Industrial Hemp Production vs. Marijuana Real Estate: What is the Difference?

December 28, 2023   |   Farm & Nurseries
row of plants in marijuana nursery

Industrial hemp and marijuana vary in many different ways including visual appearance, growing conditions, and chemical composition.

If you're interested in cannabis and marijuana real estate, you might be wondering about the differences between industrial hemp and marijuana. Although they belong to the same cannabis species, industrial hemp and marijuana differ significantly in terms of their visual appearance, environment, and chemical composition.

Whether you are interested in investing in hemp or investing in marijuana real estate, it is crucial to understand those industry differences as well as how to find Florida farmland with capable production.

Distinguishing Hemp from Marijuana

Visual Appearance

The easiest way to tell the difference between hemp and marijuana is by their visual appearance. Marijuana plants are short and bushy, with broad leaves and dense buds. In contrast, Hemp plants grow tall and skinny with skinnier leaves. When placed side by side, the difference is clear.

Environment: Growing Conditions

Marijuana and hemp also have different growing conditions. Marijuana plants require warm and humid conditions to thrive, and they need plenty of space between each plant, typically six feet apart.

Hemp, on the other hand, can be grown in a variety of conditions while being able to grow as close as four inches apart. Hemp also takes longer to grow, around 108-120 days compared to 60-90 days for marijuana.

Chemical Composition: THC and CBD

The chemical composition of the two plants is perhaps the most significant difference. While marijuana contains high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), Hemp contains fairly low levels of the cannabinoid. THC is the psychoactive component of the plant species that produces that "high" when the plant is inhaled.

THC levels in marijuana can range from 15% to 40% whereas Hemp will contain less than 0.3%. Instead of THC, Hemp has high levels of cannabidiol (CBD), which makes the plant better suited for industrial uses.

Finding Farmland for Hemp Production

For many years, it was illegal to grow either species in Florida, but the 2018 Farm Bill changed that. With this piece of legislation, growing hemp is now an option. If you're interested in becoming involved in hemp production, you'll need to find farmland that's suitable for growing the plant species.

Identifying capable farmland involves finding land with the right soil, drainage, and water supply. Interested parties will also need to obtain the necessary permits and licenses to grow hemp in Florida.

If you have any questions about finding farmland for hemp production and other real estate opportunities in Florida, contact one of SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler's land advisors today. With years of farmland sales experience within the real estate market, the firm’s advisors offer various services in site relocation, land management, and business brokerage.

Contact Our Hemp Specialists

About SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler

SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler Real Estate is a full-service land and commercial real estate brokerage representing buyers, sellers, investors, institutions, and landowners since 1996. We are recognized nationally as an authority on all types of land, including agriculture, ranch, recreation, residential development, and international properties. Our commercial real estate services include marketing, property management, leasing and tenant representation, loan sales, valuation, advisory, and counseling services for office, retail, industrial, and multi-family properties. With over 125 expert advisors throughout the US South with offices in Florida and Georgia, our team has the knowledge and resources to help clients realize their real estate investment goals.