June 29th marked the first annual Southern Tier Hemp Summit. Hosted at the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator in downtown Binghamton. This event showcased the potential of hemp for business and the individual.

The summit consisted of companies displaying their hemp-related products and services as well as panelist discussions on the hemp industry. 

Discussions ranged from the medicinal use of hemp to the industrial applications possible. Speakers came from across the country to share their stories, advice and enthusiasm for the industry.

Likewise, summit-goers arrived from near and far looking to incorporate hemp into their own businesses, speak with industry experts and even just for an introduction to this ever-developing market.

Attendee Grant Loew, a medical marijuana cultivator and Extractor Technician in Chicago, was looking to get the inside scoop on the adjacent hemp industry.

“I’m here at the summit looking to get more information about hemp as an agricultural commodity”, he explained.

“Historically hemp has been a big industry, with legislation changing I’m excited that we’re now able to utilize this versatile and useful crop again.”

The summit was put on by the Koffman Incubator member company Castetter Sustainability Group, a company focused on developing a diverse hemp industry in New York State. CEO Kaelan Castetter explains:

“We work with farms to improve production and with businesses to incorporate hemp into their products.”

Castetter is also the CEO of Koffman Incubator member company Sovereign Vines. This southern tier company infuses flavorful hemp notes into high-quality wine. This unlikely infusion began with his father, Jim, in 1997. The federal government moved to shut him down, but with the changing New York hemp legislation, this unique infusion is now back in a big way.

The collective excitement around hemp’s potential was showcased in the Southern Tier Hemp Summit and will continue to influence the region through companies growing alongside this notable crop.

– Cory Kimmell 18′