The Hemp Business Is Booming (Infographic) Looking for a new business idea? Take a look at the hemp industry.

By Rose Leadem

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Rick Proctor | Unsplash

As recreational and medical marijuana slowly becomes legal in states across the country, the business of hemp is also booming. In 2017, $820 million worth of legal hemp products were sold in the United States alone. Given this number, it's clear that there's a demand for hemp and businesses are popping up everywhere to serve it.

Related: Need a Business Idea? Here are 55

Just last year, hemp was grown in 19 states, covering nearly 26,000 acres of land, 1,456 licenses were issued to grow hemp and 32 U.S. universities were conducting hemp-related research. People are using hemp in CBD products, personal care items and even food because it provides a number of health benefits. In food, hemp can help with digestion, reduce risk of heart disease, improve skin conditions including acne and eczema and reduce menstrual symptoms in women.

Related: How This Investor Blazed a Path to Success in the Cannabis Industry

While hemp might seem like a new phenomenon, its history dates back to the 1600s when growing hemp was encouraged for use in sails, ropes and clothing. However, in the 1900s, hemp was frowned upon by the government: in 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act banned hemp and marijuana cultivation. Yet, it wasn't before long that industries realized the crop's benefits: In the 1940s, the government launched its "Hemp for Victory" program encouraging farmers to grow hemp to contribute to the war efforts and to be used in ropes, parachutes and other necessities. However, after the war, the laws went back to banning hemp. But in 2014 the U.S. Farm Bill was passed, allowing people to cultivate hemp as long as they registered and received a license.

Related: 5 Reasons Why Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Are Essential in the Cannabis Industry Business

Today, like marijuana, hemp laws vary by state. But with its growing popularity, it's likely hemp will become legal in more states -- and businesses are capitalizing off the opportunity. To learn more, check out Popular CBD Brand's infographic below.

Hemp-oil

Rose Leadem is a freelance writer for Entrepreneur.com. 

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