According to a study by the Hemp Industries Association, the 2014 market for hemp products sold in the U.S. had a total retail value of $620 million.
That number includes food and body care products, valued at $200 million, along with other popular items such as non-dairy milk, shelled seed, soaps and lotions, the trade association said.
Further, the $620 million is likely on the lower end of the actual value. The figures were derived from retailers, but don’t include outlets which did not provide data to the association. Retailers who did not participate included Whole Foods Market and Costco.
The biggest growth in hemp-related sales came at conventional retailers, where sales jumped by 27%. Sales at natural retailers grew by 16%, according to the HIA.
Hemp production is legal in fewer states than medical marijuana production and sales. Only 21 state are allowed to grow hemp under Section 7606 of the Farm Bill, the association said.
Missouri was the latest state to award hemp-growing licenses as part of a new law that allows epileptics to use processed non-psychoactive hemp oil to help control their seizures. No other medical ailments aside from epilepsy qualify patients for the hemp-based CBD oils in Missouri, so the business opportunities in the state remain extremely low.