Is hemp farming part of the future of farming in Whatcom County?
Mike Douma, former dairy farmer, sold his cows and is trying out hemp farming.
“Our family has been dairying for over 50 years,” Douma said. “In Whatcom County it’s tough to dairy and make money.”
The Douma family decided they were done milking cows and a friend suggested they grow hemp. They hired a chemist to help them make some product for their new business Custer Hemp.
“One of the coolest parts is instead of dealing with cows, I’m dealing with people,” Douma said.
The Douma’s have had to learn a lot about the plant. Douma said that hemp and marijuana are different plants, even though you may not be able to tell the difference by looking at the plants in the field.
“Just the learning curve of this plant has been pretty cool,” Douma said.
CBD is an anti-inflammatory and Douma says he’s been able to give his father some CBD to help with his Parkinsons and his daughter to help her with her epilepsy.
“It can’t cure anything but it really seems to help manage,” Douma said.
Douma said they are working on developing a line of CBD that has zero THC in it for workers who get drug tested will be able to use it.
“It’s unbelievable what they’re finding out about this stuff,” Douma said. “It’s endless, from medicine to clothing.”
Douma says the market is saturated now, but part of that is because there isn’t enough processing right now to process the oil or turn the plants into clothing.
Another hardship is the stigma that comes with the term “hemp.” Douma struggled to get a checking account for the business because he’s a hemp farmer.
But Douma is excited for the future. He says it was hard to sell his cows and get out of dairying, but it was time.