US (NV): After strong start, hemp growing trying to find footing

After immense growth in 2019, Nevada’s hemp industry is still searching for its footing amid the fallout from a change in federal law.

The number of certified growers in Nevada was cut nearly in half from 2019 to 2020, from 216 to 116, and the acreage of planted hemp fell by nearly 68 percent, down to roughly 1,600 acres, according to the Nevada Department of Agriculture. “It ain’t no get-rich-quick scheme anymore,” Pahrump hemp grower Jim McCoy said.

The federal government gave the industry a green light when it passed the 2018 farm bill and authorized widespread growth of the plant, and Nevada farmers moved quickly to tap into the booming market of products containing CBD, the nonintoxicating compound found in cannabis plants.

The number of hemp growers in Nevada, where the industry was already legal under a limited pilot program, jumped from 115 to 216 in one year, while the total acreage of hemp planted more than quadrupled from 2018 to 2019, from 1,128 acres to 4,917.


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