The latest hemp industry report by ResearchAndMarkets suggests that the global industrial hemp market is expected to grow from $6.8 billion in 2022 to $18.1 billion by 2027, recording a compound annual growth rate of 21.6%, according to a press release.
Growing acceptance of hemp as an agricultural crop was listed as one of the major contributors to the market’s growth, as well as increased awareness of the crop’s nutrient-rich profile and benefits for human health. Hemp is also the most readily available source of legal cannabinoids as many countries allow hemp farming but not the cultivation (or possession/use) of cannabis.
The crop also contains essential fatty acids from hemp seeds and hemp seed oil, which increases its use in the food and beverages industry, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products, the release said. Another hemp industry byproduct includes hemp meal, which is a high-fiber, -fat, and -protein feedstuff used in animal agriculture that could substitute for soybean meal in many livestock diets.
Hurdles for the burgeoning industrial hemp industry include complex regulations that can vary dramatically between nations, as well as ongoing stigmas against hemp for its associations with its psychoactive counterpart, cannabis.
Additionally, the report highlights other challenges which farmers will need to confront, including a lack of suitable seeds for industrial hemp cultivation and a lack of specialized hemp processing facilities and farming equipment.
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