Welcome to the first issue of Hemp Grower! We have much to talk about since U.S. hemp prohibition is finally over (though some states continue to lag behind in welcoming the opportunities the plant’s legalization presents).

While 2018’s Farm Bill passage has been cause for celebration, it also has not come without hurdles. This year has given rise to challenges for hemp farmers, such as banking and access to capital; insurance; seed supply and quality issues; and supply and demand adjustments amid rapid growth. We address many of those challenges in this issue and look forward to helping you succeed—whether you are growing for grain, fiber or cannabidiol (CBD), and for any of the reportedly 25,000 hemp-based products out there—as the U.S. hemp industry develops its sea legs in a global market.

While Hemp Grower launched its website in August, this issue is our first “meeting” in print, and I think it’s important for you to understand the inspiration, editorial strategy and people behind the magazine. Hemp Grower is brought to you by GIE Media Inc., the company that launched the award-winning Cannabis Business Times (CBT), which the American Society of Business Publication Editors named as “Magazine of the Year” in 2018, among other awards. This is not to toot our own horn; these awards reflect our passion, hard work and dedication to creating the highest-quality editorial content to best serve our readers. And as the co-founder of CBT, I have witnessed the quagmires faced by a federally illegal cannabis industry with a state-by-state patchwork of shifting regulations and the need for sound education to help the businesses in that industry thrive.

Hemp was a natural extension of our desire to advance businesses surrounding the Cannabis sativa L. plant and to lift the North American cannabis market as a whole.

But CBT and Hemp Grower have much more in common. They also share an editorial strategy that relies on experts, researchers and academics. We are grateful to have the generous support of our Editorial Advisory Board, whose insights helped guide this issue. And we are thrilled to introduce in this issue the first of what will be many columns by Marguerite Bolt, hemp extension specialist at Purdue University.

We hope you enjoy your first issue of Hemp Grower. We look forward to growing with you and your business and to seeing the sure-to-be-nothing-short-of-amazing impact this wonder crop will continue to have on the planet and humankind.