• The article discusses the history and current state of industrial hemp in the United States.
• It explains that hemp is a variety of cannabis that has been used for centuries for various purposes, including paper, clothing, rope, food, and fuel.
• Hemp was once an important cash crop in America, but its cultivation was banned in 1970 due to its classification as a Schedule I drug.
History of Hemp
Industrial hemp is a variety of Cannabis sativa plant species that has been cultivated for centuries for many different purposes such as paper, clothing, rope, food, and fuel. In the 1700s it was one of the most important crops grown in colonial America and served many practical uses throughout American history.
The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937
In 1937 Congress passed the Marihuana Tax Act which imposed federal restrictions on marijuana possession and production. This law effectively ended hemp cultivation in America by making it too expensive to grow due to high taxes and regulation.
In 2014 President Obama signed the Farm Bill into law which allowed states to research hemp production through pilot programs authorized by their respective Departments of Agriculture. The bill also removed hemp from its classification as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act thus allowing universities and state departments of agriculture to cultivate it legally with authorization from their respective states. Since then several states have implemented regulations allowing farmers to grow industrial hemp commercially or for research purposes depending on their specific laws.
Current State Of Hemp
Currently there are 33 states plus Washington D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico who have adopted some form of legislation legalizing industrial hemp growth and/or use either through pilot programs or full commercial production licenses issued by their respective Departments of Agriculture or other regulatory bodies within each state’s jurisdiction over industrial agriculture. As more states come on board this list is likely to increase significantly in the near future as public opinion continues to shift toward more acceptance towards this versatile crop’s potential benefits both economically and environmentally speaking.
The potential benefits associated with growing industrial hemp are numerous ranging from economic opportunities such as job creation through increased demand for processing facilities as well as environmental benefits like soil conservation due to its deep taproot system which helps prevent erosion while simultaneously providing valuable nutrients back into depleted soils naturally improving fertility levels over time without any additional chemical inputs required unlike traditional monoculture crop farming methods typically employed today in modern agricultural systems worldwide