The area used for hemp cultivation in the US is said to have increased to 78,176 acres in 2018 from only 25,713 acres in the previous year. This was according to the Vote Hemp report, an advocacy organization that deals mainly with hemp. It has also been found that the natural foods industry is among the fastest growing categories in hemp, which has been found to be rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, Vitamin E, iron, and more.
The Agricultural Act of 2018
The 2018 Agricultural Act also known as the Farm Bill has removed hemp from the list of Controlled Substances, which paved the way for the cultivation and production of commercial hemp in the US. Although marijuana and hemp are considered varieties of cannabis, hemp contains only 0.3% of the THC, which is the psychoactive compound responsible for making people high.
It’s clear that hemp cultivation has expanded a lot in the United States in 2018. Now that the federal prohibition on hemp farming has been lifted, it’s about time that growers and business owners expand the cultivation of hemp and increase the number of hemp products produced all over the country. That way, everyone can enjoy the benefits of this crop.
The Increase of Hemp Acres in 2018
Along with the increase of hemp acres in 2018, the total number of licenses issued for hemp cultivation all over the United States has also more than doubled. From only 1,456 licenses in 2017, the number of licenses issued this year has reached 3,546. More and more universities have also gotten involved with the research on hemp. In 2017, there were 32 universities that participated in hemp research and about 40 universities came up with research programs on hemp in 2018.
Aside from the significant increase of the acres of land used for hemp cultivation in the US, the top growing states have also changed. In 2017, it was Colorado that was considered the top growing state, having used more than 9,000 acres of land area. At that time, many people expected the state to be able to maintain its lead. However, an unexpected contender claimed the spot in 2018.
It’s definitely mind-blowing to think of how far the industry of hemp has grown since 2014. Since then, the country has gone from a total prohibition to more than 75,000 acres of hemp cultivation across the country.
It’s also worth noting the other states that have made a tremendous increase all throughout 2018. For instance, Pennsylvania increased to 580 acres from only 36 acres and Maine increased to 550 from only 30 acres in 2017. These figures are proof of the ongoing and inevitable success of the hemp industry. Although experts have long predicted a boom in the US hemp production, some reports comprehensively show the rapid growth of the hemp industry.