US: The hemp boom is over. What now?

When Matt Cyrus grew about 30 acres of hemp on his central Oregon hay and cattle farm four years ago, the cannabis plants — rich in cannabidiol, or CBD, a trendy wellness product — sold for about $40 a pound. That earned him a tidy profit. He planted 90 acres in 2019, hoping to make even more money.

Thousands of conventional farmers, marijuana growers and rookie entrepreneurs likewise rushed to plant hemp that year, eager to cash in on a newly legal crop. But rather than making a fortune, many lost one as their crops failed and the skyrocketing hemp supply depressed prices.

Cyrus now has hundreds of thousands of pounds of hemp bagged up in his barn that he can’t sell for a break-even price. He’s not planting hemp this year, and he’s not alone.

“There’s a lot of guys that just plain aren’t growing it this year,” said Cyrus, president of the Deschutes County Farm Bureau. “And whether they will go back to it or not — who knows.”


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