Cannabis entrepreneurship has been a staple of the Colorado economy for years.
Sean Byrne is adding his own idea to the (literal) field: helping people grow their own hemp by providing them with high-quality seed packets and bulk shipments of seeds for CBD cultivation.
We spoke with Byrne about the crowded world of hemp, discussing CBD with farmers, and the importance of plants to our everyday life.
Cannabis & Tech Today: Tell me about how Green Buffalo got started.
Sean Byrne: You know, I hate to admit that this is the story but here we go: In college I didn’t know what to study, some people had their suggestions but I didn’t like them.
So I majored in biology out of spite of indecision.
Anyway, that coincided with my new found interest in cannabis that developed in college. I started applying what I was learning in class to plants I was growing in basements of college rental houses.
As graduation grew closer I had a plan to start a farm, some other stuff happened, and then I started Green Buffalo LLC. But a farm is still in the works.
C&T Today: Have you always had an interest in working in the hemp industry?
SB: Since around 2013.
C&T Today: What have been some obstacles when it comes to working with hemp?
SB: There was a little bubble in the hemp industry… and it popped this past year. In the summer of 2019, everyone and their grandma grew hemp.
Registrations to grow hemp with the Colorado Department of Agriculture had doubled each year since 2014 up to 2019. Registrants for 2020 are around 18% of what it was in 2019.
Colorado alone grew enough hemp for the entire national demand in 2019, but there were dozens of other states that grew just as much hemp, if not more, on top of that.
This is normal though for any new market. Things will normalize as we find out the best uses for hemp and CBD products.
C&T Today: What’s something most people don’t know about hemp?
SB: Hemp, and more specifically CBD oil, doesn’t cure everything. However, it makes for great lube.
C&T Today: I like that you do phone consultations where you answer questions. What have some of those conversations been like?
SB: You know, it’s mostly been farmers. They’re curious, but mostly skeptical, and I tell them they should be skeptical.
Like I mentioned already, there’s been a lot of hype and the curiosity usually stems from rumors of getting a million dollars per acre for growing weed and people just assume the same for CBD hemp.
I tell them that the best use of CBD hemp these days is to feed it to cattle if they don’t plan on extracting it for lube.
Some cattle farmers have mentioned harvesting and storing it with their corn silage. When they feed the corn/CBD hemp mix to their cows they notice the cows are less bloated.
Now, I don’t know what it means to the farmer’s bottomline to have a less bloated cow at market, but I can imagine the cows are happier at least.
C&T Today: What makes Colorado ideal for hemp production?
SB: The legislation and culture. Colorado has seen huge amounts of people moving to this state and because of that we enjoy a relatively open minded population now.
I think that has played a big role in gaining favorable state legislation for hemp.
Furthermore, I have noticed a large accumulation of “jam band” aficionados taking place in Colorado, which is fine, but I do suspect a correlation.
Anyway, Colorado is decent in terms of climate and geography, but social acceptance has been the real driver for Colorado to become a market leader as a state.
C&T Today: Have you always been into crop production or is this a more recent interest?
SB: I just like growing stuff. It started out from being a cannabis enthusiast and wanting to grow it for myself. Then, I started growing other stuff because plants are just neat, I think.
What always comes to mind when I think about my interest in plants is our dependence on them, like we literally couldn’t breathe if plants didn’t exist.
More so than that, we would starve, we would be naked, and we wouldn’t be able to catch a buzz without plants to make things like booze, weed, coffee, cigarettes, etc…
We owe a lot of our existence to plants and I think that realization is what compels me to appreciate plants and growing so much.
C&T Today: How do you envision Green Buffalo LLC evolving over the next few years?
SB: A lot remains uncertain. I’m working on a plan to expand the company and a farm is still in the works even though I mentioned the hemp industry being a bubble.
Hemp and CBD do indeed have valuable uses, but THC is what people really want, at least based on feedback I’ve received.
Because of that, we have invested in extraction equipment to develop a line of concentrate products.
We have THC and CBD vape cartridges. On top of the concentrates, we have seeds!
We believe that everyone should have cheap access to cannabis, whether it’s to grow for CBD or THC or for medicine or leisure because in reality an ounce of weed shouldn’t cost more than a pound of tomatoes.
I have more wacky opinions, but I’m going to cut myself off there.
Check out Green Buffalo LLC at grbuff.com for more about the company, contact info, and our developing product line.