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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced last week that it will launch a weekly newsletter to promote the country’s nascent hemp industry by providing “unbiased, timely and accurate data” on hemp. The agency released the first edition of the National Hemp Report via its Agricultural Marketing Service in tandem with the announcement.
In a press release, USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffit stated that the USDA had seen the industry’s need for “timely market information.” She explained that the National Hemp Report would provide hemp industry stakeholders with weekly volume and price information to help them make good business decisions based on timely and accurate data.
The report, which is free and publicly available, covers weekly retail prices for hemp products along with hemp import volumes and weekly and yearly values of hemp imports into the United States. The publication is the first USDA market report dedicated to the hemp market. The USDA said that it would expand the report over time to incorporate additional market information.
Hemp became legal in the country after federal lawmakers approved the 2018 Farm Bill, removing hemp from the Controlled Substances Act and classifying it as an agricultural product. The legislation defined hemp as cannabis with less than 0.3% THC (the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana) and allowed farmers across the country to cultivate the plant under state and tribal programs.
In the years since legalization, America’s hemp industry has swiftly grown to a valuation of $1.3 billion in 2022 despite limited standardized policies and “patchwork regulations.” The new newsletter is a clear sign that federal regulators are taking a keener interest in the young hemp industry.
The report was released just a week after the USDA sent thousands of hemp farmers surveys as part of a yearly drive to learn more about the hemp industry’s evolution since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the cultivation, distribution and sale of industrial hemp and its derivatives. This annual survey drive began in 2021 when the USDA asked a whopping 20,000 hemp farmers across the country to provide insight into the growing hemp market before releasing a report on its findings in 2022.
One year before the launch of the annual surveys, the USDA said that it would distribute a different survey nationally to collect data that could provide insight into how it would regulate the hemp industry. The USDA launched the survey in partnership with the University of Kentucky and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture to learn about marketing practices, production practices and current production costs in the hemp market.
The growth of the hemp and marijuana industries has several trickle-down effects, such as boosting the demand for the products made by allied manufacturers such as Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX) that demand a thriving indoor cultivation segment to stay afloat.
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