Friday marks the deadline for hemp growers to apply for the hemp pilot program, and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture is projecting an increase in the number of growers.
One of those farms in Middle Tennessee is now getting national exposure thanks to a trend in the beauty market.
Christie Tarleton has been a sustainable farmer for about 10 years.
When she integrated hemp into her farm at Six Boots Growers Collective just outside of Nashville, it blossomed into a product that you can now find at one of the country’s top luxury retailers, Neiman Marcus
It all began in 2014 when Tarleton and her partner had a vision while growing hemp on their farm collective in historic Bells Bend.
“It was the human connection between hemp and people and their issues and their overall wellness,” Tarleton explained.
That wellness took on the name Yuyo Botanics.
The hemp plants are processed in Joelton and bottled by Tarleton into CBD oil tinctures and salve.
In the spring of 2018, Yuyo products hit store shelves at Lemon Laine in East Nashville.
“I am still on a daily basis completely dumbfounded that we even own a product that it actually helps people,” said Tarleton.
But her success didn’t stop there.
This past month, luxury retailer chain Neiman Marcus began selling Yuyo’s salve at five of their locations (Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Newport Beach, and Boston) and online.
“It’s like distributing sunshine – how do you describe? That with something that can actually help people? It brings so much purpose to farming, too for us,” she said.
Tarleton’s products are part of a growing trend of retailers trying to cash in on the booming CBD market.
Neiman Marcus, DSW, and Barney’s are among the retailers, but regulation for CBD remains in flux.
“I’m so excited, but at the same time, I’m trying to keep a level head because we don’t know what may happen or what laws,” said Tarleton.
As Tarleton waits to see how things unfold, she said her focus remains educating others about hemp and growing her business to help other small farmers.
“The more hemp we need to grow for our products, we’re working with other certified organic farmers here in Tennessee. So it creates viability and sustainability throughout the whole young farmer small farmer system,” she said.
Tarleton said she does plan to grow her product line.