US: A case for protecting craft growers

As legalization sweeps the nation, craft, small-batch growers in both the cannabis and hemp industries are at risk.

The price to play is steep. It costs an estimated $5 million to $10 million for a craft grower to enter the market, the Illinois Craft Cannabis Association founder Paul Magelli says. Which is why his association has filed a lawsuit hoping to get 40 craft growers more time to enter the Illinois marketplace and apply for licenses.

Industry regulations are not kind to small-batch farmers in a sea of larger, investor-funded operations. “That is the main danger, that it will get crushed,” Adam Smith, president of the Oregon-based Craft Cannabis Alliance, told.

“The farmers are the ones who have hold the most risk, and don’t often get the most reward,” says Brittany Carbone, founder and CEO of TONIC and Tricolla Farms, a small-batch hemp farm located in Upstate New York. The craft CBD company was founded in Spring of 2017. Carbone then launched Tricolla Farms in December of 2017 in order to have control of the entire supply chain that goes into her TONIC CBD product lineup. The company’s newest operation launched this year, Bardo Labs, closes the loop in production.


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