CENTRAL POINT, Ore.--Hemp is becoming increasingly popular across the Rogue Valley, and the owner of Focus Hemp Co, Michael Zaccaria, says it may even be threatening other industries and companies across the country.
"Hemp is a new boom in America and there's a lot of people doing really well and a lot of farmers are transitioning from their past agricultural crop of cannabis to hemp," says Zaccaria, "Hemp is the next industrial revolution of America."
Zaccaria works with farmers in the Rogue Valley to process their hemp into products. These farms hire seasonal workers in June, the planting season, and in September and October, the harvesting season. Adam Harris owns Vesica Ventures Hemp Farm and says he hires over 40 seasonal workers to harvest in the fall. As more and more hemp farms pop up, more seasonal jobs will too.
"In Oregon from 2018 to 2019 it was 1,100% increase in acreage and it's roughly somewhere about 5,000 registered hemp acres from Grants Pass down to Ashland," says Harris.
According to the Department of Agriculture, licenses to grow hemp in Oregon more than doubled in number from 2017 to 2018.