Hemp Barons 0018: Morris Beegle


Morris Beegle
is a serial hemp entrepreneur who has started many successful hemp companies employing innovative & cutting-edge technologies. He talks to Joy Beckerman on the Hemp Barons podcast about his hemp career and about some of his hemp business including The NoCo Hemp Expo which was voted Hemp Event of the Year by the Hemp Industries Association two years running in 2017 and 2018. He also talks about how The Silver Mountain Hemp Company manufactures specialized guitars, speaker cabinets, accessories and components molded from hemp composites.and challenges Tree Free Hemp has creating hemp paper at a price point that is competitive with traditional paper made from trees.

Produced By MJBulls Media

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Dan Humiston:
Hello everyone. Welcome back to another episode of Hemp Barons. I'm Dan Humiston. And if you missed last week's episode then you haven't heard that we have a brand new host Joy Beckerman has taken over on the mike which is awesome because not only is she the world's foremost hemp authority but she also knows all the other hemp which is obvious in today's show as she reconnects with one of her old friends and a true hemp serial entrepreneur. Let's join Joy's conversation with Morris Beagle.

Joy Beckerman:
Well hey there Morris. Thank you so much for being with us today.

Morris Beegle:
Well thanks Joy. Thanks for having me on. It's great to be able to speak to you on Hemp Barons.

You know we've known each other now for some years and there are so many things to start with. I just really want to preface this by saying Maurice your role in the not only the national hemp industry this emerging economy into this promising herbal plant is so important but also on a global level the amount of points that you hit and the and the leadership in so many areas that we benefit from. For you it's just phenomenal. It may very well be unprecedented in fact I think it is and so many things to discuss so many projects that you have going on. But let's start at the top the one that really brings me the most joy to talk about and I think you too and that's no code in Northern Colorado hemp. You just had your sixth annual one could you tell us about the birth of milk though and really the exponential growth of that incredible community building around Ter.

Morris Beegle:
Well we started Colorado hemp company in 2012 in Colorado where an Amendment 64 was introduced to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol and basically legalize adult use. And within that legislation there was opportunity for him farmers to start growing hemp in Colorado and that basically pulled me and Elizabeth Knight into the into the hemp industry started Colorado hemp company in 2012 and fast forward to 2014 there was just a need to start doing these events and trade shows and conferences that had education and bringing industry together and and educating the public on the differences between hemp and marijuana. But yet it's all cannabis. Here's the whole plant and here's what we focused on on the hemp side and to in 2014 when we launched it it was at a small bar in Windsor Colorado that drew like three hundred and thirty people. It was packed. It was a great show. Half a dozen nations had half dozen. There's a couple dozen speakers bands. Hemp food hemp beer. Couple of dozen exhibitors. And it was a really good good show. And from there it's just magnified every year to this last year where we've had over 10000 people and 200 exhibitors in Denver and it was sold out. And it's just been this energy that used to grow year after year after year with great people coming together from all different walks of life all different industries. There's a convergence going on and it's been great to be part of that and to help facilitate an industry and a movement that's truly going to change the world.

Joy Beckerman:
And Morris there are several have conferences that go on. No coal is so unique it has gotten the best hemp event award from the Hemp Industries Association for two years in a row. You draw people from all over the world and brother I have to say that that's something that you and your spirit and that's your energy because I walk around these shows you are no co shows and you have a look of joy on your face. It's pure happiness. And when people give you compliments and say thank you and you're doing such a great job more as you know you you don't even receive that you reflected back tenfold on the person who is expressing their gratitude and their congratulations to you for creating that space and and the vibration that you said and the and and the reward that you read from your to selflessness and love for this plant and sense of duty to deliver on the promise of this plant. It is simply on that. And let's talk for a second also about she and I can't wait to talk about real we are for better alternatives which you're the co-founder and president of and it's this multitude of projects and entities within what we are for better alternatives that this operates but again it is this community building aspect is something that I just so admire and enjoy and look forward to. You've also expanded now to see which we love. We know that was on purpose to celebrate the female energy and that's the southern hemp expo taking place in Tennessee. Yes the first one last year and my right. Could you tell us a little bit about that and and the potentially unexpected response that you've got.

Morris Beegle:
Yeah. So we wanted to launch another show on the other side of the country. You know how Expo West and expo East and you've got MJ biz in Las Vegas and then you've got the MJ business conference in New Orleans and we felt that it was necessary to launch a show that was either in the south or up in the east and then the national thing just happened to work out. I'd met with Cecily Friday and Colleen to a couple years ago and. We have discussed bringing the no co energy and the moko information to the south and we thought Nashville would be a great place. And so when we did it there last year we did it at the fairgrounds and we sold out in the expo hall. We sold out the conference and we've had over 4000 people and it was a tremendous response. For the first year event out there it was really really well welcomed and we're excited to go back there. This year we're actually moving it just outside of Nashville to a town called Franklin That's like 25 30 minutes away. There's this Ag Expo Center. We're going to have one hundred and fifty plus exhibitors sixty eight thousand people this year. It's very farm and AG It's going to be a super super cool event especially in Tennessee now. It's got almost 3000 registrants for farming out there. I mean they're excited about hemp and we're excited to be out there and bring the whole tribe from around the world to share their experience and really make things happen in the south.

Joy Beckerman:
Oh it's so important and what's going on down there is such great leadership as you know Clark Palmer Debbie Cooper Cody Fields is doing important work of research work and gathering folks together. I think it may be the largest Hemp Industry Association chapter of 300 members and their monthly meetings there are like three hours Tennessee area. And just wow what a great place to end up in. And also when then we move on to again you see a very illustrious project that you do in the actual hemp industry beyond what would essentially be a full career for somebody which is which is the conferences that you do. I again just can't help to drive it home. Your spirit of cooperation and community building is such a shining example to our community and you even operate a Web site called Hemp events dot org which folks can go to I recommend hemp events that board to regulators lawmakers researchers folks in the industry students and teachers.

Joy Beckerman:
And that is a Web site that shows all of the hemp events that are going on all over the place not just know and Shi but all of the hemp conferences by the way a tremendous service that you provide to the community by operating and maintaining that Web site hemp events.org.

Morris Beegle:
I just wanted a quick comment about hemp event stories and then coming from the music industry and being a promoter and an event producer I've always found that it's great to try to work with as many other promoters and producers that are out there that have the same mindset that have the same intention and that's what hemp events dot org is about as well as collaborating with other producers promoters from around the country and around the world that want to promote the same message and the same intention and the same purpose about this plant. So that's what that event sites for and we're not the only ones out there doing it that we want to work with others that want to promote this plant in the correct way.

Joy Beckerman:
It's incredible and you want to provide a resource to folks who are thirsting absolutely thirsting for information and education about this incredible plant. And of course we are happy scratch. You certainly do you have a background brother in music promotion happy fats record a record. I know you formed in Colorado in the 90s and in fact one of the offshoots of it being prolific endeavor is that you are engaged in with hemp and have been for a number of years. You also started to hemp Guitar Company. Could you tell us a little bit about that.

Morris Beegle:
Sure. So I launched Silver Mountain hemp guitars last year and I had been working back and forth with the company out of Canada. Canadian hemp guitarist who is one of a couple of guitar companies in the last 10 years it has tried to make guitars and instruments out of him and we formed a really good relationship and I asked him if we could figure out a way to come up with a private label situation they could build specific models of guitars for me. And so we built a couple of different models that they hadn't built before Telecaster model and industry model and we didn't need to build a strap model. Now we're doing UCS and I found a guitar cabinet manufacturer that could build cabinets using hemp board which are now getting from Larry Serbian and hemp traders who just came out with a brand new Canon board which is super cool. It's grown and manufactured in the United States. So we've got hemp board guitar cabinets that are given homegrown here in the United States produce the United States and then we've got hemp guitar cabinets that we're going to probably be a to build 50 or 60 up before the end of the year and really go into a little bit more production than we have been. And we're also making hemp guitar straps and hemp guitar perks and volume knobs made under hemp plastic. So it's a small boutique label at this point that I think that it's a great it's a it's a it's a great way to show the public that a hemp can do all kinds of things that can even make guitars. So I again I think it's Molina a piece that promotes the plant. You know I don't want to be Gibson or Fender and you that I need good guitars are great but it just goes to show that this plant can really do any good.

Joy Beckerman:
And that is just a great segway for the question that I was gnawing a hole on the inside of my cheek to ask you why you were speaking while my heart was bursting because essentially you're taking your passion for music and you are using it as a showcase and demonstration hub for so many uses of this versatile plant. And for the listeners who who may not realize what we're talking about when we say hemp guitar you know I wonder if they're picturing something with leaves coming out of it now. Hemp board looks like plywood guys except that instead of cutting down trees we are using a fast growing renewable crop and purge the inner core of that stock to create the hemp board. Tell us a little bit just about the bio plastic or the hemp presence or however it is that you create because the guitar.

Morris Beegle:
So the guitar body is what it's a bass fibre composite that is molded around a wood course. So it's really it's about between an eight and a third of an inch thick. And it's again it's a bass fibre composite. And then there's we we've been working on different lacquer finishes because they're really it's a it's a tough thing to find a good eco friendly lacquer. So there there's been some prototyping going on there and I think that we've about got it figured out because there's been some cracking with this lack of finish over the course of the last couple of years depending on what environment it goes into and that's another thing that's tricky about guitars in general where you go from a human climate to a dry climate like Colorado and stuff like that. So figuring out all the nuances of the materials is a challenging thing to do. They're great guitars. The bodies look super cool you can see there the fiber green and you can color it however you want. We're getting ready to do a couple of natural guitars so you'll really be able to see kind of the herd and the fiber finish because there's a little bit of hurt in there as well too. So anyway if it's the body in the guitar that's that's the hemp part.

Joy Beckerman:
Yes. No. This is so great. And five or four for listeners who may not realize that the outer bark of the hemp stock. So they heard the inner core and the vast is that outer bark and there were other vast fibre crops to Nath and blacks and so on. Just amazing.

Dan Humiston:
I want to take a minute to think of our Hemp Barons listeners and to let you know that you can support the show by subscribing to MJBulls premium. It's only four dollars and ninety nine cents a month and you gain access to all previous episodes of Hemp Barons as well as all m MJBulls other podcasts and exclusive content. Go to MJBulls.com and enter promo code Barrons to get your first month free.

Joy Beckerman:
I remember interviewing you in July of 2015 we're already well friends and brother and sister by that time but I get to do some writing for marijuana venture magazine out of Seattle. And I remember interviewing you because now as if everything that we haven't spoken about is so important and such a major contribution. Getting right down to it rather replacing toxic wood paper that is inferior to hemp paper with hemp blended paper of archival quality that's naturally acid free and so on and so forth we're really starting to talk about chopping wood and carrying the water for planetary healing and Colorado hemp company also had the branch tree we have paper and I found a sentence in the article that I wrote about you and it said you know you started this with Lizzy at night and business development manager Chris Wogan and you and when you had this inspiration you found that sourcing hemp blunt blended paper was quote well basically impossible period worldwide period and you realized you were going to have to manufacture it yourself. Can you tell us about the challenges of which are all opportunities all opportunities to build infrastructure. Every challenge that we have in hemp is really just more opportunity to get engaged and to build this economy. That tells a lot about that about the challenge. And then the services that you offer with regard to hemp paper because they are so in demand so hard to find and there are a couple other folks you know moving in but they have limited services and products that they're offering. So can you tell us about three free hemp from challenges to the great services that you provide.

Morris Beegle:
So when we started pre free hemp it was in 2013 and I had found a natural paper maker out of California Greenfield paper company and they were making a variety of papers including a hemp blended paper and that's where we first grabbed our paper from and worked out a manufacturing milling deal with those guys. And at that time though the fiber was coming from Canada and then things kind of dried up in Canada. The subsidies run ran out for some of these people that were actually processing fiber in Canada which as you know the fiber side of things in Canada has been problematic for a long time and they never figured out a way and I think they are now to how to utilize that waste. But when that dried up then we had to start sourcing material from across the pond over and out of steam and know how to Europe because nobody in the United States at this point has been able to figure out how to create a usable hemp pulp sewn strand has been working on things I think that they'll come up with something that Larry Berger that pure hemp technology we have worked together on creating pulp and we actually created a hemp stock paper pulp that's under 3 3 hemp where we make some 50 50 paper using Colorado grown hemp with edge technology his counter current reactor or continuous counter current reactor where they make a really cool pulp and then we blended it together with some post consumer waste in Boulder and there's a company called Bloom in there that's a handmade paper company and we made some really cool specialty art paper which we still use for limited edition posters at the events and so forth.

Morris Beegle:
But the hemp paper market has been challenging. There's not that many mills left it's a dirty industry and we have to retool these mills to start being able to use props like hemp or canal or flax and this material that can do weird and replace tree based coal. We don't need to be chopping down trees to make our paper anymore. It's we've just decimated r r r forests and our R eco systems out there. When you when you chop down forests for paper and then you replant like GMO trees and and have these tree farms that grow in 8 to 12 years nothing lives there is nothing other than the trees that. So we we gotta get away from this where we're using crop based pulp to make our paper and our packaging.

Joy Beckerman:
And forgive me because I definitely want to go into those services for my own selfish reasons and so that other people who are listening will be inspired to replace their toxic wood bleach wood paper in their offices in their homes with your hemp blended paper when they. So I mean I really do want us to address that but I can't help. As we discuss the planet here it's not just this growing of trees and there's this ridiculous use of trees could you explain to us what linen is and and what was the difference in the Lithuanian content and trees versus hemp and also the need to bleach versus not and what the dioxins in our water table do.

Morris Beegle:
Some of that stuff might be technically above my head. Hemp has a high concentration of cellulose and it's also got lignin. All plants have lignin and lignin is a sticky byproduct that can be used for adhesives in a variety of other materials that a company like your hemp technology has been working on for years and they've got one of the top lignin scientists in the world. But you have to dig dignify the material to get it into the paper market and it's a very chemically driven process typically with wood. And that's one of the things where you have to use all these chemicals to strip off the ligaments and just give them the cellulose and the pure hemp technology. Technology actually does it in a way that is very environmentally friendly and running it through their counter current reactor and everything is closed loop so any of the chemicals that they do use never escape and they're continually reused so they've got to process that from a chemical standpoint that is way way better for the earth.

Joy Beckerman:
So it's that I am not that's even a double whammy that they have a process that recycles and reuses and maximizes the huge amounts of chemicals that are required to break down the linen. And you know brother the way I tend to describe it to people I say if you punch a tree trunk you're gonna hurt your hand. That's a bit hard to tell because Leon is what gives plants their rigidity and protection whereas you can punch a hemp stock you're not going to hurt your hand. There's only about 3 percent linen and so those chemicals simply aren't necessary when we really start to wrap our heads around like Oh my goodness we have you know a chemical that takes the break down a tree trunk to get to the cellulose. When hemp has only 3 percent linen and is basically 75 to 85 percent cellulose you know such a game changer. And the fact that we don't have to bleach it and poison the water tables with dollars the dioxins it's just such an incredible service that you do to provide this stuff. And what is available at three free hemp offices and homes.

Morris Beegle:
Well we do have some reams of paper reams of paper it's still incredibly pricey because of the lack of the amount of hemp paper that's available in the marketplace when we run hemp paper and we just ran 10000 thousand pounds of it running 10000 pounds of paper compared to running two hundred thousand eight hundred thousand pounds of paper on a monthly basis like a lot of these the paper companies do the price become pretty expensive. So reams we do have that these are fairly pricey it's like 40 bucks a ring that we offer business cards postcards posters brochures program guides greeting cards letterhead general. All purpose marketing collateral. We were starting to do some packaging we're working on a new paperweight. That's a eighteen point paperweight that would be great for texture boxes and the packaging and in a variety of packaging that's getting getting into some packaging getting into here. Some people are doing packaging with their hemp paper that's that's out there. But to me the heaviest weight paper that we've got it's like a 15 point. It's just it doesn't quite stand up to what's out there in the market where you can find these recycled stocks that are a little bit more rigid. So there's some RFD and technical processes that need to be developed and then are being worked on again by pure hemp technology who I think I'm allowed to say is launching a new entity called Pure hemp pulp and paper that I will be working with and me and others. I've just had a conversation on it last night. So there's exciting things that that those guys are doing over there that we're going to be partnering with. So exciting things for the future of hemp paper coming this year.

Joy Beckerman:
Oh my God. I mean one a note to end on brother that just made my heart sing clear him pulp and paper. You know that Adler better is one of my favorite humans. I love you you gentlemen working together is just it's such a light. And thank you. Ten million times over for everything you do. We've only scratched the surface in this interview. We could go on and on for each of your products. And we haven't even touched upon this a tremendous activist that you are rather you've got fire. You don't want to be on the opposite side of Morris when he's fired out that you've done the movement wrong. You know you're just an amazing soul. We're so blessed to have you anything that I can ever do for you. You know you can always call brother just so many folks that appreciate you and lift you up so much. Thank you for being on the show today. And thank you for everything you do an hour more.

Morris Beegle:
Well thank you Joy and the feeling is mutual you are a rock star and Queen for the hemp industry you put out positive light and great information and your collaborative and that that's what this industry needs. Purpose intention. And there's a great group of us that have stood up to to make a difference in this world.

And it's great to be a part of it. Each one keeps one we'll just keep going. Maurice thank you again brother. Have a great rest of the week.

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