Vote Hemp released its 2018 U.S. Hemp Crop Report. The group, which is a grassroots hemp advocacy organization found that to date, forty-one states have defined industrial hemp as distinct and removed barriers to its production. These states are able to take immediate advantage of the industrial hemp research and pilot program provision, Section 7606 of the Farm Bill.
“We’ve seen hemp cultivation significantly expand in the U.S. in 2018, with over triple the number of acres planted in hemp compared to last year and the addition of 4 more states with hemp programs,” said Eric Steenstra, President of Vote Hemp.“Now that we have lifted federal prohibition on hemp farming, it’s time to invest our energy in expanding hemp cultivation and the market for hemp products across the country so that all can reap the benefits of this versatile, historic American crop.”
The 2018 Farm Bill, which was signed into law by the President in December removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act and moved the regulatory authority of hemp from the DOJ to the FDA. It also allows state departments of agriculture to submit hemp program plans for approval and regulate hemp cultivation per state specific programs.
Vote Hemp said that the number of acres of hemp grown across 23 states totaled 78,176 in 2018—more than triple the number of acres from the previous year. State licenses to cultivate hemp were issued to 3,544 farmers and researchers; and 40 universities conducted research on the crop, more than double the number of licenses issued in 2017.
The organization also noted that hemp is among the fastest-growing categories in the natural foods industry. The report stated that hemp seed is a rich source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids (EFAs), providing both SDA and GLA, highly-digestible protein, and naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E and iron. Advancements in hemp research and manufacturing demonstrate the remarkable versatility and product-potential for hemp.
To view the complete 2018 U.S. HempCrop Report, please visit: https://www.votehemp.