Much can be accomplished with money, celebrity, and land, three things Kanye West — the mercurial musical genius and, since last fall, the owner of two sprawling Wyoming ranches —enjoys in abundance.
But not everything. Not even Kanye West has permission to grow hemp — yet.
In addition to mulling a run for president and a name change or two, while redefining gospel music on the side, becoming a sustainable clothing magnate with his very own hemp farm is one of many grandiose Ye schemes announced recently that haven’t quite taken off.
happy new decade from the ranch pic.twitter.com/7XhVVBEG4I
— ye (@kanyewest) January 3, 2020
This is not his fault. Though the Farm Bill signed by West’s good friend President Donald Trump in December 2018 has led to an explosion of hemp production and CBD product availability throughout the country, Wyoming farmers are still waiting for federal permission to put their first low-THC cannabis sativa seeds in the ground.
Wyoming is increasingly becoming an outlier in the west as a state that allows neither recreational nor medical cannabis — and is also slow to adapt hemp production. Wyoming state agricultural officials resubmitted a proposal for a hemp-growing pilot program to federal Agriculture Department officials on Friday.
That means any Kanye West CBD lines will have to wait. But the potential’s there. And at least that was the plan as recently in October, not long after West bought the first of two Western ranches he and his wife, Kim Kardashian West, now own.
“We’re building farms here, because of the climate and because of the soil, that have hydroponic cotton, wheat, hemp,” West told Apple News, which he invited out to the $14 million property near Cody, Wyoming called “Monster Lake Ranch.”
When West bought it, the ranch had “a restaurant, a saloon, a ranch-style event venue, a maintenance shop, an office building” as well as ranch-y things like horse barns, a corral, sheds, and a place to shoot guns.
All indications are that this is one of the places where West lives with his family. One of the saloons is a recording studio, and Kardashian and the couple’s children live in the main house.
There’s been a flurry of activity there, some of which has run afoul of authorities: West was ordered to stop construction on a massive “mediation amphitheater,” and was visited by authorities yet again in November to stop unpermitted construction.
This begs the questions: What’s Kanye West doing out in Wyoming, and when does he plan to start growing hemp?
West himself has indicated that he plans to move production of his Yeezy sneakers out west, something that he hinted at during the interview and something he said outright in a separate appearance in New York. He also suggested employing formerly incarcerated people as the farm and factory labor.
Both the hemp and the cotton could provide the raw materials for production, though it’s unclear both where he’d source the labor, as well as whether he’d be able to get a warehouse or other buildings necessary for manufacturing built.
But he wants to do it. “We’re developing our own fabrics and we’re gonna go from ‘seed to sew,’ from farm to table so we can see the entire process,” he said. “We gotta sustain, right?”
Right! But before the sustaining, the shopping. A few weeks after the interview, West bought another ranch near Cody, this one for $14.459 million. Bighorn Mountain Ranch, the second of the two West ranches in Wyoming, has, among other things, heated helicopter pads and saunas on its 6,713 acres.
The second ranch, according to People, is a permanent home for West’s recent religious effort, a “pop-up church service” called Sunday Services.
But since the holidays, which the Wests appeared to spend out on the ranch, it appears attention has wandered somewhat. Forensic analysis of Kim Kardashian West’s Instagram page (we looked at it for like an hour) suggests that most of the family has spent most of the past week or so in Los Angeles or other places not at the ranch.
And if Wyoming doesn’t quite get its act together, there’s always Montana, where Kanye West could apparently buy as many ranches as he wants.
TELL US, do you think Kayne West will really grow hemp?