Making a switch into hemp/cannabis farming but don’t know where to start?
You’re in luck! Our guest for today is a seventh-generation farmer and a fifth-year hemp grower from Kentucky.
Carson Nation is the head of Carson Hemp Mongoose Nation. Carson spends his time out in the field growing hemp, doing quality control, and teaching people all over the Southeast about hemp farming.
In today’s episode, Carson talks about the lessons that he learned in the last five years, an interesting theory about legalization, and the services that they’re offering to help new farmers in their journey.
Don’t risk more than you can lose if you want to get into this. It’s an unstable market. – Carson Nation
Some Topics We Discussed Include
1:50 – How a 7th-generation farmer got into cannabis farming and education
4:22 – What he learned from small and large scale farming
5:06 – What are the services offered by his new consulting and employment company
7:14 – What cannabis farming looks like in five years
9:15 – What are the questions you need to ask to guarantee that you get quality seeds?
12:58 – An interesting theory about legalization
14:27 – What did he learn from his experiences
16:52 – What he wants to be known for
People Mentioned / Resources
Connect with Carson Nation
Connect with Sonia Gomez
James Brinkerhoff: All right, welcome back everybody to The Hemp Revolution Podcast, where we bring you all the buzz in the cannabis. Today, I’m going to be your host, James Brinkerhoff Jr., and I have got an exciting guest to bring to you guys. We’ve been talking to a lot of people with CBD brands.
Today I’m going to bring you somebody who spends his time out in the field, doing quality control growing this hemp, and now he’s teaching people all over the southeast about hemp farming. He’s been a seventh-generation farmer from Kentucky, a fifth-year hemp farmer.
So in the hemp industry, he would be what you called an OG. He’s one of the original guys from 2014 that started in this industry, and he is the head of Mongoose Hemp Nation and also runs his own cannabis consultancy where he helps farmers get with it with their cultivation, because if there’s a big learning curve going from corn to hemp, so I want to welcome Carson Nation to the podcast. How are you doing, Carson?
Carson Nation: Pretty good. Thank you so much for having me.
James Brinkerhoff: You bet, man, I’m really excited to have you on. Why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself? Where you’re from? What’s your background? I did my best to introduce you, the best I could.
A Seventh-Generation Farmer Now Teaching New Farmers
Carson Nation: Yes, sir. Thank you, sir. I’m a seventh-generation farmer. My dad is a sixth-generation farmer, my mom [00:02:05 unintelligible] blackberries, raspberries, some nursery stock pumpkins, flowers, [0:02:12 inaudible] apples, and I took some of my skill [00:02:18 inaudible] his dad is from Chico, and so we did some things up there. Not too legal but we did some things up in there back in like the early 2000s, I mean 2004 somewhere around that area, 2003.
And then, I went to Colorado to help a couple of people set up some genetic projects and some growing opportunities. The cannabis industry I got screwed out of it. So I came back to Kentucky. I heard they’re going to do cannabis hemp. I came back to Kentucky to serve doing tomatoes and stuff until the hemp program came in 2014 I didn’t get my license, but I was helping other hemp farmers establish this crop since I had a little bit of cannabis knowledge, and especially crriop knowledge.
And then, in 2015, I was able to get a license. And so ever since then, I’ve been experimenting and selling a flower and biomass and teaching farmers across the United States, especially the southeast, how we can grow this and mitigate some of those problems such as disease and bud rot. And so you know, just basically quality control, quality control.
James Brinkerhoff: Cool. So you kind of like a lot of us you got into growing cannabis on the early side. And as the laws loosened up, you went back home.
Carson Nation: Yeah, yes, sir. So my actual cannabis started when I was about 15, 16. We had a big farm, and so what I would take there is going like other neighboring farms in other parts of this [00:04:02 unintelligible] plants and to guarantee the safety of our crop and all the costs and be like, Hey, I just found this crop from a farm. They’re coming down, and they’ve never come back. So, good stuff once in a while. So yeah.
James Brinkerhoff: Cool, man. So what is your main focus right now? What’s going on right now for you in 2019, then looking into 2020?
The Small Scale and Large Scale Farming Experiment
Carson Nation: So 2018 was an experimental year, we did a very large crop for sunlight last year. That taught us a lot about the labor force in America. Unfortunately took us forever to harvest, so this year, I wanted to scale down and experiment and help other people grow. So, I developed a lot of grows for a lot of people across the country, especially in these new developing states. And I’ve been watching that pretty much from the side and [00:05:00 unintelligible] project. I’ve been wanting to finish that for the last three or four years. So, I finally got to work on it a little bit more this year.
James Brinkerhoff: Tell us the name of your company and the services that you offer.
The Chronic Nomad
Carson Nation: Well, right now, we just started a new company. It’s Chronic Nomads. So we are a specialty basically, especially consulting and employment group, we basically can outfit your entire grow with a crew. So if you need somebody from seed to finish the harvest, we have a crew, we can outfit a crew, we can even train your crew. And we do educational classes. Hopefully, we’re going to do some hands-on seminars in 2020. And my PowerPoint presentation has been a big hit. So I want to break that down into four segments. Because I tell people hemp planting is in four segments yet planning and planting and all that stuff. So I kinda wanna break that down before each season so farmers can get refreshed before they hit the fields.
James Brinkerhoff: Cool. So you really cut their learning curve, what they need to do train their people work alongside them. Get them in The groove, then you can move on to your next project, and they kind of got the system down.
Carson Nation: We’re calling ourselves basically cannabis mercenaries. We’re the Delta Force, [unintelligible]?
James Brinkerhoff: Yeah. That sounds great. I come from a cannabis background. I started growing medical cannabis in California in 1996. And at that time, we were getting like 4500 a pound for the biomass for the flower. And so the growers were making a lot of money.
But today, I’ve seen over the years, those prices just dropped and dropped and dropped and dropped. And I’ve seen the prices go as low as like 800 bucks and in California. And now a lot of my friends out in Humboldt and Mendocino area, they’re losing their farms. And they’re losing their ability because the way that legislation was set up for the bigger companies to come in and kind of push out the mom and pop and the legacy growers that really built the entire industry in that region of the country.
But so what do you say? What are these farmers making? Like what is it people that want to get into the business as a grower? Like I got a farm, grandpa left me 40 acres. Or, you know, some kids are like I don’t want to grow this corn anymore grandpa’s been growing it for 60 years we want to grow hemp. What does that look like as a farmer? Can you make a good living?
The Future of Cannabis/Hemp
Carson Nation: So I scare people out of the hemp industry. I’m terrible. So I tell people don’t risk more than you can lose if you want to get into this. It’s an unstable market. And you know, right now we’re calling it cannabis, and we’re calling it hemp, but I think in the next five years, instead of being hemp and cannabis, it’s just going to be cannabis and we’re going to be farming for specific cannabinoids, we’re already seeing that you’re CBG and CBC. Especially if I’m talking to pharmaceutical friends and companies, they’re looking into those CBC, those THCV.
So CBG’s so I think You know, I think the future is you’re gonna start seeing hemp in more diversified hemp field that’s going to guarantee these different cannabinoids and then you’re going to start seeing these medical cannabis cannabinoids or cannabis that feature higher terpene profiles because you know hemp, we have [unintelligible]
Oh man, if you go to like, I don’t know, say something like a purple punch or fruit punch cookies or lemon sherbert or lemon jello or Liberty Haze or violator kush. I mean, those terpene profiles are just magnificent. I mean, it’s some of the best I’ve ever had, you know, I like Tangerine Dream tangerine cookies. Those are great. So we’re not getting those with hemp.
So I think if we start mixing the two and I think you know, I’m betting all my horses and you know mixing the two pre-rolls with medical hemp and/or medical marijuana, a lot of people on my friends like to do that now. And one of the favorite strains is a CBD shark, which is a one to one, and he has a 14 to 14. Usually, if you grow it really well, and you know, personally, I don’t like to get super high. I like that really relaxing feeling of the CBD and the THC.
James Brinkerhoff: totally, totally. Yeah, man. So I guess it kind of leads to my next question was where do you see the opportunities for people that are listening right now we got a lot of people that they want to get in the industry, they’re trying to figure out where to invest their money or their farm or, you know, whatever their kind of expertise is, where do you see the opportunities right now to come in at this point with the new legislation from the USDA, the FDA, the total THC contents, everything that’s kind of going on, it seems like you know, it could go you know, either way right now and, and so what do you see those opportunities?
Getting Quality Seeds
Carson Nation: So I tell people, like I said, Be careful, this industry is up and down. I mean, we’ve seen a drastic decrease in CBD isolate. So, if you’re going to start anywhere, get CBD seeds. Get qualified quality CBG seeds. Ask for the standard questions when asking for seeds you know three COA’s, testimonials, the whole nine yards make sure you can back up those labs with Google searches, make sure they’re quality. Even call them if you have to. Ask them other questions, CBD seeds, and then get good CBD seeds that we guarantee won’t go past the threshold, something in the 11% 10% usually when we see that 10-11% we don’t see that THC is going over. So usually, usually, I have seen someone go over. So I mean until we know more about the USDA, be careful with some of these strains.
I mean, 90% of the strains that I know of won’t make the USDA guidelines next year. So be careful, especially some of these pollen chapters out here that they’re just pollen chucking stuff and saying, Oh yeah, this is gonna meet USDA standards, and then you grow it out and boom, you’re gonna burn your field and maybe beheld liable if we don’t change these rules.
James Brinkerhoff: yeah, there’s a lot of risks out there. So you’ve heard it here you guys, the year of 2020 is gonna be the year of CBG. We’re gonna have a big CBG year next year.
Carson Nation: I think in other cannabinoids, I’m starting to see more CBC Come on the market, and maybe we’ll start seeing in these medical states THCV. The way I heard, I’m not a good processor, so I don’t know anything about processing, but they have to extract the entire THC. And then they’ll get the THCB out of it. So they will start seeing other cannabinoids broken down so we can do custom blend mixes.
James Brinkerhoff: Right, that’s what everybody’s after at least farmer right.
Carson Nation: Correct.
James Brinkerhoff: Custom blend mixes. Through all my experience all these years to me, I don’t get the same effect when they take when they separate it all apart and then try to mix it back together. I only get the best effect with the minimal amount of processing and all the cannabinoids, flavonoids, everything even maybe the chlorophyll mixed in, and that’s where I’ve gotten like the most as far as like them all the medicinal effects.
And I’m also a recreational user. So I’m like I’m very particular about like when I’m putting in my body and what I’m using and like, I don’t like any of these distillates or pure THC or pure CBD distillates. I don’t even like the ones they’re just adding terpenes into it. It’s just like, tastes like perfume or something. It’s just not quite like when you just get the raw, like straight from the plant.
Carson Nation: Correct. I’m a flower person personally.
I like to inspect the flower. I want to see how it’s built, how it tricked out, how the calyxes are. Exactly.
James Brinkerhoff: Exactly. You actually really cool, man. I got another question for you. What do you think the benefits of legalization are? It sounds like the Congress just passed the first bill to get on to the Senate is like a historical thing and the last 60 years or whatever. Well, what do you think about the big benefits For the US and the global economy is, and what do you think the downside of legalization could be?
Legalization is Not Going to Happen
Carson Nation: Okay, so here’s my personal thing. I think they’re going to– okay, somebody else said this, I can’t give credit to myself. He doesn’t think that legalization is going to happen, but they’ll decriminalize. So leave it up to the states to develop a program. And those programs are probably going to be bought out by big corporate big lobbyists.
I mean, I kind of called [unintelligible] 2016, when the 22nd Century Group of Virginia said they’re going to get into hemp, and they did, and they’re so that they’re going to be they’re going to make hemp non-detectable [inaudible]. They are a big GMO company with tobacco. They hold most brands of tobacco. Now we’re hearing Marlboro coming out, and they’re gonna be cigarettes.
And now we’re seeing the USDA making these strict guidelines. Man, I’m not a conspiracy theorist. But this is kind of making more sense than anything, and I think that that’s what’s gonna happen with medical or legalized marijuana, I think they’re gonna get it to big corporations.
James Brinkerhoff: yeah, like it or not. Cool. Carson, well, you’re considered one of the leaders in your field. I mean, you have a big following, and you’re out there teaching. You’re doing it, and you’re also teaching people you’re a, what we call a leading learner. Right? And you’re so young, and you’re also a young guy. So what did it take for you to get to this place that you’re at right now?
Learning From Past Experiences
Carson Nation: Oh, gosh. Getting screwed by all my partners in the last five years. Many, many plant deaths when I was younger, very experimenting, you know, experiment with parts per million square feet, especially on the medical side to develop higher THC stressing the plant and then on the hemp side, finding what the right ratio is to how much input Do I need per acre to get the best quality and know like you said, it’s still Learning thing, I’m only 34 about to be 35. And you know, I’ve been doing this since I was 15, 16. Now I’m still learning something new every single year.
I mean, if you follow me on Facebook, I mean, I showed something about the powdered milk, I learned that this year putting powdered milk in the potting soil, it made my roots boost, and then the potassium silicate us are really using that the last two years. And that really boosts everything, you know, boosted my route development in the clones. And so I’m still learning everything controlling environments and how that helps spike rooting or so on and so forth. So, every day is a new challenge, and every day is a new learning experience.
James Brinkerhoff: Yeah, man, People come in people talk to me about all the time we want to get in now. We want to invest in. You get yourself somebody that’s been growing for five or ten years at least. And all right, they think they can learn it in one or two years. So we’re seeing a lot of people have massive failures, because of that.
Get yourself somebody that's been growing for five or ten years at least. - James Brinkerhoff, Jr. Click To Tweet
Carson Nation: You know, here’s another thing, if you’re going to do it, do it right. Small quantities small batch. You know, I just read an article 80% of tested flour in Colorado or something tested for like mold or pesticides, something like that. That’s disgusting. So if you’re going to do it, do it right. Be known for quality, and that’s what I’ve tried to make my name known for is quality. I rather burn off $50,000 worth of hemp if it’s not my quality. If it’s not my standards, I’ll burn it off and call it a lot.
If you're going to do it, do it right. Be known for quality and that's what I've tried to make my name known for is quality. - Carson Nation Click To Tweet
James Brinkerhoff: Yeah, because then your customers, they’re gonna know you for that.
Carson Nation: Correct.
James Brinkerhoff: That’s the way it used to be in the old days. If you had a little powdery mildew on your bud, and they got it or little bud rot. And they came back, and it was like they don’t want any more.
Carson Nation: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
James Brinkerhoff: You got to treat your customers like gold, even more, today because the margins are a lot less than they were when I was young.
Carson Nation: Yes, sir.
James Brinkerhoff: Yeah. So, Carson, tell me who do you want to work with? Who’s your best ideal customer that you want to work with this year in 2020? Who do you want to partner with? What are your dreams and goals? What are you trying to build?
Getting Known for Quality
Carson Nation: I want to be known for quality. So I’m trying to get into the medical marijuana industry, especially in the Oklahoma side, I’m partnering with maybe a guy gentleman out there really nice individual out there very, very nice guy. And I want him to be known for medical and help bring him out, you know, I want to help license out some very special stuff. I’m gonna build genetically with a buddy Jason Matthew.
And I want to license it for the Cherokee Nation. So we can help the Cherokee Nation help, you know, some of these communities that have been lost. So these communities that have been forgotten about, you know, cannabis is the big new trains, maybe if we can put some exposure to these people, maybe we can help them out through revenue. So I’m going to help create some stuff for some people down there trauma, and you know, maybe get out on the market. So my whole idea is to have small batch quality around the United States, these medical marijuana industries or recreational industries and be known for high quality I don’t want my test to come back with no mold I want to come back with high terpene profiles good GC content and so on so forth.
James Brinkerhoff: awesome Carson I love to hear it, man. Probably going to be hitting you up for one or two of my projects that I have coming up, so that’s kind of a similar to what we’re doing I just found a really cool spot where they’re gonna let us do outdoor, and it’s not as beautiful farmland it’s they’ve been growing winter wheat for years and how just testing the soil. It’s so I’m really excited about that and building little kind of permaculture farms, right regenerative cannabis farms.
Carson Nation: Yes, sir. Yes, sir. And, you know, I think that’s how cannabis should be. I mean, you know, we’re trying to help the earth, and with hemp, we’ve been saying that to everybody. But you see these mass scale industries using all this plastic and all this plastic goes back into the landfill. I mean, we need to do better as a community, we need to do better. We need to treat the environment better. If we’re going to push the standard that I was going to help Mother Nature, then we need to follow that.
James Brinkerhoff: Exactly. Well, thanks, man. Well, hey, where can my audience find you? Do you have a fan page on YouTube? Social media? Where can we find you?
Carson Nation: If you want to check me out, check it out on Facebook, Carson The Hemp Mongoose Nation. Also, my Facebook page where I share all my educational posts, Mongoose Hemp and then if you’re on Instagram, the hemp mongoose, and yeah if you follow me anytime, and I’ll be given all kinds of cool posts out there out the season.
James Brinkerhoff: Awesome Carson. Hey, man, thanks a lot for taking the time out. I know you’re a busy man. I really appreciate you, folks, down in the blog post below. I’m gonna leave all of Carson’s links you’d be able to get ahold of him, follow him on social and share this post with your friends. There’s a lot of people out there that need to know the truth about this industry.
So if they want to know about growing if they want to know about getting into the cultivation side of this industry, hemp or cannabis have them check out this post with Carson Nation right here, and you know, get a little inside glimpse on some of the risks, but also some of the big rewards, right? We can some of them, some of us get big rewards, right? It does pay off.
Carson Nation: Hey, especially when you can help somebody with cancer with cannabis, it should make you feel better about yourself.
James Brinkerhoff: Oh man, that’s the biggest reward, and beyond that, it can pay the bills. And it doesn’t, it’s not bad to make money for your family, and a lot of people say, Oh, that’s bad. But, you know, cannabis has provided for me for my entire life. I never even had a job. So and now I talk about it on this talk show, and we speak about it at events, and we have multiple companies. So there is a way for you if you’re persistent. And I do believe that this is the biggest opportunity of my generation probably yours, Carson.
My grandfather told me that brass ring only comes around once in a lifetime where your preparation meets opportunity, is that point where you get to hit success. So it’s been a lot of fun with you guys today. I had a lot of fun with you, bro. I look forward to having you back on. Maybe we can do some grow tips. You know, maybe we can do like a seasonal like maybe every three months. You can talk about what you’re doing this season.
Carson Nation: Yes, sir.
James Brinkerhoff: That’d be really cool, man. Appreciate you.
Carson Nation: Thank you so much, sir. Thank you all for having me.
James Brinkerhoff: It’s been The Hemp Revolution. We’ll see you next time.
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