It’s no secret that the industry has a hemp biomass oversupply problem. Farmers who have been in the market even just one season have seen the precipitous drop of cannabidiol (CBD) biomass prices, which are now running at around $0.53 per percent CBD per pound, according to an April Hemp Benchmarks report. You or a grower you know may still have hundreds or even thousands of pounds of biomass left in storage, unable to find a buyer who will give a decent return on investment, or simply unable to find a buyer altogether.

Our cover story this month shines a light on the underpinnings of this issue: Consulting firm Whitney Economics estimates the current national biomass oversupply amounts to 135 million pounds. That’s an average of nearly 24,795 pounds per farm.

To put that into broader perspective, commodities trading platform PanXchange estimates that meeting the entire current CBD demand requires fewer than 3,000 acres of hemp nationwide. The number of acres licensed for hemp production last year totaled more than 100 times that amount.

The numbers are daunting, but there are potential solutions. In this month’s cover story, author Jodi Helmer takes a deeper dive into six strategies that industry members suggest could help growers sell off their surplus hemp and help mitigate this issue in future seasons.

Even after the market settles and supply meets demand, a large part of selling your product depends on exposure. In this issue, writer Jolene Hansen outlines how growers and other hemp production companies can expand their retailer network, and perhaps (with time and hard work) break into major retailer chains. This issue also features tips on how to make your packaging stand out, whether it’s on your own website or on major retail shelves across the country.

With the current state of the industry, planting hemp this year is likely a big decision. For those who still plan to grow the crop, we hope this issue helps sets you up for success with guidance on new testing regulations, disease prevention, weed control and more.

While the road ahead will be challenging, it helps to remember that growing pains and market corrections are par for the course in a brand-new industry. Hemp Grower will continue to help you navigate that road and its many curves.

Theresa Bennett