The number of farmers in Maine growing legal hemp has jumped dramatically since 2015, the year the state’s legislature approved hemp as a commercial crop.
According to the Portland Press Herald, only a quarter-acre of licensed hemp was grown in Maine in 2016. But since then interest in hemp has surged in the state’s agriculture sector.
The newspaper says the number of Maine farmers growing hemp has tripled since 2017, outpacing national crop numbers – with at least 888 acres of hemp production expected in the state this summer.
And about 80 farmers are expected to take part in Maine’s hemp production this year, compared to 31 licensed hemp growers in the state in 2017.