NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The marketplace for hemp is exploding in Tennessee and entrepreneurs are now buying up seeds and supplies, ready to plant.
With this crop, there's big money to be made.
We followed grower and hemp expert Clint Palmer the past several months as he took the crop in Murfreesboro from seedlings to harvest and now the payoff as the product goes to market.
Palmer and his business partner Greg Sanford keep their inventory at the TN Hemp Farmacy stash house. The location is a closely-guarded secret because of the valuable product stored within. One ounce of high-quality CBD hemp can sell for two-hundred dollars.
They show off several vacuum sealed one-pound bags each selling for around thirty-two-hundred bucks. That's quite a return on what started as a seedling this past summer.
By fall the hemp planted by Palmer were ready for harvest.
"This is the state's next cash crop. 100 percent. No way around it," said Palmer.
The demand for CBD from hemp is booming with people using it these days for everything from seizures to anxiety to muscle aches.
"We grow it, process it down, package it, ship it. We know what's in there," said Sanford.
TN Hemp Farmacy markets some of it's own products like CBD gummies or tinctures. But they also serve as a wholesaler.
"We have retail stores popping up everywhere. They can purchase this pound bag and take down to ounces or gram or however they want to sell it," said Palmer.
And, yes, it's selling fast, making it one of the state's most lucrative crops.
Anyone who gets a license can grow it and many see hemp as heir apparent to tobacco in Tennessee.
"They look at it as a new commodity for farmers to bring back small farms in the state," said Palmer.
It's easy to see why people are so excited about this crop. Consider that an acre of tobacco in Tennessee these days can fetch between five and 10 thousand dollars tops. An acre of hemp could bring up to 50-thousand dollars in the marketplace.