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Why Hemp Could Be the Next Big Cash Crop

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In an interesting development across the US, the growth of hemp is becoming increasingly popular. This is in light of the increasing number of states that are legalizing the use of hemp. In 2017 alone, there was a 163% increase in acreage. The percentage might not mean much until you realize that it’s more than 25,000 acres of hemp grown in only 19 states. As more states have recently become more welcoming to the growth of hemp and with the speculation around hemp, it’s only obvious that more people will be interested, meaning that more acreage will be made available for growth.

According to experts, by the year 2022, the sales of hemp products could surpass the $2 billion mark. This is almost three times the current sales level. To get a better understanding of these figures, perhaps we should have a look at some of the states that are making the biggest contribution to this market.

Top States with the Most Hemp Acreage in the US

More licenses were issued in 2017 than 2016, no less than 1450 licenses, which means that a lot more people have started understanding and appreciating the benefits of using hemp as their cash crop. At least 32 universities currently have research labs for hemp projects.

  1. New York

The official state hemp website indicates that the NY Governor is taking steps to encourage the production of hemp in the state, allowing educational facilities to harvest hemp. New York has at least 2,000 acres for growing hemp.

One of the reasons why there was an increase in the hemp acreage in New York was the removal of the limit in the number of sites that could grow hemp, allowing more businesses and farmers to start growing the plant.

  1. North Dakota

North Dakota has at least 3,000 acres for growing hemp. However, in this state, you need to hold a special license to grow hemp, either as part of an academic or agricultural research program under the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, or any institution of higher learning, or you can obtain an annual registration from the DEA.

  1. Kentucky

Kentucky has dedicated more than 3,200 acres to hemp. This is one of the leading states in the country where hemp is grown. It’s worth noting that in 2016, Kentucky only had around 2,500 acres for growing hemp.

  1. Oregon

The state of Oregon has similar laws regarding the growth of hemp as Kentucky and New York. With slightly more than 3,400 acres under hemp growth, you have to apply for a special license to be allowed to grow hemp. The licenses are quite expensive though, costing at least $1,300.

  1. Colorado

With more than 9,700 acres dedicated to growing hemp right now, Colorado seems to be the hemp capital of the country. In 2016, Colorado had around 5,900 acres, and was still the largest producer of all the states, almost doubling their acreage a year later. This is not surprising, however, given that Colorado was one of the first states that legalized the use of cannabis.

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