“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” – Cynthia Ozick
Posted November 8, 2019
By Brandy Palmer
Winter has finally arrived here in West Michigan. With that comes blustery air, falling leaves, and scarves galore! The other thing that comes with winter is the holiday season and (hopefully) a reflection on the year that has passed. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always loved the holidays. As a kid, it was always about gifts and stolen cookies. Now as an adult, it’s an opportunity to slow down and really appreciate the things that matter in my life. I have a tattoo on my forearm that says “grateful.” It’s a constant reminder, as I’m whining and complaining about snow or shopping lines, to take a minute and focus on what matters. I believe that gratitude is powerful. I definitely have a lot of things in my life and my business to be grateful for.
Grateful for New Hemp Legislation
Hemp has really come a long way since I started Green Wellness Life in 2015. There’s definitely still work to do — but we’re getting there. When I started in this field, federal, state, and local legislation all had differing opinions on hemp legality. Don’t even get me started on the DEA, which had hemp ranked up there with heroin in terms of medical value and usefulness. Anyone with any hemp experience knows that’s beyond laughable! The 2018 Farm Bill really helped clear things up. Today industrial hemp and CBD from hemp are fully federally legal. The Farm Bill also started to establish pathways for industry standardization, by utilizing organizations like the Hemp Industry Association, to strongly encourage hemp and CBD manufacturers to align their verbiage and labeling practices.
The USDA policies that allow US states to grow hemp are also a welcome change. Did you know that when we started in this industry, the only legal CBD we could carry had to be grown out of the country and certified to come strictly from hemp seeds and stalk? Bananas! We want to support our local US farmers. Local growing allows us to better control quality hemp sources here at home!
Another area where CBD companies like GWL really struggled (out of the spotlight) dealt with financing. It was difficult to get and keep a bank account and a credit card processor, because hemp was viewed as so risky. We used to have to process all of our credit card transactions with a UK based credit card processor. This made customers leery, made us look less credible, and was inconvenient and costly. Some of you may even have received a call from your bank confirming that you really did want to make a purchase from us. Boy, that was a fun conversation to have over and over again. Not to mention that we paid 3x what a “normal” small business would pay to process credit cards. The hemp amendments in the SAFE Banking Act are putting a stop to this and allowing hemp businesses to function just as any other small business would in the US. We are so grateful for this!
Grateful For a Growing Body of Knowledge
You can find hemp and CBD everywhere these days, from the video store (yes, really!) to your local grocery store. While that’s not awesome for a lot of reasons (read our blog on Safe CBD sources from September!) there’s one big upside: folks are getting educated! Your friends and neighbors now understand that hemp and marijuana aren’t the same and that CBD won’t get your head fuzzy. That’s wonderful! People are also seeing personal benefits from hemp products. The public at large is getting excited about hemp, CBD and it’s potential. This translates to an increase in available information. It also translates to dollars to fund more research. Let’s not kid ourselves — there is SO MUCH research needed on this plant. Much of what we know about CBD is anecdotal — my dog started bounding around like a pup again, my mother’s cousin doesn’t have a skin rash anymore, my neighbor saw a decrease in her headaches. You get the point. What we need is more scientific evidence. The legal barriers are starting to come down and public interest is definitely up, so that research is happening. That’s a huge step in the right direction and a reason to be grateful.
Boy, Am I Grateful for Our Team
As you may or may not know, we have three women here that manage all daily operations, from inventory to shipping and customer service. We also have Quinton helping us with blogs and social media (who knew how much work THAT was?! I’m way too old to stay on top of it!) and we’ve got my husband looking at analytics and asking the hard questions. At the end of the day, though, it’s three women running the daily business. Cara and Hannah start from a willingness to help. They both love people and they love hemp — that’s really all we need. The rest we can figure out as we go. They embrace this business and allow me to still get to be a mom first, which is a rare thing. They do all that with a smile. So even though I’m a little wounded when one of you calls in and wants to talk to one of them instead of me, I completely get it. And I’m grateful.
Grateful For You, Our Customers!
We know that it’s often said, but we really wouldn’t be here without our customers. Especially now that there are a boatload of other sources out there for hemp and CBD (seriously, read the September blog on sourcing safe CBD if you haven’t.) We don’t get to keep doing what we love if you don’t keep coming back to us. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about half of small businesses with employees will not make it to five years. We’re coming up on that anniversary and still going strong, and we’re grateful.
We’re excited to be winding down an exciting year, both for hemp and for our business. Thank you for being a part of that.