May 09, 2022

Business Incubator helping potential business owners into world of hemp

Posted May 09, 2022 2:00 PM

By MATT PIKE 

St. Joseph Post 

The Kit Bond Business Incubator on the Missouri Western State University campus is helping potential business owners to explore the new, emerging world of hemp. 

Director Gary Clapp says the Incubator has been very busy with a number of people interested in selling medical cannabis and how that differs from hemp.   

Clapp says people that are looking to get into the business need to be aware of what they are preparing to plant.   

"If somebody is interested in growing hemp or expanding into hemp for a field, they need to be very careful about whether or not they have inadvertently seeded the field with something that has too much or that would grow too much Delta-9 THC, because that would be illegal and then they'd have to destroy the crop," Clapp tells KFEQ Hotline host Barry Birr. 

Clapp says there is a market for growing hemp. He advises anyone interested in starting a growing operation to call the Missouri Department of Agriculture.   

A growing interest in hemp and medical marijuana has brought more people to the Incubator in St. Joseph to learn the differences between the two products. 

Clapp says the interest is growing due to the various ways that hemp can be used.   

"Hemp is an excellent material for clothing. It has that fiber content that's high, it has an oil content which has cannabidiol in it, a CBD which is also known as  Epidiolex in the FDA world," Clapp explains. "So, if it were to be made into a pharmaceutical that's actually one that's approved by the FDA." 

Clapp says there are many compounds in cannabis, and specifically hemp, so it is sometimes difficult to tease out which compounds have psychoactive effects. 

Clapp says he has had clients asking questions about what is legal and what's not, but he's also had students researching products and learning.   

"Go out onto the Belt, buy some product that says it's CBD, or buy some product that says it's the legal THC, and then we would take it back to the laboratory and analyze it," Clapp says. "So, they get a little research out of it." 

Clapp says students would prepare the samples and all the analysis on the product before evaluating it.   

"How is it to label claim, is it indeed not D-9 THC or is it D-8 which is the legal THC as you may see it out on the Belt again, someone selling the legal THC," Clapp explains. 

Clapp says all but one of the label claims students analyzed were within the legal limits.