Arizona farmers, businesses push to expand local hemp industry
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon are working to get hemp removed from a federal list of illegal controlled substances. Buzz60
ASU alum Gunhee Park has started a company to provide hemp oil as a supplement. He said he hopes his brand Populum will help decrease hemp’s stigma and educate the public about its properties.
“I think a lot of the stigma is tied around the psychoactive portion of cannabis,” Park, 27, told The Arizona Republic.
“Industrial hemp is completely outside the realm of illegal pharmaceuticals,” said Arizona Farm Bureau Government Relations Director Chelsea McGuire in a blog post supporting efforts by local farmers to grow the crop. “Instead, hemp is a fiber crop.”
“When it comes to hemp, the message that we portray is that there is no psychoactive element,” Park said.
ASU alum Gunhee Park founded Populum in 2016. The company provides hemp oil and cold therapy gel products. (Photo: Courtesy of: Populum)
Turning plants into products
Park’s company Populum, started in 2016, works with U.S. farmers who are licensed to grow hemp.
It sells a hemp oil that can be consumed. It also sells a gel that can be rubbed into the skin.
Customers have told the company they use the oil and cold therapy gel products for sleep, joint pain and other ailments.
Populum’s hemp oil is applied under the tongue. Park said the oil has an orange flavor to hide the bitterness commonly associated with hemp.
“We put a lot of focus in developing a product in which our customers can enjoy taking,” he said.
The company not only creates products for humans but also for pets.
Park said customers asked for pet products because they wanted to decrease anxiety associated with storms and being left alone.
Further confusing the industry is the rising popularity of CBD oil. Both hemp oil and CBD oil come from the same plant, but originate from different parts and have different properties.
Hemp oil comes from the seeds. CBD oil comes from the stalks, buds or leaves of the hemp plant.
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Get your hemp on: Arizona farmers, businesses push to expand industry
Arizona farmers support growing hemp. ASU graduate Gunhee Park created Populum to sell hemp oil products and decrease the stigma surrounding hemp.
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