Passage of the 2018 Farm Bill sparked both sharp nationwide increases in licensing and explosive sales growth for 2019.
The issuance of U.S. hemp-cultivation licenses saw a year-over-year, nationwide increase of 364% (from 3,546 in 2018 to 16,462 in 2019).
Small family farms’ entry to the space drove licensing booms in some states, while other states saw the arrival of Big Agriculture interests in their markets.
In 2019, Tennessee led the trend with 3,200 new licenses, marking more than a 13x increase over its 226 in 2018. Conversely, Montana’s comparatively low 277 licenses in 2019 represent nearly 40,000 acres, averaging a Big Ag-style footprint of more than 144 acres apiece.
Traditional hemp states Colorado, Kentucky, and Oregon continue to lead in cultivation as the nation overall shows a projected 225,000 acres harvested in 2019, more than a 180% increase beyond 78,176 in 2018.