A Brief Legal History of Hemp in the United States

In the footnotes of history, hemp has played several different roles. It is a versatile plant that has become increasingly popular. Hemp seed oil is just as versatile as the plant itself, and its health and beauty purposes make it particularly unique. Hemp seed oil is full of beneficial fatty acids and chock full of vitamins. The oil can be used in skin care, in body lotions, in cosmetics, and in hair products. Hemp seed oil doesn't clog pores, moisturizes, and helps with acne.

In the United States, hemp farming started in Kentucky in 1776. The production flourished over centuries. However, things started changing in the early 20th century. Lawmakers started cracking down on marijuana, which impacted the hemp industry. In 1937 the Marijuana Tax Act was passed. This law taxed both marijuana and hemp. While it criminalized marijuana, the production of hemp was still considered legal. However, the taxes forced several companies that had previously used hemp in their products to change production materials in order to save costs.

By the 1940s, hemp was used in civilian and military life. Ropes, backpacks, parachutes, clothes, and much more were made with hemp. In the 1950s, lawmakers started targeting hemp in addition to marijuana. In 1957, hemp production was banned, and the last hemp harvest occurred the following year. In order for companies to use hemp, it had to be imported.

In recent years the Farm Bill was passed which allowed farmers to grow hemp for industrial purposes. Since that time, the benefits of the hemp plant have reemerged and multiplied. Hemp can now be grown as a renewable source for a variety of materials. The seeds and flowers hold health benefits that can be used in food and cosmetic products. Hemp growth can prevent erosion and the emission of CO2 detoxifies soil. The hemp plant can produce a wide variety of products. Everything from fuel to carpet and makeup can be gleaned from the plant and used in an environmentally friendly way. Plastic products made from the hemp plant can be up to 2.5 times stronger than typical polypropylene plastic.

Historically the hemp plant has been used for many different purposes. As a drought friendly crop that can benefit multiple industries, the hemp plant contains the potential to influence many of the products we all use on a day-to-day basis.          

 

Sources:
http://maui.hawaii.edu/hooulu/2016/01/15/industrial-hemp-a-history-and-overview-of-the-super-crop-and-its-trillion-dollar-future/
https://ministryofhemp.com/hemp/legal/
http://maui.hawaii.edu/hooulu/2016/01/15/industrial-hemp-a-history-and-overview-of-the-super-crop-and-its-trillion-dollar-future/
https://ministryofhemp.com/hemp/legal/
https://www.learngreenflower.com/articles/196/25-things-you-didn-t-know-could-be-made-from-hemp