World’s largest hemp auction underway off at the Williamson County Expo – WATE 6 On Your Side

World’s largest hemp auction underway off at the Williamson County Expo - WATE 6 On Your Side

Monday kicked off day one of what’s being called the largest hemp auction in the world.

At the Williamson County Expo in Franklin were buyers and sellers from across the country, with more than 100 farmers with 3 to 5 million pounds of hemp valued at anywhere from $10 – $30 million.

“It’s just a new industry, a new field, and it needs to find a price for a fair market,” said Mark Case, Founder and CEO of the auction.

Case said that need inspired the idea of a large-scale hemp auction.

When he added Tennessee’s robust hemp industry and farmer-friendly regulations, everything fell into place.

“There hasn’t been a good place to have a good competitive market for the farmer,” said Case. “Most of the time the middle man makes most of the money because brokers are shopping the farmers and shopping the end user.”

Farmer Ryan Rowlett drove from northeast Tennessee to sell about 2,500 pounds of his hemp.

“I’m excited there’s actually buyers here,” he said.

Rowlett said it’s been a tough year for producers to sell their product.

“Getting buyers in one centralized location, for farmers to meet and sell their stuff, rather than a farmer trying to find people across the country or in our state, it really makes it easier to come here and actually make money off of your crop,” he said.

Among the crowd were several observers, many from out of state.

“I wouldn’t have expected this to happen here,” said Tracy Price, a hemp grower from Michigan. “I would’ve expected it to happen in Colorado.”

Price explained her goal.

“Hopefully, an end user. To make sure my product is sold,” she said.

“What we hope to do is as we continue these auctions through this venue, is to help set a fair market price across the country,” said Case.

Every seller must provide proof of their growing permit, as well as a certificate of analysis.

For further vetting, there’s also on-site testing.

The auction ends on Thursday.

Tickets start around $13 dollars.

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