Last week our hemp grower extraordinaire and owner Brad Martin had the pleasure of speaking with Blake Butler in an interview via Zoom. If you don’t know Blake Butler, he’s the executive director of the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Association, and works hard to help farmers across the state and educate consumers.

In this interview/webinar series, Butler interviewed people in the industry, and wanted to talk to Brad about best farming practices for new hemp growers. Here, we’ll recap the interview, but if you want all the juicy details, click the link at the  bottom of this post and enjoy it in its entirety!

The Interview

To start, Butler and Martin talk a bit about seeds vs. clones for a first-time grower. In early days of growing hemp in North Carolina, there weren’t a lot of options when it came to seeds, so we used clones for the first two years. This year, Brad explains, we’re trying a combination of both. 

The two also discuss some of the mistakes that a first-time grower might make. Brad shares some wisdom he acquired in the process of going from full time plant nursery to hemp grower, including the many ways he experimented with establishing a good root system. 

Turns out, hemp is just a little different!

Another hot topic addressed in the interview is pests. Butler mentions the common misconception that greenhouse growing means pest-free growing, and asks what pests Green River Botanicals has to manage. Basically, we deal with one main pest in our greenhouse: aphids. Brad talks about when aphids show up and what growers can do to manage them. 

Next up: scale. How much should you plan to grow at first? Brad recommends starting small with a manageable number of plants until you have an idea of what you’ll be able to sell, and what challenges will arise. 

Finally, Butler wants to know what advice Brad has for a new grower in the hemp industry: he recommends lining up people and places that want your product early on. After all, one of the biggest reasons to grow hemp is to get it to the people who need it.

Watch the full interview

If you want to hear all of this for yourself, watch the full interview by following this link:

For other NCIHA interviews, visit

Happy growing!