Industrial Hemp Market to Hit $18.1 Billion in Five Years

A new report is expecting the industrial hemp industry to grow to $6.8 billion this year, and up to $18.1 billion by 2027.

Information collected in the “Global Hemp Market by Type” report from Research and Markets, which analyzed the numerous applications of hemp as a textile, food item, construction material, and more. The report projects that the next five years will see the industry’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.6%, suggesting that this percentage will rise because many other countries have legalized industrial hemp, or will do so in the near future.

The report also cites examples of hemp successes seen throughout this year. In terms of application, hemp meal was recently covered as an alternate method of feeding livestock. “Hempseed and hempseed cakes could be used as feed materials for all animal species, according to the scientific opinion of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel on Additives and Products or Substances Used in Animal Feed, with species-specific differences in the rate of inclusion in the diet,” a Research and Markets press release states. “Hemp oil, as a rich source of essential fatty acids, can be used as a supplement in animal feed, while hemp seeds and hempseed cakes can be used as a fat and protein source in animal diets.”

The report also explains that hemp bast fibers, which are made up of cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin and pectin, also offer many benefits for use in textiles. “The benefits of bast fibers include lighter product weight, lower energy consumption, and a smaller environmental footprint. Bast fibers can be spun and woven and are thus widely used in the textile industry,” Research and Markets states. “Furthermore, bast fibers are far stronger than cotton and do not mildew. Hemp bast fibers have exceptional properties such as strength, durability, and anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.”

In addition to an increase in legalization worldwide, the report also cites the increased use of hemp seed and oil in food items and a “rising incidence of Chronic Diseases” to be two main drivers contributing to the rise of hemp. Although, the lasting stigma against hemp and cannabis and some country’s restrictions on industrial hemp continue to hinder its growth.

Other hemp-based reports have also been published recently and anticipate a similar growth for the hemp industry. A report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) called “Commodities at a glance: Special issue on industrial hemp” that the global hemp market will reach $18.6 billion by 2027. According to UNCTAD economist and report author Marco Fugazza, hemp offers a lot of potential for both established and developing countries. “The growing hemp market offers significant economic opportunities that all countries can capitalize on,” Fugazza said. “As a renewable product, the opportunities are sustainable. This is extremely important as countries try to boost their economies while protecting the environment.”

The UNCTAD report recommends that “governments must clarify its legal status as a non-intoxicant.” Once this has been done, countries can begin to explore the many benefits that hemp plants offer. “Because of its versatility and its functional characteristics, the industrial hemp market holds vast potential in agriculture, textiles, recycling, automotive, furniture, food and beverages, paper, construction materials and personal care,” the UNCTAD report states. Additionally, hemp can be an effective part of crop rotation, which can help maximize the use of land and contribute to increased incomes for farmers.

Hemp for animals and livestock continues to be an argued topic. While hemp as animal feed could reduce stress in cattle, a recent research study showed that it found THC in the systems of cows who ate hemp feed. In September, the state of Idaho halted the sales of CBD pet supplements because “Safe levels of hemp and hemp-derived products in animal feed have not yet been established under federal or state law,” the State Department of Agriculture said.

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