Increases in State-Issued Hemp Licenses

  • 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.