Applications for hemp cultivation and processing in Kentucky open November 15 after the agency approved 56,000 acres for hemp last season. Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said the state “continues to be the tip of the spear” on restoring the hemp crop.
“Challenges persist, ranging from federal uncertainty regarding cannabinol to banking and lending issues. Any business venture – especially in a new industry – carries risk, and the hemp industry is no exception. It is important that our growers and processors remain clear-eyed about the opportunities and challenges ahead of us in the years to come.” – Quarles, in a statement
According to agency figures, from 2018 to 2019 hemp cultivation acreage in the state grew more than three times – from 16,100 acres to 56,000 acres – after only seeing a 4,000-acre rise from 2017 to 2018. The Ag Department does not yet have numbers for how much of that 56,000 approved acreage was actually used for hemp but in 2016, just 6,700 of the approved 16,100 acres were used, with just 6,000 of those acres harvested. Of that, 61.5 percent was grown for CBD, 18 percent was used for used for grain or seed production, 14 percent was cultivated for a combination of grain and CBD, while 4 percent was used grown for fiber and 2.5 percent for grain and fiber.
The agency is holding a hemp summit for those interested in the industry on December 4 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.
The agency indicates that the hemp industry has created 281 new full-time jobs in the state last year and hemp processors paid growers about $17.75 million.
The application deadline is March 15, 2020.
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