The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill has resulted in a green rush in the state of Colorado. Those that are in this business better be prepared for the burgeoning industry. The Federal Farm Bill seeks to legalize hemp, a move that hemp advocates call as “long overdue.” This move aims to exclude hemp, which has a negligible amount of the psychoactive THC, from the list of controlled substances. Instead, hemp will be regulated by the Dept. of Agriculture.
Increasing the Production of Hemp Crops
The enthusiasm of hemp growers can be seen in the increasing number of new hemp crops that were registered with the state’s Dept. of Agriculture. This year, the number of registrations has already doubled compared to the previous year. Registrations for more than a thousand acre of land are still waiting for approval at the Colorado Dept. of Agriculture.
It’s expected that by the end of 2019, the Department will approve about 50,000 acres of land area for hemp cultivation. As of the moment, there are 31,670 acres of land that are dedicated to the crop in the state. This is a huge increase from the mere 1,811 acres in 2014 when the first batch of hemp crops was grown.
Farm Bill Triggered a Nationwide Market
The 2018 Farm Bill has opened doors to a hemp rally since it removed the crop from the controlled substance category, where its close cousin marijuana belongs. Because of the approval of the bill, hemp is now acknowledged legally as a form commodity similar to other crops such as soybeans, wheat, and corn. This means that growers are now eligible to apply for crop insurance and farm loans just like other farmers. In fact, they can now market hemp in other states as well!
Colorado is set to take advantage of the new legal status of hemp. The state has already been recognized as the leader in the hemp industry and is the only state that runs a breeding program for the crop.
The new growth that resulted from the passing of the Farm Bill may be tempered this year due to the fact that some growers are in a “wait and see” mode. The state’s Dept. of Agriculture is yet to issue the standards for hemp. With the current shutdown of the federal government, these regulations might take a while.
CBD Demand is Not Slowing
There’s an increasing demand for CBD, the non-psychoactive component of hemp that has been the go-to supplement of people for many years. It’s CBD that’s the biggest driver of demand for hemp not only in Colorado but in some other states as well.
According to industry experts, the national sales of CBD are set to reach an estimated $1.2 billion in the upcoming year. In the next few years, a third of the profit from CBD is expected to come from a CBD pharmaceutical drug that’s the first-ever CBD drug that the FDA will approve.