Is Hemp Farming Legal in All Fifty States?

As a business involved in the production, cultivation, or sale of hemp or CBD, it’s important to know the laws and regulations around your business. Although the 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized the production and cultivation of industrial hemp, the ease in which farmers can actually farm hemp depends on the state. Many states are still ironing out the details of their hemp and CBD laws, primarily through Industrial Hemp Pilot Programs.

Where Can I Farm My Hemp?

The ability to farm hemp varies wildly throughout the United States. Although it’s legal in each state, many states require applications, hefty licensing fees, and/or lengthy waiting periods. Some states have only a certain amount of approvals they hand out at a time, greatly limiting the amount of hemp farmers that can operate in the state. Still other states have relatively lower barriers to entry — especially those states that have had legal hemp production for years.

States with the Most Hemp Farming

After the 2018 Farm Bill, acreage of hemp farms in the United States more than quadrupled. The number is growing every day, but there are some particular states that are leading the pack in hemp acreage:

  • Colorado: Colorado has more than 20,000 acres. It’s no surprise, as Colorado is one of the most hemp, CBD, and marijuana-friendly states. Hemp Depot is proud to farm more than 1,300 of those total acres.
  • Kentucky: Kentucky has had legal hemp farming since 2014. For many years, Kentucky was the number one hemp producer. As of 2019, Kentucky has more than 50,000 approved hemp farming acres.
  • Montana: Montana’s Industrial Hemp Pilot Program saw over 20,000 acres of hemp farming in 2018.
  • Oregon: There are around 50,000 acres of hemp farms in Oregon, with more being planted each year. This is a significant increase from previous years. In 2015, there were only a little over 100 acres of hemp farming land.

States with the Most Red Tape

Despite legality, hemp farmers run into issues in certain states. Some of these states include:

  • Hawaii: Hawaii has very strict hemp legislation. Just this year, over half of the hemp crop grown had to be destroyed due to high amounts of THC.
  • Idaho: There are some very opinionated government officials in Idaho who strongly disagree with the farming and sale of hemp. Some farmers and consumers have had their hemp confiscated in Idaho.
  • Massachusetts: Although hemp farmers are allowed to farm in Massachusetts, there’s a state ban on CBD products. This greatly impacts the sale of hemp farmers.
  • New Hampshire: New Hampshire has no state program for hemp farming.
  • South Dakota: Some South Dakota officials are heavily opposed to hemp legalization and are doing their best to prevent production in their state.
  • Mississippi: Mississippi has an Industrial Hemp Pilot Program, but it suffers from funding constraints. While most Industrial Hemp Pilot Programs in America will see farmers harvesting their crop in 2020, Mississippi is moving significantly slower.
  • Washington, D.C.: Practicality is probably what limits hemp farming in Washington, D.C., as there’s very little room for it. There’s no legislation in D.C. regarding hemp.

Hemp Farming is Just Beginning

There are a number of states still near the infancy of their Industrial Hemp Pilot Programs. While some states have been enjoying several harvests, others will be reaping their first in 2020. Still others are lagging behind, either due to anti-hemp officials or lack of funding. Either way, many states are still ironing out the details of their state program, working closely along academic researchers. As 2020 nears, we’ll be seeing much more about hemp farming.

Get More Information

Whether you’re looking to start hemp farming or are interested in other ways to grow your business, Hemp Depot can help. As a seed to label CBD provider and wholesaler, we love to share our expertise with our clients. To talk about your business or to purchase products, please contact us.

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