Published: October 2, 2019

Category: Hemp News, The Organic & Non-GMO Report Newsletter

Following the federal legalization of hemp through the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill, acres licensed for growing hemp have quadrupled from 2018.

“We are seeing hemp cultivation dramatically expand in the U.S. in 2019, with [quadrupled acres]…and the addition of 13 more states with hemp programs,” said Eric Steenstra, President of grassroots hemp advocacy group Vote Hemp.It’s time to build the infrastructure and expand hemp cultivation and the market for hemp products across the country so that all can reap the benefits of this versatile and sustainable crop.”

A 476% growth in hemp licenses—representing 511,442 acres in 34 states—doesn’t represent the number of acres actually planted, however. Obstacles to cultivation include access to seed, lack of financing, and inexperience. Hemp processor licenses increased 483% (to 2,880 licenses), primarily to fill market demand for extraction products.

The 2018 Farm Bill puts full federal regulatory authority of hemp with the USDA, allowing state agriculture departments to submit hemp program plans for approval, and to regulate cultivation. States with approved plans can begin regulating cultivation under Farm Bill provisions in 2020. The Farm Bill defines hemp as cannabis containing no more than 0.3% THC by dry weight.

Hemp is versatile, with potential as a nutritious food (seeds), as a battery component, and as a packaging, plastics, and building material.

Source: Vote Hemp

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