Tags Posts tagged with "Crop"

Crop

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California was already known as a major cannabis producer well before it legalized recreational marijuana in November. The state’s marijuana crop is not only the most profitable product in the nation’s biggest agricultural state, it is much farther ahead of the next most popular crop, according to the Orange County Register. California’s mild climate made Central Valley the breadbasket of the world at one time and provided the United States with fruits and vegetables that grew in very few other places. However, the biggest crop in California’s assorted bounty is currently marijuana.

The Orange County Register places the value of California’s marijuana crop above the top five best agricultural goods combined using data from the State Department of Food and Agriculture: Marijuana at $23.3 billion, Milk at $6.28 billion, Almonds at $5.33 billion, Grapes at $4.95 billion, Cattle/Calves at $3.39 billion, and Lettuce at $2.25 billion. The figure of $23.3 billion for the marijuana crop is almost three times what Arcview Market Research predicted that California’s legal market would be after legalization of recreational marijuana.

According to the California Protected Area Database, the total area of protected land in California is 49 million acres, which is a large amount for the most populous state in the country. This includes 1.3 million acres of state park land and more than 20 million acres of national forest.

California marijuana producers are clearly growing billions of dollars worth of pot in these areas that are not being accounted for by the state’s legal market. However, with most of the marijuana on the U.S. market coming from California, as Alternet pointed out, the phenomenon of growing on protected land won’t stop until people in states like New York and Florida can grow their own.

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Those who wish to legalize industrial hemp highlight that the plant has the possibility of generating a ton of revenue for U.S. cultivators, making the best out of this country’s economy and agricultural industry. Although legalizing marijuana is more controversial, the industrial hemp activism is more important for the United States as a whole, especially from an economic standpoint. Now, let’s take a look at four economic predictions by those who have been researching industrial hemp:

Great for farmers
U.S. consumers buy $500 million of hemp products per year. The products, which are brought in from other countries, consist of health and beauty products, clothing, food, as well as sundry environmentally safe consumables. If cultivators in the United States were given the ability to grow industrial hemp, all those dollars would be a part of the American economy rather than to the economies of other countries.

2. More Jobs
Industrial hemp would likely create jobs in an industry where they are heavily needed. Agrarian economies took the largest impact in the recession over the last couple of years, and many regions still have not bounced back from the loss of jobs. If industrial hemp were allowed, there would be a stable agrarian economy in rural areas that would provide jobs for many.

3. Keeping Cash in the U.S.
Hemp is going to be a growing industry for a long time. In 2011, the United States brought it $11.5 million in raw hemp material in order to make goods. This is four times the market value that was brought in just a decade ago. More and more products are being made from raw hemp materials. As a result, hemp imports will become increasingly expensive until we begin to grow our own hemp.

4. Profit
The market outlook for industrial hemp is positive, according to economists from the USDA and various land grant universities. They have been studying the possibilities for hemp in various states and discovered that outlook is positive everywhere. Of course, there would be ups and downs, but overall, hemp is an evidently profitable plant.

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