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HARRISON COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Some Kentucky farmers inform LEX 18’s Kylen Mills that they had been ripped off by a hemp firm, leaving them out of millions of dollars.

Now, these farmers have filed a lawsuit against Gencanna Worldwide Incorporated, a firm that grabbed focus for their analysis and improvement of new solutions.

As tobacco sales dried up, numerous Kentucky farmer turned to hemp as a way to make a living. Farmers like Kendall Henson and Ben Furnish who run Furnwood Farms in Harrison County. They are each eighth generation farmers with ag-financial degrees. The two had been excited about the possibility of increasing hemp when they signed a contract with agricultural enterprise firm Gencanna in 2016.

Henson and Furnish say in the starting, Gencanna was quite “boots on the ground,” discussing with the farmers strategies to develop hemp and how to create higher high quality crop. Gencanna had opened a facility in Winchester in 2014 when the Hemp Pilot System began in Kentucky, and Henson and Furnish say that Gencanna supplied them with seeds. They helped teach them about increasing the crop, and they delivered the harvest back to Gencanna. Henson and Furnish say the operating partnership continued to blossom in 2016 and 2017.

In 2018, they say enterprise was booming for Furnwood Farms and Gencanna, and 76 acres of hemp netted the farmers $1.eight million. So for 2019, Gencanna approached them with a massive proposal to expand their operations

“We as Furnwood would come up with 500 acres of farmers, to develop 500 acres worth of hemp, but we would also take it a step additional and dry for Gencanna,” mentioned Furnish.

Drying is a procedure the plants go by way of prior to they are turned into CBD solutions. Henson and Furnish inform us they had been prepared to accept the profitable deal in February, one particular in which their lawyer, Scott White, mentioned could have boosted their take to 15-20 million in 2019. They brought other farming households into the deal, but contract negotiations stalled.

“The fundamentals had been there, just the contract drafting that the lawyers had to agree upon,” Furnish mentioned.

Henson and Furnish inform LEX 18 that abruptly, it was late June and they had no seeds from Gencanna to place in the ground and no agreement, then Gencanna sent them a contract that wasn’t something like they had discussed.

“In order for us to get plants to go into the ground with, we had to sign the agreement. It was also late in the year for us to discover one more supply for that. For us to say, ‘okay Gencanna, we’re not going to go with you, we’re going with some else,'” mentioned Furnish.

At the time, Furnish and Henson say Gencanna assured them the program was nevertheless on track, till it wasn’t.

“It really is quite clear in the text messages all the way by way of July, “what is going on with the drying, what is going on with the drying? When is the agreement going to be signed?” It really is all quite clear, till the communication just stopped,” mentioned Henson. “They would not even reply.”

They say in late August, they discovered by way of e mail that their earlier deal was off, and on major of that, Henson and Furnish say the seed Gencanna sent them to develop as low high quality. They say Furnwood Farms will drop millions of dollars this year.

Henson and Furnish told LEX 18 that they filed the lawsuit against Gencanna to show the firm, and other individuals, you cannot come into Kentucky and attempt to dupe our farmers.

An official with Gencanna released a statement to LEX 18 which reads, “Though we can not comment on the merits of this pending litigation, we are confident in our position with farmers across the Commonwealth and will prevail in this lawsuit. We continue to meet our commitment to Kentucky farmers by way of our Certified Farming Network. We think in Kentucky farmers and our neighborhood Kentucky communities and continue to invest heavily in our household farming partners.””

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