CALIFORNIA: U.S. hemp product sales are growing fast. The Hemp Industries Association (HIA; Summerland, CA) estimates 21.2% retail sales growth in 2014 for hemp food and body care products, putting the 2014 total at $200 million. If other hemp-based products are added to the mix—clothing, auto parts, building materials, etc.—the total 2014 U.S. retail market is even higher at $620 million.
In food and personal care, popular products like non-dairy milk, shelled seed, soaps, and lotions are driving growth. Loosening regulations around hemp agriculture are also helping to spur the market, including the 2014 Farm Bill that enables U.S. hemp growing for research purposes and the 2015-proposed Industrial Hemp Farming Act, which would allow U.S. growing for commercial use.
Sales of food and personal care have steadily trended upward: 7.3% (2011), 16.5% (2012), 24% (2013), and 21.2% (2014). Growth has been quicker in conventional channels (26.8%) than in natural channels (16.3%).
These numbers may even underestimate the market size. The association says that because its 2014 estimates from natural and conventional retailers exclude data from some key sellers like Whole Foods Market and Costco, actual total market sales may in fact be 2.5-times higher. (HIA’s sales estimates are supported by market researcher SPINS.)