After this past crazy year, I think we can all be forgiven for having some hesitancy about what the future
holds. But happily, according to the view of numerous industry leaders, hemp appears to be headed the
right direction in the months and years ahead. Following are some bright spots we see that should give
hemp growers something positive to reflect on.
But first … it’s not all candy and rainbows
Like every new industry, we’re all still navigating some bumps in the road. Underbuilt infrastructure,
supply chain unsteadiness, amateur players, inconsistent standards of excellence, regulatory
uncertainties … these continue to be issues as our industry evolves. Time and patience are continuously
resolving these challenges. We’ve seen improvement every year. But, there is one steady, positive
trend: demand. And demand not just for existing and CBD-infused products, but also the demand for a
growing number of hemp applications – everything from animal feed to other cannabinoids like CBG and
CBC. That indicates to us that the outlook for hemp long term is exceptional, especially as competition
and regulation attract serious, professional growers and merchants to hemp businesses. That will
contribute to a rise in consumer acceptance, trust, and loyalty.
Hemp oil, CBD isolates, hemp seeds, and CBD biomass all saw price drops in 2020. Not fun for any of us,
but like other issues, this kind of fluctuation is natural for an emerging industry. We think that prices are
finding a level and stabilizing, which increases predictability for everyone in the supply chain. Being able
to forecast selling prices and the cost of inputs makes planning much easier, and with that increased
certainty growers can feel more confident in their business choices. There may still be some more
“correction” in our future, but we see volatility winding down over time. Overall, factors will trend
toward being less erratic and that will make hemp farming and hemp production more and more
With a new administration in Washington DC, it seems likely that we’ll see some advances at the federal
level with regard to CBD regulation and momentum toward USDA approved plans in all 50 states and
inclusion in farm commodity programs. Creating a more level regulatory environment across the country
will be a welcome step forward from current conditions, where we have state-to-state inconsistencies.
That may start to unfold later in the year. It’s obvious that there are a lot of challenges to keep Congress
preoccupied during the first half of 2021.
Although hemp has long been hailed as a high-utility crop, new uses for all parts of the plant continue to
be developed. That means that the need for more hemp acres will continue to rise. Especially since the
pandemic and heightened awareness about wellness products, consumers demand for anxiety-reducing,
immunity-boosting, health-improving options is exploding. This has really helped set up a golden
opportunity for hemp-related products. Though CBD has been center stage for a decade, it is showing
up in new forms like dietary supplements, while alternate cannabinoids (CBG, CBC, CBN) are also
popping up at retail with increased frequency. Other new categories like food products, beverages,
inhalables, grains, and fibers are also going to fuel the demand for hemp in the US. Nielsen Global
Connect projects that hemp sales will hit $6.9 billion by 2025 – up from $1.9 billion in 2020. We are
encouraged by the forecasting that we see!
Though we may continue to struggle a bit in the short term with some of the challenges of a developing
industry, we need to keep in mind that we’re still at the beginning of an arc that is on a long-term
upward, positive curve. If we continue to hold our enterprises to the highest standards and take care to
stay on top of the changing rules, we will be doing our part to build a healthy hemp economy for
ourselves and consumers. 2021 could be an amazing year of progress for all things hemp and we hope
you and your team will be part of that. All of us at Cheyenne Mountain Seed Company extend our best
wishes to everyone in the hemp community for a fantastic 2021.