Hemp is a strong, versatile fiber that can be used to make many different products. As with any new product or technology, marketing it properly requires some research and creativity.
Let’s take a look at the basics of how to market hemp products.
What is hemp?
Hemp is a plant that produces fibers, seeds, oil, and cannabinoids. Cannabis sativa L. and C. ruderalis are two species of hemp commonly grown in North America. Hemp has a long history as a source for food, fuel, and clothing—but its use declined once drug laws became more restrictive.
Cannabis sativa is a hardy plant native to Asia and Europe. It was introduced into North America by early European settlers who found it useful for making rope, paper, medicine, cloth, and other goods. The most common type of cannabis plant grown today in North America is ruderalis, an annual that grows easily from seed.
It is illegal to grow hemp in the United States without a license from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). However, many states have legalized its cultivation for industrial purposes. You may find hemp seeds and plants growing in your area. If so, contact your local extension office to learn about how to grow hemp legally.
The benefits of hemp
Now that you know what hemp is, let’s talk about why it’s so great. Here are just a few reasons why people should consider adding hemp into their lives:
Hemp contains all eight essential amino acids, which means it’s perfect for vegans and vegetarians.
Hemp is naturally antibiotic-free. Many people are allergic to antibiotics but don’t realize they could also be sensitive to pesticides and herbicides used in conventional agriculture.
Hemp fibers are incredibly durable. They can be woven into fabric, spun into yarn, and even plied into ropes. Plus, they are highly resistant to fire and rot. This makes them ideal for outdoor projects like tents, tarps, and furniture.
Hemp seeds contain high amounts of protein, fat, and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients are beneficial for cardiovascular health and brain function.
Hemp seeds are rich in zinc, magnesium, iron, and calcium. All of these minerals are important for healthy bones, teeth, skin, hair, and nails.
Hemp seeds are a good source of B vitamins, including B1, B2, B6, B12, and folic acid. Vitamin B helps to fight fatigue and supports brain development.
Hemp seeds are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants protect our bodies against free radicals and help us stay young and healthy.
Why hemp is legal
Many people think of marijuana as the only type of hemp available, but there are several types of hemp. In fact, the government classifies hemp varieties into three groups:
Industrial hemp: Industrial hemp includes all forms of cannabis that aren’t psychoactive. While this type of hemp is still illegal in the U.S., it’s often sold as “hemp seed” in grocery stores. It’s safe to eat raw, though it won’t give you the same effect as smoking marijuana.
Medical/research grade hemp: The DEA allows farmers to cultivate industrial hemp for testing out new drugs under controlled conditions. Medical/research grade hemp doesn’t produce enough THC to get users high. Instead, it provides a reliable supply of CBD (cannabidiol), a nonpsychoactive compound that may offer relief from pain, anxiety, depression, and inflammation.
Marijuana/THC hemp: Marijuana/THC hemp is not allowed to be cultivated in the U.S. because it produces too much THC. Although it is sometimes referred to as “industrial hemp,” it isn’t really any kind of industrial crop. Rather, it is considered a cannabis plant, and its THC content can range anywhere from 0% to 25%.
So when purchasing hemp, you want to make sure you’re getting the right one.
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Market your hemp products
Once you have your hemp products in hand, it’s time to start thinking about how to sell them. Whether you plan on selling online or through a storefront near your home, here are some tips to keep in mind:
Write a short description: Write a short description that gives potential customers a quick overview of what your product does. Include key features and benefits and any special uses or benefits that may benefit them.
Use social media: Use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to promote your business or share photos of your products. People love seeing themselves reflected in others; therefore, if someone sees something they like, they will likely buy it.
Get creative with your branding: Create logos, tags, and other graphics to help establish yourself as a trustworthy brand. Think about how you would describe your brand on a T-shirt, and go from there. For example, “Tee-N-Grow” might be a name you would associate with hemp shirts.
Create unique packages: Make each package feel special and unique to create a sense of value. Some ideas include branded stickers, packaging made from recycled materials, and custom printed labels.
Create promotional items: Promotional items are a great way to build relationships with loyal customers. Give away pens, t-shirts, bags, or other accessories with your logo on them. Don’t forget to add coupons to attract repeat customers!
Think outside the box: Find ways to stand out from the crowd. There are lots of places where people can buy hemp products, so try using those platforms to reach new customers. For example, you could advertise on Craigslist or post a flyer on community bulletin boards.