Industry leaders discuss hemp business

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – As the ever-changing marijuana industry continues to grow in Michigan, another crop is making headway as well: hemp.

While the two are similar, they’re not exactly the same.

Right now, Michigan’s first ever legal hemp harvest is in full swing and in hopes of clearing up confusion about the plant, industry leaders got together today to answer a few questions.

For one of them, the product has changed his life in more ways than one.

“It’s an anti-inflammatory that’s better than anything I’ve tried,” said Casey Yosin, the founder and CEO of Total Health Companies.

The organization develops hemp products. It’s something that helps Yosin personally.

“When going through that kind of pain, you really just try to get relief any way you can,” said Yosin.

Yosin has a prosthetic disc in his spine and says the pain can be tough.

“When you can dial down that information, then you can get the result of having less pain, which is where it’s at for me,” said Yosin.

The plant is similar to marijuana, but it has less than 3 percent THC.

David Conner is the chief financial officer for the Paw Paw Hemp Company. He says right now everything is being grown by hand.

“As this industry grows and matures, technology will come in and kind of streamline and make things much more efficient,” said Conner.

The two business leaders hope the movement will help create a positive perception about hemp.

“We’re hoping to educate people more about the growing, harvesting, and care practices, so when that product does reach the processor, it’s a quality product and it’s a safe product to be consumed,” said Conner.

“Cannabis in general has a PR problem and I think as we bring more light to it, you let people kind of get a glimpse into how it’s being made and really shown like the interworkings of it, I think that it’ll be more widely accepted,” said Yosin.

Yosin also mentioned that a new hemp processing plant is being built in mid-Michigan. He couldn’t be too specific, but he said it’s going to be roughly 75,000 square feet and employ at least 50 people.

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