The History of Hemp in the United States

The first traces of hemp were found in 8000 BC. C. in the Asian regions that are now China and Taiwan. In 1645, Puritans brought hemp to New England as a source of fiber for spinning and weaving at home, and it eventually spread to Virginia and Kentucky.

The height of hemp promotion came when the United States government released a pro-hemp documentary called Hemp for Victory, encouraging farmers across the Midwest and Southeast to grow hemp to support the war. However, the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 began the significant decline of the hemp industry, as all hemp sales began to be subject to high taxes. There has been some controversy over this bill, as some have argued that this policy aimed to reduce the size of the hemp industry to help emerging plastic and nylon industries gain market share. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 classified THC (a compound found in hemp and cannabis) as a Schedule I substance, making all cultivation of cannabis and hemp illegal at the federal level.

In the new century, the application of hemp began to diversify as artisans and small businesses imported hemp fiber for clothing and textiles. It is a kind of renaissance in which the nostalgic past of hemp meets its more scientific future. The return of legal hemp caused an explosion of interest in this crop and products made with hemp, especially CBD oil. Each state will have to go through regulatory doors before obtaining approval from the USDA, and there is uncertainty about how the FDA will regulate hemp derivatives, such as CBD.

A new infrastructure is being created to help farmers harvest and process their crops, while new people are discovering hemp and CBD every day. We hope that hemp and its derivatives will continue to receive greater economic support, particularly at the state level, providing exceptional opportunities for farmers.

Kelli Prellwitz
Kelli Prellwitz

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