Section 7606 of the Farm Bill authorizes the production of industrial hemp for research and pilot program purposes. Currently 24 states have laws or statutes that have paved the way for industrial hemp production; however, only four states are in the South. Although previous research has suggested that there are 25,000 legal uses for industrial hemp, there is a lack of timely information regarding the political (social acceptability) and legal and economic feasibility of hemp production for Southern states. The purpose of this poster is to: 1) conduct an extensive literature review to summarize existing legal, political and economic considerations; and 2) identify the primary legal, political and economic challenges and opportunities for hemp production in the South. It is expected that this information will be helpful to policy makers, agricultural producers and the public by providing information about consumer acceptance, cost of production, best management practices and how the crop fits into crop rotations. As with many new industries, siting of processing locations will be a function of where the crop will be grown. Such regions are likely those where competition for land use is least. Such analyses are only possible with the types of information collected here.


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