Cultivation and use of hemp dates back over 10,000 years!
The draft of the United States Deceleration of Independence in 1776 was written on hemp paper!
Hemp is a very viable material that has a history that dates back to BC times. Colombia History of the World considers the oldest human industry relic to be a piece of hemp fabric dating 8,000 BC. Founding father Thomas Jefferson and president George Washington both grew the hemp plant. American's in the colonial era were legally bound to farm and cultivate the hemp plant. Hemp became a staple in American farming, because of it's various uses after cultivation. Hemp plants can produce many different forms of body care, skin care and health-related products. Hemp stalks contain hemp fiber, which is one of the strongest fibers known to man; and commonly used in present day to make extremely durable clothing and textiles. Many Americans used this fiber to create clothing for their families over history. Soldiers used this fiber to create sails for sailboats during war stricken times. Hemp has and still has an abundance of uses, and is still an extremely valuable plant even in modern times.
Hemp in the 19th Century
Hemp production in the 19th century was booming. Congress passed a law in 1841 that forced the US Navy to only purchase hemp from domestic farmers. In February of 1893 the hemp industry in the US was projected to be able $1 billion dollars!
Hemp in the 20th Century
In 1937, criminalization of the cannabis plant began. In this time period, our government was unsure on how to distinguish hemp. Hemp and marijuana are derived from the same plant, one containing THC, and hemp contains less than 0.03% THC Content, to none at all. Hemp and marijuana are both derived from the same plant; The cannabis plant. What makes them different is how much THC content they possess. Since they couldn't distinguish the two apart, regulations and laws began banning the growth and production of the cannabis plant. Which took a huge hit on the hemp industry, acting as a "hemp prohibition". Also at this time emerged synthetic fibers, which were more cost effective, but lower quality versus hemp fibers. This was all a contributor to what started the overall downfall of the hemp industry in America.
Hemp for Victory!
In WWII with the bombing of Pearl Harbor, it shut down our foreign supply of the hemp fiber. The USDA produced the film, "Hemp For Victory" in efforts to encourage American farmers to help grow hemp for the war effort. To again use the hemp plant for clothing, sails, and other war-involved efforts. The United States formed the War Hemp Industries Department and sky-rocketed hemp production and cultivation in the United States. The war had the United States growing over a million acres worth of hemp in the Midwest.
After nearly a century of prohibition, hemp is back! The 2014 Farm Bill allowed states to implement hemp back into their agricultural departments. In 2016, New York state added the pilot program to our agricultural department to help research hemp and its uses. Many famous colleges are partaking in the pilot program including Cornell, and SUNY Morrison. And the owner of the Leaf is a certified hemp grower for New York State. Hemp will continue to grow as an industry after finally being free from being prohibited and hit with negative legislature. Farmers will continue to grow hemp for scientific research, and us at the Leaf NY will continue to keep you updated on all the new news surrounding hemp and it's products!