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For Immediate Release
Friday, February 28, 2014

Lauren Stansbury 402-540-1208
lauren@votehemp.com

CONTACT: Eric Steenstra 703-729-2225
erics@thehia.org

2013 Annual Retail Sales for Hemp Products Exceeds $581 Million
Hemp Retail Market in U.S. Achieves 24% Growth in 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Hemp Industries Association (HIA), a non-profit trade association consisting of hundreds of hemp businesses, has released final estimates of the size of the 2013 U.S. retail market for hemp products. Data from market research supports an estimate of total retail sales of hemp food and body care products in the United States at $184 million. Sales of popular hemp items like non-dairy milk, shelled seed, soaps and lotions have continued to skyrocket against the backdrop of the new hemp research provision in the Farm Bill, and increasing grassroots pressure to allow hemp to be grown domestically on a commercial scale once again for U.S. processors and manufacturers. The HIA has also reviewed sales of clothing, paper, auto parts, building materials and various other products, and it estimates the total retail value of hemp products sold in the U.S. in 2013 to be at least $581 million.

The sales data on hemp foods and body care collected by market research firm SPINS, a leading information provider for the Natural and Specialty Products Industry, was obtained from natural and conventional food retailers, excluding Whole Foods Market, Costco and certain other key establishments, who do not provide sales data — and thus it underestimates actual sales by a factor of at least three. According to the SPINS data, combined U.S. hemp food and body care sales grew in the sampled stores by 24% or $11.89 million, over the previous year ending December 23, 2012 to a total of just over $61.4 million. According to SPINS figures, sales in conventional retailers grew by 26.5% in 2013, while sales in natural retailers grew by 22.4%. Indeed, the combined growth of hemp retail sales in the U.S. continues to steadily rise, as annual natural and conventional market percent growth has risen from 7.3% (2011), to 16.5% (2012), to 24% in 2013.

"The U.S. hemp food and body care market is booming and there is a scarcity of hemp seed materials in the market," says David Bronner, President of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, which uses hemp oil in its top-selling products. "The market is poised and ready for American hemp farmers and manufacturers, and the federal government needs to finally legalize this valuable crop, so we can take advantage of its economic opportunities."

"The HIA estimates the total retail value of all hemp products sold in the U.S. to be at least $581 million for 2013," says Eric Steenstra, Executive Director of the HIA. "As the hemp market grows and Canadian farmers increase their hemp acreage to meet demand, U.S. farmers' frustration at being shut out of the lucrative worldwide hemp market is catalyzing real movement throughout all levels of government to legalize industrial hemp," continues Steenstra.

Earlier this year, an amendment to allow industrial hemp research in states that have already passed legislation allowing hemp cultivation was passed as part of the Farm Bill. In addition to the Farm Bill amendment, two standalone industrial hemp bills have been introduced in the 113th Congress so far. H.R. 525, the "Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013," was introduced in the U.S. House on February 6, 2013. The companion bill, S. 359, was introduced in the U.S. Senate soon thereafter on February 14, 2013. The bills define industrial hemp, exclude it from the definition of "marihuana" in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), and give states the exclusive authority to regulate the growing and processing of the crop under state law. If passed, the bills would remove federal restrictions on the domestic cultivation of industrial hemp, defined as the non-drug oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis. The full text of the bills, as well as their status and co-sponsors, can also be found at http://VoteHemp.com/legislation.

To date, thirty-two states have introduced pro-hemp legislation and twenty have passed pro-hemp legislation. Ten states (California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia) have defined industrial hemp as distinct and removed barriers to its production. Three states (Hawaii, Kentucky and Maryland) have passed bills creating commissions or authorizing research. Nine states (California, Colorado, Illinois, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Vermont and Virginia) have passed resolutions. And eight states (Arkansas, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota and Vermont) have passed study bills. Kentucky and Colorado, among other states, have pilot programs underway to begin hemp research in the spring of 2014.

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The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) represents the interests of the hemp industry and encourages the research and development of new hemp products. More information about hemp's many uses and hemp advocacy may be found at www.TheHIA.org and www.VoteHemp.com. Video footage of hemp farming in other countries is available upon request by contacting Ryan Fletcher at 202-641-0277 or ryan@votehemp.com.

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