2nd Hawaii Hemp Conference Set for Dec. 1

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Just after Hawai‘i’s first legal hemp harvest, the second annual Hawaii Hemp Conference will gather the industry’s most knowledgeable hemp experts from the islands—and the world—at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu on Dec. 1, 2018.

The event will offer information from leading researchers, farmers and entrepreneurs about hemp cultivation, sales and marketing, and a full expo hall with hemp vendors and products.

“Hemp is emerging as a cash crop that could revitalize agriculture in Hawai‘i, and the Hawaii Hemp Conference will deliver the cutting-edge information and education that people need to grow, produce, and sell it,” said Colorado Hemp Company co-founder Morris Beegle, who produces the Hawai‘i conference, as well as the Colorado-based NoCo Hemp Expo and Nashville-based Southern Hemp Expo. “The industry’s leaders will be on hand to help people grow their hemp businesses, no matter where they live. Hemp is a vibrant industry growing at an astronomical pace and the networking opportunities will be unmatched.”

Hawaii Hemp Conference’s 2018 presenting sponsor is Vespucci Collective, an industrial hemp resource company conceived out of a desire to preserve and protect the beautiful natural environment of the Hawaiian Islands, where the company’s founders grew up.

“Hemp holds untold potential to enable a prosperous and environmentally sustainable agricultural economy that can greatly benefit the people of Hawai‘i,” said Vespucci Collective CEO and Co-founder Grant Overton. “One of our company’s primary objectives is to produce quality open-source research on hemp cultivation. We’re trying to create a more comprehensive knowledge base for farmers looking to get into the industry; think of it like a how-to guide for growing hemp in Hawai‘i. Beyond cultivation, the biggest limitation in getting farmers to start growing hemp is providing them a market for harvests. Raw hemp biomass usually needs to be transformed into a salable product, which is largely too expensive for the average farmer. It is our company’s vision to build the necessary manufacturing infrastructure here in the Hawaiian islands to enable other farmers to get involved. Developing a system that allows any farmer access to this opportunity is the driving force behind our planned operations.”

Speaker Line-Up


World-class speakers will discuss the following topics, among others, on the Let’s Talk Hemp stage and in workshops:

  • Tropical soil cultivation techniques
  • The latest on federal and state law
  • The benefits of regenerative agriculture
  • The hottest worldwide markets including CBD
  • Seed, fiber and flower used in products
  • Department of Agriculture regulatory update

The speaker lineup features local agricultural leaders, University of Hawai‘i researchers, legislators and legal experts, including:

  • Hawaii Farmers Union United President Vincent Mina, who co-owns an organically managed urban family farm, Kahanu Aina Greens, with his wife, Irene
  • Chef, farmer and farm-to-plate advocate James Simpliciano, founder of Simpli-fresh Produce, a West Maui farm cooperative where he mentors aspiring farmers, chefs and environmental engineers
  • Janel Ralph, president and CEO of Palmetto Synergistic Research, which produces a line of organically grown whole plant hemp products known as Palmetto Harmony
  • Bestselling author, filmmaker and “hemp cowboy” Doug Fine, who wrote Hemp Bound, Willy Nelson’s “best book of the year”

Hemp in Hawai‘i

It is a particularly exciting time for the hemp industry in Hawai‘i, conference organizers said. Hawai‘i launched its Industrial Hemp Pilot Program in July 2017, granting three farmers the first licenses to grow 10 acres each of Yuma, a hemp variety from China.

“I’m convinced that Hawai‘i is well positioned to become a leader in hemp and we’ll have many farmers applying to be licensed,” said State Sen. Mike Gabbard, who introduced the legislation. “My vision is that we’ll one day, in the not-too-distant future, have a hemp cottage industry that’s the envy of the world.”


“Hawai‘i’s farmers and wider economy need food independence as much as any place in the world,” said keynote speaker Fine, who also is a researcher affiliated with UH’s hemp seed development project. “Hemp provides an opportunity for Hawaii to achieve these goals, and the Hawaii Hemp Conference will provide an opportunity to be educated by local farmers as well as worldwide hemp experts.”

With skyrocketing popularity of hemp for food, fiber and its therapeutic non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD, domestic production of hemp, or cannabis sativa, is reaching new heights, said conference organizers. U.S. hemp-based product sales grew 16% to reach $820 million in sales in 2017 and is expected to surpass $1 billion in sales in 2018, led primarily by hemp-derived CBD, food, personal care and industrial products, according to the publication Hemp Business Journal—a number not lost on politicians.

This past spring, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, which would remove hemp from the federal list of controlled substances and allow it to be sold as an agricultural crop.

Sponsor and vendor registration is still open and limited space remains.

Apply here or email [email protected] for more information .


Full-access MANA tickets for the trade show and expo, Let’s Talk Hemp speaker series and business conference, Mahalo VLunch and Mālama I Ka ‘Āina Celebration Party are $299.

Tickets for the trade show, expo hall, Let’s Talk Hemp speaker series and business conference are $199.

Tickets to the trade show and expo hall are $10 in advance and $15 on the day of the expo.

Tickets are available here.

About the Vespucci Collective

Presenting Sponsor Vespucci Collective, a Hawai‘i-based Hemp Development Company, helps underwrite the 2nd Annual Hawaii Hemp Conference, bringing leading researchers, farmers and entrepreneurs to share ideas, products and information about an emerging industrial crop that is poised to invigorate agriculture and the economy in Hawai‘i.


Hawaii Convention Center, Honolulu, HI, December 1, 2018

Tickets and Information:

HONOLULU, HI (November 12, 2018) –

About the Hawaii Hemp Conference

The Hawaii Hemp Conference is produced by the Colorado Hemp Company, a division of WAFBA LLC (We Are For Better Alternatives), based in Loveland, CO, and producer of NoCo Hemp Expo, the world’s largest and most comprehensive trade show and conference for industrial hemp. WAFBA is founder of TreeFreeHemp paper and printing services and the Colorado Hemp Company. Areas of focus include product and brand development, event production, consulting and advocacy. Learn more at

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