Starting at the beginning of the month, Leafly released its first-national agricultural report. For cannabis, the extensive data distinguishes us as, not a community of anecdotal statements but, a verifiable and empirical information source. The first Cannabis Harvest Report found that cannabis is the fifth largest crop in the US. Cannabis is led by corn, soybeans, hay, and wheat; topping the textile industry completely. Cannabis leads even cotton; but still, it’s not the country’s first choice in textiles yet.
Leafly released the annual report that found more than 13,042 farms in America support cannabis. The report goes on to explain that cannabis is ranked number one in value in Alaska, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Oregon. Ironically enough, except California, these are all states that legalized medical fairly early on. This may seem like more of the same; but, you should care because this is empirical data proving cannabis’ growth. For the first time, the US Department of Agriculture is being presented with verifiable information about cannabis farming and the massive support that it has across the country.
PROVEN CANNABIS SCIENCE
In the press release from Leafly, they further explained the process of the study. They interviewed over 20 farmers to back up their claims. The facts presented were still beyond what they could’ve imagined.
“The Leafly Cannabis Harvest Report is an unprecedented national accounting of cannabis as a crop—and what we found was astounding,” said David Downs, the report’s lead author and Leafly’s California Bureau Chief. “America’s adult-use wholesale cannabis crop returned a mind-boggling $6.175 billion to farmers last year, ranking it as the 5th most valuable crop in the United States. Yet, due to federal prohibition, America does not treat cannabis farmers like farmers. They are subject to more state and federal taxes, regulations, and stigma than any other type of farmer. These barriers hurt small legacy farmers the most. This plant is helping generate wealth, employment, and community investment around the country, and our legislators need to recognize the opportunity cannabis presents for Americans—today.”-New Leafly Report: Cannabis is America’s 5th Most Valuable Crop
Despite all of this, the US Department of Agriculture excludes cannabis data from their findings. As it’s still a Schedule I substance, federal agencies don’t acknowledge the industry, despite its strides. The NIDA’s formal letter to Congress may find a use for the Cannabis Harvest Reports as it would show demand for better research with no restrictions. More and more pressure for Congress to change its tune is cropping up; maybe cannabis, researchers, and scientists alike have finally had enough.