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Shine on You: Let’s Talk Hemp Q&A Profile with Frederick Cawthon

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Shine on You: Let’s Talk Hemp Q&A Profile with Frederick Cawthon

By Morris Beegle

Welcome to my Let’s Talk Hemp weekly industry profile – Shine on You – where I get to feature folks involved in the industry and who are doing important and interesting work from various corners and crevices of the hemp space.  This week I have Frederick Cawthon, President of the Hemp Alliance of Tennessee. I met Frederick at Southern Hemp Expo back in Nashville in 2018 as an up and coming leader in the Tennessee hemp movement. He has donated his time and skills to multiple organizations in the hemp space for many years and continues to provide leadership on the local, regional and national level.  

Let’s get to know Frederick a bit better and why He loves hemp!

Frederick Cawthon is the President of Hemp Alliance of Tennessee a 501(c)(6) trade association representing farmers, processors, and other industry-related businesses in the great state of Tennessee. He is also Co-Founder and CEO of Verge Agritech which focuses on product & brand development, distribution, and business consulting in the hemp industry.

When and why did you get into the hemp/cannabis industry?  
In addition to serving hemp operators and consumers in Tennessee, I am also a member of the U.S.Hemp Roundtable’s Minority Empowerment Committee.MEC’s mission is to create an equitable and impactful hemp industry. Most recently, I was elected to the USHR Board of Directors. I am looking forward to the opportunity to add value to the BOD.   

You are involved in non-profit work, can you tell us about the organization/organizations that you work with and what you do with them?   
In addition to serving hemp operators and consumers in Tennessee, I am also a member of the U.S.Hemp Roundtable’s Minority Empowerment Committee.MEC’s mission is to create an equitable and impactful hemp industry. Most recently, I was elected to the USHR Board of Directors. I am looking forward to the opportunity to add value to the BOD.

What are your favorite products and/or attributes of the hemp/cannabis plant?  
To select a favorite would be premature because we are still at the tip of the iceberg of possibilities. I feel it is incredible how hemp can be used for food, housing, and clothing. Now, it’s up to us as an industry to show the world what’s possible.

Do you have any current or upcoming projects you’re working on and would like to let folks know about?   
Yes, pursuing a Hemp Fiber Feasibility Grant from the State of Tennessee. The goal of the grant is to identify where fiber market classes should be optimally grown, the best genetics to use, how to incorporate hemp into existing production systems, the economic development impact on subsectors, employment and trade; growth market forecast and pricing to support industry expansion; and timing of potential adoption in key industries.

What legacy would you like to leave for the next generation from your work?
I hope they will say he led initiatives that took care of mother earth and created generational wealth-building opportunities for lower-valued communities.

What is your favorite hobby and who are your top 3 favorite bands/musical artists of all time?
Favorite hobby is golf. The 3 favorite artists are hard ones. It depends on what’s happening in life and what era from my past I am pulling on to make it through the day. With that being said…Prince, Gil Scott-Heron, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, NWA, Jay Z, Sade

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About Morris Beegle
Cannabis/hemp advocate and entrepreneur Morris Beegle is Co-founder and President of the WAFBA (We Are For Better Alternatives) family of brands. He is also the producer of NoCo Hemp Expo and Southern Hemp Expo as well as publisher of Let’s Talk Hemp. For additional information on what Morris is up to, visit his website at www.morrisbeegle.com and if you would like to get in touch, drop a message to morris@morrisbeegle.com

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