Cannabis continues to grow in popularity thanks to its increasingly established place in the multi-billion dollar natural medicine and sustainable alternative materials industries. Today, everything from high quality, lab-tested CBD products to eco-friendly bioaggregate masonry units can be made from hemp. Hemp farms themselves are being studied for their ability to function as effective carbon sinks in the fight against climate change. These are just some of the reasons that public interest in hemp farms is at an all-time high.
How did hemp get so popular?
The fundamental transformation in public perception around hemp was set by the Agriculture Improvement Act (better known as the “Farm Bill”) of 2018. The Farm Bill clearly and permanently delineated the differences between hemp, a non-psychoactive variety of the cannabis plant with plenty of industrial potential, and marijuana — a form of cannabis rich in THC grown for its narcotic properties.
This was a crucial distinction to make, as it paved a pathway to legalization for hemp to be grown on an industrial scale for the purposes of study and development of sustainable alternatives to plastics, diesel fuels and steel. Medical researchers have also since discovered appreciable medicinal and therapeutic potential in CBD, the primary cannabinoid present in hemp.
The 2018 Farm Bill is the reason hemp enjoys a different legal status from marijuana, which is still technically illegal at the federal level due to its levels of THC, a psychoactive compound classified as a controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Agency. As of this writing, hemp is used everywhere from construction sites to inner suburbia, and CBD has helped everyone from children with Dravet syndrome to professional athletes and performers on the go.
Whether your own interest in hemp farms is rooted in curiosity as to how your favorite CBD products are made — or the life goal of starting your own hemp farm in the future — the single best way to learn about them is to tour them personally. Luckily, cannabis tourism is evolving into a massive industry in its own right; offering dispensary tours, farm tours and even food tours to curious minds from all over the world every year.
So which hemp farm should you visit in the US? In this post, we go over four great destinations around the country for anyone looking to tour a hemp farm, as well as a brief overview of each individual tour’s highlights and features for hemp enthusiasts of all levels.
Bayfield, Colorado’s Chimney Rock Farms
Chimney Rock Farms is comprised of idyllic farmland and a central research center occupying 60 acres along the Piedra river, where Chimney Rock personnel research and develop advanced feminized hemp genetics. Tours are offered to growers, farmers and aficionados alike, who will be able to observe field trials as well as the farm’s development process up close.
Other tour features include viewing and presentation of the farm’s twelve solar thermal drain-back system, two passive solar greenhouses, 18-kilowatt per hour photo-voltaic system and various propagation rooms.
Northern California’s Emerald Farms Seed-to-Sale Tour
If you happen to reside in the Bay Area or NorCal in general, and are considering becoming an entrepreneur in the cannabis space, you simply can’t go wrong with the Emerald Farms Seed-to-Sale tour. The tour takes hemp believers of all levels through every aspect of the farming process; the best seed varieties to use in different climes, tending crops through each growth phase, and the different extracting, refining and isolating processes that take growers from mature hemp plant to market products fully compliant with current federal regulations.
According to tour reviews, the Emerald Farms experience is unique in that it’s a hybrid between a farm tour and a hemp-focused business workshop for budding growers and prospective entrepreneurs. This comprehensive approach to cannabis tourism has secured Emerald Farms a top spot in the American cannabis tourism industry.
Bergheim, Texas’ Pur Isolabs Hemp Farm
Pur Isolabs has created a novel hemp farm tour experience that starts at their largest greenhouse and ends in the field, where attendees are free to participate in the harvesting process. Products made from hemp grown on-site are also available at the end of the tour, creating a range of first-hand experiences for curious minds and cannabis greenhorns in one go.
While largely conservative states like Texas are yet to embrace the cannabis industry the way their more progressive counterparts in Oregon and New York have, farms like Pur Isolabs are important pioneers in new and exciting markets — and certainly worth a visit if you happen to be in the area.
Southern California’s Mendocino Coast Premium Cannabis Tours
Rather than a single farm, Mendocino Coast Tours offers a range of different tours across the many hemp farms that dot the Mendocino area, popularly known as the “Emerald Triangle.” SoCal hemp farms produce some of the highest-quality hemp in the US market, and are partnered with world-class dispensaries at the top of the industry. Attendees can engage not only with farm personnel, but take part in open Q&As with participating farm managers in charge of innovation and quality control as well.
Mendocino Coast Tours is committed to providing an educational and social setting from which attendees can learn about the benefits of cannabis and its role in a sustainable future. The beautiful California weather is an excellent bonus to complement the experience.
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