Let’s take a minute to look at the numbers. Hemp History Week happens every year from June 1-7th. With all the renewed focus on this important plant, it is worthwhile to take a moment to explore this interesting history even in the other 51 weeks of the year! While it is a much more sustainable crop than say, trees being grown for paper mills, Hemp has gotten a bad rap over the last 57 years due to an interesting mix of industry and politics.
Take a look at this Hemp History Timeline on the Hemp History website. As you can see things start off well in the 1700s with the Declaration of Independence being written on hemp paper, and almost all of the founding fathers growing it. President Abraham Lincoln uses hemp seed oil to light his house. While ‘Hemp for Victory’ is a rallying cry in World War II, by 1957 Hemp is no longer grown in the US due to “confusion over hemp and drug varieties of the plant, while new government incentives for industry replace natural fibers with plastics, ultimately bankrupting key hemp processors.”
Then in 2004, the Ninth Circuit Court decision in Hemp Industries Association vs. DEA permanently protects sales of hemp foods and body care products in the U.S. But yet still no Hemp is grown in the US.
Fast forward to 2014 – and we find the Kentucky and Colorado Departments of Agriculture are fighting with the federal government for the right to grow industrial hemp in their states. BACKGROUND HERE Now, just recently we see that the Federal Government and the state of Kentucky have settled their differences, and the state of industrial Hemp appears to be turning a corner.
Say it with me – Hemp Hemp Hooray! This beneficial source of human nutrition and sustainable industrial applications could just yet be America’s latest bumper crop all over again.
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