The Hemp Entrepreneur Podcast

Telling stories of the innovators and pioneers creating businesses in hemp in the U.S.

Episode 017 Prima - Christopher Gavigan

June 5th, 2019

Christopher Gavigan, Chief Purpose Officer for the Honest Company and founder of Prima, a new consumer CBD brand, is our guest this week on the Hemp Entrepreneur Podcast.  Gavigan is yet another example of a successful entrepreneur who identified an opportunity in industrial hemp who acted quickly to stake their claim.

Despite having quite a recognizable spokeswoman and founder in Jessica Alba, the Honest Company brand has ascended to global recognition on its transparency and commitment to producing only the highest quality products.  Christopher Gavigan identified a lack of transparency and honesty in industrial hemps most recognizable market, CBD. In order to establish his latest brand, Prima, Gavigan began by researching and cooperating with educational institutions, physicians and scientists in the field to better understand the compound and it's as of yet unverified benefits to human health and wellness.  

Prima now stands apart among a select few CBD brands in its commitment to providing a better CBD product and the education for consumers to be able to easily identify a quality brand from a cash grab.  Listen in to hear about Gavigan's unwavering determination to take the standard of quality he helped to establish in the Honest Company brand and apply it to the burgeoning CBD market.

Please like, share and subscribe to the Hemp Entrepreneur Podcast! We are your weekly source of hemp industry enlightenment and we look forward to bringing you more stories about great brands like Prima!  



Episode 016 Hemp House on Wheels - Coexist Build & Americhanvre

May 30th, 2019

As we move into the second half of 2019, it seems as though the industrial hemp industry is gaining serious momentum.  On this week’s episode, join Drew and Cameron for a trip into New York City for the Cannabis World Congress and Business expo, where we will be displaying a project we have been working on for the last six months.  

The Hemp House on Wheels was designed by Anastasiya Konopitskya, Drew’s wife and an accomplished architect and designer.  This project served to temper our focus in what can be an overwhelming sea of hemp related opportunities. It is constructed out of hempcrete, a biocomposite insulation comprised of hemp hurd, lime binder and water.  Our Hemp House on Wheels is finished with a three coat lime plaster system provided by our friends at DeGreuchy’s LimeWorks in Telford, PA.

Our intention behind building this project was to create a model, for display, of hempcrete construction that showcases the potential for designing and building with the material.  We formed a joint venture between our companies to offer full design/build services in hempcrete construction; Ana and Drew of Coexist Build and Cameron, with Americhanvre.

Our appearance at the CWCB Expo came at the invitation of the National Hemp Association and the Hemp Industry Park, and the entire experience has been unbelievable.  Listen in to hear about our journey to make it to the CWCB Expo and for some colorful New York character’s we met along the way!





Episode 015 Hemp Exchange - Chris Fontes

May 20th, 2019

Chris Fontes has been programming since he was four years old.  He's recently taken his skill to launch a business to business marketplace to create a trusted supply chain for producers and consumers of bulk hemp products called Hemp Exchange.  

In a market that's often difficult to navigate and unreliable, Hemp Exchange provides a dependable resource for buyers and sellers in the hemp industry by verifying all of their listings.   

We are your weekly source of hemp industry enlightenment and we look forward to anyone making a splash in industrial hemp.  Thanks for listening and please like, share, and subscribe to The Hemp Entrepreneur Podcast to hear about more pioneers creating businesses in the hemp industry.



Episode 014 Hemp Local Supply Chain Coalition - Judy Wicks

May 12th, 2019

Judy Wicks, a celebrated farm to table pioneer and localist is our guest this week on the Hemp Entrepreneur Podcast.  Co-founder of the Free People's Store (now Urban Outfitters) in Philadelphia in the early 1970's, Wicks ran with an idea that was unheard of then and remains uncommon now; the idea that a business should have a place within a community that superseded the drive for high profits at any expense. Her entrepreneurial journey in Philadelphia was just beginning, however this idea of community and local self-reliance would remain a common thread in all of her endeavors.

Years later, Wicks opened the White Dog Cafe in West Philadelphia with just a few ingredients and grew to be known as the mother of the local food movement in the area by doing something her competitors would never have dared; she openly shared her sources for the local produce that comprised her menu.  What she came to believe in was the idea that it was not enough for her one business to focus on supporting the local economy, but that it would require all local restaurants to shed their national and international suppliers to really support and grow the local farm base.

Years of community and political activism proved to temper Wicks' commitment to identify and combat the forces that are destroying our environment.  Proud Pennsylvania is an initiative spearheaded by Judy to encourage a healing bond between those in urban and rural communities, and to ensure that underrepresented communities find inclusion in the modern local economy.  As part of this initiative, Wicks formed the Hemp Local Supply Chain Coalition due to the overwhelming promise that industrial hemp holds for solving some of our toughest environmental challenges.

Give a listen to hear about Judy Wick's amazing entrepreneurial journey up to this point and what she hopes to continue to achieve via the opportunities available to local communities by the green wave!  We are your weekly source for hemp industry enlightenment and we continue to look forward to hearing from you or anyone you know who is making a splash in industrial hemp! Thanks for listening and please don’t forget to like, share and subscribe.


Episode 013 Groff North America - Dr. Steve Groff

May 6th, 2019

Dr. Steve Groff, a successful orthopedic surgeon and entrepreneur has decided to return to his roots and step back into the world of farming and spearhead hemp processing in Pennsylvania.  He’s purchased the HempTrain from Canadian Greenfield Technologies and is building a facility in Red Lion, Pennsylvania scheduled to be ready for the Fall harvest. It’s a new type of processing that he hopes will help revolutionize hemp in North America.

Groff North America is currently contracting farmers in Pennsylvania this year, and plan to scale nationwide in 2020.  

Please don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to the Hemp Entrepreneur Podcast!  We are your weekly dose of hemp industry enlightenment. Also, if you or someone you know is making a splash in the industrial hemp industry, please reach out!


Episode 012 Jefferson University - Dr. Ron Kander

April 28th, 2019

"I've told my students there are only four ways to compete in a new product; either the new product has to perform better than the old product, the new product has to have a lower cost than the old product, the new product has to be more sustainable than the old product, or the new product has to have a stronger marketing position than the old product."

Dr. Ron Kander, Dean of the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce, and Associate Provost for Applied Research at Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA is our guest this week on the Hemp Entrepreneur Podcast.  Dr. Kander is a material scientist who studied at Carnegie Mellon University and University of Delaware and also worked at DuPont as a materials engineer. Students at the Kanbar College at Jefferson University have been studying the potential and the supply chain economics of bringing applications to market that  make use of the industrial hemp’s most under-utilized and plentiful component, the hemp hurd.

Hemp hurd, or shiv, is the inner woody core of the hemp stalk and comprises approximately 85% of the plant.  As more products are developed that make use of the hurd, the cost of producing the other products will be offset by the revenue generated by the hurd and the market will begin to expand rapidly.  Dr. Kander and his team are researching applications that require a lower volume of the hurd in order to fit the size and pace of the market as it currently stands.

These low volume, high value applications are developed by the University, however through Dr. Kanders office, the opportunity to license and build upon their patented innovations is available to entrepreneurs.  Jefferson has set out to be a source for education, unbiased information and partnership in the industrial hemp industry. Their programs are unique and the interest level from students and potential employers is high.  

Tune in to hear why Dr. Kander calls the industrial hemp industry the next gold rush and how we all need to think holistically about the industry from farm to product.  Please don't forget to like, share and subscribe to the Hemp Entrepreneur Podcast! We are your weekly source for hemp industry enlightenment and we look forward to hearing from entrepreneurs who were inspired by what they have heard.


Dr. Ronald G. Kander, PhD
Dean, Kanbar College of Design, Engineering & Commerce
Associate Provost for Applied Research

Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University)
East Falls Campus
302A Lawrence N. Fields DEC Center
4201 Henry Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19144

T 215-951-0252
C 540-435-1447

Episode 011 Texture Clothing - Teresa Remple

April 21st, 2019

We’re proud to present our first female hemp entrepreneur, Teresa Remple, who started Texture Clothing in Bellingham, Washington eighteen years ago.  Texture Clothing offers affordable hemp and organic cotton clothing for women with real bodies of all shapes and sizes.  They are locally made, ethically sourced, and hand-made.    

We discuss why she chose hemp as her textile of choice, how she keeps it all local, and what she does to commit to a near zero waste policy.  In an ever changing market Teresa reflects on what she’s learned over the last two decades at Texture Clothing and how she's adapted to maintain a thriving enterprise.   

Please like, share, and subscribe to The Hemp Entrepreneur Podcast!  We love to hear back from our listeners about innovators in the industrial hemp space who are making a splash!



Episode 010 PAHIC & NHA - Erica and Les Stark

April 15th, 2019

Erica McBride Stark, a former high level business management executive, took a leap of faith to leave her job and become a full time advocate of industrial hemp and medicinal cannabis long before it was clear that the tide of popular opinion had turned.  She met her husband at approximately the same time, Les Stark, a local historian of Lancaster county, author of “Hempstone Heritage; In Accordance with their Wills”, and executive director of the Keystone Cannabis Coalition.

Together, Erica and Les began lobbying on behalf of industrial hemp at the local government level and quickly realized what a pair of dedicated citizens could achieve in a representative democracy, armed with truth and a truly sustainable, environmentally friendly proposal.  They were not your traditional lobbyists; there were no shadow accounts and perks offered for participation, no unnamed wealthy benefactors with boatloads of cash and offshore accounts. Just a pair of dedicated individuals with some knowledge and persistence.

Inevitably, Erica and Les crossed paths with Geoff Whaling, current president of both the Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council and National Hemp Association, who had been lobbying for cannabis prohibition reform on his own.  Together, the trio became more and more influential, gaining audience with policy makers of a caliber capable of affecting real change.

Today, Erica has seen out the success of her early efforts and now finds herself in a transitional role, from activist to educator and coordinator.  The industrial hemp industry has experienced a rebirth, legally, and now it is time to fuel the fires and continue to breathe new life into the fledgling industry, both locally and nationally.  Please consider joining both your local and national hemp industry associations. The PA Hemp Industry Council and National Hemp Association offer memberships that cover interested parties all the way up to business level sponsor memberships!

As always, we are your weekly dose of hemp industry enlightenment!  Please like, share and subscribe to the Hemp Entrepreneur Podcast! We love to hear back from our listeners about innovators in the industrial hemp space who are making a splash!


Episode 009 BodyChek Wellness - Riley Cote

April 7th, 2019

High impact sports can be brutal on the body.  Many athletes suffer repeated injuries, concussions, and pain.  While many athletes have resorted to prescription drugs, Riley Cote, a former professional hockey player for the Philadelphia Flyers has dedicated his post professional career to educating people on the benefits of hemp and cannabis in sports through his organizations Athletes For Care and The Hemp Heals Foundation.  His company BodyChek Wellness incorporates a variety of natural ingredients to support general wellness and recovery.


Episode 008 Hempocator - Kris Erlewine

March 31st, 2019

Do you find the hemp industry to be a little overwhelming and hard to navigate?  Well, founder Kris Erlewine has recently launched a hemp business directory called Hempocator to make it easier.  Hempocator currently has over 1,200 listings across 39 categories in a searchable, browseable, and a mapped format.  It’s an incredible resource and we encourange you to check it out.  

Kris is a serial entrepreneur with 25 years of experience buidling internet based directories.  He lives in Colorado, but has a family farm in Central and Western Nebraska and hopes to grow industrial hemp in the near future.  He wants Hempocator to be the go to directory for businesses focused around hemp.