Last weekend, the hemp industry gathered outside Nashville, Tennessee for two days of parties, panels, and a push for stronger hemp laws.
From Sept. 6 to 7, the second annual Southern Hemp Expo took place at the Willaimson County Agriculture Expo Center on the outskirts of Nashville, Tennesee. Hosted by the Colorado Hemp Company, known for the popular NoCo Hemp Expo that’s taken place for the past six years outside of Denver, the Southern Hemp Expo showed this year that it — and the hemp industry — will continue to grow.
Over 150 vendors represented the full supply and production chain for hemp, and multiple stages hosted panels and discussions from experts from around the country. On Friday, Sept. 6, there was a business expo, which was packed with attendees and had robust panels and speakers, including a video presentation from Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, the sponsor of the Hemp for Victory Act.
Tennessee has had strong activism pushing for better laws, especially after “Operation Candy Crush” in February 2018, when authorities raided and tried to shut down at least 17 retail businesses selling CBD products. While all of the charges were eventually dropped, activists made sure to ensure protections in new regulations, including for the sales of hemp flower. This has led to the blossoming of a local hemp industry, such as the Knoxville, Tennesee-based Bluhen Botanicals, which recently received $30 million in funding.
On Saturday, I personally MCed the education stage and helped to introduce a power panel of professional athletes Riley Cote, Matt Wilhelm, and Kyle Turley. I also introduced the Tennessee State Representative Jay Reedy.
Saturday night was the official afterparty down the road at Mafiaozas, with live music and a hemp flower bar sponsored by Corbin Sciences brand BILLY.
The southern region is showing major hemp leadership, and Tennessee has laws allowing the sale of hemp flower. Farmer licensing and acreage is skyrocketing, so you might want to mark your calendars for the Southern Hemp Expo for next year.