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It seems like not long ago, hemp was just starting out in the world and now it is becoming a fast-growing industry. A few decades ago, there wouldn’t be nearly as much coverage on the topic as there is now. But the use of hemp dates back to 8,000+ BCE where it was being used within pottery. With the recent realization that hemp is very useful, many countries have been joining the industry and others have been using it for centuries.

China has grown nearly 70 percent of the world’s hemp. In the year 300, dates back to the earliest records of its use. The plant has been used for the fibre and as survival food. Back in World War II, hemp saved a number of people from starving. The Chinese government has never restricted the use of hemp and has been supporting the growth of industrial hemp. In China, hemp is planted on an estimated 200,000 to 250,000 acres of land.

Canada’s hemp production increased between 2016 and 2017 by 80 percent. According to Health Canada, hemp production went from 75,000 acres to 140,000 acres. Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba primarily host many of the acres and most of the cultivation is for the hemp oils, hemp protein powders, and hulled hemp seed. Though Canada may not be in the top 5 for long due to the production of hemp being far greater than the demand from their people.

The United States of America recently had a massive expansion of hemp acreage last year. They’ve grown on a little over 78,000 acres and are planting in 23 different states. Their 2018 Farm Bill legalized the crop nationwide which means they could continue climbing the list now that the decades of prohibition are coming to an end.

France has been growing over 43,000 acres of hemp. They use the plant mainly for animal bedding, nautical applications, and textiles. When cotton was introduced, the hemp industry almost died out but in the 1960s it revived itself.

Since Chile has no laws against private consumption and cultivation, it thrives in the production of hemp. Though there are rules and regulations that make it illegal to consume in public and grow on an industrial level, Chile has held the record for highest per capita consumption throughout Latin America. The production of hemp has been primarily used for shipping and army support by using the seed oil production. Since the production is so informal in Chile, there are no exact figures to determine the acreage.