We’ve been enjoying our Wednesday Webinar series these past three weeks. Jeff Sullivan with New Bloom Labs gave us some terrific insight on questions to ask when trying to find the right lab. John Strohfus, the Chairman of the Board of the US Hemp Growers Association, and a hemp farmer from Minnesota, shared a ton of information as an active grower (including picture from the time his bailer caught on fire).

Yesterday was the first monthly legal update with our friends from the Bradley-Arant Cannabis team. Two of their team members, Whitt Steineker and Hunter Robinson, will present every third Wednesday and give us the latest.

In addition to conversation on Delta 8/Delta 9 and USDA’s Final Rule on hemp, Whitt made some interesting points on thinking about contracts between a grower and a processor. If any of you have been in a lawsuit and you are on the defendant’s side, then you know the injured party is going to look for anyone and everyone they can include in the suit to prove they have been damaged.

Some real-life examples from our industry are claims made by sellers of CBD products that their products will cure something – or prevent something – that they truly can’t do. If making these false claims causes harm to someone and lawsuits start, then the grower would most likely be sued and could be held liable in some way. While that is certainly incredulous, it also happens to be real.

Having a solid contract won’t 100% prevent cases like this but it will go a long way in keeping growers out of the courtroom and running up legal bills. Here are some things to consider for a contract:

– Is there liability of the grower for claims made by a processor or end-user?

– A handshake deal isn’t going to hold up in court and simple agreements or emails like Memorandums Of Understanding are not enough.

– Representations and warranties should be in the contract. It should be specifically spelled out what the grower is selling her crop for.

– For example, the agreement may need to state “my crop will not be used in violation of FDA or DEA or USDA rules, etc.” There may need to be some Delta 8 language, or it won’t be used in foods or drinks, etc.

We are glad to have a relationship with the Bradley Cannabis team because we know we will be well represented as a co-op. This is yet another benefit of membership in the co-op. Most of the time our co-op members ARE the processors for the value-added processing we will be doing. Or we will be supplying hemp to a processor and our legal team will be making double-dog-gone sure the contract is rock solid.

And legal representation for our members goes far beyond our work as a co-op. It extends to individual members as well. We hope no one runs afoul of some local rule or regulation but its great comfort to know people who fully understand the intricacies of hemp/cannabis law will be on your side.