Montana hemp growers awarded$65 million for 'deceptive' deal

The civil judgement , the second -highest ever awarded in Montana, highlights volatility and growing pains in the CBD market.


November 29, 2023

Bryan Provost Montana hemp Bryan Provost stands in a field of hemp he grew.Provost was one of 25 plaintiffs involved in a lawsuit against a handful of companies that never paid for thousands of acres of hemp they agreed to buy from northeastern Montana farmers. Credit: Courtesy of Ross Johnson

Hemp, a crop that largely flew under the radar in Montana when it was planted under a pilot program three years ago, is now central to one of the largest civil awards in the state's history. A jury in Wolf Point last month awarded 25 eastern Montana farmers $65 million in compensatory and punitive damages, finding that a handful of Canadian and American businessmen had committed negligence, fraud and deceit in failing to fulfill contracts, leaving the crops unpaid for and languishing in fields. The award brings into focus the volatility associated with the emerging market for CBD, a compoun...

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