Kentucky-based CBD company Elemental Processing is suing HP Farms, which is based in Oregon, alleging that the company sold them 6 million hemp seeds that were mostly male instead of feminized as promised, the Oregonian reports. In the lawsuit, Elemental Processing claims that male seeds sell for less than a penny each whole feminized seeds cost at least $1 each because they produce cannabinoid-rich flowers.
The plaintiffs claim that the worthless hemp seeds ruined their 2019 crop and the male plants prevented the females from flowering, leading to $44 million in lost profits. Elemental paid $352,000 in advance for the seeds and agreed to pay another $3.5 million or 15 percent of the profits from the harvested plants’ flowers.
According to the report, the plaintiffs sold the seeds to farmers throughout Kentucky who “had no choice but to plow underneath” the plants, the lawsuit says. The farmers found out about the problem with the plants only after they had sprouted.
Oregon and Kentucky are among the national leaders in hemp crop cultivation. Last year, at least 50,000 acres of hemp were planted in Oregon, while Kentucky farmers registered 56,000 acres for hemp production — agriculture officials, however, do not yet know how many acres were actually used for hemp cultivation. In 2016, just 6,700 acres were planted after 16,100 acres were registered, according to agency statistics.
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