Cannabis, The Country's 6th Most Valuable Crop The USDA Totally Ignores, New Leafly Harvest Report

Leafly Holdings, Inc. LFLY has issued its second annual Cannabis Harvest Report, which reveals that in some states, cannabis is consistently one of the highest-value crops in the field, though the federal government - even some state and local governments - do not track harvest amounts thus ignoring the value of the crop.

The Leafly Harvest Report calculates what the USDA (US Dept. of Agriculture) does not, for reasons best known to itself, making the report the only analysis of its kind. Over a period of three months, Leafly’s award-winning investigative team performed a synthesis of licensing reports with crop production totals, and sales and tax figures from the 15 states with operating cannabis markets.

USDA Does Not View Cannabis Farmers As Farmers

The report outlines the barriers America’s cannabis farmers continue to face due to federal prohibition. Farmers not only lack access to basic banking services and crop insurance, they also report trouble obtaining personal mortgages and car loans, due to the nature of their trade.

"Simply put, local and federal governments do not treat cannabis farmers like farmers. There is systematic discrimination at the local, state, and federal level. Adult-use cannabis is a top cash crop in states where it’s legal, but that song goes unsung," said David Downs, the report’s lead author and Leafly’s California bureau chief. "There is no federal cannabis policy other than prohibition and our reporting shows that each day’s delay punishes the smallest farmers the most. The American cannabis industry is fragmented but publishing otherwise unreported data can help illuminate pathways to an ideal industry."

Key findings from the 2022 Leafly Cannabis Harvest Report:

  • In 2022, adult-use cannabis farmers in the U.S. have legally grown approximately 2,834 metric tons of cannabis. For comparison, that amount is enough to fill 36 miles of dump trucks parked end to end.
  • Adult-use cannabis now supports more than 13,297 American farms, in 15 legal states with legal adult-use and medical cannabis markets
  • Cannabis prices are the highest in Alaska, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada
  • Marijuana is the No. 1 cash crop in Alaska, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, but regulators do not publish production totals in two of those states.

Recreational marijuana could be legal in half of the United States if the handful of states with cannabis on ballots this November pass them. And a recent Gallup poll found that 68 percent of Americans support adult-use cannabis legalization and 91 percent support medical cannabis. The plant, however, remains federally illegal and the cultivation of a single cannabis plant is a felony that can yield up to a five-year prison sentence and/or a fine of up to $250,000.

Read the report in full HERE.

Photo: Courtesy of GreenForce Staffing on Unsplash

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