Hemp growers continue to increase in the US amid booming industry

By @chelean on
weed nun, hemp
California "weed nun" Christine Meeusen, 57, who goes by the name Sister Kate (R), Desiree Calderon, who goes by the name Sister Freya (L), and India Delgado, who goes by the name Sister Eevee, pour CBD salve made from hemp at Sisters of the Valley near Merced, California, U.S., April 18, 2017. Picture taken April 18, 2017. Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

The production of hemp in the United States’ farmlands surged in 2017 amid the widening approval for the use of hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) in the state-level.

From the market year 2016 to 2017, the top 10 hemp-growing states saw their acreage licensed for hemp cultivation soar by 140 percent while hemp producers doubled during the period, according to the Marijuana Business Daily.

“The many uses for industrial hemp and its by-products have prompted more traditional farmers to embrace hemp as a way to hedge against lower-value crops like cotton or alfalfa,” the report noted.

Although widely used for industrial purposes, hemp planting is a crime under federal laws because it belongs to the cannabis sativa species. Cannabis is categorised as a Schedule 1 narcotic under the Controlled Substances Act or Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. The law allows hemp cultivation only in states where a hemp program is established.

The states of Oregon, Tennessee, and Vermont each saw the number of its hemp producers more than tripled in 2017 while Minnesota, New York and North Dakota’s hemp farmers surged 533 percent, 425 percent and 600 percent, respectively.

The average number of acres licensed for hemp production was 374 in 2016; in 2017, average hemp production acres stood at 1,787—a 377 percent increase. This growth is seen to expand further with the addition of more players that are emerging as early as now.

One of these is New York-based HempAmericana Inc. (OTCMKTS:HMPQ), which is currently engaged in the manufacture of rolling papers and CBD oil through the brand name Rolling Thunders and Weed Got Oil, respectively.

The firm recently has applied a certain property to be part of Maine’s licensed land for hemp cultivation. HempAmericana is set to close its acquisition of a property in Augusta, Maine, which will be tailored to yield “genetically superior CBD-rich hemp stock.” These permits will allow the company to go full scale with its CBD oil production this quarter as it is moving toward verticalisation, dominating the market in the eastern US, and producing top-line quality CBD products.

The company plans to establish three laboratories for the extraction and research of the oils from the hemp plant. These new plants will feature HempAmericana’s next-generation processing system that will enable the production of a 99 percent pure CBD oil concentrate.

“The CBD Oil market is really the place to be,” HempAmericana CEO Salvador Rosillo said. “Tremendous growth is underway, and we are now finally in a position to position ourselves as market leaders in purity, potency and yield.”

Cannabis research firm Brightfield Group said the US market for hemp-derived CBD stood at $291 million in 2017 and will grow by sixfold to US$1.65 billion (AU$2.13 billion) by 2021. These figures show the potential profits investors could make from a bullish hemp industry.

The legalisation of cannabis in more states in the US is paving the way for the hemp market to further accelerate. Companies like HempAmericana that have innovative solutions and high-quality products are well-positioned to reap the benefits as early as now.

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