Competition was high in states where medical marijuana had been legalized — 33 states so far — and was building in the 11 states where recreational use has now been regulated and permitted through legislation.

With the removal of hemp from the federal controlled substance list thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, the increasing interest has turned into a frenzied chaos in regard to bids for state licensing.

In North Carolina, for example, More than 500 hemp growers are in competition for business, according to a study by NC State University. These growers are required to test their strains for THC concentration, ensuring it does not exceed the 0.3% permitted for hemp growth. Anything exceeding that level is considered marijuana, a substance still listed on the federal illegal substance list.

The regulations set in place by the legislation in each state provides businesses with some protection when it comes to federal prohibitions and also allows for more peace of mind in regard to daily operations, a situation not enjoyed by all businesses growing hemp or marijuana previously.

Various businesses in different states are moving forward with licenses in hand. In Nevada, for instance, a hemp handler license allows the named individual to receive hemp for processing. That hemp is used for products, seed, and commodities. Meanwhile, the licenses for nurseries and growth allow a specific amount of acreage — specified by the company and approved by the state — to permit the business to increase its capabilities as its facilities allow.

Some businesses focus on growth within the U.S., with a few even boasting distribution in 40 or more states currently. Meanwhile, other businesses are balancing their interests within the U.S. with international efforts, in a bid to capitalize both on the U.S. market, which is growing in leaps and bounds, and the international market in certain areas like Europe, which is also supposed to see significant growth in the five-year business and economic projections.

Within the U.S., the focus is split between providing marijuana products that help with medical conditions and alleviate pain and mental difficulties to helping alleviate pain in the pet population, providing businesses with numerous ways to divide attention and potentially conquer the new markets for exponential financial growth.