Hemp is a versatile annual crop and, according to UVM research, is well adapted to Vermont’s climate. In 2018, federal laws established hemp as a regulated agricultural commodity. That year, United States hemp sales grew to $1.1 billion, dominated by cannabidiol (CBD), followed by personal care, food, and industrial products (e.g., building materials, textiles, bio-composites, etc.). From 2016-2018, the first Vermont farms and businesses that jumped in were rewarded with extraordinary prices for their high-CBD hemp. Market research shows the U.S. hemp industry will grow an estimated 19% from 2018-2022, however, as prices paid to producers continue to fluctuate, it is critical that Vermont’s hemp sector prepare for where prices are headed, look to the future, diversify, and innovate.
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