Kentucky authorized hemp cultivation in 2013. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) is conducting an Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program as authorized by KRS 260.850-260.869, and 7 U.S.C.§ 5940 (also known as Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill). The state requires separate licenses for cultivation and processing hemp. Each license costs $400 per address for growers and $500-$3,000 for processors.

Even though Kentucky allows seed and fiber production, almost all the hemp growers are growing plants for CBD extraction.

Kentucky hemp market growers report that the market is promising:

  • $50 or more per pound of dried hemp flowers or buds for use in CBD oil extraction. As in other states, the material prices vary widely based on CBD content.
  • About $0.9 per pound for hemp seeds intended to be pressed for seed oil.

Kentucky’s State Plan was submitted and approved by USDA in 2021.

Though Kentucky authorized about 12,800 acres for hemp in 2017 and 12,018 acres in 2018, the Vote Hemp reported that only 3,271 acres and 6,700 acres of hemp were grown correspondingly. In 2019 there were about 26,500 acres dedicated to hemp in the state according to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, while 32,000 acres and 4.6 million square feet of greenhouse space have been licensed for 2020. According to a search of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture database, there were 970 growers and 170 processors in 2020 comparing to 978 and 200 correspondingly in 2019. Production Reports revealed that licensed hemp processors paid Kentucky growers $51.3 million in 2019, up from 17.75 million in 2018 and $7.5 million in 2017. The licensed processors and handlers also reported gross product sales of $193.9 million for 2019 compared with $57.75 million in 2018.

In 2021 the amount of approved acreage significantly declined as a result of oversupply and market correction across the industry and totaled 11,500 acres with about 1,800 acres planted. There were 450 growers and 140 processors/handlers registered in the state.

In 2022, this trend has continued with the state granting licenses to 240 growers and 93 processors and about 5,530 acres approved for hemp cultivation with 1,300 planted. 87% of the land was used to grow hemp for CBD, 10% for fiber production, and 3% for grain or seeds.

Kentucky Hemp Industry Infographics

'70% ready to go' business plan templates

Our hemp/CBD financial models and business plan templates will help you estimate how much it costs to start and operate your own hemp/CBD business, to build all revenue and cost line-items monthly over a flexible seven year period, and then summarize the monthly results into quarters and years for an easy view into the various time periods. We also offer investor pitch deck templates.

Best Selling Templates