Explanation, Wholesale Pricing, Regulations & More
When cultivating hemp plants commercially, hemp producers will want to get the most out of every single plant. Though most retailers and consumers focus on hemp flowers and their high-CBD levels, the organic material that remains after CBD-extraction is very important as well. Nonetheless, many people are unaware of hemp biomass and its commercial uses.
So, what exactly is hemp biomass? What’s the difference between industrial biomass and CBD biomass? How is hemp biomass regulated? Where can biomass buyers find it for sale? And where can hemp biomass sellers find a network of potential clients? We will cover all of this and more in the following sections, but first let’s take a look at the basics of hemp biomass, as well as its potential uses.
What is Hemp Biomass?
In order to better understand hemp biomass and its potential uses, let’s first discuss the hemp plant. Hemp is a particular type of the Cannabis Sativa species of plants. While very similar in many ways to traditional marijuana, hemp differs in its appearance and chemical makeup. One of the biggest differences between the two plants is the level of THC and CBD present. THC is the chemical compound that produces psychoactive effects when consumed, while CBD is known for various therapeutic effects including pain and stress relief.
Hemp plants generally contain less than 1% THC, whereas marijuana plants can contain anywhere between 15-40% THC, depending on the particular plant, as well as the cultivation process. However, hemp contains much higher quantities of CBD (cannabidiol). So, while the hemp plant cannot produce the same psychoactive effects as marjiuana, it can be utilized in many different therapeutic areas.
However, this does not fully explain the term “hemp biomass.” Biomass refers to any waste material from a plant or animal that is not used for food. So, when hemp flowers are cultivated and processed, biological material is left behind. This excess material is known as hemp biomass, and is generally made up of all the non-flower plant parts, like the seeds, stalks and/or leaves.
What are the USDA Regulations on Hemp Biomass?
As of December 2018, it is legal to grow and sell hemp and hemp-infused products in the United States, thanks to provisions in the Hemp Farming Act. That said, there are still complications surrounding the identification of hemp plants, and the USDA is still in the process of crafting rules that can be applied nationwide.
Since THC is still illegal in many states, local authorities need a way to differentiate between hemp plants, which contain less than 1% THC, and marijuana plants, which contain much higher levels of THC. As of now, there is little standardization in the hemp industry regarding plant testing, making it difficult for authorities in many states to determine the legality of individual materials.
That said, the USDA wants to follow in the footsteps of the Hemp Farming Act by making it easier for growers and retailers to comply with state and national regulations. Industry leaders anticipate greater standardization and clearer guidelines regarding CBD biomass by 2020.
What is CBD Biomass Used For?
You may be wondering why cannabis producers or retailers would want hemp biomass. After all, it is simply a collection of plant parts that do not contain as much CBD as hemp flowers. However, hemp biomass actually has some very important uses.
Fuel is the primary use for biomass. As researchers continue to look for the best resources for renewable energy, more attention will be given to the advantages of biomass. When burned, the energy that is naturally stored in hemp plants is released. This is particularly useful for farmers and other small to midsize enterprises in need of renewable energy. Additionally, hemp plant growth has a relatively quick turnaround time, with plants reaching maturity in about 4 months. However, hemp biomass does not need to be burned to create energy. In fact, a more modern method involves converting hemp biomass into liquid biofuel.
Finally, some producers also use hemp biomass to extract CBD oil, CBD distillate, or CBD isolate. Hemp fibre can also be used for the textile industry. However, the former requires CBD biomass, while the latter requires industrial hemp biomass.
Industrial Hemp Biomass vs. CBD Hemp Biomass
The two primary types of biomass are industrial biomass (also known as fibre biomass) and CBD hemp biomass. They can be differentiated by their respective chemical makeup, as well as their potential uses. That said, they are both composed of the excess materials from hemp plants.
What is Fibre Biomass?
Industrial hemp biomass, sometimes referred to as fibre biomass, can be used in a variety of ways, from producing clothing to fueling machinery. However, industrial biomass generally has lower levels of CBD, and is therefore not as useful in the production of CBD products. Naturally, hemp fibre biomass requires different processes, depending on the type of products it is used to create. For example, when creating clothing, the biomass must undergo a retting process, in which moisture is applied to the materials in order to separate the fibres.
What is CBD Hemp Biomass?
Alternationaly, CBD biomass refers to excess hemp plant material that is rich in CBD. This kind of biomass is best used to extract CBD oils, distillate, or isolate. The resulting solution can then be used for the production of virtually any CBD products, from lotions to edibles.
How to Transport Biomass
As stated previously, the differences in localized THC legalization can make standardization across state borders complicated. Until the USDA provides clarification on the proper testing methods, traveling over state lines with hemp biomass may require a few additional hurdles. To learn more about transporting hemp biomass, consult this article.
Wholesale CBD Biomass Prices
While prices vary by vendor and location, there is one place where you can compare prices and shop for wholesale biomass: Kush.com. At Kush.com, you can find the latest industry pricing data, as we update the average offer price, average listing price, and average offer accepted price on a monthly basis. We also use this data to make accurate forecasts about future prices, as well as predictions regarding material and product availability by region. To learn more about how we collect and analyze our data, check out this link.
Since wholesale pricing can change from one month to the next, you will need to consult Kush.com for the most up-to-date prices. The chart above illustrates the current biomass price, though this will inevitably change going forward. This is why we are constantly collecting data and analyzing current pricing models across the broader market.
That said, there are a variety of factors that can affect CBD biomass wholesale prices, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Specific vendor
- Larger market trends
- Product shortage/surplus
In any case, when you are in the market for bulk hemp biomass, it is vital that you do ample research before making a purchase. Thankfully, Kush.com has you covered. Our data will not only show you how prices have changed recently, but also how different market trends will affect prices in the future.
Where to Buy Hemp
Shopping in a marketplace that is relatively new and dependent on ever-changing legislation can be intimidating. After all, if you’re in the market to buy hemp biomass, you won’t want to choose a vendor that has not been properly vetted. You could end up losing a lot of money if you’re not careful. Similarly, if you want to sell hemp biomass, you will need to have access to a large network of interested wholesale buyers.
Hemp Biomass refers to any material left behind from flowers after they are cultivated and processed. This material is generally the seeds, stalks & leaves.
How to Sell Hemp Biomass: Hemp Selling Tips for Farmers
You won’t be able to farm hemp for long if you can’t earn a profit from your crop, but how do you actually sell your hemp biomass? Where do find hemp biomass buyers? Most importantly, how can you get the best price on the crop you spent so much time, effort, and resources growing? When it comes to selling your crop, you’ve got a range of options, from working with a hemp broker, to selling directly to wholesale hemp buyers, or even taking your crop to a tradeshow. Let’s look at the most common ways to sell hemp, and the steps you should take to ensure that you get the best price possible.
A Quick Review of Hemp Biomass
Before we dive into the questions of how and where to sell industrial hemp, it helps to understand the term “hemp biomass.” In the hemp world, “biomass” actually has two distinct meanings, which can be a little confusing. Some people in the industry use the term “hemp biomass” to mean everything other than the flower or buds on the plant that contain the majority of the plant’s resin, terpenes, and cannabinoids. This would include the hemp plant’s stalks and leaves. In most cases, farmers growing hemp for CBD or CBG can sell the leftover hemp biomass to biomass buyers who turn it into a range of products, from paper to textiles and more.
However, the way we will use the term “hemp biomass” in this article is to refer to portions of the hemp plant that includes the flower or bud. This hemp biomass is typically priced by the pound and sold to hemp processing or extraction facilities that specialize in extracting CBD or CBG from the biomass.
Determine the Price of Your Hemp Biomass
You would never sell your truck or a piece of expensive farm equipment without having at least a ballpark idea of how much it was worth, right? The same goes for your hemp crop. Before you start looking for hemp biomass buyers, you need to understand how much your hemp is worth so that you can negotiate the best price for it.
Many factors will affect the value of your hemp biomass, but the major factor is the amount of CBD or CBG your hemp biomass contains. If you grow low-quality hemp plants with, say, less than 10% CBD, then you won’t be able to ask for a high price per pound. On the other hand, hemp biomass with a high percentage of CBD or CBG will be able to garner top dollar.
This is why it is so important to invest in hemp seeds with proven quality genetics. You’ll also want to have your hemp biomass tested, analyzed, and certified so you can show potential biomass buyers what they will be getting.
Pre-Selling Your Hemp Harvest
For many hemp farmers, it’s a good idea to try and pre-sell your hemp harvest before your crop is mature. In fact, it is in your best interest to have a secure contract in place before you ever put seed in the ground. Searching for biomass purchasers early will give you time to do your research on potential buyers, negotiate a fair price, and review the contract before signing. Alternatively, if you wait until your hemp is harvested, you’ll have a short window to unload your crop. You’ll also be competing with other farmers who weren’t able to pre-sell their crop. Biomass buyers will have the upper hand in negotiations.
At the same time, if you decide to pre-sell your crop, make sure you review the contract carefully. Your crop may have to meet certain CBD or CBG percentage standards to qualify for your agreed-upon price. You’ll want to understand what happens if you aren’t able to meet the terms of the contract. Will you get a lower price, or will the buyer be able to walk away?
Hire a Hemp Broker
Perhaps the easiest answer to the question of where to sell hemp is to use a hemp broker. A good hemp broker is someone who is highly knowledgeable of the hemp industry, has many contacts in the field, and is a great communicator. A licensed hemp broker will essentially connect you to a hemp biomass buyer and facilitate the sale of your crop.
In a best-case scenario, a hemp broker will find a buyer for your crop and negotiate a great rate for your hemp. In exchange, the broker will take a commission on the sale, typically around 10% of the sale, though rates can go much higher.
For some farmers, especially first-time hemp farmers without many contacts in the field, a hemp broker can be an excellent option, alleviating the need for a farmer to find and negotiate with a buyer on their own. The broker may also get a higher purchase price than a farmer could achieve on their own, helping to cover their fee.
However, working with a hemp broker might not be all it’s cracked up to be. First, a hemp broker’s commission can take a notable chunk out of your earnings, especially if your profit margins are thin. Next, for every great hemp broker, there are many less experienced and less scrupulous individuals hawking their services. So before signing on with a hemp broker, check their track record. Mediocre hemp brokers may not have good contacts or may cut the first deal they can find in order to earn a quick commission rather than negotiating for the best price possible.
Sell Directly to a Customer
Farmers who have a lot of contacts in the hemp field and want to earn more by cutting out the middleman may prefer to sell their hemp biomass directly to a customer, typically a processor or extractor. This will require more legwork and a willingness to spend time negotiating on your own behalf. It may also be a good idea to retain an attorney to review any contract you and your buyer draw up together.
Selling directly to a customer can help you maximize your profit, but it will also require more effort on your part. Certain hemp biomass buyers, especially wholesale hemp buyers, may be hesitant to work with a new and unproven farmer or a farmer without an adequate amount of biomass to sell.
Sign a Profit-Sharing Agreement
Farmers planting hemp for the first time may struggle with all the costs associated with switching to a new crop. High-quality hemp seeds aren’t cheap, and farmers may have to invest in new equipment, a new irrigation system, and more.
One way to mitigate all the startup costs of planting hemp is to sign a profit-sharing agreement with a biomass purchaser. With this agreement, the buyer covers the upfront costs of growing and harvesting the hemp. Those costs are then recouped through the profit of the crop, and the farmer and purchaser share the additional profits. A profit-sharing agreement may also appeal to farmers who want to quickly grow their hemp operation but don’t have the capital to expand at the pace they want.
It may take some work to find a buyer willing to put up the money for your hemp operation, but if you need fast capital, this could be the right option for you.
Hemp Futures Contracts
Farming always carries some degree of risk. One way farmers seek to mitigate that risk is to sign a futures contract with buyers. This contract is typically signed before a hemp crop is planted and specifies the price per pound the buyer agrees to pay for the crop. Usually, the price offered in a futures contract is less than what the farmer could get on the open market, but it offers the farmer both stability and predictability. Also, crop prices can fluctuate. If there is a glut in the market and crop prices fall, the futures contract can protect the farmer from a volatile market.
Just make sure you review the futures contract carefully and work with a company with a proven history in paying for their contracts.
Other Places to Find Hemp Buyers
These days, farmers may need to get creative when it comes to finding the right buyer for their hemp biomass. A younger generation of farmers are setting up social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn where they can connect with buyers and hemp brokers and begin building a valuable network within the industry.
Other farmers are experimenting with selling their hemp biomass through online marketplaces. Finally, some hemp farmers have found luck meeting buyers and brokers at newly emerging hemp tradeshows.
Do Your Homework on Your Buyer
No matter where you find your hemp biomass buyer, make sure to research them, review your contract carefully, and get your money before you put your biomass on a truck and send it off. The hemp biomass market is still new and, like any new market, there are people trying to take advantage of the unwary.
The hemp market is still maturing, but that doesn’t mean that there are not secure and reputable companies supporting the hemp supply chain. Let us help you navigate that path and don’t forget that a profitable hemp crop starts with high-quality seeds. Contact us today to learn more about our different hemp seed strains.
Now that it is harvest time, farmers are facing the question of how to sell their biomass. Read this blog to learn some hemp selling tips for farmers.