Too much product, some high-profile bankruptcies and continued regulatory uncertainty contributed to making 2019 a tough year for hemp growers, but proponents of the versatile plant say it’s still viable in the long term for uses including CBD (short for cannabidiol), food and fiber.
More than 500,000 acres were licensed for hemp planting last season, a more than a fourfold increase from the year before, advocacy group Vote Hemp estimated last fall. But the group also said that usually, only half those acres are actually planted to hemp.
This season, Vote Hemp President Eric Steenstra says he’s hearing only about half that amount will be licensed, and will be accompanied by a significant drop in planted acreage.
Prices plummeted over the winter for hemp biomass and other categories.
“There’s a lot out there” in storage, says Dion Oakes, a grower in Colorado’s San Luis Valley who started San Luis Valley Hemp Company with his father-in-law. “That’s what we’re seeing with this market crash. People are trying to recoup what they can with product in stock.” In many cases, however, the quality is not very good, he says.
Part of the problem is some growers did not heed warnings to make sure they had a contract before growing. Another problem is the industry has been hit by bankruptcies, such as vertically integrated GenCanna Global and its partner, hemp producer and CBD manufacturer Atalo Holdings in Kentucky. [Read More @ Agri-Pulse]