American farmers are signing up to develop hemp in eye-popping numbers in this initial expanding season soon after the plant was federally legalized, with licensed acres up extra than 554% from final year, according to advocacy group Vote Hemp.

The Washington, DC-primarily based lobbying advocacy group released its annual U.S. Hemp Crop Report on Thursday.

The group reports 511,442 acres licensed in hemp this year, up from 78,176 acres final year. The figure consists of outside, indoor and greenhouse production, with indoor square footage converted to acreage.

Mainly because federal agriculture officials do not but track hemp acreage, Vote Hemp compiles its annual report by checking with each and every state. The group reports:

  • 46 states have laws permitting hemp production.
  • 34 states have licensed hemp cultivation.

The hemp expansion comes soon after the 2018 Farm Bill lifted limits on hemp production from analysis and academic production to any industrial use.

By comparison, the United States had roughly 91.7 million acres planted with corn in July, according to the U.S. Division of Agriculture. In Canada, exactly where hemp production has been legal given that 1998, farmers grew 77,800 acres of hemp in 2018, the most current figures obtainable, according to Wellness Canada.

Not all U.S. states track how numerous licensed hemp acres finish up becoming planted with hemp, nor how numerous acres finish up becoming harvested, producing it hard to estimate total U.S. hemp production.

Also, some states challenge hemp licenses on a rolling basis, which means that national licensed acreage adjustments month to month.

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