A Message From Our Co-Founder & CEO

After spending the last 25+ years in law enforcement, I have been looking forward to my upcoming retirement for several years. As a kid, I grew up working on a tobacco farm in eastern North Carolina and was considering a return to these roots for my post-retirement career. My family owns several acres of farm land in Wayne County and I started looking into becoming a licensed hemp grower.


I first shared this news with a couple of long-time friends during an offshore fishing trip in the summer of 2019. These friends all work in the tobacco industry and their first response was “John, the world doesn’t need another hemp farmer… there are only 2 certified hemp testing labs in the state of North Carolina. You should consider opening up a testing lab instead.” 

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Since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, I had already experienced the problem that this created for law enforcement. Our officers and even our drug sniffing dogs are unable to distinguish the difference between legal hemp at 0.3% THC or less and illegal marijuana at more than 0.3% THC. Once I heard about the backlog of hemp testing for the farmers and the problem that this creates for both them and the department of agriculture, I quickly realized that my tobacco friends were right and decided to consider opening a brick & mortar hemp testing lab instead.


As fate would have it, I met another old friend for lunch at a local BBQ joint just a few weeks later. I knew that he was in the vegetable seed business but didn’t realize until that day that he had just started selling hemp seeds to licensed growers in North Carolina. When I told him my plans for a hemp testing lab, he told me even more about the testing backlog that his customers were experiencing and assured me that I was onto something.


As another sign of fate, he called me the very next day to tell me about a portable THC/CBD testing device that his business partner had discovered while we were having lunch the day before! The 3 of us jumped on a phone call that afternoon and discussed plans to join forces and create a new company that we later named HempLab.


If you are a licensed grower, a dispensary owner or a law enforcement officer dealing with these same testing issues, I encourage you to contact us for in-house testing equipment options.


Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you!


John Herring


HempLab, Inc.