The rePlant Hemp Impact Fund was founded by Geoff Whaling, the first ESG fund to reach the market focusing on hemp for fiber and food (commonly known as “industrial hemp”). Whaling announced the fund’s goal to invest $500 million in the hemp industry by 2030 in front of a gathering at New York City’s CWCBExpo, with an initial emphasis on establishing the American processing and supply chain infrastructure, which are crucial to unlocking the hemp crop’s worth.
Whaling, Chair of the National Hemp Association and Chief Vision Officer and Founder of rePlant Hemp Advisors, described the fund’s strategy for simultaneously developing the hemp value chain and supply chain, providing a new cash crop for US-based farmers and a sustainable production input for a variety of industries. “We’ll unlock the vast potential of America’s newest commodity; a regenerative, carbon-sequestering natural resource,” he said. “We’ll connect American agriculture with innovative technologies to create industrial inputs that can serve as renewable, sustainable replacements for our current unsustainable ones.”
The initial phase of the sizable investment began in January 2022 with $25 million subscriptions, with subsequent rounds becoming substantially larger. Each round will be built using a data-driven method to assist emerging innovations and onboard adjacent sectors to hemp, according to the organization.
From 1937 through 2014, hemp was illegal in this country. Access to funding is critical for the new hemp firms that are emerging—companies that are building a sector that has been missing from the US for more than eight decades. “Within 18 months, the rePlant Hemp fund will not only support these American entrepreneurs but will supply a range of competitive options for companies seeking to replace input materials for everyday products such as paper, plastic and cement with hemp,” Whaling says. This is viewed as a key first step in achieving President Biden’s climate change objectives for the country.
“A handful of promising targets that can deliver relatively low-cost scalable processing tech to handle 5,000-10,000-acre regional grows. These companies have innovative tech that can produce hemp-based revenue within a six-month timeframe.”
– Wilson Kello
CMO, rePlant Hemp
Domestic fiber processing is limited in the US, creating a bottleneck for the sector, according to Wilson Kello, the chief marketing officer of rePlant Hemp.
“Farmers—especially those burned by CBD—need to be able to see the intake facilities and understand the value chain if they’re going to put their trust in hemp,” Kello said. “A handful of promising targets that can deliver relatively low-cost scalable processing tech to handle 5,000-10,000-acre regional grows. These companies have innovative tech that can produce hemp-based revenue within a six-month timeframe. We’ll double down on our successes and scale as we drive downstream demand with education-based marketing campaigns.”
According to organizers, the fund would encourage US-based companies and promote the use of natural hemp raw materials in daily items such as plastic, paper and cement.
“We don’t have to fully acquire companies, we can support a diverse portfolio of upstream processors and downstream consumer-facing manufacturers alike, while using global IP to develop new sustainable products for our domestic markets,” Kello says.
Are you ready for the American hemp revolution?