The hemp industry is a powerhouse larger than legal marijuana and on par with the craft beer market, according to a new report by research from Whitney Economics. Despite regulatory challenges, the hemp industry raked in an impressive $28.4 billion in sales in 2022, surpassing the combined sales of medical and adult-use cannabis.
This revelation might come as a shock, especially with the ongoing legalization of marijuana across many states. What’s even more impressive is that hemp-derived cannabinoid products like CBD matched the sales figures of the well-established craft beer industry, which also brought in $28.4 billion last year.
The impact of the hemp cannabinoid industry is not limited to its impressive sales numbers. The report highlights that the demand for hemp-derived cannabinoids also created jobs for 328,000 workers, earning a total of $13 billion in wages.
According to Whitney, the overall economic impact of the hemp-derived cannabinoid industry on the U.S. economy exceeds a staggering $79 billion, which itself is a conservative figure. States have also reaped the benefits, generating a collective $1.5 billion in tax revenue from hemp products alone in 2022.
However, the industry’s potential is hindered by the lack of federal regulations allowing the marketing of cannabinoid products as dietary supplements or food items. The report suggests that a more comprehensive federal regulatory structure is necessary to standardize cultivation, manufacturing, and retail operations.
This groundbreaking data underscores the enormous potential of the hemp industry. As consumers increasingly turn to hemp-derived products, policymakers and regulators must embrace a clear and supportive framework.
With greater clarity and federal backing, the hemp industry can experience further growth, bringing immense opportunities for growers, processors, and manufacturers.
Better yet, this can allow us to use hemp for a more sustainable future, thanks to its lack of reliance on pesticides and herbicides, fast growth rate, low water use, higher rate of CO2 absorption than most plants, versatile uses that range from construction material to food, and more.
Gleb is a freelance writer from Vancouver, Canada specializing in CBD and cannabis. He’s read thousands of studies on CBD and other supplements, helping him translate complex science into plain language. Gleb has tried and reviewed dozens of CBD brands and products, written third-party testing reports, and knows the CBD industry inside and out. When not writing, he likes to kickbox, travel, and tell everyone how awesome intermittent fasting is.