Ever since the 2018 Farm Bill separated the definition of what is hemp from the concept of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the race to develop this new source of income has been accelerated beyond any forecasts. Investors looking to secure market share are now looking for the best states to grow hemp and establish their headquarters in the most ideal setting for their brands to blossom.
-In legal terms, hemp is currently defined as cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.) and derivatives of cannabis with extremely low concentrations of the psychoactive compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis)-
In a previous post, we listed the top 10 hemp growing states in the USA, but being the top growing state does not necessarily mean being the best state to grow, at least from a business standpoint. Colorado, for example, is the largest in terms of productive hemp acreage, despite having a climate that’s far from ideal for outdoor agriculture. However, industrial hemp overproduction and consequent price drops are now affecting Colorado’s hemp growers who budgeted at higher prices, lowering its overall business-appeal for interested hemp enthusiasts.
-Hemp is a low-maintenance crop able to flourish in many different environments. However, the plant favors better in mild climates with humid atmosphere/soil, and where rainfall is at least 25-30’’ per year-
Defining the ideal location for growing hemp requires analyzing several factors, some of which depend on the characteristics of the particular business model. Overlooking the specifics of each business, we have compiled a list of the top three states that we consider offer the best opportunity for newcomer hemp producers.
Regardless of lower hemp prices caused by overproduction, the rocky mountain state is undoubtedly the biggest player when it comes to opportunity for hemp growers. Colorado has more acres in production, more farmers growing, more processors extracting CBD, and more market opportunities for selling hemp than any other state. It’s no wonder why the nation’s largest industrial hemp farms, as well as the nation’s largest hemp processing plant, are both located in Colorado.
Oregon has a well-established network of hemp growers and processors, as well as a quality-control testing regime well ahead of any other state. Standing as one of the few states that allow the sale of all hemp plant products, Oregon provides farmers with a wide array of output for their hemp yields. This strong emphasis on top-quality production assurance lead Oregon State University to launch the Global Hemp Innovation Center, the largest hemp research organization in the U.S.
With a clear regulatory framework, simple registration procedures and a budget-friendly $500 application fee, the empire state’s recent history has profiled it as an attractive location for hemp production. Local legislation prohibits manufacturers of CBD products from using hemp that is not grown in New York, giving local hemp producers a huge benefit of accessing an exclusive captive market with a population of almost 20 million. New York is still far behind Oregon and Colorado in the total volume of hemp produced, but of the top 10 hemp states by acreage, only New York and North Carolina increased licensed acres and registered growers.
Local laws are constantly changing, making it difficult for industry professionals to pinpoint the best places to grow hemp in the U.S., but as it currently stands, there are many states that allow and even promote legal hemp cultivation, giving Americans plenty of choices on where to begin or continue their hemp-related ventures.