Expectations for the 2020 Hemp Growing Season

Just two weeks ago, we provided an Outlook for U.S. Hemp Production in 2020. However, new information suggests that growers may be pulling back this year, particularly in states with more mature hemp programs. This update will also incorporate some responses to a survey that Hemp Benchmarks circulated in April, requesting information on how the COVID-19 pandemic was impacting hemp businesses. More extensive coverage of the outlook for cultivation in 2020 and impacts of the coronavirus on the hemp industry can be found in our recently-published April Hemp Spot Price Index Report.

Hemp Cultivation Essential, Licensing Continues Relatively Smoothly

Some positive news in light of COVID-19 is that hemp cultivation has been considered an essential business by virtue of its status as federally-legal agriculture. Additionally, reports from state officials and farmers indicate that obtaining a license to grow hemp in 2020 has not been impacted by the pandemic and accompanying restrictions. Almost 90% of our survey respondents reported that they had not had any issues obtaining a license or registration for their hemp business as of early-mid April. (Almost 60% of respondents identified themselves as cultivators.)

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