We had the good fortune of connecting with Eric Singular and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Eric, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
You cannot underestimate the value of a good mentor. There’s a lot to be learned in a classroom and from an individual whose job is to teach, but in the professional world, there are so many skill sets that are never discussed in an educational setting. It’s somewhat like how people joke about not being taught about doing taxes in high school. It’s the real world – how to carry yourself, how to have a meaningful presence in a business meeting, how to speak from a place of confidence, and sometimes more importantly, when to just sit back and listen. These are tools that can be absorbed rather than taught by a good mentor. It may not be easy to find someone who you admire or someone who is willing to take you under their arm, but it’s worth seeking. In my experience, this has been a paramount secret to success. Unfortunately, many people are not fully equipped and prepared to succeed when they enter the professional world. The journey in seeking mentorship may require sacrifice, like being an unpaid intern, but the value of finding someone who can truly help you expand your horizons cannot be overstated.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am very lucky in that I have the opportunity to work for a couple of organizations that share a common vision of growing the global hemp industry, albeit in different ways. I spend the majority of my time with International Hemp, working with farmers to sow the seeds of hemp food and fiber here in the United States. Industrial hemp presents an enormous opportunity for American farmers. The grain that comes from hemp is an amazing plant-based protein that is rich in omega fatty acids and can be used as a delicious ingredient in food for humans and animals. Hemp fiber has so many uses it’s impossible to name them all here, but to give an idea, we are seeing groups here in the U.S. that are working to create supply chains for hemp clothing, hemp construction materials hemp bioplastics, and hemp paper, just to name a few.
I also get to work with Hoban Law Group, a leading cannabis law firm here in Denver, CO. As the host of their podcast, The Hoban Minute, I’ve gotten to engage in more than 150 conversations with industry leaders from around the globe who are pioneering the re-emergence of industrial hemp and commercial marijuana policy. It’s so cutting-edge and new, even though the cannabis plant is millions of years old, that sometimes it truly feels like coming from the future – dispatches from the horizon.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Nine times out of ten, you will find me at a Denver brewery that specializes in hazy IPAs. I used to live in the Wash Park neighborhood and I loved it. Whether it’s hanging out at the park or exploring all of the great restaurants, cool art and plant shops on South Broadway, or soaking in great music at UMS (before the COVID times), it was a great place to meet friends and share with out-of-state visitors. The mountains are always calling and when friends are coming to visit or the weather allows, I choose to live in Colorado to enjoy the amazing wilderness the state has to offer. In the spring, summer, and fall months, my girlfriend and I try to camp, hike, and bike as much as possible, because of course, there is so much to explore here in the Centennial State with our 300 days of sunshine. As far as a great brewery to grab a hazy IPA, it’s hard to beat Cerebral or Fiction, which are both on Colfax Avenue.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The opportunity that was put on my path came from someone who is a true trailblazer. Someone that has a vision that no one else can see. That is Bob Hoban. I approached Bob in the Winter of 2016 about working in the industrial hemp space as I was attracted to the sustainable possibilities the plant presented. At that time, the U.S. was operating under the pilot 2014 Farm Bill regulations for hemp. There was no explosive industry, but there was a lot of excitement. Bob told me to wait, that the time would come. That’s what I did. I waited for two and a half more years, at which time Bob reached out about a potential internship position with a company he had started in the hemp space. Nervous, exhilarated, and mildly well prepared, I came in for an interview for an unpaid internship and have never looked back. I had to prove that I was worth paying, and that took time, but I was fueled by my passion for the plant and the seemingly endless possibilities it offers in the fight for a sustainable future. This is truly the birth of a new industry, and I have had the amazing opportunity to be a part of its growth. There have been hard times and great times, but no matter what, I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to carve out a space for myself in the industrial hemp sector. Thank you, Bob, for opening the space for me to grow into and being a mentor from which to learn how to navigate the professional world.
Other: https://open.spotify.com/show/4Foq4Bjw0fFDfJ7Tmmr3kn https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-hoban-minute/id1505590280 https://www.international-hemp.com/ https://www.instagram.com/internationalhempgenetics/