Does Kentucky (or any state for that matter) really have an edge in the industrial hemp market?
Could any one state circumvent federal hemp growing restrictions to capture the early innovator profit? This is particularly critical in establishing certified seed production, which is estimated to have the highest return.
The economic impact if Kentucky again becomes the main source for certified industrial hemp seed in the United States is estimated at 69 fulltime equivalent jobs and $1,300,000 in worker earnings.
The total economic impact in Kentucky, assuming one industrial hemp processing facility locating in Kentucky and selling certified seed to other growers, would be 303 full-time equivalent jobs and $6,700,000 in worker earnings.
If two processing facilities were established in Kentucky, industrial hemp would have an economic impact of 537 full-time equivalent jobs and $12,100,000 in worker earnings.
If one processing facility and one industrial hemp paper-pulp plant were established in Kentucky, industrial hemp would have an economic impact of 771 full-time equivalent jobs and $17,600,000 in worker earnings.
These economic impact estimates reflect possible outcomes for Kentucky given a national industrial hemp industry that is focused in specialty niche activities that have already been demonstrated to work in Europe.
It is important to remember, however, that technologies are under development that may allow industrial hemp products to compete in bulk commodity markets.
The economic impacts that would occur if these technologies were found to be commercially feasible would be substantially greater than those identified in this report.
GLOBAL OPERATIONS, LOCAL IMPLICATIONS
Valerie L. Vantreese
Ms. Vantreese is an economist with the Department of Agricultural Economics, College of
Agriculture, University of Kentucky. She can be reached at
Valerie L. Vantreese
406 Agricultural Engineering Building
Department of Agricultural Economics
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40546-0276
(859) 257-7272 Ext. 259