Hemp Barons 0030: Cee Stanley | Green Heffa Farms

Clarenda Stanley or Farmer Cee is she's affectionately known is a fifth generation farmer. She speaks to Joy Beckerman about her company Green Heffa Farms and how she created the company based on the social principles of the four E's. She's proving that a successful hemp farm can can also support Economic Empowerment, Equality, Education and the Environment.

Produced By MJBulls Media | Cannabis Podcast Network

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Dan Humiston:
Welcome to another episode of Hemp Barons. I'm Dan Humiston and Anthony show this double threat. Baron is combining her family's five generations of farming experience and her non-profit expertise to demonstrate to the Hemp industry that you can do good business and do good simultaneously. Let's join Joy's conversation with pharmacy from Green Half a farm.

Joy Beckerman:
We'll CEE if Greens Heffa farm. Thank you so much for being with us today on Hemp Barons.

Clarenda Stanley:
I am absolutely thrilled. Thank you so much for having me.

Joy Beckerman:
Well, we're the ones who are thrilled you are bringing with you to this emerging Hemp industry, this promising, versatile, valuable plant, not only a farming experience, but award winning non-profit fundraising and professional marketing experience and a love for the environment and most importantly to me, a deep commitment to social equity. And I see here that you are, in fact, North Carolina's first black woman owned organic farm and retreat center with a social equity focus. And I think we can all agree there is simply not enough diversity and color in Hemp. So thank you for being with us today and see who is formerly known as Clarendon Stanley. Can you tell us first just talk about the focus that we have here at Green has the farms on social equity.

Clarenda Stanley:
Sure. So when we start at green, half the farms and greenhouse household was originally started with myself and my then spouse, who is no longer with the company, we know going into it that it was going to be based on social principles. And so those four principles are dubbed the four E's, and that's economic empowerment equity.

Clarenda Stanley:
Education and the environment, all of which are very important to me personally. And so working in the environmental space and prior to that spending pretty much all of my professional life working for non-profit causes that mean a lot. I know that you can do good business and do good. Simultaneously it's not an either or and that one does not have to sacrifice profit in order to benefit the community and benefit society at large. So because philanthropy is very important to me, because social responsibility is very important to me. I never wanted to find myself in that race was just making money, making money, making money, working in the fund raising arena and getting to know so many philanthropists and seeing what joy giving gave to people. People who have accomplished just tremendous things professionally and have been CEOs of Fortune Ten companies, etc. to see the joy that they received from giving that giving is more of a gift to them than it is to the beneficiaries. You know, I've always, always really bad off of that energy, and while I am by no means a major philanthropist, I do give a consider considerable a considerable portion of the moneys I receive, because I think that's really how we move forward. And I saw him as being not only this catalyst for the agricultural movement, I saw it as being really a catalyst for change coming from originally from Alabama. I make the fifth generation of farmers and my family on my mother's side. And just growing up, knowing the disparities that existed in agriculture and seeing how hard it was for farmers of color to be able to advance everything from acquiring capital for needed equipment or infrastructure improvements on their farm to even being able to acquire land was always just that much more difficult if you were black or brown and knowing within.

Joy Beckerman:
And indeed we're seeing and indeed we're seeing, you know, in various states or even at the federal level. Yes. And where that can be problematic, we had to fight, of course, in the beginning of Florida. And that was to make sure initial rules that were coming out and this was on you know, I don't use medical cannabis. Some years ago, it would have made the criteria to be eligible to even be enter. That beautiful opportunity where you had to have a certain amount of money. You had to have owned land for a certain amount of years. And I think when they did the stats on that, there wasn't a single African-American who would have been eligible to participate. That's something we see on a state level that I believe that has somewhat been corrected in. As I'm sure you're well aware, there was a compromise made in the farm bill of 2000 and 18, and indeed it was revolutionary included. The tribes were so happy about that.

Joy Beckerman:
But there was some contention, I believe, within the judicial committee, which is where this bill could have died or this this negotiation or these amendments could have died and this negotiation could have ended where they wanted to remove our expanded definition of Hemp to include extract cannabinoids derivative isomers also by some or so on and so forth. And that compromise resulted in a ban on folks who have had a felony drug conviction within the last ten years would not be able and are not as it sits today unless they are grandfathered in through another state program. They have an existing agricultural pilot program license from participating in this opportunity for Hemp. And as we know, drug felony convictions are a result of the failed drug war and who has been the most impacted by the failed drug war and those failed policies? It is people of color so exact. So I know that the HIPAA and others sent in public comments there, but we're still going to have to deal with that. So are our first. I wanted to go back to where are you seeing philanthropists pricking their ears up over Hemp. I'm sure that you are fundraise for a number of social equity and other and potentially environmental causes in the past. Are you seeing any. Are you seeing folks being receptive to donate towards this cause as it relates to Hemp or Hemp? Farming in the Hemp industry and then also, are you seeing already immediate challenges with folks who want to get into the Hemp industry but can not or already know that they're going to have a barrier to entry because of a drug felony conviction in the last ten years?

Clarenda Stanley:
Sure. So what I'm actually seeing more so than philanthropy are people who are interested in investing in the industry from the social investment social impact investment side. So these are your more you know, you people who are looking for a return on investment. Maybe not is as an aggressive return if it were not a social impact endeavor. But still, they are looking for a win win situation, providing the needed resources and capital and then being able to also receive some some revenue, some return on their investment. So that's exciting. And with opportunities such as economic opportunity zones, which have not traditionally, even though that's relatively new, hasn't traditionally benefited entrepreneurs, communities of color, farmers of color. I see that as an opportunity as well. So I've been having that conversation on the Hemp side with people who may be interested in taking advantage of those opportunities. As far as people facing challenges. Absolutely. Here in North Carolina, it's not just the 10 year ban. If you have had a felony drug conviction. But in North Carolina, you can't apply for a license if you have any felony conviction, period. So that's even furthermore, creating an obstacle for many people who may actually have been affected specifically by the laws against Cannabis use and what it did for what it did to two communities, particularly those of color.

Clarenda Stanley:
Some of the obstacles that people are facing are the ones I'm sure you've heard as well challenges with, especially if they're going into the CBD or need for suitable side challenges with startup. You know, it's not cheap to enter this industry on the production side. If you're actually looking to grow, which is the area that I'm really focused on is the actual production. So the cost of entry are definitely barriers and just understanding the various rules and regulations, even though Hemp is federally legal, you know, each state is still allowed to develop its own individual laws as they pertain to Hemp. So you really need to be pretty knowledgeable if you plan on engaging in any interstate commerce. So that learning curve is when end top.

Joy Beckerman:
And tax law and tax law as well, of course, we've been trying to tell folks for a number of years since the 2014 farm bill federally legal, and it of course was legal under state agricultural pilot programs and institutions of higher learning and now federally legal as an agricultural commodity. The reality is federally legal is not the same as legal in all 50 states. And most of my clients on the oil scene fiber side are attorneys. I used to work in mostly extract, but I've now, in addition to president of the Hemp Industries Association and those other non-profits, I'm also the regulatory officer in industry liaison for Alex. And also my extract mine is it belongs to Alex. And I'm now dealing with this patchwork of 46 states, although South Dakota does does have a law, of course, making Cannabis dial a schedule, a schedule drug. But other than that, you know, we thought Idaho, Mississippi and South Dakota with no Hemp laws at all. New Hampshire with with no growing program. You know, they passed a lot of study Hemp, but nothing yet to actually put seeds in the ground. So it's not the same as federally legal. It's not the same as legal in all 50 states. And the amount of investment that it takes not only to deal with the Hemp law and policy aspects of it and how that might intertwine with other existing public health laws and crime laws and medical and and don't use Cannabis laws, but tax laws and then FDA compliance on top of that, which is, you know, such a thing to have to navigate.

Joy Beckerman:
So it requires resources.

Joy Beckerman:
And is that is that then sort of the infrastructure that you are are building? Do you have a nonprofit in addition to greenhouse with farms or is greenhouses farms, in fact, a nonprofit for the fundraising?

Clarenda Stanley:
No. So my fundraising life is purely with my role with the Nature Conservancy. So any fund raising with three national farms?

Clarenda Stanley:
Yes. Any fund raising with green up the farms is clearly from an investment. Investing in a for profit entity, I should say. So, yeah, my and my other my other hat. I am a full time fundraiser for the Nature Conservancy as well as running. Greenhouse has a good who sleep. Apparently.

Joy Beckerman:
I you will sleep when we're dead. You know, women who are lounging then and I did the experts and you know.

Clarenda Stanley:
Exactly. And so just speaking on that infrastructure, please. Having conversations as well with local government, we get very caught up with federal. What's happened at the federal level is really what's happening at our local level that impacts us from day to day. In North Carolina in particular, you know, we once were a tremendous textile producer and a lot of people really look at Hemp as being an opportunity to really provide some energy and reinvigorate our textile industry. But we don't have the resources to process within our state or very limited resources to process. And I'm hearing from other farmers and other states who are interested in growing cultivars that are more suited for the textile and fiber arena or for true industrial uses, say the same thing. And those facilities are very expensive to to develop. So and for many communities who are a bit distrustful of going to any type of government or law enforcement agency, etc., as even that much more challenging. So really getting local government to the table so they can truly understand the economic development capacity that this plant has and can create.

Joy Beckerman:
We're asking investors to invest in an infrastructure for which there is, you know, only a little bit of biomass because most people are going for extract. And then we're asking farmers to grow biomass, for which there is very little infrastructure when we're talking about oil seed fiber, but one foot in front of the other. We're getting it done.

Dan Humiston:
I want to take a quick break. Thank you for listening to today's show. As the leading Cannabis podcast network, we're constantly adding new Cannabis podcasts to support our industry's growth. And that's why we're so excited to announce our newest podcast, The Cannabis Breakout, which premieres October 18. The show's about the thousands of Americans who remain in prison for violating Cannabis laws that have long since been overturned. The Cannabis breakout gives Cannabis political prisoners a voice. Your former Cannabis prison or have a loved one who is a Cannabis prisoner. We want to share your story. Please go to MJBulls.com and sign up to be a guest.

Joy Beckerman:
We talk about folks that are dicks this trusting because they have been underserved, because they have in many ways been improperly served.

Joy Beckerman:
How how that affects the agricultural community, how that affects arming. I'd love to just hear some more on that and share that with the listeners.

Clarenda Stanley:
Yeah, so one of the conversations I have with the Nature Conservancy is about scale versus impact. And often times when there have been programs to benefit the agricultural sector, it has been based on scale.

Clarenda Stanley:
So you're looking at those ranchers, those pastoralists, those farmers that have these mega farms and oftentimes the smaller farmers left out of the conversation. So they're not getting the same information on the importance of regenerative agriculture and how, you know, a plant like Hemp can benefit your soil health, which in turn actually has positive business outcomes as well. Even if environmental benefits don't necessarily float your boat. Nobody is farming just for the heck of it. Everybody is farming to produce something, to hopefully have a commodity that the market wants and can provide them some renumeration for. And so for me, having that conversation with the largest environmental organization in the world to say, hey, we have to also focus on impact and make sure that these best practices are being taken to the small farmer just as well as to that big mega farmer. Because, you know, currently in the United States, 96 percent of all privately owned farmland is owned by white farmers. So that leaves people of color, farmers of color to be, you know, scrambling over this 4 percent. What if we were to empower small farmers across the board with the necessary tools that they need so that their farm can increase in productivity in a way that's environmentally responsible, so that they can benefit from some of these programs that exist out here that help with conservation that many are aware of? It can be challenging, unjust, you know, navigating through the labyrinth of federal programs and red tape and bureaucracy. So another challenge is just getting the information to the people and also ensuring that some of these private organizations that have such a dearth of information are making this information accessible so that anyone, regardless of the size of their farm or the size of their enterprise, is able to really benefit from it and understand that taking care of the planet, taking care of the earth can actually be good for your bottom line.

Joy Beckerman:
So I seek to be that voice that we can increase yields, that we can create and grow more vibrant crops, whether that's on the higher nutritional profile or a higher cannabinoid profile or a higher tensile strength and cover surface area on the fiber side. And to think that that we can build the soil, improve the planet and increase and improve our bottom line at the same time delivery to the small farmer and to communities of color. And I see that green farms does that ten ways from Sunday, including you sell a video and you have events. And I want to make sure that we're all talking. I bet we'll go right back to social equity and environmental issues like you and I will.

Joy Beckerman:
That's our passion. But I also talk about.

Joy Beckerman:
Yes. I want to make sure I also talk about your company and what you're doing. And so can we talk about those events and what you're growing and what you do for a living at Green Hemp, a farm sister, too.

Clarenda Stanley:
So I consider myself the SHE E O of Green Heffa,farm, and I assumed sole responsibility this year.

Clarenda Stanley:
And I will admit it was a bit daunting. My focus on the enterprise initially had been more on the business side. The the beautiful but can also be challenging thing about Hemp is that we're not just talking about agriculture here, we're talking about agriculture, we're talking about horticulture, we're talking about entrepreneurship and agro business and a host of other areas that intersect to create this this budding emerging industry. And so I was more on the business side. I was a social media person, the marketing person, the PR person. And then when changes happened within the company this year and I became the sole the sole authority person, I realized that I was in a very vulnerable position because while I knew the basics of growing, I was not as knowledgeable as I felt I should have been. So I've been really aggressively. Learning more and more about the actual cultivation of the plant and specifically how to grow organically and sustainably. So the goal for greening of the farms is to be a model for how to grow Hemp along with other crops as well. I'm looking into other medicinal herbs because I am very big on crop rotation and crop diversification as best practices in sustainable agriculture. And so how can I create a model where people are able to actually come and see and touch and feel how to do it and how to do it in a way that's economically responsible but economically feasible? And so that's what that's what I'm doing, a green house of farms.

Clarenda Stanley:
I have E course out called big camping that really is about setting the foundation of how to get in small, small farming for full spectrum Hemp and really focusing on a niche suitable market. And I will actually be launching on my birthday October 14. So green society. So if so w and that is specifically for women who are interested in growing Hemp on a small scale as well as maybe they're interested in complementing that with other medicinal herbs because I do encourage people to not think monarch crop mentality. So I'll be launching that. Yeah. In October and getting more women at the table, really encouraging women of color to join join the movement because you know, growing up on the farm I always looked at farm work is being. Being like almost like forced labor. Honestly, it was too close to slavery, in my opinion. It was hot. I'm out here working hard. My grandparents didn't pay me.

Clarenda Stanley:
So, yeah, well, when I when I was old enough to leave, I'm like, show me the city lights.

Clarenda Stanley:
But now coming back to the farm and, you know, walking with barefoot with soil under my feet and checking to see if I have earthworms. And, you know, I'm looking for beneficial passed out on the farm. It's a totally different, totally different mindset. 360, why I've just come full circle and see how awarding it is and teaching young people about all the possibilities. You know, Hemp brings plant science, Hemp brains. You know, we need people who know how to grow. We need people who know how to run an extraction facility. We need young people who have who can bring that innovation to the market, to the industry that what can we do with this plant? We say we have twenty five thousand known users. I feel that that number should be quadrupled. As far as what we can do with it. So I really want to create a greenhouse for farms. I want it to be a incubation for innovation and where people can come to that. The total vision will actually be where I have the tiny Hemp create homes where people can come and stay and spend a week and learn, you know, from top horticulturist and learn from top entrepreneurs and business minded people and learn from skilled farmers. And it doesn't necessarily always have to mean that person has 19 letters behind their name. One of the most brilliant farmers and agriculturalists that I know happens to be someone who didn't finish the tenth grade and it could put any botanist to shame. So I really want to. It's well in the bird city of intellectual capacity.

Joy Beckerman:
A real hub, a demonstration, an educational hub.

Joy Beckerman:
We love that Hemp Hemp is inspiring folks to do these things. And just thank you so much for hearing that. Boy, when you want to do something with Hemp Creed, I sure hope that you'll call me Gaslight. You know, I do the instructor dance with Hemp Technologies, which built those first permanent Hemp Creek homes in the United States.

Joy Beckerman:
And where did we do it? We did in North Carolina. And so it's how I feel, right.

Joy Beckerman:
To go to a workshop in Asheville, one one in Nashville and one for the mayor of Asheville, who still lives in his home.

Joy Beckerman:
But I will be there in a heartbeat. And I'm just so excited to just get started with you and bring you in on some to the extent you have bandwidth. And I know I'm a guy with massive street bandwidth, too. But now there are some platforms that we need your influence.

Joy Beckerman:
We need your brain on. And and that brings me to how can people, the public support the work that you do, whether it's for green heifer farms or the Nature Conservancy. And by the way, that's for fundraising for your non-profit endeavors or the Nature Conservancy. But even investment opportunities and how we can support you at Green Hemp Farms.

Clarenda Stanley:
Could you let us know a little bit about that? Well, always. I can let you know how to support. Yes.

Clarenda Stanley:
So I will actually be launching a fund raising effort in all my birthday. Everything happens on my birthday, which is October 14th.

Clarenda Stanley:
Yay! And so I will be launching a public fundraising round and that will be specifically to help build capacity and be able to scale greenhouse of farms so that I am really able to expand how many people I'm able to touch. And so that will be happening if you follow me on any of my social media. You can look across the board for Green Heifer, H.E. FFA. The correct way to spell it in the south farms. You will find me or you can find me under pharmacy on any platforms as well. So if you connect with me there or if you go to my website, green half of farms, dot com you, you'll find all the information that you need. And yeah, I would love to have some support, especially for harvest season 20 19. I have a little something special planned. So if you connect with me, then you'll be the first to know what is what is going on in that arena. And of course, for nature, the Nature Conservancy nature, that org is the Web site.

Clarenda Stanley:
We have tons of opportunity to be engaged not only in full philanthropically, but we have just this tremendous wealth of preserves around the country that provides so many tangible experiences with nature. We encourage people to go out and actually touch and touch what what is ours collectively and know that the health of our planet is all of our responsibility.

Clarenda Stanley:
And all of these things that we allow to divide us are so trivial. And the thing that really unites us is that we are all inhabitants of this earth and we have responsibility to take care of it.

Clarenda Stanley:
So check out nature that org and you will see a wealth of information on the work that the conservancy is doing.

Joy Beckerman:
And and CEE Stanley and an obligation to take care of each other.

Joy Beckerman:
I am so inspired by you all here standing on and told to do something, I can not wait, wait to work with you more, sister. And I'm just thrilled that this is the way we got to meet each other.

Clarenda Stanley:
Oh, how cool is that? Is there is the stars aligned.

Joy Beckerman:
So cool. So cool. And we're just getting started. Girl listeners, please throw our support behind. Green has a farm behind the Nature Conservancy at Nature dot org.

Joy Beckerman:
And to be more mindful of inclusively and to make sure that we are doing everything that we can to include in our marketing plan and our employee plans, in our advocacy efforts and everything that we do, the underserved, the underprivileged.

Joy Beckerman:
And let's let's do this thing together. And, you know, we tend to you know, we're doing it.

Clarenda Stanley:
And yes, we are better together. Absolutely. And I'm going to be in touch with you on that Hemp Create aspect. So good. Yourself part.

Joy Beckerman:
Absolutely. I am looking forward to it. I am looking forward to it. Pharmacy. Thank you so much for being with us today on Hemp Barons. And I'm looking forward to our next encounter.

Clarenda Stanley:
Girl, thank you and thank you for being such a force in this industry and for being such a badass baronist .

Joy Beckerman:
And that takes one to know one sister.

Joy Beckerman:
Thank you again and have a great rest of the week.

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