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As the first legal hemp harvest comes to America, people ask: What next?


Siskiyou Sungrown Farms

The fall is well underway and even winding down, and the United States’ first legal hemp harvest has developed apace.


Now, attention is turning toward just how an eager market will absorb the tremendous amounts of hemp being harvested by the ton across the nation. Amid such harvests of hemp, reporting indicates that a bottleneck in the industry may be a lack of processing centers for the harvested goods.


After hemp is reaped in the field or from hydroponic farms, it needs to go to processing facilities where it can be dried for use in textiles and smokeable products. In some of these locations, the compounds of hemp like CBD are extracted.


CBD, or cannabidiol, is a relative of THC that doesn’t get users high while offering a bevy of prospective uses.


People have used CBD products based in hemp for their chronic pain, anxiety, sleeplessness and epilepsy.


CBD comes in many forms, and has famously been incorporated into just about any format and product one could name, including food and drink items, bath bombs, lotions and more direct extracts.


Hundreds of varying intensity scientific studies have been conducted into CBD, largely using animal subjects, but customers of the relatively new products are advised to use caution and discern carefully which offerings are best for them.


Meanwhile, hemp itself is used in a myriad of other areas. From concrete-simulating hemp building materials that could revolutionize the environmental footprint of construction projects to textiles for clothing and even bioplastics, we’ve only seen the beginning of hemp’s uses outside of vapes, edibles and under-the-tongue oil drops.


All of these aspects make the market ripe for expansion in the coming years. Yahoo! News reports processors like driers and extractors could be the biggest set back in the supply chain. For instance, while Oregon licensed over 62,000 acres of hemp production, it has only 527 processors. [1]


That leaves 238,000 pounds of hemp for each processor!


This could be the result of limited equipment. "If you build the equipment to match the plant material, processing is not really a problem," Engineer Anthony Zaca told Yahoo! News. "Sometimes, people push their technology onto the public, and sometimes it's not the right fit.” [1]


He estimates 2,000 pounds of hemp is a realistic upper limit for a given processor to manage.


This means there are still untouched frontiers in the hemp and CBD industry, and plenty of exciting and promising challenges and opportunities ahead.


Sources

[1] https://news.yahoo.com/oversupply-us-hemp-hampered-lack-141751653.html

[2] https://www.nothingbuthemp.net/post/hemp-harvest-across-the-u-s-are-as-varied-as-hemp-s-users-and-uses

[3] https://www.montrosepress.com/national/news/as-u-s-farmers-face-crisis-of-losing-hemp-crop/article_4b494e6a-4861-5a38-bc79-268572cac57c.html

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