US Hemp Industry Opportunity in Europe due to Trade Hurdles

industrial hemp

The U.S. Hemp Industry Opportunity in Europe 

The industrial hemp industry in North America has been emerging ever since the 2018 Farm Bill was passed by Congress.  The regulations that followed the passing of this bill by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have positioned the hemp industry for growth into an international market as well.

As regulations loosen, the hemp industry is expected to have a massive economic and environmental impact, both domestically and globally.

Now, you may be wondering where in the industrial marketplace is best for the hemp industry to expand?  If you’re ready to learn more about the hemp industry and the global trade opportunity for U.S. hemp processors, this blog is for you!

The history of Industrial Hemp in Europe

Did you know that approximately 25% of the world’s industrial hemp is grown in Europe, with over 20 countries participating in the cultivation of hemp?  

Europeans discovered that the potential uses of industrial hemp are endless, including it being utilized as shelter, clothing, and medicine. As well, many Europeans consider it a superfood.  For example, the Papa John’s pizza franchise has hemp seeds on their breadsticks in Europe, turning an unhealthy food into a superfood, or at least if you believe promotional materials.

Hemp cultivation in Europe has been on a steady incline due to its increased awareness, sustainability profile, multiple uses, and development.

U.S. Cannabis Processing Opportunities

Due to frustration and trade hurdles with Europe’s usual processing partner in China, there are potential emerging opportunities for oil and cannabis producers from the U.S. market to capture market share in the world’s biggest cultivation market.  The creation of production standards and other quality assurance certifications by the FDA may also play a role in the US hemp industry’s marketability to buyers in Europe.  

For the latest information on what’s allowed in the cultivation field, vs What’s allowed in the market due to the latest regulations relating to THC labels in crops, we encourage you to contact us.

Barriers to U.S. exports

It is very important to understand what is illegal and legal in each country, especially in France, which produces 40% of the continent’s industrial hemp.  This includes understanding all the regulations that apply to each member state, and the EU’s new Common Agriculture Policy.

Additionally, there are also specific standards that relate to various ports of entry across the supply chain.  Exporting hemp into Europe could also face quarantines at some ports of entry, due to various transportation regulations.

We can help you meet import and export standards related to importing, transportation, and logistics.

What does the U.S. industrial hemp industry have to do?

If the U.S. wants to capture a more significant market share, it will need to focus on developing regulatory certainty for hemp-derived products like CBD, seeds, edibles, and animal feed.

Additionally, the hemp industry will need to establish safety standards for hemp-derived products, because the European countries and their directorates will recognize the U.S.’s superior safety profile.

Between 2019 and 2020, the U.S exports of industrial hemp and hemp products increased from $310 million to $18 billion, and the market is expected to reach $21 billion by 2026! 

The U.S. market is set to become a massive player in the global hemp economy, with its $21 billion in exports making up about 25% of the projected $85 billion in hemp-derived exports traded globally by 2026. 

The U.S. hemp and hemp-derived products market will see an abundance of growth going forward, so long as government and state regulations stay on their current trajectory.  This is due to a variety of factors, such as U.S. regulations aligning with the EU’s agriculture policy, and the USDA investment into the Market Access Program for U.S. hemp exporters and international market position.

How we can help

Cannabis License Experts offers support from day one of starting your cannabis business, including strategic planning, floor plan preparation, site audits, SOPs, Preventive Control Plants (PCCs), importing or exporting cannabis, and more.

Our Edibles Compliance division can provide you with a solid plan for your edibles business, to help get your products on store shelves.

Contact us today to discover how we can license and legalize your cannabis business to meet federal or state regulations.


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