Since the industry's inception, hemp harvest has been on a downward plunge. It appears that this year the industry will experience a shrinkage of about 46%. This data is from a report that was recently released by Colorado-based exchange- PanXchange. It was first reported by Hemp Today.
The sharp drop has been attributed to reduced demand for CBD. Up to 75% of the CBD that is being produced is being channeled towards the creation of delta-8 and delta-9 products, whose legality is in the gray.
In 2021, close to 36,925 acres of hemp were cultivated in the US. This year, only a mere 20,000 acres is expected to be harvested. This includes the following:
- Hemp flowers: 6,400- 6,800
- Hemp fiber: 8,200- 9,100
- Hemp grain: 4,800- 5,000
The smaller harvests are expected to help the industry deplete previous reserves and manage the “oversupply” situation that has plagued the industry since inception. From 2019, cultivators have been forced to retain most, if not all, of their supply due to an overproduction. In 2019, 500, 000 acres of hemp were cultivated but only 120,000 acres were harvested for use. This happened due to a crash in the global CBD market. The prices of hemp biomass have also plummeted significantly, causing several hemp growers to go bust and retreat from the industry. According to PanXchange's Vice president for Business Development Seth Boone, “Poor conditions and contract prices have resulted in poor follow-through.”
Hemp was legalized in the US when the 2018 Farm Bill, which adopted the Cannabis Act, was passed. Hemp cultivation, through pilot programs at the state level, had however begun in 2014. Hemp apparently has over 500,000 potential uses in the medical, industrial, cosmetic, and food supplement industries. Hemp use in creating bioplastics and building materials (hempcrete) appears to be very promising. But for now, there seems to be more disappointment and less optimism in the industry.