In my hometown, fliers are posted at the general store advertising ‘U-Pick Hemp’ for forty bucks a stick. With a glut of industrial hemp production across the country, businesses are getting creative when marketing their wares. After all, if your crop doesn’t generate money, you go out of business.
In Montana, they have their own eBay or Craigslist of sorts. The state launched an online Hemp Marketplace to connect hemp farmers with customers seeking fiber, seeds, and other components, such as CBD. Listings are free and fall into one of two categories: “Hemp for Sale” and “Hemp to Buy.” The concept sprouted from an earlier enterprise, the Montana Department of Agriculture ‘Hay Hotline’, where hay farmers and hay buyers did business.
The listing portal also includes information on a product’s organic status, lab testing stats, seed certification, and more. All of the products sold must contain less than 0.3 percent THC.
The state dove into the industrial hemp marketplace in 2017, right after Montana legalized hemp production in a federal pilot program. In 2018 the state’s licensed farmers grew more hemp acreage than any other state in the U.S. Montana continues to lead the industry. With these practical coordination efforts, it seems to recognize the market continues to develop.
“With hemp being a relatively new crop grown in Montana, the department recognizes that these markets are still developing,” Department of Agriculture Director Ben Thomas said in a statement. “The Hemp Marketplace was designed to help facilitate connections between buyers and sellers. I’m looking forward to seeing how the marketplace will continue to advance the industry.”