The Forgotten History of Hemp in America

By Lilly Bertone

Cannabis wasn’t always a taboo topic. Hemp, a variety of the cannabis sativa plant, has a rich history in the United States as a valuable and versatile crop. Hemp was booming as a “cash crop” because not only was it useful in a range of industries, but it was also very easy to grow.

The fiber from the plant had many uses, ranging from textiles and clothing to ship sails, rope, and paper. In fact, the Declaration of Independence was originally drafted on hemp paper!

Unfortunately, with the passing of the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act that lumped all cannabis in the same group of regulated narcotics and the rise of inexpensive synthetic fibers in the 1950’s, hemp’s popularity took a sharp decline. It wasn’t until 2018 the United States removed hemp as a Schedule 1 substance.

Now, the plant is surging in popularity again for its many uses, especially the extraction of CBD for states that do not have any medical cannabis sales available.

Learn more with our YouTube videos about hemp!

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