As the CBD boom continues, farmers across the country are ditching their former crops in favor of something more chill: hemp.
According to US Department of Agriculture data, the amount of farmland planted with hemp quadrupled in the past year, Quartz reports.
Two words â€” decriminalization and demand.
First, the 2018 Farm Bill made hemp farming legal last year, allowing farmers to start producing hemp plants as long as they are less than 0.3% THC by dry weight.
Then, when the first CBD products appeared â€” mostly in pain-relieving wellness products â€” they were hugely successful.Â
Demand for CBD-infused everything soon followedâ€¦ Now, shoppers can buy CBD-infused fast food burgers (thanks, Carlâ€™s Jr.), tea, honey, beer, chocolate, dog treats, bath salts, deodorants, protein powders, hot sauce, coffee, gummy candy, shampoo, and face creamsâ€¦ and the list goes on.
But all that CBD comes from hempâ€¦Â
So farmers are scrambling to grow the newest, chillest cash crop. Even farmers who formerly had no interest in hemp are starting to grow it.Â
Why? Consider this: An acre of soybeans will make a farmer $500. An acre of hemp could make them as much as $30k.
For now, hemp farming may be a great deal for farmers. But regulators have yet to develop proper oversight practices, and some industry groups worry that hemp prices are still too volatile to take seriously.
â€śThe boom is coming mostly from word-of-mouth reports about hempâ€™s profitability,â€ť reports the Hemp Industry Daily.Â
For now, growth is poised to continue: Planting of industrial hemp increased 368% from 2018 to 2019, outpacing all other crops, and some big producers â€” like Ben & Jerryâ€™s â€” have expressed interest in buying CBD but are holding off until federal laws become more clear.
But if it turns out that the market for CBD dog treats isnâ€™t as big as itâ€™s being billed, the CBD boom could quickly go bust for the farmers who put all their hemp in one basketâ€¦