Hemp History – Hemp has a place in U.S. agricultural history

Industrial hemp was once an important crop in Wisconsin, putting the state on the map of Hemp History.

In discussions about agriculture, the focus is usually on food. Fibre crops are often overlooked, but they are actually a significant part of the agricultural history in the U.S., and they have the potential of benefiting farmers in the future.

Hemp History

Cotton takes first place in the U.S. as the highest profit-generating fibre crop, placing the U.S. as the world’s third largest cotton producer, surpassed by China and India.

Cotton was introduced to the U.S. by the first explorers who entered the land, and it quickly became a thriving industry. But the industry suffered when synthetic fibres hit the market.

The other fibre crop with significant history in the U.S. is hemp. Although it stems from the same family as marijuana, it is grown for its fibrous stalk, not for its THC content.

Hemp could very well be the oldest known fibre-producing crop, dating back 4,000 years in China. Similar to cotton, it was brought to the U.S. by early pioneers.

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Hemp History – Wisconsin wants in on booming hemp industry

In the past, Wisconsin was at the forefront of hemp farming and production, giving the state a lead role in American Hemp History.

Hemp History

Republican lawmakers are eager to assist Wisconsin in bringing back a once-flourishing hemp industry. It only seems fair to allow farmers access to the viable crop that is seeing great success in other states.

Rep. Jesse Kremer and Sen. Patrick Testin have teamed up to make industrial hemp legal again, which will enable the state to reap the benefits of the many uses of hemp.

Before hemp was made illegal in the 1930’s, Wisconsin was the number one producer of hemp in the U.S. The state’s most prolific era was during World War II, when it was responsible for seventy-five percent of the country’s hemp production.

Today, over thirty states have legalised industrial hemp, and Wisconsin is more than ready to sign up.

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Hemp History – Hemp is coming out of hibernation

The truth about Hemp History is that prior to 1937, it was a common crop in the United States, and it was even used to make the first American flag.

Hemp History

Imagine a crop that is fast-growing, that can flourish in many different climates, and can be used to make thousands of products from textiles to medicine and building materials. It doesn’t need nearly as much fertilizer as corn, nor the amount of water that cotton needs, and on top of all that, it is a bigger cash crop for farmers than any other.

Sounds good doesn’t it? We’re talking about hemp. In the early pioneering days in the U.S., farmers nationwide grew it and the stalks and fibres were used to make paper, out-rig ships, ropes, clothing and textiles. Betsy Ross even sewed the first American flag out of hemp. If you look to the Far East, hemp has been used as far back as 6,000 B.C.

Despite the many uses of this miracle plant, it has been illegal to grow in the U.S. for about 80 years. In 1937 the federal government introduced the Marihuana Tax Act, which was the start of hemp’s decline. When marijuana became illegal, hemp got lumped in with it.

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Hemp History – Global studies major advocates for hemp farming in Nebraska

When you take a look at Hemp History you learn why it is illegal to grow today, why it should be legalized, and how it relates to marijuana.

Hemp History

The legalization of marijuana is one of the most controversial issues facing American citizens these days. U.S.Attorney General Jeff Sessions shares the opinion of many with his belief that marijuana is a gateway drug and is used only by bad people. On the flip side, there are also many people who value its medicinal and recreational uses. And then there’s marijuana’s cousin which attracts way less attention, but is a whole lot more important – industrial hemp.

A bill that would legalize hemp cultivation in the state of Nebraska is currently under discussion amongst Nebraskan lawmakers. The votes should be in favour of legalization, for many reasons. For starters, hemp is only illegal because it is mistakenly considered the same as marijuana. On the contrary, hemp has immense environmental and economic potential, which at least thirty other states are already benefiting from.

The reason lawmakers are so apprehensive about legalizing industrial hemp is because they don’t distinguish it from marijuana. They mistakenly classify hemp as a perilous drug, but they couldn’t be further from the truth. Industrial hemp contains very small amounts of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Hemp has an extensive list of over 25,000 uses, and none of them are related to drug use.

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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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