The current marketplace for hemp and potential for growth:
The future for industrial hemp in the United States figures to be extremely bright. With more states legalizing the study of industrial hemp and some authorizing the growth and commercialization, the market stands to grow even further. According to the Congressional Research Service’s report “Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity” (7/24/2013), hemp based products may already account for an estimated $500 million of products in the U.S. marketplace.
The product offerings currently include food, clothing, auto-parts, building materials, and other industrial products. Hemp product in the United States is imported due to the regulatory restrictions on growing industrial hemp. However, as the regulatory environment liberalizes and industrial hemp laws proliferate, United States hemp production will grow with it.
In early 2015, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) co-sponsored a bill that would allow the growth of industrial hemp in the United States and remove federal restrictions on cultivation. If passed, this piece of legislation would launch the framework for the United States commercial industrial hemp industry.
ATACH is now meeting the need for a trade industry association that will expand the leading edge of the market so the industry can flourish on a state-by-state level, legitimize all facets of the industry in the eyes of the public and lawmakers, and protect all aspects of the Cannabis trade.
The Promise of The American Trade Association of Cannabis and Hemp
The cannabis and hemp market in the United States offer much economic promise as states move to legalize the recreational and medical use of cannabis and ease regulation on industrial hemp. In a few short years, it is expected that this market will expand and penetrate every corner of the country.
Prior to the 2014 general election, only two states – Colorado and Washington – had laws on the books to legally engage in the trade of recreational cannabis. In the 2014 election cycle, referendums in Alaska (known as “Ballot Measure 2”) and Oregon (known as “Measure 91”) made the commercial sale of recreational marijuana legal in these states.
Additionally, voters in Washington, D.C. approved Initiative 71 by a large margin which decriminalized possession of marijuana and allows for personal cultivation of marijuana plants. In the upcoming session of Washington, D.C.’s council, the body will look to expand the laws on the books to allow for a legal recreational market. Any local adoption of this law will have national implications as final approval for any legalization effort in Washington, D.C. is controlled by Congress.
The Farm Bill of 2013 establishes that institutions of higher education and state departments of agriculture may grow and cultivate industrial hemp for research purposes. Currently, nineteen states (counts vary to due differences in regulation) have laws on the books to expand for the research of hemp and more are expected to follow quickly.
The prohibition of cannabis in the United States is being met by active legalization movements going on throughout the country. And, now that the market has expanded to two more additional states, businesses are quickly reading to enter these emerging markets.