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Demand For Hemp, CBD Oil Could Lead To Christmas Tree Shortage

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - North Texans are starting to think about purchasing that Christmas tree, but those who sell them advise prospective buyers not to think about it too long.

 "If you love Christmas trees, then the key is to come early, so that you can get first dibs," said John Patton of Patton Christmas Trees.  "Especially the people who like to get big trees... the biggest shortage are on the trees that are 8 to 9 feet and above."

Those who are in the habit of buying their trees early to beat the rush should be in good shape.

"Originally, the grower said, 'sounds good, John... we'll get you your entire order... and then, as we got closer to November, they all of a sudden started saying, 'look, we just don't have enough trees to fill everybody's order'," said Patton.

Christmas tree lot
Christmas tree lot in Dallas (Robbie Owens - CBS 11)

Patton says out-of-state growers are being tempted by faster-growing, more profitable crops like hemp, which is used to make CBD oil.

"Because, if you're a farmer, why not grow carrots, or hemp or hazelnuts, which are much easier, quicker turnaround and it's not as big as an investment," said Patton.

Patton said he takes pride in the hand-picked quality of his trees, but retail reality is that the best of the lot will go quickly.

"No doubt we will sell out," he said. "One of the biggest wholesalers in all of Texas, guy named Bill Clem, he said his order was cut by almost 30% this year."

The calendar this year may also be encouraging people to start early with tree-buying and decorating as Thanksgiving starts later than normal this year.

Some want to get their trees up before Thanksgiving so they have more time to enjoy them.


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