Hemp is a popular topic. Nowadays, there exists a ton of information on hemp. Still, there are many unknowns about hemp and hemp-related products. A brief history of Hemp in the United States should get you caught up on the basics of the hemp and CBD oil conversation. As of recently, with the passage of the 2018 Farm Act, the 2018 Farm Bill Provides A Path Forward for Industrial Hemp (fb.org), which legalized hemp. Before the 2018 Farm Bill, Hemp was relatively an obscure topic within the realm of public opinion. Yes, there was tremendous buzz around the legalization of Marijuana. However, people weren't really tuned in to the other part of the Cannabis Plant, which is hemp.
In the 1930s, several state governments and other countries had banned the drug. However, the U.S. government hesitated partly because therapeutic uses of Cannabis were still being explored, and the American industry profited from commercial applications of hemp fiber, seeds, and oil. Did You Know... Marijuana Was Once a Legal Cross-Border Import? | U.S. Customs and Border Protection (cbp.gov). The United States Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 Marijuana Tax Act of 1937consequently resulted in the criminalization of Marijuana, a common substance, and plant that had been long used for its medicinal properties, Marijuana Tax Act Law and Legal Definition | USLegal, Inc.
Hemp played a crucial role in the early days of America. It was used for cattle feed, clothing, rope, paper, sailcloth, and cash crops. The founding fathers of America grew hemp extensively for all of the reasons listed above, so it may come as a surprise to learn that hemp was effectively banned in 1939 due to a substantial public smear campaign, among many other factors Why Hemp Was Banned In 1937 - A Look At Hemp Prohibition History - Great Hemp USA.
Furthermore, North America was first introduced to hemp in 1606. Ever since, American farmers grew hemp that was used across multiple different products, such as paper, lamp fuels, and ropes. In the 1700s, farmers were even legally required to grow hemp as a staple crop. In addition, many of our founding fathers grew hemp and advocated its uses and benefits. Notably, George Washington grew hemp on his estate History Of Hemp In The U.S. | Hemp History - Ministry of Hemp.
In contradiction to the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, The United States reversed its stance in 1942 when it realized it needed hemp for the war effort. As a result, the Department of Agriculture started to heavily promote hemp. It began publishing various benefits that hemp offered (i.e., findings that hemp produces 4 times more paper per acre than trees). The hemp promotion peaked when the U.S. government released a pro-hemp documentary called Hemp for Victory, which encouraged farmers throughout the Midwest and Southeast to grow hemp to support the war. This led to over 400,000 acres of hemp being planted during 1942-1945 History Of Hemp In The US | Hemp History - Ministry of Hemp.
Shortly after this program, the U.S. government returned to its original stance on hemp again, and the industry continued to decline. Other alternative sources, such as plastic and nylon, were encouraged across multiple sectors. This led to fewer farmers cultivating hemp and many hemp processors declaring bankruptcy. The last commercial hemp farm in the U.S. was planted in Wisconsin in 1957. Hemp farming was eventually officially banned altogether in 1970 with the passage of the Controlled Substances Act in which hemp was included as a Schedule 1 drug, grouping this crop with drugs like heroin and LSD History Of Hemp In The US | Hemp History - Ministry of Hemp.
While the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp, other challenges remain for the new U.S. hemp industry. USDA regulations suggest the Drug Enforcement Administration wants to retain control over many aspects of the industry. The CBD industry awaits regulation from the Food and Drug Administration. In addition, banking, credit card processors, and tech companies often refuse to work with hemp companies. At the same time, more farmers, entrepreneurs, and consumers are interested in hemp than ever before. A new infrastructure is growing to help farmers harvest and process their crops, while new people are discovering hemp and CBD every day. A Gallup poll in 2019 suggested 14% of Americans use CBD products. With a new robust U.S. hemp industry growing in popularity, the future looks promising for this beneficial multipurpose crop.