There are an estimated 25,000 products derived from industrial hemp, that fall into nine submarkets: agriculture, textiles, recycling, automotive, furniture, food and beverages, paper, construction materials, and personal care. Hemp can be grown as a fiber (the “stalk” of the crop), seed, or dual-purpose crop. The interior of the stalk has short woody fibers called hurds; the outer portion has long bast fibers.
The total retail value of hemp products sold in the U.S. in 2016 to be at least $688 million, which indicates a 20% growth over the 2015 retail value estimate of $573 million. It’s important to note with regard to the estimated market value of $688M that sales data on hemp food and body care products are likely significantly underestimated, as retailers such as Whole Foods, Costco and Alfalfa’s Market are not included in this market estimate. The Hemp Industries Association estimates an average of 15% annual growth in U.S. hemp retail sales during the 2010-2015 timeframe, with the majority of this annual growth attributed to hemp-based body products, supplements and foods. China is the largest importer of raw and processed hemp fiber into the U.S., with other imports coming from Romania, Hungary and India. Hemp seed and oil cake is predominately being imported from Canada, with significant growth recognized in the last several years.