By now you have probably seen many hemp products on appear store shelves, including your favorite brownie and cookie from the Hemp Bakers. But this isn’t the way it’s always been and there is a reason why you never really saw hemp products until now. Where were they before? We’re going to walk you through the history of the plant with over 60,000 different uses!
Way Back When…
When you look back to 8000 BC in Asia, you will see the hemp plant being used in all sorts of ways. Hemp was used in pottery, clothes, shoes, ropes and paper. Even Christopher Columbus was known for using ropes made of hemp on his ships. This trend of using hemp for industrial purposes caught on quick too. In George Washington’s diary from 1756, he noted many times about his hemp harvest and what he was doing with all the hemp. His focus was on using the hemp fibers for their industrial ability rather than its recreational properties like we see today.
As time went on the thoughts about hemp changed, in 1937 the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was passed in the United States. This act implemented a tax on anyone who was commercially dealing with hemp, to heavily discourage the production of hemp. Then in 1942 the “Hemp for Victory” program was introduced and led to 150,000 acres of hemp production! Once the war was over the cultivation of hemp started to slow again which led to a big change in 1970.
Not too long ago…
In 1970 the Controlled Substances Act classified hemp as an illegal Schedule 1 drug. This classification led to very strict regulations on the cultivation of hemp and marijuana. The reason for this was the definition of marijuana was taken directly from the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, which included hemp in its definition. However, this definition excluded other useful parts of the hemp plant such as sterilized hemp seed, hemp fiber, and hemp seed oil. This meant that hemp in these forms could still be imported and used for different products.
So when did hemp start to show up in our stores? Well pretty recently! The 2014 Farm Bill was passed which allowed for certain state departments and universities to grow hemp for research programs. From there the 2018 Farm Bill was passed which removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act all together which made it legal for farmers to grow, process and sell hemp commercially.
Now we are seeing hemp products everywhere and learning all about its potential to help better our lives whether through its industrial and recreational purposes. We’re excited to see where the future of hemp and all of it’s developments take us and we hope you are too!
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