Takeaways from the 2022 Industrial Hemp Summit

Takeaways from the 2022 Industrial Hemp Summit

With another year of adjustments and uncertainty caused by COVID-19 and other global factors, the 2022 Industrial Hemp Summit gave industry professionals time to spend re-connecting with leaders across the hemp industry spectrum. 

This year's Industrial Hemp Summit was held at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center in the Research Triangle Park — and the knowledge shared and gained, along with turnout were excellent. 

Panelists included:

  • Bill Richmond - Chief, U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program, U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Jay Noller - Director, Global Hemp Innovation Center, Oregon State University
  • Claire Crunk - Founder, Trace FemCare
  • Rick Brown - Owner, Hempfinity 
  • Kelly Ann Flynn - Program Coordinator, Emerging Crops, Clemson University

USDA's Commitment to Hemp

William "Bill" Richmond, Chief of the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture ("USDA"), served as the keynote speaker at the opening of the conference. His commitment to the hemp industry was clear as he vowed to the continued growth and development of a viable domestic U.S. hemp production market. 

Recent data released by the USDA on the value of national hemp production in 2021 reveals that, despite challenges across the country, hemp remains a viable and valuable domestic crop.  In particular, the report indicated that in 2021, North Carolina remained in the top 10 states for both acres grown, and acres harvested of hemp.

Using the data, the USDA is keenly aware of the need for the industry to develop more specific, data-driven policies in the future.  It will continue to solicit both required reports under its Final Rule for Establishment of a Domestic Hemp Production Program and voluntary surveys and data production from the industry to help craft informed policies moving forward.

Hemp Trends and Developments

Cannabinoid and floral production continue to lead the way within the industry today. While the FDA is unlikely to create a regulatory pathway to market for hemp-derived cannabinoids in dietary supplements and/or food and beverage products — minor cannabinoids continue to drive market growth in this sector of the industry. 

The Summit addressed a clear divide seems to exist for many in the industry over the question of how intoxicating hemp-derived products, like Delta 8, Delta-9 THC, and other THC products, should be tested, treated, and regulated within the market.

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