“I am a farmer and this time of year, I am ordinarily in the field, so it really is providing me an chance to meet folks I’d under no circumstances meet,” stated Jim Douglas, owner of Sticky Tomato.
“There is just tremendous interest in hemp items and grocery and convenience stores. The buyers are asking about it so I assume the possibilities are boundless,” stated Rob Ikard, President of the Tennessee Grocers & Comfort Shop Association.
Ikard stated lots of of the items at the expo, like Sticky Tomato, are produced locally, element of the Choose Tennessee plan with the Tennessee Division of Agriculture or T.D.A.
“This is the chance for these producers to get their items in front of their retailers in Tennessee so they can get their items on their shelves,” stated Ikard.
The T.D.A. numbers show the quantity of hemp growers has grown 12-fold from 2018 to much more than two,700 licenses in 2019.
“These growers are going to want to discover channels by way of which to sell their solution,” stated Ikard.
Jim Burns, the merchandiser for grocery chain Kroger, stated talks for its retailers are currently in the performs.
“The commodity is truly developing,” stated Burns. “A lot of people are having into that and we’re unquestionably searching into that location as well.”
It really is fascinating possible for hemp producers like Douglas.
He stated he’s hoping to nail his seven-minute pitch to Fortune 500 firms at the expo.
But regardless of the outcome, he stated the future of hemp in Tennessee is promising.
“It really is truly fascinating to see the misconception go away and for these items and this way of life and way of life modifications to come in the light and be totally supported,” stated Douglas.