The Long History of Hemp in America

the history of hemp in america

The Cannabis Sativa plant has had a negative rap in the recent history of hemp in America. It is often associated with “weed heads” or “stoners” who are unfairly generalized as lazy, incompetent, and unconcerned. This is, fortunately, going to change. The legalization of industrial hemp by the Trump administration in 2018 has begun to sway public opinion. Americans are starting to recognize that THC-free hemp can very well improve our health, economy, and environment. But this isn’t hemp’s first rise to popularity in America. The hemp plant has actually long been a part of our nation’s history. 

Our very own founding fathers were hemp growers. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson had hemp farms and strongly encouraged all citizens to sow it contributing to the history of hemp in America. What’s more, the Virginia Assembly mandates every farmer to seed hemp! Yep! That’s right! It was actually ILLEGAL to not grow hemp. The colonies grew hemp in large quantities for British consumption – it was as valuable as tobacco. At the time, you could even pay your taxes with it! During the revolutionary war the demand for sailcloth and cordage skyrocketed; which also made the hemp industry grow along with it.

However, in the 20th century the history of hemp in America changed, criminalizing cannabis began in individual states and the U.S. federal government. The Marijuana Tax Act turned over the licensing of hemp and made intoxicating marijuana illegal.

The Farm Bill of 2018 is what we have to thank for the hemp products we get to enjoy today. This law made it legal for U.S. farmers to grow, process, and sell hemp commercially.  We’re now in the present, making the history of hemp in America! There’s a long way to go to make hemp, cannabis, and their compounds available to research and people who need them. Now you can enjoy the many varieties of hemp-derived CBD products that we offer in-store and online