SOURCE: Thomas Ivory Jr for the NHA

The momentum of the industrial hemp movement is steadily increasing — gaining speed, in fact. As more people become aware and educated about the truth of industrial hemp, more hemp products are being sought. More final products being made inspires interest for farmers to grow the plant.

There are currently 361 active registered land areas. The total outdoor acreage registered at this time is 8,896. And the total indoor square feet is 1,191,294.

Jessica Quinn, Industrial Hemp Program administrative assistant for the Colorado Department of Agriculture

Duane Sinning, Colorado Department of Agriculture

Duane Sinning, Colorado Department of Agriculture

Last year, during the 2015 growing season, there were over 200 registrants, with 3,500 total outdoor acreage registered, about 2,000 acres under cultivation, and 500,000 total indoor square feet. In the first year of hemp cultivation in 2014, the total number of acres estimated to be grown were about 250 acres.

‘The industrial hemp industry continues to emerge in Colorado at record speeds,” wrote Duane Sinning, Industrial Hemp Program assistant director for the CDA. “We see this not only in the number of acres outside or square feet of inside space being registered but also in the transition to more traditional agricultural growing areas of the state, focus on the development of agronomic practices and equipment  and investors approaching the market now that were hesitant just a year ago. The state continues to lead the way as it takes advantage of our unique climatic conditions in the development of a CDA Approved Certified Seed program. Trial and production fields for the first CDA Approved Certified Seed are up and growing at this time.”

With the increase in farmers growing industrial hemp and the land area increasing so dramatically, more opportunities for new hemp products are emerging. The industry of hemp in Colorado is showing the huge potential for this crop. By the end of the harvest season this year we can expect to see substantial increases in both processing capacity and availability of a growing number of raw products made from Colorado hemp.