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An Overview of US Hemp Cultivation and Look at What is Next

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After years of deliberations in congress and the senate regarding the legalization of the hemp, it is now legal in the US. This came as welcome news to consumers and entrepreneurs alike who have been fighting for US hemp. Hemp was legal around the 18th to the 19th century until marijuana prohibition propaganda demonized it in the 20th century. Luckily, it is once again legal. This recent development has made the US a world leader in the hemp industry.

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Outside of US Hemp

Production in France

The EU’s largest hemp producer is France [4]. France grew nearly half of the 2016 hemp crop for all EU member nations. France’s hemp cultivation is geared toward fiber production. In neighboring Switzerland CBD hemp products have become extremely popular. These products have made their way into France, but face a murky legal status [2].

Production in Canada

Outside of US hemp, Canada is a major force in the hemp industry. Canada grew about 10 times more hemp than the United States in 2016 [4]. Until this year, hemp could only be grown for fiber and oilseed in Canada. Their CBD market is surprisingly less welcoming than the US market. In the US, CBD is openly retailed to the public. However, in Canada, a prescription is required and it is restricted to medical use [3].

US Hemp in Numbers

Year over year, hemp production is climbing in the US. Four times more US land was licensed for hemp cultivation in 2019 than in 2018 [1]. In 2019, a total of 16,877 state licenses to cultivate hemp were issued to farmers and researchers. That is 476% more cultivation licenses than in 2018, and 483% more hemp processing licenses than in 2018. In 2019, 455% more land cultivated for hemp in 2019 than in 2018.

US Hemp in 2020

The case may be that there are major changes to the US hemp market in 2020. The price of hemp is beginning to fall as supplies rise [5]. This may be because many US hemp farmers expected to get paid very well for hemp used in CBD production. That had been the case as the CBD industry was growing in popularity.

Much of the buzz around CBD has cooled off though. Since the CBD market is not growing, its need for hemp is also stagnating. In an ideal situation, demand will rise for industrial hemp products and farmers will switch to cultivating the strains that are more suited to that.

Likewise, the hemp industry faces an additional hurdle in 2020 with the Coronavirus-19 pandemic. Here are just some of the challenges that are expected [6]:

Only time will tell if 2020 will make the hemp industry stronger or bring it to its knees. Remember, there is more to hemp than CBD. You can help support the hemp industry by using other products made as well.


  1. Angell, T. (2019, September 5). Hemp Farming Quadrupled In The U.S. This Year, New Report Shows. Forbes. 
  2. Elzas, S. (2019, April 19). Is CBD legal in France? Maybe. RFI.
  3. Cannabidiol (CBD), and industrial hemp. (2018). Health Canada.
  4. Nichols, K. (2018, May). 4 Nations to Watch in the Hemp Market – Marijuana Business Magazine. Marijuana Business Magazine.
  5. Owram, K. (2020, January 26). Hemp Prices Plunge as CBD Demand Falls Short: Cannabis Weekly. Bloomberg.
  6. ‌Schaneman, B. (2020, April 13). How the coronavirus crisis has changed the shape of the cannabis industry. Marijuana Business Daily.
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