As the hemp industry nears the end of a year of tremendous change, it can be easy to marvel at the progress the industry has made in the past 12 months.
But we wanted to find out what’s next for the hemp industry.
So Hemp Industry Daily caught up with 20 insiders from across the hemp supply chain to find out not where the industry has been but where it’s going.
Here’s what we learned:
Mark Case, founder and CEO, International Hemp Auction and Market, Knoxville, Tennessee
2018 was a gamble but a good year for most. 2019 was a gamble but a thin year for most.
2020 is not a year for gamblers. Rather, it will be successful only for those who are wise and prudent, fully integrated and who work with a good business plan to go the long haul.
Brenda Verghese, vice president of research & development, Stratos, Colorado Springs, Colorado
I predict that while the regulations remain “nonexistent,” the industry will become even more saturated with smaller players.
However, if and when the (U.S. Food and Drug Administration, USDA) does come in with regulations, many of these existing companies will not be able to withstand the cost of investment to keep up with regulations.
In turn, cost of product and hemp will go back up, and the arena will have a lot less players.
Ted Haney, executive director, Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance, Calgary, Alberta
I predict increased hemp acres in Canada, likely moving toward 200,000 acres. I also predict an increased focus on whole-plant utilization.
The United Nations International Commission on Narcotic Drugs will remove low-THC hemp extractions from the UN 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.
Finally, I predict an increase in the sale of hemp protein concentrate and hemp protein isolate to large food processors.