Hemp Grower spoke with readers to get their perspectives on the hemp industry heading into 2021.
Some expressed optimism, given hemp’s potential and the growing consumer interest in cannabidiol (CBD) products and its potential health benefits. Other readers looked forward to the economic opportunities the crop presents for minorities.
And others continue to be concerned about uncertainty in current law and regulations and what that will mean for the industry in 2021 and beyond.
“2021 is a year of optimism and rebirth. … As a recent breast cancer survivor, I hope to share my first-hand knowledge of the benefits that I experienced from daily use of hemp oils during my treatment.”
Angela Supan, owner of Rebelation Labs, a hemp extraction lab in Chattanooga, Tenn.
“Hemp offers limitless potential. … Getting involved as an entrepreneur on the ground floor of what will become a booming industry in the future is an opportunity for many underserved individuals.”
Zach Dorsett, chief grow officer for minority-owned hemp company Blue Forest Farms in Longmont, Colo., speaking about the potential that hemp farming holds for communities of color and other underrepresented groups. Blue Forest Farms grows hemp and produces and sells CBD products.
The hemp market “is still one poorly written law away from being greatly hindered or completely decimated. As a tribe, we choose to use our voice and platform to speak alongside all other growers so that our concerns are heard at both the state and federal level.”
Kyle Kennington, a member of the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians and vice president of business development for Roseburg, Ore.-based Umpqua Ventures, the Umpqua Indian Development Corp.’s business development arm. The tribe owns and operates 7th Gen Farms, which cultivates hemp and sells CBD products.
“In my opinion, the biggest obstacle facing the hemp industry as it stands right now is the change next year to switch to a legal standard of overall THC vs. delta-9 [THC]. This will make many strains that are now classified as industrial hemp and extremely useful and sought after for CBD content no longer legal as hemp and will make it much harder for the industry to get the CBD yield that they are used to in their plants.”
Chris Yates, co-owner and operator of Southern Sugar Leaf, a family-owned farm that grows hemp and sells CBD and other hemp-derived products. Yates refers to the push to use the sum of THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, which is the non-psychoactive acid form of THC found in the raw plant) and delta-9-THC levels to determine if a crop has passed the current 0.3% THC threshold. The change would make it more difficult to comply with this already stringent standard.