American farmers are signing up to grow hemp in eye-popping numbers in this first growing season after the plant was federally legalized, with licensed acres up more than 554% from last year, according to advocacy group Vote Hemp.
The Washington, DC-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 last year. The figure includes outdoor, indoor and greenhouse production, with indoor square footage converted to acreage.
By comparison, the United States had roughly 91.7 million acres planted with corn in July, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In Canada, where hemp production has been legal since 1998, farmers grew 77,800 acres of hemp in 2018, the most recent figures available, according to Health Canada.
Also, some states issue hemp licenses on a rolling basis, meaning that national licensed acreage changes month to month.
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