Kentucky officials have approved the cultivation of over 12,000 acres of hemp for 2018.
In total the Kentucky Department of Agriculture approved 12,018 acres of industrial hemp for the year. The hemp will be used for research purposes.
The over 12,000 acres will be grown by 225 approved farmers. The number is up from the 209 farmers approved last year.
Of the 225 farmers, 185 stated that their focus will be research on floral material. 103 said their primary focus will be grain or seed research, and 66 said fiber research.
The 12,018 approved acres is far more than roughly 3,200 acres of hemp grown in 2017.
According to congressional research, the U.S. imports half a billion dollars in hemp each year from other countries despite the plant being illegal for farmers in the nation to grow themselves. The same research estimates the hemp market to consist of over 25,000 various products.