As the legal U.S. hemp industry begins to take shape, consolidation is already a factor in the marketplace. With the 2018 Farm Bill at its back, the market is expected to consolidate more rapidly than even the warp-speed movement in the cannabis space; hemp farmers and business owners would do well to watch this trend carefully.
RE Botanicals and Palmetto Harmony have agreed to a merger, creating a vertically integrated, USDA certified-organic business right at the moment that hemp-derived CBD products are intersecting with mainstream (and cannabinoid-curious) consumers in America. For founders John Roulac (RE Botanicals) and Janel Ralph (Palmetto Harmony), the merger accelerates each business’s goals and further develops the supply chain.
Courtesy of RE Botanicals
Janel Ralph and John Roulac.
Roulac and Ralph met at a Victory for Hemp party following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. They immediately bonded over their shared perspectives on organic cultivation and the emerging hemp market.
“We have the same views on everything in the industry—and where the industry needs to go,” Ralph says. “I think the two brands really align well together. It gives us the opportunity to bring two high-quality product brands to the market and bring it to the market with a much larger reach, too. … In any industry, if it’s this competitive and this new, the most important thing you can do is bring in a value-add partner.”
Ralph formed Palmetto Harmony in 2015. Her daughter, Harmony, had been diagnosed with lissencephaly. This brain disease causes intractable epilepsy. Ralph set out to find a solution. Her research led her to CBD, and she soon learned that a hemp marketplacewas forming separate from the burgeoning cannabis industry in the U.S. But, living in South Carolina, she found that it would be easier to make hemp-derived CBD products