Washington state may be known as the “Evergreen State” for more than just the towering emerald forests. In fact, this northwestern corner of the United States has been a trailblazer in the cannabis industry for growing, producing, and selling hemp derived products. It is no doubt that in 2019 Washington will continue to flourish with profitability and further growth opportunities.
According to HempGro, a Washington State hemp growers co-op partnered with the Western Australian hemp industry, last September, approximately nine tonnes of seed was planted with expectations of harvesting this upcoming March. Last year, the Washington co-operative licensed growers made an increase from 39 to 70 with hectares of planted land increasing from 77 to 193.
With the incredible opportunity for industry advancements, hemp infused products have seen tremendous progress in growth prospects and sales.
Similarly, Vasse Valley Hemp is a locally owned farm located in the Margret Valley wine region in Western Australia, specializing in strategically roasted hemp seed and hemp infused products. Vasse Valley has become Washington States first paddock-to-plate hemp business.
Bronwyn Blake, one of the owners of Vasse Valley Hemp and former chairmen of HempGro mentions that the industry has had significant advancements within the last twelve months.
“More people are starting to listen and understand the potential of hemp and the more people we have on our side, the faster we can grow to be a profitable industry,” she said.
The 2017 Australian New Zealand Code began to permit food sales of hemp seed derived food products with a THC content of up to one percent.
Similarly, the Washington States recent surge in growth can be attributed to the McGowan Government’s changes to the Industrial Hemp Act where THC, the psychoactive compound of the marijuana plant can now have THC up to one- percent.
Allowing for a higher THC content opens the door for a greater variety of hemp products that can hit the market in Washington State, specifically for use in food.
Agricultural Minister, Alannah MacTiernan has driven legislative transformations that will further drive the Cannabis market of Washington. She was recently appointed a full-time hemp policy officer by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.
Moreover, Washington State has allocated $200,000 in research grants to discover new variations of hemp that are suitable for Washington’s conditions and a variety of processing opportunities.
Potential opportunities include high-protein hemp grain for everything from textiles to food and beverages.