‘It definitely has health benefits.’ A look into the hemp industry in SWVA

Local News

ROANOKE/FLOYD, Va. (WFXR) – Many hemp farmers have popped up in Southwest Virginia since it became legal in the Commonwealth in March 2019. But some farmers who rushed to start growing didn’t have plans for the plant leaving the market saturated.

Many people are benefitting from the products produced by it hemp and hope the industry picks up.

Aaron Linkenhoker has used CBD Products made from help since 2014.

He tried it after he was attacked in college and suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Originally, he was on prescription pills and says he didn’t like the way they made him feel.

“They left me feeling somewhat zombified. Having to keep up with the routine of what do I take at what time, making sure I eat between pills,” Linkenhoker said.

He says he took the medicine for about three years until he discovered hemp and CBD products.

“After about 15 minutes, I could feel it in my body just kind of tingling and I thought, ‘Oh, that’s nice.’ It was not the psychoactive effects that I thought it might be, because that’s what’s usually associated with it,” he said.

He is hoping others will experience what he has now that growing the plant and using it to create products is legal in the Commonwealth.

Patrick Sisk is a co-owner of the Buffalo Hemp Company and Aaron uses its products.

Beyond what it does for those who use the products, Sisk says the Hemp industry is great for the Commonwealth and he hopes it saves the agricultural business.

“We have a lot of old farmland here. This gives some of those farmers a chance to keep that farmland. It’s a good crop.”

Patrick Sisk, The Buffalo Hemp Company Co-Owner and Grower

This is their second harvest of hemp, and unlike many others, they do more than just grow it – they process and create their own products, sometimes in their own stores.

They make different creams, oils and paste from the plant for a variety of uses.

They use avila herbals, a nutraceutical company in Riner, to process their plants.

Chief Operating Officer Richard Obiso is seeing a backlog of farmers stuck with unprocessed hemp plants or biomass.

“We have close to 25,000 pounds of dried hemp that we are processing for over 15 different clients. We get a phone call every day from someone what wants to sell it to us – and we’re full. We’re completely full,” said Obiso.

Buffalo Hemp Company co-owner Kerry Underwood says he hopes the business picks up and more processors come online able to turn more hemp into products that help people like Aaron Linkenhoker.

“You can grow a lot, but if you can’t bring it to the market, or you can’t create the oil, or you can’t get a processor to take it from you, you just have a lot of biomass,” Underwood said.

Linkenhoker says he consulted with his doctor before making the switch.

He says anyone else considering it should do the same.

For more information regarding industrial hemp, click here.

Latest Stories

Get breaking news, weather, and sports delivered to your smartphone with the WFXR News app available on Apple and Android.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

News tips

Do you have a news tip or breaking news to share with WFXR?  Submit your tip here.

Latest News

More News

News Tip Form