National Hemp Day – February 4th

Hemp Has Been Around For Over A Thousand Years

Did you know that hemp has been a part of human civilization for thousands of years? Hemp fibers were used in some of the earliest civilizations to make fabric for clothing and other materials. America’s founding fathers drafted early documents on hemp paper and even used a “Hemp for Victory” campaign during WWII to encourage farmers to grow hemp for military use. Hemp has been an essential material in the innovation of several industries including shipping, construction, and textiles. Most recently, the construction industry started using hemp in place of concrete (known as hempcrete) since it is windproof and offers a lower carbon footprint.

The Industrial Hemp Pilot Program allowed several states to grow, cultivate, and process hemp for agricultural purposes. These programs brought thousands of new jobs to an industry that had long been considered obsolete because of the Schedule I classification of hemp (the same classification as heroin and LSD).

2018 Farm Bill For Hemp

The 2018 Farm Bill was a huge win for the hemp industry. Hemp – including the leaves, stalks, and stems – has since been rescheduled to a Schedule V classification, the same as OTC low-dose codeine. This makes the growing, producing, and distribution of hemp legal on a national level. Products made from hemp such as CBD, clothing, plastics, paint, insulation, and biofuels will now be more readily available. The passing of the newly-minted Farm Bill brings massive growth potential, with some publications estimating that the hemp industry will become a multi-billion dollar industry for the United States.

World Timeline of Hemp

8,000 BCE: Traces of hemp have been found in modern day China and Taiwan. Evidence shows that hemp was used for pottery and food (seed & oil)
2,000 BCE – 800 BCE: Hindu sacred text Atharvaveda (Science of Charms) as “Sacred Grass”, one of the five sacred plants of India
600 BCE: Hemp rope is found in southern Russia
500 BCE: a jar of hemp seed and leaves were found in Berlin, Germany. Use of hemp continues to spread across northern Europe
200 BCE: Hemp rope is found in Greece
100 BCE: China uses hemp to make paper100: Hemp rope is found in Britain
570: A French Queen was buried in hemp clothing
850: Vikings use hemp and spread it to Iceland
900: Arabs adopt technology to make hemp paper
1533: King Henry VIII, king of England, fines farmers if they do not raise hemp
1549: Cannabis is introduced in South America (Brazil)
1616: Jamestown, first permanent English settlement in the Americas, grows hemp to make ropes, sails, and clothing
1700s: American farmers in several colonies are required by law to grow hemp
1776: The Declaration of Independence is drafted up on hemp paper
1840: Abraham Lincoln uses hemp seed oil to fuel his household lamps.
1916: USDA publishes findings that show hemp produces 4X more paper per acre than trees
1937: The Marijuana Tax Act placed a tax on all cannabis sales (including hemp), heavily discouraging the production of hemp
1938: Popular Mechanics writes an article about how hemp could be used in 25,000 different products.
1942: Henry Ford builds an experimental car body made with hemp fiber, which is ten times stronger than steel
1942: USDA initiates the “Hemp for Victory” program – this leads to more than 150,000 acres of hemp production
1957: The last commercial hemp fields in the US were planted in Wisconsin
1970: the Controlled Substances Act classified hemp as an illegal Schedule I drug, which imposed strict regulations on the cultivation of industrial hemp as well as marijuana
1998: The U.S. begins to import food-grade hemp seed and oil.
2004: Ninth Circuit Court decision in Hemp Industries Association vs. DEA permanently protects sales of hemp foods and body care products in the U.S.
2007: The first hemp licenses in over 50 years are granted to two North Dakota farmers.
2014: President Obama signed the Farm Bill, which allowed research institutions to start piloting hemp farming.
2015: The Industrial Hemp Farming Act (H.R. 525 and S. 134) was introduced in the House and Senate. If passed, it would remove all federal restrictions on industrial hemp and legalize its cultivation.
2016: A Colorado farm has earned the Organic certification from USDA for its hemp
2018: The 2018 Farm Bill is passed, ultimately legalizing hemp production again in the US