Austin Goodman is a co-founder and CEO at American Standard Hemp Company, a service provider for hemp and by-products located on the Western slopes of Colorado. It is built on a philosophy that aimed at maximizing every usable aspect of the cannabis sativa plant to benefit everyone. Through discipline and years of research, they are dedicated to developing state-of-the-art practices to cultivate, handle, and extract the finest of what this plant has to offer.
In this episode, Austin will talk to us about what is the state of the hemp and CBD industry right there particularly at Grand Junction, Colorado. With the industry’s rising popularity when it comes to curing multiple illnesses and pain and providing medicinal benefits to so many, it is but just but right to hear out positive feedback from one who has been one of those who work so hard to make this industry find a rightful and legal place in the market lately. Get to learn and find a scoop of information about recent developments about the industry’s product and what bright future awaits this hemp, CBD space.
Enjoy and listen in.
“One thing that I see into the future is that not only are you going to need to be producing all your products in a food-grade manufacturing facility, but you need to follow good manufacturing practices and look for certifications so that you’re making sure that your products are produced properly and have that certain hassop in quality control plans so that the quality of your product is consistent and that people, when they buy it, know that they’re getting the same thing every single time.” – Austin Goodman
Some Topics We Discussed Include:
[02:20] – Talking about when he got started with his company, how is it going and what’s the future look like for it At Grand Junction, Colorado
[04:18] – The biggest problem farmers are facing in growing the medicinal hemp
[06:58] – How to deal with the challenges of selling the end product, marketing it and the growing competitors coming up online
[08:50] – The state of companies located in Grand Junction when it comes to product manufacturing, the health products, the topical, the food and food-grade stuff
[10:10] – What are the best opportunities in the hemp, CBD industries at the moment and what to focus on primarily
[13:47] – Recent updates on smokable hemp flower
[18:14] – What the future holds for the hemp and CBD products in terms of interstate commerce and export to other countries
References and Links Mentioned:
Connect with Austin Goodman
Connect with James Brinkerhoff
James Brinkerhoff: This is James Brinkerhoff Jr. coming to you live from Centennial, Colorado today with my Buddy Austin Goodman who lives up in Grand Junction on the Western slope of Colorado and he is the founder of American Standard Hemp Company. Their home base is in Grand Junction, Colorado. So welcome to the show Austin!
Austin Goodman: Hey, thanks James! Thanks for having me.
James Brinkerhoff: You Bet. You Bet. Super excited to have you here and I’ve been wanting to bring you on for a while as we’ve been talking to different experts and different business owners, CEOs and whatnot in the hemp, cannabis space and just sharing their stories and what’s going on in the industry and just trying to get that out to the people as best we can and also to offer them opportunities to the investor and different ones that are kind of looking around at this industry and want to become a part of it. So your company is really awesome. I met you, I met Austin about six, nine months ago and checked out his little company there and tell us a little bit about what you were just talking to me about the kind of the past, the present, and the future of where your company’s going.
How his company started and how it is evolving as it is now
Austin Goodman: Sure. So we started this company, American Standard Hemp Co. back in 2017 and moved out at Grand Junction. I’m originally from Iowa. I lived in Chicago for a few years, but yeah, packed up moved out here to Colorado where hemp is hot and it’s been pretty exciting. We’re located here in Grand Junction and Mesa County, the county, Garfield County are three of the better climates in Colorado for growing outdoor medicinal hemp. So we’re really excited to be kind of right here in the epicenter of what we believe will be one of the best producing regions for CBD high quality hemp products. So we’re located right off the interstate, interstate 70 in Grand Junction. We have a 5,200 square foot facility where we’ve been extracting and manufacturing products. We use to approve food grade ethyl alcohol for all of our extraction. We turned that then and turn it into the distillate and we use those to make our tinctures, our gel caps in all of our topical products. We have a brand cana balanced, which is cannabalanced.com you can find that online. We’re also americanstandardhempco.com, ashempco.com where you could also find us there. We have been running pretty much drunk since 2017 through the ups and downs and the changing legislation and really got excited after the farm bill passed in 2018 about all the new possibilities, so we’re really excited about this year as we go into the 2019 harvest. We’re really positioned employees to be a leader in the industry and we’re looking to expand our extraction operation, our drawing operation, and really provide a great service to both farmers and the patients and people and consumer products.
James Brinkerhoff: Austin, tell me a little bit about the challenges that the farmers are having out there and how you guys are addressing those in some of the things that are going on around that.
Addressing the Challenges Facing The Farmers
Austin Goodman: Last year the biggest challenge was water. There was a lot of farms that did not have high enough water rights to be able to grow and get their hemp through the finish line. Not one of those plants like hey, where you can just cut it early and cut it a few times. You have to let it finish to be able to produce all the cannabinoids.
So that was the drought last year with an issue, which thankfully this last year, the snow, God blessed us with an amazing amount of smell up on the Grand Mesa, which is where we get a lot of our water. So this year the issues that we’re having right now heat. It is hot out here, the 102 degrees yesterday. I think it’s 105 here today. And we see that happening for the next couple of weeks when the temperature is really up.
Okay. So, not only did the plants kind of suffer and that sort of heat, it’s really hard to be outside taking care of them. So yeah, we recommend that all the people that are out there in the fields are, you know, taking multiple breaks and getting hydrated. The only, a couple of other issues that we’ve seen is really, last year on the western slope having a great climate and so our cannabis plants do grow or dry a lot easier at harvest time.
But one of the issues that we are having is having enough drawing space where we can do it in a controlled environment and then being able to store the hemp in a facility where the climate is controlled so that we’re not subjecting it to insects in other paths as well as the fluctuating temperatures.
So what we’re accomplishing as a company is we’re setting up the drawing operation where we’ll be able to dry 2000 pounds per day. We’re going to that or 2000 pounds, half an hour work for a month and a half there during harvest season we’ll be running around the clock to keep those things filled. Once after harvest time we have a great system set up or we can control and store the hemp, marketed for sale for other laboratories where we’ll also be extracting ourselves 2000 pounds of hemp today.
James Brinkerhoff: Awesome. So you go through all the problems of you know, how it gets from seed all the way up until harvest and the weather stuff and the water, the precipitation, then the drying the systems that you guys are creating for the drawing of cause I don’t think everybody realizes what it takes to get a high quality full spectrum oil out of hemp, cannabis plants.
And there’s a lot left to mother nature there. The quality of how the oil is going to come out at the end. But what happens there from how are the farmers selling that end product? Do they go to a one main brokerage house over there or how are they dealing with the market and the kind of the ups and downs that are happening and, and also the big huge farms that are coming online this year.
Collaboration Is the Key To Staying Afloat
Austin Goodman: So the beautiful thing that we’re doing right now is we partnered with Fathom Hemp Company out of Denver. They are a hemp clearing house, so essentially we were set up to extraction. They were set up to do the drawing and the clearing house or were acting as an independent third party or we come help, we do process your hemp into marketable hemp, so we’ll take it, dry it, store it and test it, make sure that it’s free of pesticides in any sort of mold or mildew or heavy metals and then when we were with other laboratories, when those laboratories come to us, say they’re a CO2 extractor and they want their mills, we will mill it for them and get it to them the way they want it.
The issue that I saw this last year, and it’s still probably going into today, is that people are storing their hemp not properly, I’ve gone to hemp and still currently where people are storing it basically outdoors or in like just a covered arena or in their horse barn, which is just not a good place to store something that’s medicinal. That’s going to be going into your body. So the marketplace has been kind of tricky cause it’s very new and we’re looking to establish with this partnership with that and is creating a standard and a set of guidelines that all hemp farms can go by and in turn also setting some market prices and being able to, you know, establish a baseline that everybody can work off them.
James Brinkerhoff: Awesome. Austin, that sounds great, those are some of the questions that, you know, I think a lot of people see the industry is, it’s kind of opaque. You can’t really see what’s going on everywhere and being brand new. There’s all these systems that need to be built out and the supply chain, you know, kind of from scratch there. So that’s awesome. Awesome that you’re doing that work. And what about the end products? What’s going on in Grand Junction for like the product manufacturing, the health products, the topical, the food and food grade stuff.
The Need To Follow Good Manufacturing Practices and Getting CertificationsThe challenge that I've seen in the product manufacturing side is having good manufacturing practices. - Austin Goodman Click To Tweet
Austin Goodman: So there’s some really great things going on. We’re working with a couple of local companies that you know are really looking to set the bar higher as well. Elevated Soft Gel Company is located here in Grand Junction. They’re looking to set up their soft gel equipment, which should be live here in September, right in time for us to pull them in plants. They’re also making great tinctures. They’re a contract manufacturer and we’re looking to it to work with them long term to help facilitate the production of our products as well as others. We’re working with few other companies locally here in Grand Junction that are also in the product manufacturing side. A great company called Speedy Veg and Speedy grow. They do some great soil amendments. They’re also an extractor well and with them to uh, to produce some products as well.
The challenge that I’ve seen in the product manufacturing side is having good manufacturing practices. One thing that I see into the future is that not only are you going to need to be producing all your products in a food-grade manufacturing facility, but you need to follow good manufacturing practices and look for certifications so that you’re making sure that your products are produced properly and have that certain high standard in quality control plans so that the quality of your product is consistent and that people, when they buy it, know that they’re getting the same thing every single time.
James Brinkerhoff: Right. That’s a major concern for the consumer and also as we’re getting feedback from the FDA and the other agencies that are putting out their concerns on how these products are being distributed to the masses. Well, cool. Austin, tell me, let’s say, give me some advice for someone who wants to get into the industry right now.
You’ve been in, obviously for a number of years and what would you say the opportunities are to get in right now to attack all the problems that people could solve? Maybe places, where people could see, you know, long time ago when I got started growing the crop, was the profit center and now you know we’re seeing that things are changing. The cost of the actual cannabis is going way down and the margins are in, you know, certain products and different kind of places in the industry that ancillary businesses and stuff like that. So what would you say, what would you to someone that wanted to get in at looking for opportunity in the hemp, CBD or cannabis space right now.
Don’t Try To Do Everything, Focus On Where You Can Contribute The MostSo really find your niche, find something that really clicks for you and focus on that. - Austin Goodman Click To Tweet
Austin Goodman: Being in this industry since 2014 is when I decided to pursue cannabis full time as a career and it’s been really interesting to see it evolve. The one thing that has been my mantra for the last year or so cause when I first got into it I like to think about with all the endless possibilities of what cannabis can do. But my mantra now is don’t try to do everything. You’re not hemp. Yeah.
You can’t be everything to all people like cannabis is. So really focus on what it is you think you can contribute. If you’re really great at farming or really great at growing hemp or cannabis outdoors, that’s something that you should focus on and if you understand the nutrition or understand the soil and then work on that.
If you really understand farming, traditional farming and agricultural styles, focus on that. There are great opportunities and wonderful opportunities in every one of those things. The best opportunities that I see right now and where the best margin in this industry are in the product manufacturing and the product marketing side, establishing a foothold and getting a brand that’s solid that can be recognizable into the future. There’s a whole bunch of mom and pop brands that are doing vertically integrated that are wonderful, few of them over here on the Western slope and all across the country. It’s really difficult to try to do it from seed all the way into the end product. So really find your niche, find something that really clicks for you and focus on that.
We really found that the best niche for American Standard Hemp at the moment is to focus on post harvest all the way in through making full spectrum products, which is once it comes out of the ground, we contracted with wonderful farmers that have that really, really dialed in. They bring us the hemp, we extract it, we dry it, we extract it, we take it all the way to full spectrum distillate. And that’s our niche. And we then provide that product in a very quality consistent manner to the product manufacturers who can take it and put it into the finished good products. So we started off wanting to do every single little app. Okay. Now that we put plants from the ground, we bought the extraction equipment, we started extracting, we started manufacturing products, started marketing the product. And for a startup it was just too much. So we decided to dial that back straight towards just the extraction portion. And really found that, you know, that was something that we understood and that a lot of people need it. So that’s the thing. Find your niche, stick to it and figure out how to do it better than anybody else.
James Brinkerhoff: Well, you heard it guys, the riches are in the niches and whether you’ve had a passion your whole life and some certain aspect or you’ve had a career as an accountant or lawyer or we need your help in this industry, you know, whatever it is. And finding that place that has a need, you know, that needs to be fulfilled. Maybe it’s transportation, there’s a lot in little industries popping up there. So yeah, find a niche, pick your passion and get into it. And possibly, you know, get around the guys that are doing the business, get around guys like Austin and different ones out there that are running these companies and see what’s going on. I know they have a cool community going on out there in the Western slope. One last thing I wanted to talk about, Austin was the smokable hemp market. I know there’s been small little groups that have kind of taken off and it’s kind of catching fire. And I know there’s little dispensary’s opening up all over the southeast of smokable hemp flower. So what’s your take on that? I know I’ve seen some smokable flower up there with you guys. And what’s the talk like up there are you guys growing big smokable farms this year?
Of Growing Quality Medicinal Hemp or Cannabis
Austin Goodman: So that’s one of the things that’s really fascinating that kind of came out of the blue. For me, it wasn’t something that I even had my sights on until, you know, I started to realize that it’s something that people want, and especially in some of these markets where they don’t have legal cannabis, they don’t have legal, medical or legal recreational cannabis. So all across the Midwest, there’s Indiana, Wisconsin, Kansas and Missouri, the whole southeast where cannabis is, you know, fully illegal. Yeah.
People are turning towards smokable hemp where they can get upwards to a thousand dollars pound on wholesale and selling in these hemp dispensaries. You know, the market prices are comparable to the medicinal cannabis or recreational cannabis here in Colorado. Okay. It takes a lot of understanding and know how to produce a good quality smokable hemp flower. You’ve got to make sure that you don’t have pesticides, mold, mildew, heavy metals, any of those things in there which can be removed during an extraction process. So growing hemp for consumption smokable we really need to pay attention to what you’re feeding your plants, the soil that you’re growing it, the water that you’re feeding it and what your neighbors are doing.
You know, you also don’t want to have any seeds, so if you’re growing somewhere where everybody else is growing, know male, female, the hemp varieties, you have a real good possibility of getting pollen drone on your crop and you end up with a seeded crop. Nobody wants those seeds. You ever smoking a joint and all of a sudden the seed just pops. It’s not very fun. There’s really kind of, and it goes a little strange. Okay? The challenges that are arising in that market, North Carolina just passed through the committee amendment to the Agricultural Delaware. They’re trying to outlaw smokable hemp flower and classify it as marijuana as a felony, which is quite ludicrous in this day and age, especially after years and years, 80 plus years of prohibition.
People are knowledgeable, allowed to grow this plant and people are investing significant resources into growing these great outdoor and indoor variety of stuff. A smokable hemp flower. And now all of a sudden they’re being told by somebody who’s ignorant to the benefits that it is a felony that, hey, by the way, thanks for setting up your business, but we’re going to take away your whole market now, the same sort of rhetoric is coming out of places like Texas and other places in the south where they’re just a little bit behind the Times on what cannabis can do for you and what the benefits really are.
So the future social stigma and urban. Smoking cannabis and smoking hemp and smoking anything that maybe these things are, it works wonderful for me. I don’t really consume much my cannabis through smokable, I prefer to, they eat it. I like the edible aspect. It just creates a better feel for me personally. But smoking hemp and I know a whole bunch of people out here that are currently consuming it. You know, either smoking a joint or putting it out in a bowl or they’re consuming it, that it works wonders for them. It giving alleviates their anxieties without them the head hot. You know, I know a lot of people that are switching to smoking CBD flower just because it alleviate their ailments without giving them that high and they’re able to, you know, do that before they go to work and work better because they’re not focused on their pain.
James Brinkerhoff: Right. So what’s the market like out there guys growing? Is it people gearing up for it? Are People selling it wholesale over there? Is it, what is it looking like?
The Legality Of Interstate Commerce and Exporting To Other Countries
“And because of Colorado being so far ahead and then having such a great climate for growing cannabis and hemp outdoors, we do have a pretty large export markets. So a lot of the smokable hemp that’s being ground, either greenhouse indoors or outdoors here is going to some of these other states. And with the passage of the 2018 farm bill, as long as you’re below that 43 delta nine tetrahydrocannabinol, you’re able to cross state lines and the states have no right to interfere with the interstate commerce. “
Austin Goodman: It’s a little bit of both. A lot of the hemp flower, I mean you can walk into any head shop up and down the strip here and in Grand Junction and walk into it and they have smokable hemp flower right there on the shelf. It’s like that all across the United States at the moment. And because of Colorado being so far ahead and then having such a great climate for growing cannabis and hemp outdoors, we do have a pretty large export markets. So a lot of the smokable hemp that’s being ground, either greenhouse indoors or outdoors here is going to some of these other states. And with the passage of the 2018 farm bill, as long as you’re below that 43 delta nine tetrahydrocannabinol, you’re able to cross state lines and the states have no right to interfere with the interstate commerce. So it is kind of a beautiful thing and it’s the future that I see you know, even recreational medicinal cannabis going to, there’s Las Vegas people are spending ridiculous amounts of money on cooling and pumping water into the desert to grow cannabis just because they can’t take it from state to state. There you have it climate like Oregon or western Colorado or the Emerald Triangle where some of that outdoor cannabis is being ground, which requires nothing but sunshine light dirt and the water that’s already there which create some of these best things, but we can’t take them out of the state. So in the future where I really see cannabis going is this full legalization of both smokable hemp, high CBD strains and medicinal recreational cannabis that can be transported all across the country or even export it to other countries.
James Brinkerhoff: Yeah, I think it’s coming right so look out for it too. Right, because countries like Columbia are set up to grow mass amounts of hemp and cannabis and at a much cheaper cost and say Colorado , right? Same Way with places like Oregon, they can grow enough cannabis for the entire country.
Austin Goodman: Yeah, exactly, and it’s so beautiful up there. If you ever get a chance to go take a trip to Oregon, they’re right on par with Colorado producing some of the best quality medicinal and varieties.
James Brinkerhoff: Yeah, it’s exciting. I want to head back, I haven’t been up there in years and I know it was a cannabis place when I was younger and now I’ve heard that it’s like the best place for smokable hemp in the country and some of the highest quality hemp flower and stuff. Well, it’s exciting. Well, hey man, thanks for your time today. I really appreciate it Austin, and I’ll bring you back probably, I’m going to try to catch you in the harvest time or right before harvest. We can talk about some of the stuff that’s happening right around harvest. Maybe get up there and shoot some videos. Anybody else who wants to check out Austin and what he’s doing can check out the links below the podcast here and we’ll have all of his links and information there for you guys to check out. Again, check out any of our courses that we have and our Emerald Circle Mastermind. Look forward to talking to you all soon. This has been another episode and we’ll see you next time.
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