Hemp History – Hemp highway tour in Kentucky

In Danville, Kentucky, Hemp History is being put on the map, quite literally, in the same style as the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

Daniel Isentein of Lexington, Kentucky, is putting together a self-guided tour that will take participants on a route that traces the history of hemp. Isentein is creating a brochure and map for the tour. In the past five years, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail has had 3.5 million visitors, so Isentein hopes his Hemp Highway of Kentucky tour will attract a crowd as well.

The points of interest on the tour can be found on historical markers. For example, marker No. 1279 which marks the “First Crop.” It is located on the Boyle County Courthouse’s lawn.

Hemp History

Another marker on the tour is Clark’s Run Creek, which in 1775 became the first hemp crop in Kentucky. It was cultivated by Archibald McNeil, and he was also the first to bring hemp seed to Boyle County.

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Hemp History – WWII hemp production in the U.S.A.

Industrial hemp was vital to the U.S. military during WWII, giving the plant a key role in U.S. Hemp History.

The Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program of 2013 lead to the opening of government-controlled marijuana dispensaries across the state. The medicinal marijuana required to stock these dispensaries is supplied by state-approved growing facilities throughout the state of Illinois. Delavan, Dwight and Lincoln are three towns with hemp growing centres.

Illinois is no stranger to state-approved cannabis plots. There was plenty of industrial hemp grown in the state during World War II. Under the control of the federal government, industrial hemp was grown to produce supplies such as thread, rope and cordage for the U.S. Army and Navy.

Hemp History - hemp_rope

The war jeopardised the fibre trade between the U.S and the Asian Pacific. The Philippines were a significant supplier of fibre to the U.S. Without todays reliance on synthetic fibres, the military needed fibre crops such as industrial hemp to produce uniforms, buttons and leather goods. Hemp was especially useful for supplies of rope and cordage and its strength and durability were imperative to the U.S. troops.

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Hemp History – Hemp is making a comeback in North Carolina

North Carolina has a lengthy legal Hemp History. It’s been decades since being farmed in the state, but back in the 1800s and early 1900s it was grown for its fibre.

Hemp History - old photo of hemp farmer

The history of hemp goes back 10,000 years, when it was first used to make fibre. Today it is used to produce many products such as animal feed, clothing, paper, plastics, and biofuel. It is also used for its medicinal properties.

You might be wondering why smoking is not on this list of hemp products. Well, that’s because hemp is not a smokable substance. It might be related to marijuana, and it may bear a close resemblance, but hemp does not contain the psychoactive ingredient that gets you high. The THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content is less than 0.3%.

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Hemp History – The first marriage proposal at a bill-signing ceremony

A couple made Hemp History this week with their engagement that took place during a hemp bill-signing ceremony in Pennsylvania. It was the first time a wedding proposal has happened during a bill signing.

The newly-engaged couple, Les Stark and Erica McBride, met during through their shared advocacy fight for medical marijuana and industrial hemp farming legalisation. Most recently they were fighting for a research program that aims to revitalise the hemp crop in Pennsylvania. It was at the signing of this bill that Stark proposed to McBride.

Hemp History - Mother_Earth

Stark opened his marriage proposal with a 6-minute speech about hemp research before he got to the point, egged on by Gov. Tom Wolf.

In his proposal, Stark commented on the project they worked on together, of helping to make the hemp bill a reality.

The couple plan to marry in a Pennsylvania hemp field.

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Hemp History – Kentucky’s hemp legacy: let the truth be known

A plantation in Kentucky is making Hemp History with the harvest of its first hemp crop in over 150 years.

The plantation, Farmington, was originally owned by the Speed Family. Back in the day, they grew 550 acres of hemp each year.

Kentucky’s hemp pilot program made it possible to grow hemp here once again. In May of this year, a small hemp crop was planted at Farmington, with the goal of raising awareness about industrial hemp and its importance to Kentucky’s agricultural history.

Hemp History : old photo of hemp farmer

Alyssa Erickson of United Hemp Industries, a key player in the Farmington pilot program, says their focus is to involve people in the long forgotten history of hemp farming in Kentucky and to educate people about its significance. Kentucky was practically built on its industrial hemp industry. Back in the day, hemp was one of the states main crops, and its success continued to thrive well into the 1900’s.

Erickson says there are many people who are not aware of this aspect of Kentucky’s history. United Hemp Industries hopes to change this.

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Hemp History – Industrial hemp takes root in West Virginia

West Virginia is making Hemp History as a small number of farmers are planting the first hemp seeds the state has seen since World War II.

Because of being a close cousin to marijuana, hemp was made illegal in 1937 and, along with marijuana, added to the list of Schedule I narcotics.

Hemp and marijuana may look identical and have many similarities, but they are distinctly different. The two plants can not be grown in the same area because cross-pollination will compromise the composition and use of each plant. Hemp is grown for its fibrous and seedy qualities, and it has less than 0.3% Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the ingredient in marijuana that gives the high.

Hemp History - hemp plants historical

Robert Kerr, communications director for the West Virginia Hemp Farmers Cooperative, says there are nine hemp farmers across the state that are growing industrial hemp for research purposes. They are part of the pilot program that allows hemp cultivation for study purposes by local universities. The HFC assists farmers with the process of getting permits.

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Hemp History – Colorado cashes in on hemp

Marijuana plays a significant role in Hemp History. In the 1930s and 1940s hemp became so overly associated with marijuana, that when laws were put in place banning controlled substances, hemp got lumped in with marijuana.

Hemp History - field of hemp hearts

Industrial hemp and marijuana may well be cousins, but they are unrelated in so many ways. This is the main fact that Colorado hemp farmers want people to know.

Although the two plants look exactly the same, hemp contains only a fraction of the psychoactive component found in marijuana, but there are thousands of other uses for hemp. Uses with substantial economic potential, such as clothing, food, perfume, candles, fuel, building materials, and medicinal products.

Under Amendment 64, both marijuana and industrial hemp were made legal crops in Colorado in 2012. As a result, Colorado has seen a boom in their hemp industry, with profits in the multi-millions and rising.

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Hemp History – Hemp making a comeback in the U.S.A

No country has a more dramatic Hemp History than the U.S. Hemp continues to be included among the species of cannabis plants in the Schedule 1 controlled substances, making it illegal and controlled by the Drug Enforcement Administration. But just because it’s illegal to grow within U.S. borders doesn’t mean Americans can’t import it, which they do in enormous quantities.

Hemp is a highly valuable crop, and here’s why: There are approximately 50,000 uses for industrial hemp, it is easy and affordable to farm hemp, it doesn’t require pesticides to grow, needs very little water, and has a short growth cycle which allows for several crops a year.

Hemp History - CHF_Hemp_Infographic_web

Despite this, the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 put measures in place that prevent farmers from growing hemp because of its anti-cannabis prohibitions.

In the last few years, the federal government has started recognizing the difference between hemp and marijuana, however. The 2014 Farm Bill was introduced to allow permits for colleges and universities to do research on hemp cultivation and economic potential.

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Hemp History – Industrial hemp bill signed in Pennsylvania

The state of Pennsylvania has a special place in Hemp History – it once produced more industrial hemp than any other state in the U.S. Perhaps history will one day repeat itself, as Pennsylvania signs up for the hemp pilot program.

Gov. Tom Wolf has signed House Bill 967 to allow industrial hemp pilot programs. This means that certain colleges and universities with state Department of Agriculture approval, will be able to conduct research and create programs for industrial hemp cultivation.

Hemp History - hemp plants historical

In 1937 the federal government introduced the Marijuana Tax Act, hindering hemp production, and in 1970 the Controlled Substances Act was introduced, making hemp illegal along with marijuana. Therefore, Americans are now forced to import hemp. But with the 2014 Farm Bill the door is opening for an industrial hemp comeback.

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Hemp History – Founding fathers of U.S.A. were pro hemp

In Hemp History both George Washington and Thomas Jeffersen were avid promoters of hemp cultivation. Washington grew hemp throughout his life, using its fibres to make rope, sailing canvas, clothing and fishing nets. He once stated, “Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere.” Thomas Jefferson also had an interest in farming and he said “Hemp is the first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country.”

Hemp History - old photo of hemp farmer

Eric Steenstra, president of Vote Hemp, is dedicated to breaking down the blockades surrounding hemp farming in the U.S. Vote Hemp can safely be deemed the main organization in the states working at changing the hemp laws in the country.

It is currently illegal to grow hemp in the United States, despite the fact that there was $600 million spent on hemp-based products in 2015. Millions are spent on hemp imports from Canada, Europe and Asia. Hemp is illegal because of its cousin, marijuana and is therefore included in the illegal substances list, together with the likes of heroin and LSD. But hemp does not get you high, even if you smoke ten fields of it.

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