Takeaways From The 2022 Industrial Hemp Summit

Takeaways From The 2022 Industrial Hemp Summit
CANNANNEW REPORT

10 March 2022 by Erica B. E. Rogers , Tyler J. Russell and Amy Wooten Ward and Smith, P.A. Ward and Smith’s Hemp and Cannabis Law attorneys recently attended the fifth annual Industrial Hemp Summit. After another year of adjustments and uncertainty caused by COVID-19 and other global factors, it was refreshing to attend the event in person again and to spend time re-connecting with businesses and thought leaders from across the hemp industry spectrum. Breaking from past tradition, this year’s Industrial Hemp Summit was held at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center in the Research Triangle Park. But the core principles of the event itself were still the same, and the quality of the event, the venue, the information shared and gained, and the individuals in attendance were excellent. USDA’s Commitment to Hemp William “Bill” Richmond, Chief of the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”), served as the keynote speaker at the opening of the conference. It is clear that he and his staff are committed to the continued growth and development of a viable domestic U.S. hemp production market. North Carolina is one of the few states and Indian tribes to transition into a USDA-controlled hemp production program, with that transition taking effect on January 1, 2022. And  recent data released by the USDA on the value of national hemp production in 2021 reveals that, despite challenges across the country, hemp remains a viable and valuable domestic crop. In particular, that report indicates that in 2021, North Carolina remained in the top 10 states for both acres grown and acres harvested of hemp. North Carolina remains an attractive marketplace for the industry, despite challenges over the last few years. It will be interesting to see how North Carolina’s transition to a USDA-led hemp production program will impact those numbers in future reports. The USDA…

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