Support and Invest in the Growing Industrial Hemp Economy


There is tremendous potential in the hemp industry, with new jobs in agriculture, processing, manufacturing, marketing, and more. Research shows that hemp industry jobs are higher-paying[1] than those in mainstream agriculture (and even higher when they’re unionized[2]). Globally, hemp is a booming industry producing for markets such as car manufacturing.[3] Hemp has significant environmental benefits, including as an alternative to fossil fuel-based plastics, building materials, fabric and textiles, and paper.[4] Hemp has also been shown to successfully suppress weed growth when used as a cover crop.[5]

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State Policy Priorities

  • Expand the window for federally regulated THC concentration testing.
  • Address equity issues in hemp production and support funding for feasibility studies.

State Examples

  • California is in the process of updating state regulations (in line with the USDA) governing the time frame for hemp THC testing, increasing the time farmers have to test their hemp before harvest from 15 to 30 days, allowing for more flexibility and reducing.[10] This rule change is also in line with the USDA interim final rule published in early 2021 allowing for 30 days between testing and harvest.
  • There is an opportunity for state legislatures to direct funding for production feasibility studies for their hemp industry. States like Colorado that take the bold first steps to invest in growing and processing hemp could see great returns on investment and become national leaders in a rapidly growing sector.[11]

[10] California Regulatory Notice Register 2021, Volume Number 39-Z Accessed via: on Jan 24, 2022.

[11] Colorado Department of Agriculture. 2021, Colorado Hemp Advancement & Management Plan C.H.A.M.P.,


Inspired? Ready to dig in on these issues with your rural neighbors? Our practical communications toolkits will help you connect with new communities through common values. The toolkits provide examples on narrative framing, press release templates, sample talking points, and more. 

Click here for the communications toolkit on Investing in Sustainable Rural Development.

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