Between the FDA regulating anything taken orally, including, pet treats, and law enforcement mandating and enforcing incredibly restrictive rules (laws) on everything else, Small Hemp is in real trouble.
At least here in the southeast it is already catastrophic for farmers and small processors. All the enthusiasm is gone. Most will not replant this spring, as last years crop sits in barns ,warehouses, wherever, unable to find a way forward. Every day desperate farmers call processors trying to unload crops, it's called biomass, and it can only be turned into crude and then value added up the chain. Farmers planted last year thinking they would get up to 800$/# if things went good. They did not. After the vaping scare, and with an onslaught of pressure from law enforcement, the smokable flower market has collapsed and the new FDA regs will make it way worse, if not impossible. All edibles, all products, will have to comply or face legal problems.
Biomass is selling for as low as 8 dollars a pound, and crude is piling up by the barrel at all processors who cannot unload it fast enough. The largest of the small processors in Kentucky, who was light years ahead of almost everyone in the east because of Kentucky's early hemp laws filed chapter 11 on Friday. Many farmers planted hemp instead of corn, they invested in facilities and equipment, mortgaged their farms and homes. A cold man could look out and say you take risks, sometimes it doesnt work out.
But it's definitely sad to see so much hope crushed in such a short time.
What path forward?? I think the path is being paved for big wall street money to totally control the cannabinoid market, top to bottom. We know several venture groups connected to heavy hitters who have large positions in CBD MD, and other publicly traded, but tightly held stock. Kathy Ireland, a former model who is also a billionare, owns Level Brands, a large, connected branding machine that has very high profile investors from wall street and Hollywood, and she is in big in CBD and is determined to be the one who supplies Walmart, Riteaid, CVS, Kroger, whoever, with the government approved, FDA certified sticker and her smiling face on the label.