Science by the Slice

Industrial Hemp Part 2: What’s Florida’s View?

March 24, 2021 UF/IFAS PIE Center
Science by the Slice
Industrial Hemp Part 2: What’s Florida’s View?
Show Notes Transcript

Given that the 2018 Farm Bill authorized the production of hemp and removed hemp and hemp seeds from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) schedule of Controlled Substances, it’s likely Americans will see more products developed from the plant. Dr. Shelli Rampold discusses recent research she conducted on Floridians’ opinions of hemp and hemp products, which she explains is largely neutral right now. She also explains how attitudes about hemp could change.

For more information on the PIE Center’s research on industrial hemp, visit https://piecenter.com/2020/10/05/stakeholder-engagement-and-on-farm-research-for-industrial-hemp-commercialization-in-south-florida-seedit/

Audio Clip from "Reefer Madness” 1938, Directed by Louis J. Gasnier. Available at The Public Domain Review, https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/reefer-madness-1938

Music "Balloons Rising" by A. A. Aalto
 Available at https://freemusicarchive.org/music/A_A_Aalto/Bright_Corners/Balloons_Rising
 Under CC BY license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/, Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) 

Music "Upbeat" by Jon Luc Hefferman
 Available at https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Jon_Luc_Hefferman/20170730112628821/Upbeat
 Under CC BY license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/, Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0) 

 

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Mon, 3/22 8:42AM • 39:48

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

hemp, marijuana, people, attitudes, hemp products, legalizing, pilot project, concerns, knowledge, respondents, brim, agricultural commodity, neutral, Florida, production, asked, public opinion, state, answers, responses

SPEAKERS

Phillip Stokes

Shelli Rampold

Ricky Telg

 

Phillip Stokes  00:02

Hello, everyone, and welcome to science by the slice. This is Phillip Stokes here, your host of the podcast, and I'm joined by our speaker for today's episode. Shelli Rampold. Hello. Welcome.

 

Shelli Rampold 00:16

Hi, Philip, thanks for having me.

 

Phillip Stokes  00:18

We're gonna hear more about hemp and public opinion of hemp and all those the research that you have run in this episode, but before that, there's some news, kind of some bittersweet news that I thought you could share with us. You've been with the PIE center now for four years, almost. Yeah. We're excited that you have a new opportunity, but also sad to see you go. So tell us a little bit about that.

 

Shelli Rampold 00:47

So I recently accepted a position at the University of Tennessee. I'll be moving there as an assistant professor. And my focus will be in crisis and issues management and communication. So essentially, I will be working with industry members and organizations to help manage or mitigate current or emerging crises in our in our industry which is really great. Because I feel like a lot of my time at the PIE Center. And the opportunities that I've had here have really prepared me for that type of job. So it is bittersweet. I'm really gonna miss everyone. But I'm really excited to have been here and gotten the experiences that I've had to prep me for this next step.

 

Phillip Stokes  01:32

Well, we are excited for you as well. But of course, we will miss you. So I think that's a good transition to today's episode because this is an emerging issue. industrial hemp. So what do you say we just roll the tape?

 

Shelli Rampold 01:48

Let's do it.

 

Ricky Telg 01:53

This is science by the slice, a podcast from the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Center for Public issues education. In this podcast, experts discuss the science of issues affecting our daily lives reveal the motivations behind the decisions people make, and ultimately provide insight to solutions for our lives.

 

Phillip Stokes  02:16

Hello, again, Phillip Stokes here, education coordinator with the Pie Center and host of Science by the Slice. This is part two of our series on industrial hemp, and in this episode, we're discussing public perception of hemp. You'll hear my conversation with Dr. Shelli Rampold research coordinator with the PIE Center who of course you've already heard from, and she'll explain the current beliefs and knowledge levels of Floridians around the subject. But before that, what's been the public opinion around him leading up to this study? Pew Research Center and Gallup have both been tracking US public opinion on legalizing marijuana since 1969. Now before I go further, I want to remind everyone that hemp is not the same thing as marijuana, as you heard in part one of this series, however, also remember hemp wasn't distinguished from marijuana until the 2014 Farm Bill. So, according to Pew and Gallup in 1969, only 12% of Americans believed marijuana should be legal. But in 2019, for Pew and 2024, Gallup, 67% and 68% of Americans respectively, thought marijuana should be legal. When you take a closer look, according to the Pew study in 2019 91% of Americans thought marijuana should be legal, either for medical use only, or for both medical and recreational use. So clearly, public opinion around cannabis is trending up, especially when compared to the time period leading up to the marijuana Tax Act of 1937. When the film reefer madness debuted the previous year,

 

Shelli Rampold 03:59

marijuana the burning weed when its roots in hell. In this film, you will see the ease with which this vicious plan can be grown in your neighbor's yard rolled into harmless looking cigarettes, hidden in an innocent shoe or watch case.

 

Phillip Stokes  04:18

While this clip was about the dangers of marijuana, I personally found it funny that they refer to cigarettes as harmless. And once again, if we haven't said it enough, hemp is not marijuana, but it was around the time period of this film being released when hemp lost favor as an agricultural commodity due partly to the growing concern of the hallucinogenic properties found in cannabis sativa. With that, let's join in on my conversation with Dr. Rampold, as she's introducing the study she conducted in the PIE Center.

 

Shelli Rampold 04:50

I was contacted by Dr. Zachary Brym and he was interested in conducting a social science aspect of this so we did was we developed a survey and we conducted that with Florida residents. And the purpose was a pretty big was a pretty big survey instrument. And the purpose of this was to assess their objective knowledge. So their actual knowledge what they do and don't know about about hemp and hemp production, their subjective knowledge that's like their self-perceived knowledge, what they think they know about hemp topics. And then we also asked about their attitude toward legalizing hemp production, because we do have hemp license holders in the state of Florida now. And we also asked about their attitudes toward legalizing marijuana because prior research has shown that there's, and the history of hemp shows that there's historically been a strong association between the two. So we figured we might as well take a look at that. We also asked them, we also forced them to answer if they had to pick a stance would they be overall for or against? Or are they overall for or against legalizing hemp cultivation and production? And then we asked some open ended questions to dig a little bit deeper where they could do text entry responses to explain that stance. So if they said that they were overall for it, we asked them to list the top three reasons why they were overall for it, if they were overall against it, we asked them to, again, list those top three reasons why. And then we dug through some of that data to identify themes to further explain whether they're for or against it. And then we asked a couple of other questions about personal relevance. So we asked, you know, if they thought it impacted them, their state if it was personally relevant to them? And then another measure of personal relevance was their use of it? You know, are they using ingestible, or topical hemp products? What kind of products etc. And then we've, we've wrapped it up with some questions specific to the hemp pilot project, if they've heard about it, if they did hear about it, how did they hear about it? What some, what are some questions that they had moving forward that perhaps we could get out there and some communication materials and highlight as part of the program? So that was, in a nutshell, kind of what the purpose of that that research was?

 

Phillip Stokes  06:59

So why would you get all this information? All that stuff that you just talked about? You get all this information? What can you do with that? Why is it important to know that information? Why would Zach Brym want to know that information? Why would it be important to the hemp pilot project here at the University of Florida?

 

Shelli Rampold 07:15

Well, that's a great question. And I think the best way to answer that is to use other examples. I always call it the GMO fiasco. Because we already know that with genetic modification, there's a lot of public opinion about it, that it's that we can't take, we can't get back now. We can't put that toothpaste back in the in the tube, I guess, if you will. And so before we ended up with a situation like that, with this new agricultural commodity, that's not that's not been incredibly highlighted yet, that the public isn't incredibly aware of yet. We want to go ahead and get out there and and figure out what were some of those knowledge gaps were, what are some of their concerns that we can start marketing now, we still don't know if if hemp is going to be a viable commodity in Florida. We're still we're, I'm sure. Dr. I think I believe you talked with Dr. Brym about that we're still learning if hemp can even grow well, in Florida, you know, is there a future for it here. But if there is, consumer buy in is going to be incredibly important, just like with any other agricultural technology, or new crop or anything like that consumers drive the market. So we want to make sure that the knowledge they need is out there as we're introducing reintroducing hemp production into the United States.

 

Phillip Stokes  08:35

So I'm curious to learn about what do people know about hemp? If you could just summarize, and then we can kind of break down some of those things? Yeah.

 

 

Shelli Rampold 08:45

so first, I think it's important to note how we assessed objective knowledge the way we did it is just like if you would take a test in school, a multiple choice test, with a right with the correct answer. And what we found was, on average, the respondents answered about 50% of the questions correctly. So that was the average test score about 50%. And I do want to point out that that's not, that's not an incredibly low test score for these public knowledge assessments that we do. Which makes sense because nobody is an expert in everything. So that that doesn't necessarily indicate really low knowledge. It just doesn't indicate that they have really high levels of knowledge either. So I think you're just kind of looking at a mixed bag there with with knowledge.

 

Phillip Stokes  09:38

So that I mean, that is, I think, a really interesting thing to say, because when I hear 50%, you know, I can't go back and tell my third grade teacher that when I got my 50% on my spelling exam or whatever, you know, Shelli, you know, 20 years from now said that that's actually not too bad. So I'm not gonna go home and slap that on the refrigerator. But But like you said, I mean, ideally right with in school, right? We've been studying for this particular subject, we've been exposed to these things, we should generally know them. If we've kind of put in the time, you mentioned that they had helped me out perceived knowledge of things, right. So there's actual knowledge, right? And then what they think they know, right? So how did those things compare? Right, based on what they they really knew? And then what they said actually, what they thought they knew, prior to taking those objective questions, if that makes sense.

 

Shelli Rampold 10:35

Yes, So probably the most interesting association there when you're comparing actual knowledge versus what they thought they knew. Overall, they were pretty on par. And again, that's kind of what we've been seeing a lot with some of these, the public in general, seems to be fairly self aware of what they do or don't know. Now. Whether that they take that into consideration when forming their beliefs is a different is a different story. But that seems to track with across topics and it's true of hemp to overall they were there. The level of what they think they know was pretty reflective of what they actually knew. There was one one area though, where that wasn't the case. So we did ask a couple of questions. To have them indicate some similarities and differences between hemp and marijuana. And we also asked them about CBD and THC. So we had about a fourth of respondents incorrectly believe that cannabis oil CBD is a psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants. CBD is not a psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants. We also had a fourth of respondents who incorrectly believe that both hemp and marijuana can be mind altering if consumed and are primarily used for recreational purposes. On the subjective side of this though, they strongly agree that they knew what CBD and THC were, but there are objective knowledge. answers to that didn't reflect that, where there was definitely some confusion about if you can get high from from hemp. And if CBD oil like those products will are mind altering. So that was kind of one of the biggest. I would say one of the most interesting findings in that section and definitely would be a key piece for future marketing of just, hey, here's what this is. Here's what it does. Here's what it doesn't do.

 

Phillip Stokes  12:39

I want to take a quick pause to provide a little more context to what Dr. Rampold just explained. You may remember from part one of the series with Dr. brim, that there are three production systems for cannabis sativa, the green system for food, the fiber system, and then flower production. The cannabinoids that Dr. Rampold just mentioned come from the and pollinated female flowers where you can extract these essential oils, CBD or cannabidiol is the compound used primarily for Medicinal Products that may be used to treat things like epilepsy or chronic pain, just as examples. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the psychoactive compounds associated with getting high. But remember, hemp, regardless of its use cannot contain greater concentrations than 0.3% THC by dry weight as defined by state and federal laws. So as Dr. Rampold was explaining, there's definitely some confusion about these differences. And I might say understandably so. Here's Dr. Rampold continuing the conversation about the misunderstanding between hemp and marijuana.

 

Shelli Rampold 13:46

Another interesting finding in the differences is about use of hemp and marijuana for recreation. The correct answer is that marijuana was primary use for recreation, right? We know this, if you've ever watched any movie with Seth Rogen, you know that marijuana is used primarily for recreation. But we had over a fourth of respondents indicate that both are used for recreation, so there's a misunderstanding that hemp is a let's go out and get high type product. Whereas that's not necessarily the case. hemp is primarily used for medical purposes for fibers, you know, ropes, papers, things like that, and not for party purposes.

 

Phillip Stokes  14:25

So that's, that's a good point. So in the survey, were people using hemp products because maybe that is one area where they're getting some amount of information or knowledge, if they're using hemp products, whether it's for I don't know, I won't even go into which types But what have you found in the survey of whether people are using hemp products or not.

 

Shelli Rampold 14:51

So the majority said that they don't use hemp products, whether those are ingestible or topical I think that contributes I didn't specifically analyze this from a data standpoint. But I would suspect that that would contribute to some misunderstanding in the purposes of hemp products. Because if you don't use it, then, you know, you wouldn't know, I don't. I've never had a child. So if you were to ask me a bunch of questions about what prenatal vitamins are different uses of child related things, I wouldn't really be able to, to answer that, because I've never had to, I've never used them. So I think that that makes a little bit of sense here. I also want to point out that 10% of respondents indicated that they were unsure of whether or not they used hemp products. And that's not a that's not a huge, you know, percentage. But it's enough that there are people out there who have no idea if they're even using hemp products. So I think I think that speaks to an area of communication or, or marketing that maybe needs to get out or out there of, here's what, here's what hemp is, here's how it's used. You might not even know it, but happens in this, this and this or that might be something that would be beneficial moving forward.

 

Phillip Stokes  16:10

Currently, based on what you found, what are people's attitudes toward the legalization of hemp? And what would the people's attitudes be? If there was a an increased in production of hemp? Would What did you find people think about it.

 

Shelli Rampold 16:28

So what I found consistently through this is that they don't think about it. When it comes to attitudes, those were largely neutral, that was kind of in the air, not really one way or another, they were more slightly positive than negative, those attitudes, but they were still overall just largely neutral. And that was reinforced throughout the data, when asking them to explain some things when asking what going back to use of hemp products, you know, having a lot of people not use them, not having a lot of information or knowledge about it. So it's just kind of a general, I got a general sense of apathy of, you know, kind of one way or the other. However, if you've ever been on any social media outlet ever, you know that neutral, apathetic attitudes can change overnight. You know, you might have zero opinions about some celebrity, and then that celebrity is posted on Facebook, and now you have every single opinion in the world and are expressing that opinion, all over so that neutral, just because they're neutral or apathetic now, it just means there isn't content out there being posted for someone to talk about. But the moment it is, and those conversations begin, and then attitudes get formed, especially if it becomes politicized, or if different groups feel pressure to conform a certain way with those beliefs. So that's, again, that's another goal of this is if information starts getting out there, or hemp is kind of brought to light in the in the ag marketing sphere. And those neutral attitudes shift, which way are they going to shift or what factors might explain which way they shift?

 

Phillip Stokes  18:21

That's really interesting that you brought that point up, kind of what I'm thinking about, I'm visualizing, almost like there's a vacuum or like a void. If someone's neutral, it's like, there's space to be filled. You know what I mean? That's, that's kind of where I went in my head. So I would assume that one of the important things from a science communication standpoint, or even an agricultural production standpoint of hemp would just be filling it with factual information with you know, real  and accurate information, based on you know, what are the realities of, of this product? Is that somewhat correct?

 

Shelli Rampold 19:04

Yeah, and so even though the, the attitude assessment, you know, showed pretty neutral attitudes, when we, when we forced them to pick a stance, because when we asked about attitudes, it's just kind of a little, little scale, overall bad, overall, good, harmful, beneficial, dangerous, safe. So there was a neutral midpoint option. And people tend to do that if they don't have strong opinions, they just go right down the middle. But then we forced them by asking, if you had to pick a stance, would you say you were overall for or against the decision to legalize the growing and processing of hemp? And that gave us some pretty interesting results? Because if they said yes, we asked them to explain why and they said, No, we are against we asked them to explain why. So that gave us some little bit more insight to and moving forward.

 

Phillip Stokes  19:57

Were there any concerns, I know you said, generally People were neutral, but

 

Shelli Rampold 20:02

Oh, yeah. So on average, when you take all the data together, those attitudes were pretty neutral. But then like I said, we forced them to kind of pick a stance if you had to be in one camp or the other. The majority of respondents were overall for legalizing the decision to legalize hemp. But a fourth of respondents were overall against it. And then we asked why. And that was incredibly interesting. And probably my favorite part of the study going through that open ended. You never know what someone is, someone behind a computer with no face is gonna type in there. And that was incredibly fun to go through. So when we asked when we asked them to list their top three reasons why they indicated they were overall against the decision to legalize hemp, this, the specific answers were, you know, unique and interesting. But together, they created some pretty general and very useful as far as future direction goes, themes. So the most prominent theme that we saw emerge among the anti hemp respondents were concerns about dangerous abuse and misuse. And that's where these those that was probably the section where the actual, the actual responses were most interesting. So for example, it was we don't need more potheads. Teens are going to be irresponsible and drive drunk. Stop sitting on the sofa and getting high. No more stoners. It's dangerous to one's health. It's addictive. It should be under a doctor's care. We don't we don't know the effects of pot on individuals. So do you see that word pot coming in? When we're talking about hemp? We have enough drugs due to the Mexican drug cartel. So these answers were kind of that, again, kind of shows that Association, the long standing association between hemp and marijuana. And it goes back again to that the knowledge stuff we were talking about where some of those discrepancies and their subjective or objective knowledge and where they really were missing. Missing answers was on the ability to get high from hemp, the THC concentrations of hemp versus marijuana, so that some of those qualitative responses just further supported that. Okay, this is a, if we're going to get out here and talk about hemp, this is going to have to be one of the main things that we discuss, you know, will serve as warning, please don't smoke this.

 

Phillip Stokes  22:43

Right. And like you said, those answers were very telling, particularly around the lack of knowledge around hemp, and you can't; not to blame anyone for that. I mean, that's just a result of, of our culture of what we know about what we've heard about these products over time. Right?

 

Shelli Rampold 23:02

Well, I do have to give, I do have to give, you know, the public some credit here, though, with the lack of knowledge, because that was a second theme that came about was lack of knowledge in that they said that they were overall against it, because they didn't know enough about it, and wanted more information before making it before making a decision. So it's kind of one of those. I don't know if this would be good or bad. So I'm going to say no, like a better safe than sorry, approach, you know, and I mean, I don't want to assume but I think a lot of us do that in our everyday lives of Will this be good, I don't know. But not having it won't be bad. So they were pretty self aware. They said they wanted more knowledge to make a decision, which is great, because that's what we want. We don't our goal isn't to advocate one way or the other. Our goal isn't to find ways to continue to push someone in a certain direction. Our goal is as agricultural or science communicators is to simply present the information needed so people can make informed decisions that are best for them and their family, you know, what they decide is best for them and their family and their state in their community is going to differ and that's why we have so many disagreements. And that's one thing, but the disagreements based on just a lack of knowledge needed to make decisions is a whole different story. So it is good that they're open to I want to know more.

 

Phillip Stokes  24:30

Right? That's a good point. What are some of the reasons to want to have an legalization and increased production?

 

Shelli Rampold 24:43

So the when we looked at the responses from the group that said, if they had to pick a stance that would be all overall there overall for it. Some of the themes there. The first one was was medical and health benefits. And this, I haven't dug into it but I would suspect if I broke this down As people who use and don't use hemp products, that those who are using them, or who contributed a lot to, to this area, noting the different medical and health benefits of like CBD oil to for stress for arthritis, you know, for topical other topical reasons, there was response upon response about medical or health benefits and you know, including personal testimonies made a lot and they're saying I use you know this for my arthritis and I wouldn't use anything else and you know, this changed, you know, my spouse's situation, etc. So we said we got a lot of that. We also had people note the diversity of use of hemp products, which does indicate that there's some knowledge out there of, of the fact that how does produce a wide range of a wide variety of products. So that was a lot of the pro hemp responses, they talked about paper rope building materials, clothing, fabric, CBD oil, food and nutrition. They also noted the economic benefits, they people who were overall for it thought that this would be a good opportunity to boost the economy, that it would be beneficial for specifically beneficial for farmers, that kind of emerged as a sub theme, the potential for it to be a new cash crop for crop diversification for farmers, which is really awesome to see people specifically. Because we didn't we didn't lead into that in any way. There was no leading question about the benefit for farmers, they provided that response on their own, about crop diversification and new potentials for farmers. And then going back to the kind of apathetic neutral are huge, you know, a big theme was kind of why not? They said, Well, I'm not against it. I don't see any reason not to. So it's kind of the opposite the other group who tends to go the who went the safe rather than sorry, I don't know enough about it. I don't really see the purpose, I'm going to say no. And then on the pro side, you had the same thing of Well, I don't know. But I don't see any reason not to. So why not just kind of the two different personality groups, I guess, and people have of how you approach with caution, or Sure, let's try it. And then my, my favorite smaller theme in this group comes by we see this a lot comes back to civil liberties of Yes, it should be legal, because that is not the government's job to regulate this. Or if I want to grow it, I should be able to grow it. And I wasn't really if I was expecting to see that. But it was, but that I did, I did see that in the responses of,

of kind of, I don't really care what the topic is. But I think it should be legal because we have civil liberties. So that was that's something interesting to further explore.

 

Phillip Stokes  28:01

So that's interesting, going back to some of the more positive associations. So I heard people were associating it with medical and health benefits, economic potential economic benefits, the fact that there's just a great diversity of use among this product, which are all things that I think maybe people in the industry have, are already saying, right? So I mean, those are, those are the same people are on kind of on the same page with that they're affirming the actual kind of reality or potential reality  of where we're going in the future with hemp production, which is, which is cool. Right? I mean, that's, that's a good thing.

 

Shelli Rampold 28:47

It is they, the findings of the public survey, I found to be very reflective of the same attitudes, hopes and concerns, in conversations with industry professionals. I don't have data analysis on that to, you know, scientifically look at those results. But based on because I had to work with the, you know, different industry professionals and developing this, based on those conversations. What the public said is pretty reflective of that, you know, the positives, but then the same concerns some of the concerns that the public expressed, you know, about the ability of federal or local agents to get out there and distinguish between hemp and marijuana plants that are just out in the field. Those are the same concerns that industry. industry folks have, those are our same considerations, you know, that more attention in the industry. So the public's kind of reflecting on those, which is nice that there's some alignment there.

 

Phillip Stokes  29:48

And I got to think that maybe one of those concerns, or one of the reasons for why people are concerned that regulators wouldn't be able to distinguish the difference between the two is because we have such a long history of negative feelings towards marijuana, right? I mean, am I reading into that too much? We grow up thinking that it's such, we've been told it's a really bad drug. And I'm not saying it is or isn't. But that's kind of what culture has been telling us. And so the idea that, that people could mistake or potentially use this opportunity where we're legalizing hemp to actually grow marijuana. The reason that's scary is maybe because we have some of these long standing associations.

 

Shelli Rampold 30:39

Oh, yeah, I would say so. So some, some extra, more robust data analysis that I conducted, was looking at several variables and their ability to predict attitudes toward legalizing hemp cultivation and production and attitude towards legalizing marijuana was the strongest predictor of that. So and it was a significant and positive correlation. So meaning people with more positive attitudes toward legalizing hemp are more likely to have more positive attitudes towards legalizing marijuana. So that would make sense that a concern would be the ability for federal agents to distinguish between the two. Because if you didn't, if you didn't really care if marijuana was being grown, that he wouldn't care, they needed to distinguish between the two. For those, at least for drug related concerns, now, whether that we didn't dig in to know if their concerns about that were specifically because of, you know, drug related issues, or if it was a taxation issue. I mean, that could be I mean, I don't want I don't want to assume, right, if I had to guess, I wouldn't go with the I would say drug related, but it could be other things to have copper, taxing and etc.

 

Phillip Stokes  32:11

So there's a lot of lot of really interesting information. So as we're moving forward, and after talking with Dr. Zack Brym, it sounds like sounds like hemp is doing gross fairly well in the state of Florida. And that there probably will be an increased market for hemp going in the future. These are things we can't say for certain. But these are just kind of where the trends are leading us right now. So what you know, what would be your recommendations from this study, moving forward and in ways to help ways to just sort of inform the public as we go forward, as maybe hemp production also increases?

 

Shelli Rampold 32:59

So I think a first good step would be to start at the local level. Instead of trying to do kind of a top down campaign or something, I think it could be beneficial to use the the UF/IFAS, industrial hemp pilot project as an avenue for getting some of that information out there. We do you see across, you know, across studies, when we ask about source trustworthiness, the University never ranks low, there might not be the highest in compared to whatever else we're looking at the time but the university usually ranks pretty high and trustworthiness. So it might as well capitalize on that and use this pilot project to highlight some of these things. And right now, the public that at least who participated in this study, most of them hadn't heard of the pilot project, didn't know anything about it and know where to get information. But they had a lot of questions. You know, they wanted to know who was conducting it? Who was the lead on it, who was involved in it, and who was consulted in it? How did they decide which varieties to grow? They also had questions about who was in charge of overseeing regulations? You know, that's, that's a great question. So if we can answer that question in the, in the small scale with the pilot project of here's how it's being regulated, et cetera. That's just more bite sized and digestible, I guess, to kind of start explaining how some of this is going to roll out. And then people did express an interest in it and wanting to know more. So I think if we start kind of at this at the local level with these pilot projects, and use them as a way to, to start highlighting, hemp revival, that could be a good approach. I also think that at some point, there will likely be a need for a cohesive kind of multi state branding approach. You know, this wouldn't be the first time dairy has done it soybean does it. A lot of different agricultural commodities kind of citrus has a very You know, this, the citrus industry has a very kind of cohesive branding approach. So I think at some point when it gets bigger, that could also be pretty beneficial for All right folks across states. I mean, you have your own marketing, obviously. But what are some? What are some consistencies? We probably need to have? You know, going forward, but I think that's kind of later down the road. It's still emerging. But I think that could be another important consideration.

 

Phillip Stokes  35:30

Right, yeah. And one thing after talking with Zach Brym, I mean, he just made it very apparent that, you know, his role, and the role of the IFAS hemp pilot project is, it's really exploratory. It's learning about the crops and what grows well in Florida, and what kind of inputs are needed and, and working with growers and producers in the state to kind of do this together. And it's, you know, like we've all said, I mean, there's no, there's no promotion behind it, it's strictly it's learning it's research. Because ultimately, I think at the end of the day, Zack and others really just want what's best And sure, we can't agree on what's best right now. And we know that but we want you know, we want hemp to maybe be a viable product if it kind of ticks all these boxes, right. And that's and that's the process they're going through right now to see how many how many boxes can be ticked. So I don't know you know, like you said, I mean people view universities as a relatively trusted and credible source so starting with some of this baseline research could be a way to go

 

Shelli Rampold 36:42

and another thing that is I think really beneficial is stuff like this during that podcast with with Zack with people like him who normally the public doesn't have access to like you're never just gonna like get to casually chat with Zack Brym if you're just if you're a member of the public will probably because you don't know who each other are. But I think this is a great opportunity for some just casual conversation with someone who is very passionate about it as an expert about this. I learned so much from Dr. Brym about hemp production that I never, never knew. And I think that having podcasts like these are just different methods of opening up some communication, you know, or insight other pilot programs seeking to do stuff because I could do something like this to to get Zach Bryms of the world out there chatting about. Hey, folks, look, we don't know either. We're figuring it out. But this is where we're where we think it's going. Here's what we're doing what we're not doing. So, anyone listening to this podcast has not listened to the one by Dr. Brym. Put that plug in there. Go ahead. Check it out.

 

Phillip Stokes  37:57

Dr. Shelli Rampold soon to be at the University of Tennessee and not down the hall from us here at the PIE Center and the old meal barn. will miss you. And thanks so much for being on Science by the Slice.

 

Shelli Rampold 38:15

Thanks for having me.

 

Phillip Stokes  38:23

Once again, I want to thank Dr. Shelli Rampold for being on Science by the Slice. I hope you enjoyed this two part series on industrial hemp. And maybe after listening to this series, you'll start noticing him in more places, whether that's in the news, in the field or on your grocery store shelves. For more information on the PIE Centers research on public perceptions of him and Florida. Go to piecenter.com and the easiest way to find it is to just type the word him in the search bar at the top of the website. We're going to be releasing all of our new podcast episodes in series on the fourth Wednesday of every month as we did for this series. Be sure to subscribe to Science by the Slice wherever you get your podcasts and you'll be notified when those episodes are available. I want to thank my coworkers in the PI center who worked on science by the slice with me and Michaela Kandzer, Sydney Honeycutt, Ricky Telg, Ashlyn McLeod-Morin , Alena Polin and Valentina Castano. I'm Phillip Stokes. Thanks for listening to Science by the Slice