The hemp industry is once again growing in the United States. Hemp has played a key part in this country's history and has experienced both its hard times and its days in the sun. And thankfully, we are starting to see the sun rise again on hemp in America.
One of the greatest and most well-known benefits of this new age of the hemp industry is CBD oil, a natural element from hemp that provides relief for many common ailments. As we start to see the hemp industry revitalize in the United States--especially in the natural health realm--you will start to notice that among all of the states that grow hemp for CBD, Kentucky is in the top ranks for hemp production.
While Kentucky is most commonly known for the Kentucky Derby, bourbon distilleries and fried chicken, one little known Kentucky fact is its rich history with hemp that goes back to the very beginning of our nation. Today, Kentucky is one of the top three states, alongside Colorado and Tennessee, that has the most acreage devoted to growing hemp.
We are proud to offer CBD products made from home-grown Kentucky hemp! You may be wondering what makes Kentucky hemp or Kentucky CBD different from other brands or oil harvested from other places. Here are a few reasons why Kentucky hemp and CBD are special and some of the best quality CBD you can get.
Kentucky Knows Their Way Around Hemp
Kentucky farmers have been growing hemp since the 1700s; Kentucky provided 75% of the hemp fiber that the country needed. This made Kentucky the greatest producer of hemp in the United States during the 19th and 20th centuries.
In his work Kentucky and the Adventures of Col. Daniel Boone, John Filson talked about how Kentucky had the ideal conditions for growing hemp, and the first hemp crop was planted near Danville, Kentucky. Central and Northern Kentucky's particular climate and soil are the perfect conditions for growing hemp.
U.S. Senator Henry Clay was considered a "hemp pioneer" and was famously known as the "strongest advocate" of Kentucky hemp. He grew hemp on his Kentucky estate Ashland (located in present-day Lexington, KY). He brought over a new hemp seed from Asia and even advocated before the Senate to require the Navy to exclusively use domestic hemp for ship's rigging.
Hemp production in Kentucky began to decline during the Civil War due to the booming cotton industry of the South. Some farmers continued to grow hemp but many began to search for a more marketable crop.
Kentucky hemp production climaxed in 1917 at 18,000 acres but soon started to decline, thanks to the economic climate change that came in the wake of World War I. Other sources of fiber started to be introduced into the market, and this hurt the hemp industry significantly. Between business tycoons of other industries lobbying to legally sabotage the hemp industry and marijuana sweeping over the border from Mexico, the overall hemp industry took a hard hit.
In 1970, federal policies were passed that virtually banned the production of industrial hemp, and Kentucky's long hemp heritage was interrupted for the next 54 years. But finally, in 2014, President Barack Obama signed the 2014 edition of the Farm Bill that began to see significant change in motion.
The Impact of the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills
Consumer demands for hemp products began to rise again in the early 90s, and Kentucky's governor Brereton Jones introduced a commission to investigate a legal pathway to reintroducing hemp cultivation.
In 2013, Kentucky passed Senate Bill 50, a state law that allowed the production of hemp for agricultural research purposes only. Shortly after, President Barack Obama signed the 2014 Farm Bill. Section 7606 of the act--Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research--differentiates between industrial hemp and marijuana and authorizes "institutions of higher education" or state departments of agriculture in states that have legalized hemp production to regulate and conduct research and pilot programs to learn more about the many different uses of hemp.
This allowed for Kentucky hemp farmers to start legally growing and cultivating top-quality hemp again. And while the 2014 Farm Bill took a step in the right direction, the 2018 Farm Bill is what really did amazing good for the hemp industry. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the production of industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity while also completely removing it from the list of controlled substances.
While this new law expands the potential for the hemp industry, the government made sure that the growth of hemp could not be done in an unregulated environment. There are very strict consequences laid out in the 2018 Farm Bill if farmers are not compliant with the requirements of the law.
A New Dawn for Kentucky Hemp and CBD
Kentucky is quickly becoming a leader in this new age of the hemp industry.
The state’s agriculture commissioner has approved 1,035 applications to produce up to 42,086 acres (17,000 hectares) of industrial hemp in 2019. Last year, 210 licensed growers planted more than 6,700 acres (2,700 hectares) when hemp was operating under stricter policies.
According to the Lexington Herald Leader, figures released by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture in early 2018 gave a peek into the hemp industry’s economic potential: Kentucky licensed processors paid Kentucky hemp growers $7.5 million for harvested hemp.
Kentucky licensed processors also reported $16.7 million in gross product sales and $25.6 million in capital improvements and investments. All of this was accomplished with a market-based approach and 3,271 acres of approved research plantings and greenhouse space. And Kentucky is looking to expand their hemp-growing acreage--and consequently the positive economic impact--to be even larger than that in the coming years.
With Kentucky hemp production back in full swing, the CBD that's being harvested in Kentucky is from some of the best hemp in the country. You'd be hard-pressed to find better quality CBD out there.