By Anthony Martinelli

size of the U.S. retail market for hemp products for 2015.

According to the report, there was $573 million in hemp products sold throughout the United States in 2015: This is, of course, despite the cultivation of hemp remaining illegal.

Of the $573 million, $283 million came from hemp food, supplements and body care products. Textiles constituted $95 million of this total, industrial hemp products (such as car parts) made of $116 million of the total number, and in regards to hemp derived CBD products, there was roughly $65 million sold. Other consumer products such as paper and construction materials accounted for the remaining 2% of the market.

The sales data on hemp foods and body care, collected by market research firm SPINS, was obtained from natural and conventional retailers, excluding Whole Foods Market, Costco and certain other key establishments, who do not provide sales data — and thus it significantly underestimates actual sales. According to the SPINS data, combined U.S. hemp food and body care sales grew in the sampled stores by 10.4% or $9,269,376, over the previous year ending December 31, 2015 to a total of just over $89,183,460. According to SPINS figures, sales in conventional retailers grew by 11.25% in 2015, while sales in natural retailers grew by 9.43%. Indeed, the combined growth of hemp retail sales in the U.S. continues steadily: annual natural and conventional market percent growth has progressed from 7.3% (2011), to 16.5% (2012), to 24% (2013), 21.2% (2014), to 10.4% in 2015.

“The HIA estimates the total retail value of all hemp products sold in the U.S. to be at least $573 million for 2015,” says Eric Steenstra, Executive Director of the HIA. “To date, 28 states have passed legislation that allows hemp farming per provisions set forth in the 2014 Farm Bill, and new businesses representing all industrial fields from foods to car manufacturing are looking to American farmers to meet the growing demand for hemp. Entrepreneurs, manufacturers, farmers, consumers are all on board to expand the hemp market. We need Congress to pass federal legislation to allow commercial hemp farming nationally, for this ripe industry to finally be able to bloom,” continues Steenstra.

The HIA has calculated that approximately 3,997 acres of hemp crops were planted in 7 states during 2015 in the U.S.

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