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Global Hemp Group Inc. (GHG) (CSE.GHG, OTCQB: GBHPF, Forum) is a hemp-based company committed to sustainability and social responsibility in a theme of “global environmental stewardship” as it pursues opportunities within these sectors.
This theme drives the company’s HAIZ concept in order to secure a solid platform of products and services that are environmentally-friendly, while producing consistent ROI for all stakeholders.
in this exclusive video Q&A podcast, Stockhouse Media’s Dave Jackson was joined by company President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board Curt Huber to get investors and shareholders up-to-date on what’s been happening and what’s on the drawing board at Global Hemp Group.
SH: To start off with, Curt, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the history of the company?
CH: I have been involved in the public company world for probably the last 25 years. I’ve been associated with a lot of different companies in different industries, mostly as a director or senior officer. I joined Global Hemp just after its inception in 2014. A mutual friend of the founder introduced me. I really liked the concept of what the company wanted to do and its vision. I originally came on as the CFO and been with the company ever since and last year I became the president of the company.
SH: Can you update our investor audience and your Global Hemp shareholders on any new company developments, especially in the wake of COVID-19?
CH: As we wound down our operations in Oregon, we were focused on cultivation of hemp for CBD extraction at our farm in Scio, Oregon. Back in September of last year, we had the opportunity to change our focus and go back to our roots and so COVID was quite challenging for us in the industry, especially relating to cultivation of hemp and all the issues that come with COVID. That was a very challenging year for us last year, but we have since announced that we wound down those operations, we’ve sold the farm in Oregon and we’re proceeding forward with our new vision, which is really our old vision. At this point, COVID does not impact us simply because we are now just putting the assets together for the development of what we call our Colorado Hemp Agro-Industrial Zone or as, as you mentioned, “HAIZ”.
SH: There are lot of hemp companies out there in this space. What makes your company and your business model different from the rest?
CH: We have always believed in the industrial applications of hemp and that is what we are pursuing now, but it is a much broader vision than that. We really are looking to build a sustainable city using eco-friendly technologies, hemp-based building materials and, if you look in Europe, they have a lot of hemp-based building construction going on right now. North America really doesn’t. You have the odd place where somebody gets excited about utilizing hemp and the benefits that come with it and they build a house. Then some other city across the country builds another one. What we’re doing is, we have a vision to actually build out a whole community and apply a number of technologies that will make this whole project sustainable. We are actually going to grow our own building materials right in the backyard.
SH: You have just recently secured key residential development land for your initial phases at your Colorado Hemp Agro-Industrial Zone. Can you expand on this initiative for our investor audience?
CH: Actually, in the last two weeks, we have actually acquired two properties: one for the residential component, and one is an industrial component where we will actually have the manufacturing facility. The industrial land is 44 acres in size. It will have the whole manufacturing. It will also have space there that allows us to expand our collaboration, so we can bring other companies in that are like-minded and have interesting technologies that would compliment what we are doing in the project. There is lots of room to expand there. In addition, our vision is to have a small demonstration farm there, a visitor center, and a couple of demonstration or model homes on that site as well. That will be the beginning of the whole project. Now, the 175 acres that we announced, we are in the process of closing that transaction as well and we will build our community there. There’s an existing community there of close to a hundred houses.
We will be expanding on that. This particular acreage is already annexed into the city. A lot of the approval process has happened already. Now we need to just go back in and refresh a lot of things that were already accomplished. Both of these are very key strategic pieces and one of the things that we look to do then is continue to expand the acreage position, which will be used more for the agricultural aspects. This whole area is known for hay and alfalfa production. What we want to do is increase the production of hemp here, which is obviously a much higher value-added crop, especially when you process it into something like building materials. In addition, what we will be able to do is expand utilizing the fiber, which is a by-product of the decortication process. That will be key as we continue to expand the whole operation at the HAIZ.
SH: You have recently announced a transaction to utilize strategic water infrastructure assets with Western Sierra Resource Corporation. This may be news to many investors. Can you unpack the benefits of it?
CH: Certainly, for all the things that we want to do, whether it be residential development, whether it be agriculture, obviously having available water is a key component. One of the things that Western Sierra did, over probably the last 15 years, was they got the benefit of the development of water infrastructure and water rights. They acquired those from an individual who is now the president of the company and he is an expert in not only the water aspect of things, but he’s also been in the development business for the last 40 years. He will be a key person in the development of our whole residential project here.
SH: The Company looks set for strong growth in 2021. How are you placed to expand operations to meet this demand?
CH: What we want to do is, as I mentioned, building a couple of model homes. The interesting thing about this area of Northwest Colorado, where we are in, is it has a huge pent-up demand for affordable housing. We know that if we build it, they will come. This is a historic problem that has not gone away for probably at least two decades, and it is only getting worse. You are seeing in some areas, like a lot of areas in North America where the housing prices have increased tremendously, and it’s priced a lot of people out of the market. What we are looking to do is to build in the affordable housing side. Our suggested price range at this point is 275 to 475 and the idea is, by building two model homes initially, we are looking to have that done this year and then we’ll be able to begin pre-sales and basically have a whole lineup of houses ready to build, sold. We will be able to generate a fair bit of revenue for the company doing that.
SH: For company shareholders and potential investors, what kind of future development and progress can we expect at your Colorado HAIZ operations?
CH: Our first step was acquiring the strategic land holdings. Without that there is no project. We announced that those would be closing mid-month and now we can proceed forward. We are currently working on major funding, which is a more secured debt facility, which will be collateralized with the water infrastructure that you mentioned. That will be one of the next steps. We are also looking at the various hemp technologies that we want to employ at the project, and we have an opportunity to bring in some of those into the project as well. Those are the next two steps that we are working on here that you’ll see more information about.
SH: I have to mention your stock has had a bit of a roller coaster ride over the past year. What can you tell our investor audience regarding the current valuation of your stock and why you think it’s a good buy right now?
CH: If you look at the stock historically, it has had times where it has been considerably higher and for no real reason, I will be honest there. At one point in the frothiness of the market, we traded up to numbers that just were not realistic because there was not anything in the company. Now we are at a point where we have a solid vision, and we are executing on it. If you look at sort of the progress that we have made since we first announced the partnership on this, which was back in September, we have moved ahead tremendously, and this is really just the beginning. We will undoubtedly see much more expansion of the project. At these prices, we have been considerably higher in the past with not nearly as much going on. This really is a good opportunity to take a look at our stock and evaluate whether you feel that our vision is correct and come and participate.
SH: What’s the long-term strategy for the company moving into 2021 and beyond, and what retail and institutional investors should be looking out for?
CH: The interesting thing about this particular project is the time horizon on it. Believe it or not it actually has a time horizon that’s probably 25 years. We have the opportunity to continue to build. We have the water in place to be able to build 3000 houses if we wanted to. This is in addition to the revenue stream that you get from the sale of the residential side of the program. This is going to accumulate huge real estate assets, water infrastructure assets and it’s going to ultimately translate to multiple revenue streams because you’re going to grow hemp, which is then sold to the manufacturing facility. The manufacturing facility sells the finished product to the house building division and then the house building division sells the homes. You have multiple revenue streams, and you have large asset accumulation. Our vision is to continue to accumulate acreage in this region, convert it to high value agriculture, being hemp. Where you have unencumbered land, we will be able to grow hemp and alfalfa, which is marginal product. There is not a lot of money that we made in that but it is a good alternative crop for the hemp.
SH: Can you tell our audience a little bit about your corporate management and board teams, along with the experience and innovative ideas they bring to the hemp agricultural space?
CH: Certainly. In the last week and a half, we have just added a new director – that was Roger Johnson. He happens to be the president of Western Sierra Resource, that you mentioned earlier. Again, his background is in real estate development. He has been in the development industry for 40 plus years and has been in this particular region for 20 plus years. He has done a lot of developments in the area and is the person that put together all the water infrastructure. He is an ideal person to be on our board. It’s somebody that I’ve wanted to work with since I first met him back in 2015, when we actually walked the property, when we originally wanted to do this project. In addition to him is Paul Perrault – Dr. Perrault has been with the company almost right from the beginning, around the same time I did.
He has been very instrumental in putting together some of the hemp growing side of things. A couple of years ago, he managed operations in Canada where we looked to grow hemp in New Brunswick. He was instrumental in running that side of the company. He has been just a tremendous help to me in developing our modeling for the whole Hemp Agro-Industrial Zone here. He has been quite instrumental in sourcing and building a few relationships that I think are going to pay dividends for the company as we move forward. We have a lot of hemp expertise. We also have, although he is not a director, he is an advisor to the board and he is a gentleman by the name of Gabrielle Gauthier, who is a hemp master builder. He spent three years in France learning the craft, is one of the earliest, maybe even the earliest adopter of hemp construction in North America, he has got probably 150 different hemp-based construction projects under his belt. He is based out of Eastern Canada and so we have great expertise there.
SH: Curt, can you tell us a little bit about your R&D division?
CH: R&D is a very important component to everything that we do. The problem with the whole hemp industry is that there was this 80-year moratorium and what industry in the world today has not been impacted by new technology? Oh, hemp! We feel very strongly that R&D is very important. It is important in our Hemp Agro-Industrial Zone, and we have actually opened a R&D division. It is headed by a professor, Victor Castaño, he is based out of Queretaro, Mexico, which is just north of Mexico City. He is attached to the largest university in Mexico, and we are beginning to recruit a very, very bright team down there that is looking at, among other things, alternative building materials and the use of hemp in them. In addition to that, we have actually completed our first collaboration, which is with a Mexican group that is actually allowed to cultivate hemp and cannabis down there right now, Aramat.
We are in the process of being able to bring some hemp seed into the country so that we can grow hemp there and they can utilize that fresh material in the R&D. One of the other things that we are looking to do is to enhance our collaboration there. We are talking with a number of like-minded groups and there is an opportunity, potentially with one of the states in Mexico. We are pursuing a lot of these things now. I am hoping to have some news on this front, over the next week or two. A lot of things in Mexico were sort of sidelined over the last short little bit, with their election. Now that is behind them, it is kind of business as usual again. We feel very strongly that research is the key to everything that we are doing, but we will be able to utilize that in our project in Colorado, probably marketed widely with the goal of creating intellectual property that we can patent and utilize at our projects.
We are going to continue to build out our opportunities on the R&D front, and it will positively impact everything that we are doing in Colorado.
SH: And finally, Curt, if there’s anything I’ve overlooked please feel free to elaborate.
CH: I think we pretty much covered it this time around. I really appreciate the opportunity to chat with you on the company and look forward to answering anybody’s questions if they have them.
For regular updates, visit www.globalhempgroup.com.
FULL DISCLOSURE: This is a paid article produced by Stockhouse Publishing.