Economic Viability of Industrial Hemp in the United States: A Review of State Pilot Programs

What is the Issue?
After a hiatus of almost 45 years, the Agricultural Act of 2014, Public Law 113-79 (the 2014 Farm Bill) reintroduced industrial hemp production in the United States through State pilot programs. Beginning in 2014, States with laws that allowed growth or cultivation of industrial hemp could establish a pilot program or conduct research on the crop. Production beyond the pilot programs was legalized in the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, Public Law 115-334 (the 2018 Farm Bill). This study documents outcomes and lessons learned from the State pilot programs and examines legal, agronomic, and economic challenges that may affect the transition from the pilot programs to economically viable commercial production.

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