Hemp is classified as any strain of cannabis that contains 0.3% or less of THC. Because of its non-intoxicating effects and high amount of CBD, hemp is not only used for CBD production, but also as an eco-friendly alternative to cotton, paper, and more.
In 2018, Congress passed the Farm Bill, which removed legal gray areas for hemp. Now that hemp is no longer prohibited federally, it opens up new economic opportunities for retailers, manufacturers, and hemp farmers.
But hemp farmers face an uphill battle to monetize their crops. It can be difficult to find local buyers, and even if they do, pricing isn’t always competitive enough to help farmers turn a large profit. Although the legal restrictions have been lifted, hemp farmers face plenty of challenges selling their crop.
That’s why New York City hosted its first hemp-focused auction, The Cannabis Auction Exchange, on Saturday, December 7. Hemp farmers from Oregon, California, Kentucky, Vermont, and New York sold their crops at the auction. During the daylong event, over 1,000 attendees bid on:
- 20,000 pounds of hemp flower
- 100,000 pounds of hemp biomass (for CBD extracts)
- Isolates and other bulk CBD products
Bidders could test the hemp strains before bidding on them to ensure quality. The auction also released certificates for every product to verify they met the legal limit of 0.3% THC.
New York’s auction was the first in the state’s history and only the third of its kind on a national level. It allows consumers and retailers to buy product in bulk, making it incredibly affordable to access hemp. Best of all, retailers and manufacturers can connect with farmers, making important business connections.
As the legal market emerges around cannabis, the industry is learning as it goes. There are more restrictions on THC-heavy cannabis than on hemp, but hemp is paving the way for the cannabis industry. Stay tuned for cannabis-focused auctions in the near future.