H.P. Farms, an Oregon seed supplier, is being sued by a Kentucky hemp farm for allegedly failing to provide female seeds over the course of their deal. The damages being claimed sum to $44 million. The suit was filed in Multonomah County Circuit Court, the Oregonian reports. Elemental Processing, the Kentucky based CBD company, purchased 6 million seeds from H.P. Farms. They paid the going price of female seeds, $1 each in the hopes of having a large female crop that would produce the flowers used to harvest CBD extracts. Male seeds cannot be used for CBD production and are worth less than a penny each.
This mishap led to the plaintiff claiming that their 2019 crop was ruined. Male plants not only do not produce flowers themselves but prevent female plants from flowering. The lost profit is where the $44 million comes in. The farm purchased the seeds for an advance of $352,000 and agreed to pay 15% of the profits or $3.5 after the flowers from the plants were harvested.
The seeds were distributed to farmers throughout Kentucky. The problem wasn’t discovered until the plants sprouted this spring. Many farmers, short on choices for uses of the crop, simply plowed the plants back into the soil.
Both Kentucky and Oregon are top growers of hemp crops. Oregon planted over 50,000 acres last year. Kentucky registered 56,000 acres to produce hemp. However, the numbers aren’t in as to how many were planted with hemp and produced anything. The numbers are undoubtedly much lower.
In 2016 16,100 acres were registered for hemp cultivation in Kentucky, but only 6,700 acres were planted.