Hemp cultivation for CBD extraction

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U.S. hemp cultivation plummets in 2022 and shifts to northern states

cbd, estados unidos, fda

Hemp cultivation in the United States was nearly halved by 2022, with more than 11,000 hectares devoted to growing the plant, slightly more than the area set aside for Christmas trees.

In other words, at 115 square kilometers, outdoor and indoor hemp cultivation in the U.S. would fit almost entirely on Hilton Head Island, the beach and golf resort area on the South Carolina coast. Or, for Disney fans, most of the country’s hemp could be grown in the 111 square miles of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Last year’s crops represent a 48% decrease in acreage from 2021, when U.S. farmers planted 22,055 hectares of indoor and outdoor hemp.

Hemp production has been declining due to a lack of clarity from the federal government on the regulation and use of hemp products, especially those containing CBD and other hemp-derived cannabinoids.

An analysis of 2022 U.S. Department of Agriculture hemp planting data also shows a northward shift, as southern states below the 37th parallel have all but abandoned cultivation altogether.

With fewer plants in the ground, the value of hemp production also declined dramatically in 2022.

In its National Hemp Report 2023 released in April, USDA valued total hemp production in 2022 at $238 million, down 71% from $824 million in 2021.

In contrast, retail sales of hemp-derived CBD products continue to grow.

CBD retail sales are expected to reach $4.5 billion in 2024, according to projections from Chicago-based Brightfield Analytical Group, published in the MJBiz Factbook 2023.

That figure could rise to $6 billion in 2024 if favorable guidance is received from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the next year.

Meanwhile, the FDA, USDA and Congress have offered little in the way of leadership for current and potential hemp producers.

In January, FDA said it would not regulate CBD-containing products because its existing regulatory frameworks were inadequate.

Instead, FDA asked Congress to tell it what to do.

Changes in hemp production.

While the industry awaits guidance, hemp cultivation is shifting to producers in states farther north, including Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Wisconsin.

The 22,055 acres of hemp grown in 2021 were spread across the country, with most states active, though some just barely.

But in 2022, farmers in states below the 37th parallel, including Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, mostly abandoned the crop.

“There have been cumulative problems that have been a detriment to the program,” Sully Sullivan, executive director of the Arizona Hemp Industry Trade Association, told MJBizDaily via email.

Among other factors, he cited market saturation, supply chain problems, lack of data on how to grow in Arizona’s dry climate and soil, as well as mandatory cutbacks in water use.

Source: MJBizDaily

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