JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – From a small family garden in their backyard, a Jackson businessman moved into the hemp industry and now Jon Carter, owner of Estelle Farms, is building a 10-thousand-square-foot facility to grow and process medical cannabis and hemp in the Capital City.
It is difficult for most people to know the difference between hemp and cannabis. Hemp growers like Carter say there are proven benefits. He calls hemp a super plant.
Carter said, “The entire plant can be used. No part of it is waste. From the roots all the way to the leaves, of course the buds, what people are most familiar with.”
Carter is the owner of Estelle Farms. His hemp business grew from a garden in his family’s backyard. He says moving into medical cannabis was a natural progression.
“Mississippi has unique weather conditions that fluctuate pretty wildly. Knowing that medical cannabis was on the cusp, we wanted to start early with something that we know was a very similar grow. Of course, it was also legal with the 2018 Farm Bill,” Carter said.
Carter is building out a 10-thousand-square-foot facility to grow medical cannabis and hemp in Jackson. We asked about other businesses springing from the industry such as testing facilities and companies that handle unused product.
“The law does allow for those disposal entities and some other parts of the entire industry to come in. You’re right, there has been a huge focus on the cultivation but the processing, the testing and the disposal part will definitely have to be addressed. For us, we’re just trying to make sure that we’re not going to produce more than what we can move out of our facility,” Carter said.
Carter tells us, by law, once medical cannabis businesses get their license from the state, they will not be allowed to advertise. His hope is to make the public aware of the benefits and to eliminate some of the misinformation.
Carter said, “Education is gonna be key. That’s really what I would like to get across to everyone. Study, study, study. Learn. This plant is well over 10-thousand years old as far as the history that we can trace and it’s only within the last 50 to 100 years that we’ve had this prohibition. So let’s get back to where human society was in general of using the plant for its benefits and not giving it that bad stigma unnecessarily.”
Estelle Farms will not stop with hemp and medical cannabis. Carter says that business will help achieve his long term mission of providing free, healthy food resources to underserved communities.
Estelle Farms has acquired land in north Jackson that the company plans to develop into an outdoor community gardening space. Carter says the focus is to give residents access to free, healthy produce.
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