The business of hemp is booming. As of 2017, Canada was the top cultivator of hemp in the world, producing 137,000 acres, according to New Frontier Data. The year before, Canada was responsible for 82,200 acres of hemp, a strain of cannabis. Producing the second highest amount of hemp was China, planting 114,000 confirmed acres in 2017. This was up from 98,00 acres of hemp in 2016. France has also jumped into hemp production. They planted 42,100 acres in 2017 and 35,800 acres in 2016. Rounding out the top four was the U.S., with 25,700 acres of hemp in 2017 and 9,700 acres in 2016.
Though China is the No. 2 producer of hemp worldwide, marijuana remains taboo in the country, the Wall Street Journal reported on November 12. Marijuana is considered a serious drug, but interest in cannabidiol (CBD)—a chemical related to marijuana that lacks the psychoactive element—has led China to become one of the top CBD producers. In 2018, China was responsible for 11 percent of the worldwide CBD market, valued at $800 million, beating the U.S. and Europe, according to the Hemp Business Journal.