The hemp and cannabis markets must establish large scale marketing and educational programs to introduce these new products to main stream consumers in order to expand demand while simultaneously expanding supply. A true “industry association” is desperately needed to coordinate the marketing of hemp across all of the companies in the industry that stand to benefit. The “Got Milk” campaign was financed by all members in the milk industry, the same needs to happen for hemp.
The development of the proper regulatory framework for commercialization of the industry has been slow, at best. Governments do not have sufficient financial resources or the knowledge base to develop standards for hemp or any other industry. Governments typically work with industry organizations to develop standards and regulations. This is particularly crippling in developing countries where governments have even less resources to develop a regulatory framework for the crop and its products.
There are only about 200,000 acres of hemp being produced worldwide on an annual basis. If any major manufacturer contracted for a large order of hemp, it would create a major shortage that would take months, if not years to deliver. There is an anticipated shortage of seed supply on the horizon as new hemp producers enter the market in droves. It’s critical to incentivize farmers to increase production in order to engage off takers.
Manufacturers must be sold on hemp as a superior sustainable biomass in order for the industry to grow to its full potential, and that hemp can move them towards a sustainable business model while, most importantly, reducing their costs and improving the quality of their products. It will be fairly easy to get farmers onboard if they are properly incentivized. Compared to traditional crops, hemp is more profitable and requires less input. Some manufacturers have already bought in, but they can’t get a consistent supply of quality hemp for full production runs. Mercedes and BMW have millions of cars on the road today that contain hemp parts, Hanes and International Paper are just two of the many Fortune 500 companies that already know that they want to use hemp in their products, if they can get a consistent supply.
To ensure stable growth of the worldwide market will require simultaneously ramping up supply and demand for what could potentially become a multibillion dollar market over the next 5 to 10 years.