchange hemp farming experiences. Our on-site library contains a large selection of articles related to hemp farming to further one's knowledge.
Web site:http://www.HempCyberFarm.com email: Matthew@HempCyberFarm.com©
Top of the Crop
1) Health Canada's 2000 License Report released
Health Canada's Office of Controlled Substances has released its annual statistical summary of industrial hemp licenses for 2000.
According to the report, 294 submissions for commercial licenses for cultivation were made as of June 21, 2000: 271 were granted. These licenses accounted for 5,487.06 (12,071.5 acres) hectares.
Manitoba was granted 109 licenses for 2,906.4 hectares, followed by Saskatchewan (58/1426 h.), Alberta (21/306.1h.), BC (11/291 h.), Quebec (25/239 h.), Ontario (39/216.56 h.) and Nova Scotia (8/102 h.). New Brunswick, PEI and Newfoundland and the North made no commercial applications and have no acreage.
Actual acreage seeded is lower than 12,000 acres as some licenses were granted in the winter, before producers made the actual decision to seed.
The report notes the decrease in acreage and numbers of licenses issued for cultivation from 1999 and cites two primary factors as the reason for this:
The report also says that 201 commercial authorisations were issued for "possession for other purposes". "Other purposes" accounts for the unusual circumstances of ex-CGP farmers remaining in possession of viable grain into the next calendar year, as well as non CGP farmers in the same boat, and for farmers who sought a license to acquire and posses seed before they knew where they would cultivate.
48 licenses were also granted for processing activities and 130 licenses for distribution activity were granted. 105 distribution licenses were granted in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, as it seems ex-CGP farmers have prepared for the inevitability of selling and distributing their own crop.
The report also says 65.11 hectares were licensed for research purposes almost half of them (31.35) in Manitoba.
Breeder licenses were only issued in Saskatchewan and Ontario this year. (See last issue's Cross Canada Crop Report for the flesh on these numbers.)
Source: Office of Controlled Substances
2) New Study Finds Hemp Foods and Workplace Drug Testing Not in Conflict
Persons who frequently consume food items containing hempseeds and oil are very unlikely to fail a workplace urine test for marijuana. This is the main finding of a recent toxicological study commissioned by the Agricultural Research and Development Initiative (ARDI) a program funded by the Canadian federal and the Manitoba provincial governments the North American Industrial Hemp Council (NAIHC), and several manufacturers of hemp foods.
The study was motivated by past reports of positive drug tests caused by hemp oil and snacks from seeds with relatively high levels of Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Traces of this main psychoactive ingredient of marijuana are present in industrial hemp plants, grown for fibre and seeds. Regulations in Canada, the main supplier of hempseeds to the US, limit THC levels in hempseed products to 10 parts per million (ppm). While there is currently no standard in the US, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) cites potential interference with drug testing as their main objection to the importation and sale of hemp foods.
The study monitored concentrations of THC metabolites in the urine of 15 volunteers who ate, over four consecutive ten-day-periods, one tablespoon per day of a hemp/canola oil blend. Corresponding THC doses increased stepwise from 0.09 to 0.45 milligrams (mg) per day, much below the 10 mg threshold for psychoactivity. Daily intake of 0.45 mg of THC translates into eating daily 6 tablespoons of hemp oil or a half a pound of hulled hempseeds of commercial quality. Even hemp food connoisseurs rarely consume such quantities.
At this dose, no volunteer exceeded, during the initial urine screening test, the 50 parts per billion (ppb) cut-off applied by federal and most private employers to detect marijuana use. THC doses as low as 0.2 mg/day caused several exceedances of the lower, more stringent 20 ppb cut-off used by few employers and law enforcement agencies. Yet, "confirmation testing" of these samples by the more specific GC/MS (gas chromatography / mass spectrometry) method always found THC metabolite levels much below the 10 ppb cut-off (for GC/MS). Above this cut-off, some drug testing programs consider a sample "confirmed positive" for marijuana. One of three volunteers consuming up to 0.6 mg/day of THC screened positive at the 50 ppb level but was not confirmed positive by GC/MS.
The study was co-ordinated by Leson Environmental Consulting (Berkeley, CA). A scientific advisory board of internationally acknowledged experts in pharmacology and toxicology reviewed study design and results. Says Gero Leson, the study's principal investigator: "Our results demonstrate that even people who frequently consume hemp foods of the quality now found in stores will not fail urine tests for marijuana as long as: Hempseed processors continue to adhere to thorough seed cleaning methods. These now generally keep THC levels in hemp oil and hulled seeds below 5 and 2 ppm, respectively; and Employers and administrators of drug testing programs follow established federal guidelines for urine testing, requiring that urine samples, which fail the screening test, must be confirmed by GC/MS."
The study summary will be posted by August 9,2000 at: www.naihc.org
3) New Zealand approves hemp trials in principle
New Zealand's Customs Minister Phillida Bunkle has given her officials the go ahead to start negotiating with industry representatives to develop trial plots of industrial hemp. Bunkle says that industrial hemp offered a unique opportunity for regional development in New Zealand and agreed in principle to the trials going ahead.
"More work will need to be done on developing a framework for how the trials will be conducted and which government agency will be responsible for controlling the trial plots through a licensing system.
"Industrial hemp trials can be conducted under existing legislation, but it would still need government approval for the product to be grown here commercially. If the trials are successful, we envisage removing hemp from the Misuse of Drugs Act and regulating it under the Customs and Excise Act." she said.
An inter-government agency working party which has been looking at the issue, gave its approval for trials to proceed. Industrial representatives will now meet with Customs staff in August to negotiate a framework for the trials.
"The trial period would enable us to find out what soils and conditions hemp is best suited to, and it also gives us a chance to clear up a lot of the misunderstandings about hemp it is not cannabis," says Bunkle.
New Zealand imports more than $1 (NZ) million in hemp products annually. Trials could start as early as this summer.
Source: New Zealand Hemp Industries Association Incorporated (NZHIAI)
4) Hemp Draws SRO crowd of State Legislators
State Legislators were drawn to hemp at the annual National Conference for State Legislators held July 16-20 in Chicago. Hemp was on the NCSL's official agenda for the first time, and an opening day panel on legislative, agricultural, and law enforcement issues drew a standing room only crowd.
Representative Cynthia Thielen of Hawaii made a persuasive case about that state's political leadership on hemp issues and Dr. Don Briskin of the University of Illinois gave a concise history and description of cannabis as agricultural crop and product. A Missouri Highway Patrol representative gave an irrelevant speech about how growing hemp would confuse already pot-addled teenagers, a commentary greeted with silent disbelief by the large crowd.
The next day, a follow-up panel was scheduled to deal with hemp's role in the booming natural products industry and to discuss legislative procedures.
As a result of the sessions, there was talk about the NCSL considering a pro-hemp resolution at its annual executive meeting in December.
About 1,500 state legislators, staff, policymakers, and other government officials (about one third of attendees) passed through a booth display about industrial hemp sponsored by Hempwell Inc. a marketing firm for businesses with an interest in hemp products. The booth featured hemp goods from supporting companies The Body Shop, Artisan Gear, Eco Dragon, Hemp Supply, and Living Tree Paper, along with goods from a local supporter, Patricia O'Brien of Chicago's Eco Fields. Hundreds of copies of The Body Shop's mini-Full Voice hemp booklet were given out, along with copies of Hemptech's Industrial Hemp pamphlet, VoteHemp.com fliers, and sponsoring companies' catalogues. The Hemp for Victory video played continuously.
The response was overwhelmingly positive, says Hempwell president John Howell. "The ordinary state legislator is way ahead of the federal government on the issue of re-introducing industrial hemp into our nation¹s agriculture. We heard from many legislators who plan to support and sponsor hemp bills in this upcoming legislative season. Ten states already have bills or resolutions, and with more than a half dozen in the works that we heard about at this conference, one-third of the states could be going on record as in favour of hemp by next year."
For a state-by-state summary of legislative action visit: http://www.industrialhemp.net/state.html
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Clips, Quips and Observations on the US hemp movement, markets and policy
The Good News: Industrial hemp advocates and others can breath some relief as Congress has amended the Methamphetamine Anti-proliferation Act. Essentially removing the worrisome "anti-free speech clauses", the bill will not even potentially be used against individuals and organisations who want to spread information and publish on industrial hemp.
The Bad News: word is out that the DEA will be shortly be publishing new rules on the importation of industrial hemp in the Federal Register. These rules are based on an interpretation of the Controlled Drug and Substances Act that would tighten the federal definition of marijuana. At risk are products destined for human consumption bodycare products like shampoo and lip balm and all hemp foods that may contain minuscule amounts of THC. In the words of ONDCP martinet Barry McCaffrey: "Such applications for human consumption are confounding our Federal drug control testing programs, if they contain THC, and are of significant concern." No word yet on how authorities will react to the newly released Leson study (see Top of the Crop II-2.) For that matter, how will they face future headlines such as "DEA bust healthy vegetable oil at border" and "Customs now seizing tofu protein replacement."
Next up the Navajo: In July, the Navajo Nation Council approved amendments to Navajo law, which distinguish between industrial hemp and marijuana. The next step will be to develop legislation that would regulate hemp under Tribal law. Meanwhile, the Lakota nation, who planted hemp this spring on their land in South Dakota, may be headed for an anticipated legal showdown with Federal authorities, who maintain that the spring planting still requires approval from the DEA.
Run Ralph Run: Morale is high in the Ralph Nader camp as meetings and speeches held across the county continue to build momentum. Nader, the Green Party's Presidential candidate recently met with Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura (who coyly hasn't endorsed Nader yet) in an effort to boost his media profile. Supporters say that some of Nader's biggest drawbacks as a candidate include that he is both dull and sincere and that the lifelong bachelor doesn't date anyone famous either.
Another Stalking Horse? A Pokemon amulet with a tied hemp necklace is available to anyone for purchase at Amazon.com . Reviewers give the toy a "5 star customer fun rating, 1 star educational; 4 for durability". One toy enthusiast from Shorewood, Minnesota quipped: "One of the best pokemon products. All I ever see are 2nd rate poke-products... but these little babies rock. What I really wanted was a Psyduck though, or bulbasaur (sic)." Bundling hemp with a popular children's icon, namely a genetically-modified, mutant cat creature, is damning evidence suggesting that someone somewhere is working out a sinister hidden agenda. Please lock up your children.
Please visit our new web page at:
Gen-X Research Inc. 1237 Albert St., Regina, Sask. S4R 2R5
Tel: 306-525-6519, Fax: 306-569-5938
Herbs 2000 review: July 18-22, July 23-24 Herbs 2000: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and Outlook, Saskatchewan
By Arthur Hanks
New markets for specialty agriculture are growing healthily and Canadian producers and manufacturers are poised to meet them. This was the one of the "take home" messages delegates received at Herbs 2000.
The event brought together an international array of delegates representing a huge number of new commodities and herbs. Produced by the Saskatchewan Herb and Spice Association and co-sponsored by the International Herb Association and the Canadian Herb Society, HERBS 2000 was a combination of two events: The International Herb Conference (Saskatoon) and HerbFest 2000 (Outlook).
Over 60 speakers were featured at the International Conference. Spread out over two and a half days at the two host hotels (the gothic Delta Bessborough and the modernist Sheraton Cavalier) multiple sessions ensured there was always choice and much information available. Chinese medicine? Room A. Hot new herbs out of Alberta? Room B. Marketing your herbs on the net? Ballroom C across the street. Competitive scheduling may have flustered some delegates torn with the decision of which seminar to attend, but this was a happy problem. Roughly 300 delegates registered for the event; not as many as the organisers hoped, but respectable nonetheless.
Hemp was well served with two excellent panels that drew moderately sized but knowledgeable and interested audiences. The Hemp Marketing panel included Duane Phillipi (Saskatchewan Hemp Association), Al Slinkard (University of Saskatchewan/CanAg Research and Development) and Ruth Shamai (R&D Hemp).
Highlights included Phillipi talking about the doorways opening for hempseed as feed in the pet/vet market and the possibilities of intercropping with hemp; Slinkard speaking about the development (with Saskatchewan-based CRDC) of the Canadian-bred CRAG cultivar; Shamai giving a frank overview of fibre opportunities and their slow development in Canada, as well as the "healthier" food and cosmetics markets. She also astutely noted that "hemp's problems" were becoming less and less unique to hemp. In other words, "Hemp's biggest problems" are the business ones (i.e. shipping, financing, inventory, marketing etc.) shared by any industry.
A production panel composed of Stan Blade (Alberta Agriculture), Bruce Wilson (Manitoba Agriculture) and Sasha Przytyk (Gen-X Research) delivered excellent material on the botany, growing and harvesting of hemp in the field.
A highlight of the trade show was the Hemp Oil Canada booth, who were showing their new consumer lines of food especially the My Stash brand of toasted salted hempseeds and cosmetics products.
In other sessions, many other speakers delivered invaluable information. Standouts included Maureen Rogers of the Herb Marketing Network (Marketing Medicinal Herbs), Kelly Fitzpatrick of the Saskatchewan Nutraceutical Network (Nutraceuticals a Booming Industry) and Artur Kilmasezawki of Bioriginal Food and Science Corp (Clinical Applications of GLA).
That weekend, HerbFest 2000 took over the Canada Saskatchewan Crop Irrigation Centre at Outlook. As a consumer/community/family-oriented event, Herbs 2000 showed the wide appeal and outreach of specialty crops. BioHemp's hemp smoothie marketing scored big points on a hot Saskatchewan day; matched by hemp fibre decortication by Randy Cowan (BioLin Research). Martine Carlina's (HMG/BioHemp) cooking with hemp foods seminar produced a delicious fusion of Italian, Nigerian (complements of Saskatoon's Make Me Well foods) and West Coast cuisine. The onsite hemp maze and demonstration crop facilitated by the Saskatchewan Hemp Association and Gen-X Research ensured that hemp had a high profile with the 1000 plus plant fans who showed up.
Returning to the promise of my lead, how healthy are the markets for special crops? As with many Canadian industries, the biggest markets are in the States. According to a recent Flavours and Fragrances marketing group study, sales in the US for natural foods flavourings, cosmetic and toiletries fragrances and beverage flavours is topping $2.5 billion annually. And according to Nutrition Business Journal, the US market for nutraceuticals and functional foods is estimated to be $25.8 billion annually, and growing rapidly. Saskatchewan and western Canadian producers are poised to supply a significant portion of these markets.
Flying in the face of other agribusiness trends, herb and spice and other specialty crop production is not a volume game. Successful operators grow well-managed crops on small acreages, do much of their own marketing, and are willing and able to supply well-identified niche markets (Hemp producers who haven't yet sold their grain, please take note). "Beat the trend...don't follow it."
The Saskatchewan Herb & Spice Association is the country's largest association of its kind, representing approx. 300 members. And thanks to Herbs 2000, they are now on the map. Check out www.saskherbspice.org for more info.
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Hogtown Hops Ahead with Heady Hemp Beer
By Dr. Alexander Sumach
Ah beer, the liquid bread of the brewers art that prehistoric legacy that continues to inspire the modern world. Thoughtful brewmasters across Canada are affirming that the addition of hemp as a flavouring agent to their classic formulas is very well received by their suds-sipping customers.
There is clear demand for hemp lager and ales on the fermented beverage scene. Regional breweries that dared to try Canadian hemp when it first came on the market are now reaping the rewards of innovation and selling twice as much hemp beer as they did a year ago. At least six different Canadian microbreweries (including Bowen Island, Shaftsbury, River City, Hogtown, Storm & Chanvre Rouge) are now making hemp beer; several European Breweries and US are also brewing with hemp.
Brewmaster Matthew Letki oversees production at Toronto's Hogtown Brewery and is pleased with what hemp has to offer: "Hemp beer is now our flagship product sales and production are increasing. We have received no complaints and no returns. Going with hemp was a risky move, but it was successful."
Letki reminds us that "Hemp (Cannabis sativa) is closely related to hops (Humulus lupulus) a key flavouring ingredient in all beer. Hops share some botanical features of marijuana, but do not develop any controlled substances in their resinous female flowers. Hops are extensively cultivated in BC, California and Washington State for the brewery trade. Hops, a light hypnotic, provides the light buzz that beer drinkers have come to expect."
(HCFR readers are aware of course that there are no adverse toxicological side-effects with consuming hempseed; as a point of interest, the master brewer at Kawartha Lakes Brewery in Peterborough once told Dr. Sumach that a handful of fresh hops would kill a dog! editors)
"Hops are very strong in flavour and make up less than 1% of total beer ingredients," says Letki. Hogtown uses about 2.5 kg of hops per 4000 litres, and began adding 4% hempseed in the first batches while other brewers use only 2 or 3% hemp in their recipes.
"Hemp really rounds out the tang of hops," asserts Lekti.
Since Hogtown tasters have determined that the ideal flavour range approaches crescendo when more hemp is used, he wants to include as much as 9% hempseed in their recipe by Christmas. If triple hemp content beer meets any success, other hemp brewers will upgrade their products as well and move to a richer blend of hemp in their beers to keep up.
Triple hemp beer will create more demand for Canadian grown hemp. Brewers of vision like Letki are aware that the future success of their hemp beer depends on careful selection of hempseed suppliers who will work with them to do R&D in coming up with the finest finished product.
As the microbreweries gain points in the marketplace with their premium hemp suds, the Canadian hemp industry only stands to benefit from their bubbling success. Canada enjoys a brief monopoly as the sole hemp-producing nation in the Americas and expects stiff competition if the US enters her own domestic program anytime soon. Canadian players are determined to keep hemp well supplied. The way to do this is to make it attractive for Canadian farmers to grow hemp on a scale that will guarantee well-priced supplies for the future
As well, the big label national breweries are watching this advance and waiting for hempseed to be available in the large commercial quantities they will require before introducing hemp into their foaming oceans of cheer. Beer drinkers tend to be very conservative when it comes to their grog of choice, and managing lifetime brand loyalty is what makes the eternally successful beer carousel go round.
If the mighty Beer industry twigs onto hemp big time, they would require more hempseed than the present edible oil, cosmetic or granola bar markets combined. Beer could become the new engine of influence driving hemp down the economic highway. Like beer drinking, beer brewing is a year round activity. A bottle of hemp shampoo may last three months; a litre of hemp beer lasts an evening (or less).
Hogtown has a big batch of hemp beer on the go day and night and bottles 16,000 litres every day at their Toronto sudsworks. They have a grain silo on site, and receive regular deliveries of hempseed from Hempola, a leading supplier near Barrie, Ontario.
Hogtown used to work with French varieties and are now brewing with the famous FIN 314 variety. While other breweries use the cake left from the hempseed salad oil presses, Hogtown uses only milled whole seed in their innovative recipe. The subtleties of starch osmosis (e.g.: the process of dissolving water-soluble carbohydrate parts of the seed meal in the brewing water)at initial brewing temperatures can make or break the palatability of the brew, and more research will be required until the brewers are able to present the Holy Grail of hemp beer.
Hogtown's popular hemp beer is available on tap at leading Toronto bars and restaurants or by the case at beer and liquor stores across Ontario.
Dr Sumach is associate editor of HCFR and director of the Hemp Future Study Group
Marketing Hemp Products
By Lucie Letourneau
Hemp, as you know, is a plant that offers many diverse end products. All of these can be marketed and sold with good profitability, if done correctly.
In marketing, many hemp manufacturers tend to focus on their own personal beliefs, such as the preservation of the environment, macrobiotic food, or the legalisation of Cannabis sativa as a medicine. However, these beliefs will not put the product in the mass market, or generate sales. They will only fill up manifestos!
So when a corporation and /or a proprietorship create a hemp product to be sold on the market, their main concern and question should be "Who am I selling this product to? "
The worst thing that can be done by manufacturers is to believe that everyone will like their product because they are convinced that the product is the best of them all. They may be right about the quality of the product, but successful marketing does not work this way.
In order to generate sales and profitability a marketing plan has to be set up. This plan may vary with time but should never change. The goals and milestones previously set have to be followed and periodically reviewed.
Remember that hemp products are new to the market, and that hemp is associated with Cannabis sativa. Some may find this obvious, and an irrelevant comment, but Cannabis sativa can be pictured by some as a friend and by others as an enemy. Always remember this and work your marketing plan with this thought in mind.
To set up your marketing plan, here are some questions that need to be answered:
1) Who is the target consumer?
Think about: Age, sex, education level, salary, religion, sports played, magazine bought, newspapers read, preferred colours (fashion), languages spoken, nationality (roots), eating habits, geographical area.
2) Why would he/she buy your product?
These are the key words to your marketing campaign & publicity. Please do not say that they will buy it because it is good for them, or solely because it is hemp (these people will only purchase once or twice, or not at all.)
3) How will he/she acquire the product?
Does your targeted group usually purchase with credit cards? Do they always pay cash? Can they wait for the product to arrive by mail or courier? Do they purchase their goods in big chain stores, or around the corner boutique? Do they travel a lot? How many hours are spent in front of the TV, Internet, or theatres? Do they have cars or travel by bus? Do they use similar products which are hemp free? If yes, where do they buy them, and how much do they pay?
All these questions seem simple, but once you can answer them all, you'll know which retailers and distributors to choose. ?
4) Why wouldn't they buy your product?
- Is it because the price may be too high, or too low?
- That the packaging is to small, too big?
- That they do not know where to buy it? Or the process is too long or too complicated, or simply not convenient for him/her.
- Because hemp sounds like "dope" to their ear?
- Because they think it is illegal?
- Because they do not know of the existence of the product?
When you have answered all of these questions, and you are secure about your answers (which also have to be verified), then alliances must be made with the distribution channel, the media, other hemp manufacturers, and the retailers. Never hide behind someone to avoid problems or questioning. Be available!
Your distribution also has to be different. You have to be creative. Let people say you are crazy, let them wonder how in the world you came up with such an idea. Consult professionals even if an investment from your part is needed. The first impression on the market your product will have has to be punchy. Never take for granted that consumers will automatically be interested in your product.
Consumers have to know the advantages of your product, where they can buy it, why they should spend their hard-earned money on it. What is their benefit in purchasing it?
All of this looks very simple, but when you sit down to think it over the strategy in achieving the sales it may seem less obvious how it should be done.
Finally, always remember to give sales incentives to those who put your product on the market (sales teams, sales individuals, retailers, and distributors)! Salaries & commissions are not enough. Sales people deserve more. Make them feel this way. Commit to help them sell your products, by putting out targeted advertising, and by getting on TV and radio shows. Be a company of your word. People understand start-up companies, and have a lot of respect for them. And if needed, hire a spokesperson to do the public relations with you. Finally, your packaging and art work is the image of your company and product. Always remember it.
We wish you great sales & a lot of success!
Lucie Letourneau is the owner and President of Canolio Cosmétiques. She can be reached at email@example.com
Hedron Analytical Inc. is fully licensed under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and its Regulations with Health Canada to possess and produce THC-containing hemp products. We provide all of the analytical needs of the hemp industry. Call or email us for a price list: Hedron Analytical, 1650 Pandora Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V5L 1L6. Tel: 604-251-3363, Fax: 604-258-9497, email: firstname.lastname@example.org web site: www.hedron.ca
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