New findings show that U.S. hemp cultivation increases are at an all-time high and show no signs of slowing down.
Vote Hemp’s 2019 U.S. Hemp License Report shows that more than 500,000 acres of hemp have been licensed this year, a 476% increase from 2018. Nearly 17,000 researchers and farmers across 34 states received state licenses for U.S. hemp cultivation in 2019. An additional 13 states also have hemp programs this year.
However, Vote Hemp says that only about 230,000 acres will be planted in 2019. Only 60% of that will progress to harvest due to crop failure and failure to comply with state regulations. This is primarily due to lack of financing, access to seed or clones and general inexperience.
All hemp cultivation is still subject to the regulations of the 2018 Farm Bill. Hemp crops may not contain more than 0.3% THC by dry weight. The USDA is also working on regulations for hemp production that should be made available in the fall.
“It’s time to build the infrastructure and expand hemp cultivation and the market for hemp products across the country," said Eric Steenstra, president of Vote Hemp, in a statement.
The increased interest in hemp cultivation also leads to a need for more research. In June, Oregon State University unveiled the largest hemp research center in the U.S. This research center will include work in areas such as public policy, engineering and food innovation. There are currently 40 OSU faculty members who engage in hemp teaching, research and extension services.
“Our faculty are already recognized internationally as the go-to experts for hemp research,” said Alan Sams, Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences. “The launch of this center signifies our commitment to continue to build upon that established expertise.”
Lazarus Naturals and Hemp
Lazarus Naturals is proud to grow its own hemp on our farm in Central Oregon. Click here to learn more about Lazarus Farms from Evan Skandalis, our VP of Farm Operations.