Hemp legalization set off a “gold rush” of hemp cultivation by enthusiastic growers across the country. Four years later, a significant number of hemp growers have left the business. And the amount of planted hemp acreage has dropped considerably.
The Farm Bill of 2018 legalized the growing of hemp in the United States for the first time since the 1970’s. Hemp and hemp seeds were taken off the Drug Enforcement Administration's schedule of controlled substances.
But despite the legalization, hemp growers are facing many challenges.
Those who are still at it are always adapting as the government considers regulations and farmers struggle to find processors.
As a researcher and a commercial agriculture administrator with the University of Illinois Extension, Phil Alberti advises hemp growers across Illinois. He sympathizes with the growers as they try to navigate the emerging hemp market and the evolving regulations.