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  • Hemp Panel
  • Hemp Panel
  • Hemp Panel

WGCIT Hosts Industrial Hemp Meetup

Posted on April 18, 2019 13:54 PM by elyons

The Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology hosted Hemp Information and Overview Meetup on April 17 to discuss the latest trends in industrial hemp and opportunities for specialty crop growers and agtech companies.

Gabe Youtsey kicked off the meetup by speaking about the hemp program at the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and research surrounding the uses of hemp. Richard De Andrade of Solare Trace Inc., a traceability software company, shared the newest cutting-edge platforms and structured supply chain services for hemp production and distribution. Jeff Brothers, CEO of VetGrow, spoke about the hemp industry in Monterey County. Dennis Donohue, director of the Center, led a Q&A session to close out the meetup and brought attention back to the issues growers were most interested in.

During the event, the panelists discussed how hemp is federally legal, since it is used in numerous commercial products like paper, rope, canvas, and textiles. Innovators are working on hemp seed, hemp oil, hemp grain, and hemp fiber varietals. The speakers also pointed out that hemp is a new area of interest for government bodies, and current growers are interested in learning about the regulatory status. Hemp, in direct contrast to cannabis, is legal at the state and federal level. This event served as a snapshot for the issues surrounding hemp. Additionally, Youtsey shared how UC Davis’ iHemp program is working to position “California as a global leader in hemp innovation.”     


The Industrial Hemp Meetup garnered attention from a wide variety of agtech enthusiasts and Western Growers members. Attendees filled the Center to the point where it was ‘standing room only.’

 “It was terrific to see such a strong turnout,” said Donohue about the event. “The Center is going to continue to provide value to members by identifying emerging needs and opportunities to our network.”

Due to the positive feedback from our members and innovators, we will plan on hosting a second Industrial Hemp Meetup in the near future.