Hemp Barons 0005: Hemp Holding Company - John Porterfield

Montana is one of the few states that was prepared for the passing of the farm bill.   They was no delays for hemp companies within the state to start selling they products.   John Porterfield the CEO of the Hemp Holding Company speak with Dan Humiston about the products they are selling online and their rapid addition of acreage to their organic hemp farming operation. 

Produced by MJBulls Media.

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Dan Humiston:
Welcome to Hemp Barons. I have a feeling that people are going to be looking back about six months from now and say wow I wish I would have moved on hemp when I had the chance. John Porterfield from the hemp holding companies Today's guest. in his story is an example of being in the right place at the right time because when the hemp bill passed. he already was processing organic hemp in Montana which was one of the few states approved to process hemp. On the show Jon talks about how his business has exploded and his plans for expansion. Let's join my conversation with John Porterfield.

Dan Humiston:
John welcome to the show.

John Porterfield:
Hey thanks Dan. Thanks for having me.

Dan Humiston:
Yeah really excited to talk to you. I think maybe before we jump in to talking about hemp polling company let's take a few minutes to talk about the farm bill which passed. For those of our listeners are not familiar with this. It passed at the end of the year. Tell us how that is changed. The hemp landscape. What's new.

John Porterfield:
Well it's really opened up the entire landscape for him because and particularly for me too because we had a meeting that day in St. Paul. So a lot of our farmers that grew hemp last year we came together to share stories and I got an interview on Montana Public Radio and that turned into quite a rash of phone calls for the next few weeks after that it was called the leader in Montana. The farm bill really did open it up. It really just kind of took the blinders off from people that wanted to either invest in the industry or those that wanted to grow that were on the fence or you know it's just really exciting.

Dan Humiston:
Well and you're in Montana and Montana was already sort of teed up for it. So when farm bill passed you guys are sitting in the captured seat.

John Porterfield:
Yeah Montana was unique because we stayed within the guidelines of the DEA. And so North Dakota and Montana followed the federal guidelines right to the letter. And so I think that provided some unique opportunities but it also provided some challenges for the industry. So some of the challenges I believe are starting to go away meaning we'll have access to more and more varieties and a broader use that we can develop. But also we had some advantages that by following federal guidelines we're able to open up federal water so that our farmers that used federal water sources could actually pull that off because the year prior we could not.

Dan Humiston:
I mean it's just great because you guys have a head start over the rest of the states that didn't follow it or weren't prepared for this. But let's jump forward and talk about your company. I'm holding company. I read on your website you have nearly 600 acres of organic hemp. Oh my gosh yes.

John Porterfield:
That's going to grow to more than a thousand acres I'm sure maybe one of my farm manager says it'll be probably 15 to 20 thousand acres you know not too long but now I'm going to be I'll be contracting for at least a few thousand acres this year. Montana is expected to be probably in the neighborhood of 100000 acres this year.

Dan Humiston:
Oh my gosh. Man your Web site right now and I'm looking at all the products that few years ago you would have never ever seen on a Web site but you must just walk us through some of the products that are available to people just from your Web site.

John Porterfield:
Yeah interesting enough. Some of the very early support and questions came from a actually having it available in pre rolls and so are really higher quality flour we were able to harvest that and put that into a pre roll machine and actually have like a pre rolled cigarette that the joke was that you couldn't smoke to happen don't bother to smoke an entire field to get high but no one was really interested in getting high from it. They wanted the body out of the CBD and they could dose it themselves by having their own cigarette. So the heating of it is what generates the CPB. That was one thing that was really kind of a surprise when we heard about it years ago from European sources that smoke or hemp is going to be very popular. It sure enough and it was some of the very early purchases have been for that. And then some of the other things have been relationships with businesses that would like to get into the production side but really don't have a lot to set up yet. And so that's what we ran into as a group these crops that there was no processing. And so we've been doing it on a trial basis but various different companies that one that wants to make vinegar. So it's a food item that we go through our Public Health and Human Services. So a different process to be registered that they want to make the vinegar from my home and then they would also like to make biochar sort of biochar from a bioreactor so we've proven that we can actually take a waste product from the cannabis industry products that have already been extracted of their CBD and actually use that and put it through a IO reactor and create it into char. So it's still useful soil but just an explosion of products that could start happening here. It's just incredible when you start to think about it.

Dan Humiston:
I mean I'm just looking at your Web site right now and you have hemp seed oil and you have to have stock and you have the hemp heard hemp pellets have seed hemp flower hemp root. Of course the vinegar that you just talked about Yeah you really just scratching the surface right now.

John Porterfield:
I know and really scratching under the surface for trying to find ways that we can harvest the roots because the Parkinson's Foundation and a number of other people that have tremors find that their root treatments are the treatments that help them break that tremor so it's we're excited we're trying to find ways that we can grow it more like a potato crop. There's so many different ways to grow it. I mean what equipment you have available to you. I'm excited for rural America really rural Montana in this case because everyone in contract through me is going to have a brighter future. I mean it looks like we'll give it to. Considerably more than any of the other crops that we've ever grown in Montana on a per acre basis.

Dan Humiston:
Now this is a real good opportunity. You could be like a once in a generation opportunity to really seize the moment and the hemp crop and take advantage of the pricing right now.

John Porterfield:
Right. I think that's the main thing to take advantage of the unique ability to get into the processing to really get into making the product or the raw material where you're taking the raw biomass.

John Porterfield:
It's easy enough to grow and the farmers want to focus on growing. They don't want to focus on the next step which is very expensive and takes much more risk and frankly desperate investors need to come in. That's really where the business of making things out of all this is really the exciting part. There's potentially 50000 different uses. There's machines for all those different uses. Some that are parallel to existing industries where we're getting into bio plastics that bio plastics you know we're taking away from styrofoam using the same equipment where we'll use it as fuels where we'll be using it in concrete. You see my pallets on the website those pallets are not a universal commodity. They don't have any viable seats in them. They've been build up and crushed and put into a pallet but the Pulitzer compressor doesn't bulk out equipment. As far as putting it on a truck it becomes a heavier denser material and it's also very consistent so that the temperate industry that would like to use it as a lightning additive this specialty additive that makes it lighter. The concrete that's lighter is less expensive to transport and potentially has these other anti-microbial benefits and we've only just in our infancy on that. You think about black machinery and the types of blocks that are out there heavy concrete blocks that can be made lighter by including the pallets.

Dan Humiston:
I've said this before this is gonna change the world. There's not just medical benefits from it. It touches every single thing in our lives. Speaking of investing in investment opportunities. Q You have so much on your plate right now. I mean it's impossible to do this out of cash flow. So how are you going to fund this growth.

John Porterfield:
Well the plan really is to get some investors involved. That will help to buy the equipment we need. It's just a matter of getting the equipment. It's basically cleaning the seat the most benign part of this whole hemp industry is in the seat itself so cleaning the seat is the critical step. Getting it to a final spark of ninety nine point ninety five percent it's in the 3 or 4 million dollars for that equipment just clean it and then it takes a couple million dollars just for the process to press it now enjoy hemp seed oil which is a fantastic commodity. So that's step one and then timer production. It takes a few million dollars just to get into the coordination machinery that is going to create enough product that you'll have some fiber to do anything with and you also create heard out of that process too. There's just two primary parts that will all take three to five million dollars to establish.

Dan Humiston:
But you know to me it just doesn't seem like a lot because the return on the investment is going to be is going to be so fast and then you create this barrier entry that is going to make it difficult for anybody. If you're the first mover in this you have such an advantage and like I said you're sitting right in the captured seat sitting up there in Montana already doing this while other states are trying to get all their paperwork in place.

John Porterfield:
Yeah I mean we've got a lot of good relationships already built. The state of Montana has had their act together now for about four years doing this. So they've made the programs a lot more palatable to the farmers to participate in. So it means that we have 50 million acres fifty point eight million acres technically of farmland in Montana. We have about five and a half million of that is in weight in our commodity prices are down. So guess what we're all looking. There's millions and millions of acres that farmers will be making decisions on over the course of the next month or two. If companies want to gain that position this is that rare chance because you can get in on this year's crop.

Dan Humiston:
We've been speaking with John Porterfield who is the CEO of Hemp holding company and we'll have all of John's information is email address because I'm confident there's going to be a lot of people that are going to want to reach out to you. I'll have your email address. We also have companies Web site address on the MJBulls website. Now is the time these people have been sitting on the fence if you want to get in. This is the time. So John it's been great. Thanks for the education really good to meet you and extend Yeah. Can you make it a point to be back on the show once this thing gets rolling.

John Porterfield:
Absolutely I'd love to be a great energy. We're trying to grow organically too. So trying to spread the good word about organic food and good for the environment too.

Dan Humiston:
So good luck and keep me posted. All right.

John Porterfield:
Thank you. I will.

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