Erratic Industrial Hemp Economy Presents Risks and Rewards

Over the past few years cannabidiol (“CBD”) has become a ubiquitous ingredient in all varieties of consumer products ranging from vitamins and topical lotions to bath bombs and even dog treats. Contributing to the explosion in availability of CBD products stems from a combination of the multitude of claimed medical benefits of the supplement and the 2018 federal farm bill that reclassified industrial hemp, the plant from which CBD is sourced, as a legally cultivated crop. The reclassification differentiated industrial hemp from other cannabis plants that contain significant amounts of THC, the chemical responsible for the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana.

The massive increase in notoriety of CBD in a very short period of time has not resulted in a smooth ride for many of the farmers, processors, wholesalers and retailers responsible for getting products to the market. What was predicted as a massive boon to industry players in 2018(1) , was later referred to as a “bloodbath” for those same players by the end of 2019(2) . “Get rich quick” aspirations, oversupply and a lack of a reliable national infrastructure have resulted in a glut of litigation as the promised profits have not materialized for many and harvested crops sit dormant in silos across the state of Oregon.

Despite a rocky couple of early years, economists remain confident that the industry will stabilize and represent a stable investment . Those considering contracting into the industry or those trying to determine the best course of action following a deal gone wrong would benefit from the representation of a firm specializing in the challenges unique to the hemp industry(3). Gleam Law attorneys have the experience and knowledge to minimize exposure to risk and steward disputes to a beneficial resolution for our clients.