Kentucky’s hemp program resulted in a harvest covering just 33 acres in 2014.
This year, it’ll be 1,742 acres – a massive increase fueled by new investor interest, according to a Kentucky TV station.
The growth comes as the state’s hemp program attracts serious investors, including Andy Graves, the CEO of Atalo Holdings. Graves has pledged $1.5 million towards the Kentucky hemp industry and is getting behind hemp-based oil and food products.
Graves’ investment alone will be responsible for around 550 acres of hemp processing. He’s just one of 121 participants and companies getting involved with the program this year, according to Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer.
The hemp comeback in Kentucky began last year with the backing of the federal government. It’s part of an overall push by conservatives who are looking to reinvigorate the local agricultural industry – even though the state had to fight with the Drug Enforcement Administration over a confiscated bag of hemp seeds imported from Italy.