Hemp Futures: a growing hemp producer in Estonia

Twitter icon

Stephen J Wyatt, founder and CEO of Hemp Futures, based in Estonia, tells MCN about the importance of customer engagement and accountability.

Estonia-based CBD producer Hemp Futures was founded in 2019 with the goal of creating ‘clean, green and organic’ products; and operates across more than 68 hectares of certified organic land.

“Estonia is a hidden jewel,” explains Hemp Futures founder and CEO Stephen J Wyatt, a former US Marine. “The environment is very pristine; the water is good; the soil is organic. We’re lucky in that we don’t have a lot of native pest insects, which means we don’t need many pesticides for growing hemp.”

Finola, the variety of auto-flowering organic hemp which Hemp Futures cultivates, was bred specifically for climates like Estonia’s.

Hemp Futures, which prides itself on the quality of its CBD products, plans to take advantage of a niche in the wider medical cannabis market, Wyatt adds: “We know, both through research and through our own experience, that there are a lot of companies out there which call their products CBD; and they’re not what they claim to be. What we hope to do is to deliver: to grow our own product; to produce it using CO2 extraction; to manage the entire process from seed to sale in order to guarantee a superior product. Once the soil has been turned, which we do with a mechanical device, everything else is done by hand, from harvesting to drying. We take care in harvesting to select the right part of the plant at the right time – sometimes we leave the plant in the field a little bit longer; other times we may pick a little prematurely – we keep a journal of these kinds of things, so that we can keep track of which plants will produce the type of yield, the consistency and the quality that we’re looking for.”

Products and market growth

Currently, Hemp Futures’ products consist primarily of indoor-grown flowers. By the autumn of 2020, the company intends to begin bottling its own full spectrum CBD oil for sale. Hemp Futures is in the early stages of developing a ‘preferred customer’ loyalty programme, aimed at rewarding its regular customers for the frequency with which they use the company. Customers are invited to let Hemp Futures know what they want from a preferred customer programme, with proposed schemes including offering users the chance to test new products.

For now, Wyatt says, Hemp Futures plans to cover the EU market. “We see the EU as our primary market; and we see it as a market that is going to outgrow the US over time: the population of Europe is higher than that of the US,” he explains. “By operating primarily within Europe we won’t have to deal with customs issues; and there is a commonality in legal standards across the EU – and we want to make sure that the folks here in the Baltic states have good representation, that they can buy good quality products. Our Estonian customers can know that one of their neighbours, in their own backyard, is growing the product by hand; and then we want to offer the same across Europe. By raising our profile as a superior brand, we expect to increase wholesale from the US and from other regions outside Europe; and as we expand, we’ll be better able to meet those demands.”

The mission of Hemp Futures

The company’s overall goal is to create a well-recognised brand known both for the high quality of its product offering and the exceptional standards of its customer service. In terms of Hemp Futures’ overlying principles and guiding ethos, Wyatt says: “We are here for a purpose: we’re here to serve both those who have a need for CBD and those who are interested in CBD. A key part of our mission is to break down the myths and stereotypes; to help users understand the potential legal ramifications of CBD consumption; as well as to work towards actual legislative change, so that the law can become more favourable towards producers and consumers – there are a lot of different things that we want to do.

“Our mission is to be that company that you can depend on: a company which will spread the proper word and which offers a superior product. We want to be a company which can represent the needs of the community by engaging with the wider community, by being a part of the community; and by incorporating the feedback that we receive from the community into what we deliver.”

Looking forward

As the European medical cannabis industry grows and the legislative approach of an increasing number of EU Member States softens, expansion seems inevitable. “The market is primed for growth: I believe that over the market will effectively explode over the next two to five years,” Wyatt predicts. “The whole myth behind cannabis or CBD being detrimental to people’s health is a political ploy based primarily on racism from the US and other countries, with the aim of dictating to citizens what they can do. That myth is now falling – people are beginning to understand that marijuana isn’t this devilish, demon drug which causes people to do all kinds of wild and crazy things. Because that’s not true. We’re hoping that we can get the word out with that as well; within the cannabis community as a whole we want to be a source that people can depend on. We want people to be able to say: look, these people will tell you the truth; they do the right thing; you can count on them. We want people to buy our product, but we also want them to hold us accountable for developing a superior product.”

Hemp: economy and industry in Estonia

With the growth of the industry and increased uptake of medical cannabis products among consumers, governments and policymakers are increasingly aware of the economic and employment benefits which countries can gain from embracing the cannabis and CBD industries. Estonia, which legalised cannabis for medical use in 2005, is Europe’s second largest hemp producer after France; and exports around 90% of the hemp it grows.

Wyatt says: “As a resident of a foreign country, it’s important to me that what I stand for, the way I live, and the way I run my company are all a reflection of the people we are and the relationship we want to have with other folks. Since I’ve joined the medical cannabis industry, I’ve met nothing but amazing people: they’re not cutthroat; they’re not greedy; they don’t lie to you. People are helpful and they tell you the truth; you can trust them.

“Everybody in this industry is laidback and relaxed – and we want that same kind of environment within our company. Obviously we are there to work, to help our customers solve their problems; but in the meantime, let’s be friendly, let’s be open, let’s be inviting, let’s be engaging. I want to let people know that they can come to us and we will be there for them. We live how we live over here because we’re enjoying it; Estonia is very nice.”

Growth and innovation

In its drive to deliver a superior product to its customers, Hemp Futures employs two ‘master growers’ with several years of experience in growing and cultivating hemp and cannabis. The master growers are working towards the development of new and innovative products, through crossbreeding and cultivating new strains and new forms of CBD and hemp oil – “we may even branch out into the beauty cream business,” says Wyatt, though he emphasises that Hemp Futures’ key focus is still CBD flower and oil for the time being: “As far as CBD, CBN, CBG and other cannabinoid compounds are concerned, we are looking to produce all of these over the next few years – and then our customers will be able to enjoy them for many more years in the future.”

As a small, family-owned business, Hemp Futures trades on its reputation for high quality products and engaging, personalised customer service. Without the economic or industrial safety nets afforded to larger multinational producers, Hemp Futures’ reputation – and, by extension, its ability to maintain its customer base – hinges entirely on the quality of the goods it offers. Wyatt explains: “We have to be responsible that the products we sell will do what we say they are going to do; and that our products provide our customers with safety and comfort, without causing them damage in any way. As a business, we want to be around for many years to come.”

e-mail icon Facebook icon Twitter icon LinkedIn icon Reddit icon
Rate this article: 
Article category: 
Regional Marijuana News: