California Remains Leader in Hemp Production

Stephen Andrews
28 Mar 2024

It’s a fact that California is the world’s biggest cannabis market. This not only includes abundant cultivation of THC-rich flower, but also hemp. A new report looks at the figures of hemp flower acreage and production for the year 2022, giving a more precise picture of California’s hemp market magnitude.

More than 11 million pounds of hemp flower was produced in the U.S. in 2022, according to the federal Department of Agriculture.

Hemp was cultivated at 1,800 American farms covering an area of around 10,500 acres. A substantial portion of those farms are found in California, which continues to be the national leader in hemp cultivation and production. 

Hemp farms in California’s Central Valley produce around 20% of all US grown floral hemp, or hemp cultivated for CBD, according to an MjBizDaily analysis of the recent Census of Agriculture report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

However, the single biggest producer at county-level is Alameda County, which harvested a total of 5.5 million pounds of Californian hemp in 2022. 

California Produces More Than Half of All U.S. Hemp Flower

The Golden State cultivated as much as 56% of all American hemp flower for the year 2022. The figure encompasses hemp used to process CBD and other cannabinoids, as well as hemp-derived THC. 

The USDA survey does not only track hemp flower, but also cultivation for hemp fiber, grain and seed. The numbers show that hemp farms for flower are more widespread than growing for any other form of hemp. 

Hemp plantations are located across all of the state of California, but the most significant part of the 6.3 million pounds of hemp flower produced in the state in 2022, came from three counties alone. 

Alameda County, which spans the east bay of the San Francisco Bay Area, yielded more hemp than any other county in the U.S. for that year. 

Outside California, Saguache County in Colorado ranks third in terms of floral hemp production. Almost 80% of all Colorado hemp comes from Saguache County, where 360,000 pounds of hemp flower were cultivated in 2022. 

Another prominent producer is Jackson County, Oregon, a region that borders with California. This county produces around 200,000 pounds of hemp every year.  

Per states, if California is the number one producer of U.S. hemp, second is Kentucky. In 2022, the Bluegrass State cultivated 16% of the all American hemp flower. 

The USDA first started surveying hemp cultivation in 2021. Its 2022 census is the first report that shows state-level and county-level data for hemp production. 

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Stephen Andrews