Hemp is a rapidly being grown in areas throughout Nevada. This month we had the chance to sit down with Susan Harris from CBD of NV to find out what led her to the hemp industry and the obstacles she has encountered along the way. VEGAS CANNABIS MAGAZINE: Are you originally from Las Vegas? What […]
Hemp is a rapidly being grown in areas throughout Nevada. This month we had the chance to sit down with Susan Harris from CBD of NV to find out what led her to the hemp industry and the obstacles she has encountered along the way.
VEGAS CANNABIS MAGAZINE: Are you originally from Las Vegas? What do you like best about living here?
SUSAN HARRIS: My father served as a Master Sergeant in USAF and was transferred to Las Vegas in 1962; I was born a year later. Las Vegas has always been my home, it is such a small town, no matter where you go or who you meet, they know someone you know or they’ve had the same experiences growing up and living here. Times have changed with the city and its way bigger now than when I was growing up. I tell people “I am from a small town originally; my town just had a mind of its own and grew to what it is today.”
I love the Vegas weather. Summers are intense but never too long. I also love the fact that I can journey 3 miles from my front door and be a part of the best entertainment and food on the planet. Most importantly, I met the love of my life, Lafayette at 53 years old and he’s the best thing that ever happened in this town. This crazy town, you just never know what is going to happen or who you are going to meet. Lafayette’s parents migrated from Brazil to the US when he was 18 months old. They moved to Las Vegas in 1976. He has been an entrepreneur most of his life. He loves the city and the people, says he is never going to leave. And. even though the town gets bigger every year, the circle of natives gets smaller.
VCM: What led you to hemp cultivation?
SH: When I read about hemp being a state legalized crop I instantly knew we would be a part of this movement. With Lafayette’s background in growing and my background in business, we decided to make this our life’s work. We are entering our 3rd year in 2020 and striving to make an impact. We want to make a difference in our community and to help others. We have donated hemp plants to the UNLV Co-Op botanical gardens and we are currently working with a chemist to design hemp strains that will pinpoint certain conditions such as PTSD, pancreatic cancer, Alzheimer’s and inflammation in the body.
VCM: Tell us about your team.
SH: We are Lafayette Cordaro and Susan Harris. Lafayette began as an apprentice grower in the 80’s. He gorilla farmed in Humboldt County with many different farmers and they taught him everything they knew. Times were tricky back then and he had to fend off not only the authorities, but bears, extreme weather, and living off the land. He eventually stepped away from that lifestyle but saved enough to open an auto body shop in 1990 and still owns it. He is taking time out now to revisit his grow techniques and utilize his methods to set up our grow rooms and get our precious plants to the best they can be. He feels that now is the time to take what he learned in such a hostile environment and put it to use to help others.
I have owned a mobile notary business since 2002. In the past I have owned restaurants, a website design company and a furniture store. I lost my mom to cancer and my dad to Alzheimer’s, if I had known half of what I know now they might have had a better quality of life instead of suffering at the hands of the medical system doing what the insurance company dictates that they can do. We’ve both have had numerous businesses throughout the years and we believe we have finally found our calling.
VCM: Tell us about your grow – size, number of plants, equipment, etc.
SH: We are a small operation. We have about 100 plants. We wanted to start out slow to iron out any complications that would arise and from watching all the bigger farmers and grow facilities go through having to make major and costly changes, we decided to ride out the indecisiveness of the legal side of things and concentrate on making our strains the best. We are focusing on perfecting the best strains so we can move onto a larger scale production. We also want to make a difference in research to develop new methods to help others. We want to expand into a larger facility and we are seeking funding or someone that wants to team up and grow together. We are also willing to teach others on how to grow the right way and not make the mistakes of the past so they can profit on doing things right and not lose parts or their whole crop.
VCM: With the Nevada hemp industry being fairly new, what obstacles have you encountered?
SH: Wow, so many. Being that this is such a new industry there has been a lot of learning for all sides. Lack of education and the lack of others recognizing hemp is not marijuana. The Nevada Department of Agriculture has encountered their own growing pains along side of all of it. There have been a number of hurdles and things keep changing, making it hard to keep up. We were one of the first harvests this year and I think we had most of the mishaps that could happen. We had a “Hot” strain and had to destroy those plants. That was devastating; I can’t imagine a huge farm having to go through losing what we lost but on a much larger scale. They are great people (Ashley, Audrey, Jake and Russ) were easy to work with and helped us get through the obstacles.
Shipping: USPS is about the only method worthy of doing right by hemp products. As long as you abide by their simple rules, shipping goes smoothly. FedEx is a little more behind the ball. Shippers have to use a specific code to ship and it cannot say hemp on the package but it can say CBD…UMMMM, I asked “Doesn’t CBD come from HEMP?” Then after all is setup and ready to roll, I am told, sorry we can’t help you if you are shipping hemp flower! How many attorneys does FedEx employ to come up with these ignorant rules?
Banking: I initially approached my bank that I have been with for over 20 years and asked if I could open an account for our new business and my bank rep looked at me like I was an alien. Someone contacted me from LinkedIn about CC processing and gave me the information to call Bank of the West, but you have to go through an extensive process with them and not a local branch will do it.
Sales: There are different types of hemp: the airy industrial hemp that they have 100’s of acres of which is used for biomass, doesn’t taste good and sells for $150 per pound. Then there is what we grow: we care for our plants daily, we inspect them daily, we play music for them, we talk to them and nurture them. They are fed only nutrients found in the earth and grown in soil. Our plants take as much time, care and effort as a cannabis plant, so when a retailer offers to pay us the same amount they would for biomass it’s almost an insult to our efforts. They want to take our Artisan Hemp for pennies and put it in a bottle with some MCT oil or in their packaging and charge their customers $100’s of dollars. Our flowers are worth as much if not more than cannabis, so it’s a little hard for us to sell in bulk. Hemp has many more benefits than cannabis, but cannabis is selling for $3000 a pound. Where is the fairness in that?
VCM: Please tell our readers the benefits of smoking hemp/high CBD flower.
SH: Smoking hemp is one of the fastest delivery methods of cannabidiol in the body. When inhaled, CBD is in direct contact with the lungs and transfers straight into the bloodstream. Smoking hemp is a great way to calm and get your body to relax immediately, instead of waiting 30 minutes to an hour for edibles or other methods to kick in. Smoking CBD has high bioavailability that is over 25% and up to 50% which means your body absorbs CBD at a faster rate and delivers more of it into your system compared to other forms of consumption. For example: If you consume CBD edibles, the bioavailability rate, (the amount of CBD) would be lower than that of smoking the same amount of hemp flower. This is because when ingesting CBD edibles, it has to be digested and goes through the stomach and the liver where most of it gets destroyed.
Hemp flower IS going to change your mood, not drastically and definitely not in a way that will make you into a couch potato. Hemp promotes a soothing, relaxing feeling that can make you more energized and feel good. Many people describe its effects as “non-intoxicating body high.” This is simply because you are experiencing the healing effects of the plant, without the mind-altering part. Hemp CBD has a healing effect on your body and brain and Hemp CBD helps with symptoms of various ailments, including mood and anxiety disorders, pain, depression, high blood pressure, obesity, inflammation and addiction.
VCM: Is your hemp lab tested?
SH: Yes, we have 2 separate lab tests performed. 1st by the NV Dept of Agriculture to test for THC levels and 2nd we have a 3rd party lab that tests for THC levels and for CBD, CBG, CBDa and CBN.
VCM: What is the difference between hemp flower and cannabis?
SH: Hemp promotes healing without that “stoned” feeling. Many hemp users like me don’t like to use cannabis for reasons such as it makes them feel anxious and paranoid. Hemp has to test at a level below .03% THC, but can register high in CBD content. Our flowers range in CBD 11% up to 18%. Marijuana is the opposite, it can contain high levels of THC and any amount of CBD. Again, hemp is more for therapeutic and medicinal reasons.
VCM: How can we find you on the internet or social media? How can readers order products?
SH: Our website is www.CBDofNV.com and we are on Facebook @cbdofnv. Products can be ordered directly on our website or if local we can deliver for a small delivery charge. We also offer distributor pricing for those wanting to carry our packaged products as well as white labeling.
VCM: Anything you would like to add?
SH: We don’t use blood and bone meal, nor do we use chicken or turkey because any and all of it is ridden with hormones and other synthetic chemicals. The fact that people ingest our products, by cooking or smoking, we would never consciously do that to our friends or clients. We are organic in every sense of the word.
We have spent the last 2 years perfecting our process and are ready to expand further.
Hemp is still in its infancy and still very misunderstood. Legalization has not made it any easier to advertise, ship or talk about hemp without the sideways look. We have provided many friends that have diabetes, cancer and other ailments with smokable hemp flower and they all love it. Unfortunately, we might not be able to continue helping them unless we can get our name out there and make a little bit of green ourselves. As you have probably heard, most hemp farmers started growing but had no clue how they were going to market their product.
Our goal is to simply educate and hopefully pave the way for the norm in Las Vegas so we can help those that need it. We are working closely with chemists and even donated plants to the UNLV CO-OP Botanical Garden. We have turned down a few heavy hitter investors because their vision is just one of the almighty dollar. So, we struggle along and try to keep our heads above the green until someone with some green can join with us to lay our green.
We appreciate the time and opportunity Vegas Cannabis has extended to us. Stephanie and Bill have true foresight into the new age of cannabis and hopefully CBD of NV can join their fight in educating those that don’t know and turning lives around. Educate, Educate, Educate!!