WASHINGTON, DC — Domestic hemp production increased dramatically from 2016 to 2017, according to data compiled by the advocacy organization Vote Hemp.
The group calculates that US farmers cultivated over 23,000 acres of hemp in 2017, up from fewer than 10,000 acres in 2016.
Under a 2014 federal law, states may license hemp cultivation as part of a university sponsored pilot program. Thirty-two universities in nineteen states – Colorado, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia – have participated in hemp cultivation projects this year, according to Vote Hemp.
Federal legislation is pending, House Bill 3530: The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017, to exclude cannabis strains under 0.3 percent THC from the federal definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act.
In August, the National Conference on State Legislatures unanimously approved a policy position in support of amending federal law to reclassify hemp as a distinct agricultural crop and permitting states to engage in its commercial cultivation.