Hemp: Investing in the New Cash Crop


NOVEMBER 21, 2019
Upward Hartford
20 Church Street, Mezzanine Floor
Hartford, CT 06103


Hemp: Investing in the New Cash Crop

Thursday, November 21
5:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Hemp is an important agricultural product that can be used to produce textiles, industrial textiles, paper, foods, building materials and body care products. Despite some confusion, it is definitely not marijuana. Since Connecticut launched the hemp-growing pilot program in the spring the state has licensed 82 hemp growers, two processors, and 21 manufacturers.

So is the hemp industry in Connecticut poised to take off? 

On November 21, we’ll learn more about:

  • The hemp growing possibilities and business opportunities
  • Where Connecticut is with advancing the hemp industry
  • The new resources and innovations for hemp crops


[5:00 – 5:30 PM]
Reception & Networking
[5:30 – 7:30 PM]
Panel Discussion


Upward Hartford
20 Church Street, Mezzanine Floor
Hartford, CT, 06103
+ Google Map


We’ll validate if you park @ the Morgan Street Garage!
Morgan Street Garage
155 Morgan Street
Hartford, CT, 06103
+ Google Map



Bryan P. Hurlburt, Commissioner of the Department of AgricultureBryan P. Hurlburt
Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture

As the 20th Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, Bryan P. Hurlburt oversees the department and is responsible for programs regarding aquaculture, farmland preservation, agricultural marketing and viability programs, regulatory oversight, and animal control. Before being named Commissioner, Bryan was the executive director of the Connecticut Farm Bureau and worked as senior vice president of program operations at Wholesome Wave, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Bridgeport, CT that is dedicated to empowering underserved consumers to make healthier food choices by making fresh food more affordable.  In 2013, he was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the Connecticut State Executive Director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency and From 2007 to 2013, Hurlburt was elected to four terms in office as state representative for the 53rd district of Ashford, Tolland, and Willington.


Becky Goetsch, Site Manager, Running Brook FarmsBecky Goetsch
Site Manager, Running Brook Farms

Becky Goetsch earned her doctorate in Molecular Biology from Yale in 2005 and spent a decade in the biotechnology sector first as a scientist and then in various sales/marketing roles.  Three years ago, switching gears entirely, she left the corporate world and joined her partner’s family farm, eventually taking over management of the garden center at Running Brook Farms.  Running Brook Farms specializes in annuals and perennials, and now hemp cultivation.


Jeff WentzelJeff Wentzel
Hemp/CBD Advocate & Entrepreneur

Jeff Wentzel is a hemp/CBD advocate and entrepreneur based in Niantic CT.   Jeff and Rachelle Wentzel launched US HempCare LLC in 2015 to provide consumers with a natural, non-intoxicating alternative to opioid pain medication and other over-prescribed drugs.  After two years, US HempCare became one of the first vertically-integrated hemp CBD companies on the East Coast – and continues farming and operations expansion throughout the Northeast.

Supporting fair regulation and standards, Jeff launched the non-profit CT Hemp Industry Association (CHIA) to support farmers in his home state and to work with industry, government officials and the scientific community and to create and implement industrial hemp standards, certifications and regulations.

By supporting ongoing hemp research and continued learning – Jeff now helps educate the public about the health, environmental and economic benefits of an industry that was prohibited for over seventy years.


John Ireland, President, Upfront AnalysisJohn Ireland
President, Upfront Analysis

John has held positions as CEO, CFO, COO and Director of Business Development in both private and public corporations in several verticals. John was the Founder and CEO of Downstream Energy Corporation focusing on providing an Internet-based solution that would be an innovative alternative to the existing manual business processes and proprietary technologies available to support communication between suppliers and marketers of petroleum refined products. John has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a master’s degree in biochemical engineering from Brown University. He also holds an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.


Enter your email address and subscribe to our program announcements.