In 2014, a new farm bill opened up industrial hemp cultivation to state-controlled pilot programs. The following year,1,500 acres of hemp were planted in the US. Today, nearly 100 times that many acres of US farmland are covered in the stuff—146,000, according to new data from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Last year, hemp was planted in 18 states. Today that number has more than doubled, with 37 states planting industrial hemp, for a 350% increase over the acreage planted as of December 2018. And more of those states are going big on hemp. In 2018, just five states had over 1,000 acres of hemp planted, compared with 21 states today.