Thomas Jefferson once said, "Hemp is of greatest importance to our nation." Boy, did he have the long view. Today, the U.S. hemp industry has estimated annual retail sales of $500 million dollars. Yet the crop that was planted by the nation's founding fathers, and is today a rising star in healthful living, is currently prohibited from being grown on U.S. farms.
Did You Know?
- Industrial hemp has been grown in the U.S. since the first European settlers arrived in early 1600's.
- The Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper
- George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams all grew hemp and actively advocated for commercial hemp production.
- Hemp was a staple crop of 1800's American agriculture, reflected in town names like "Hempfield" and "Hempstead."
- Hemp was handled by the U.S. government like any other agricultural crop. More than 150,000 acres of hemp were cultivated as a part of the USDA's "Hemp for Victory" program during WWII.
- America is one of the only industrialized nations to federally prohibit industrial hemp farming.
- The 1937 Marihuana Tax Act defined hemp as a narcotic drug, requiring that farmers growing hemp hold a federal registration and special tax stamp, effectively limiting further production expansion.
- The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (CSA) adopted the same definition of Cannabis sativa that appeared in the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act.
- Strictly speaking, the CSA does not make growing hemp illegal; rather, it places strict controls on the production of hemp, making it illegal to grow the crop without a DEA permit.
- DEA continues to stick to its interpretation of the CSA that "hemp" is not a term that is found in federal law and that "hemp" is in fact marijuana, despite having zero drug value. The DEA stubbornly refuses to grant permits for commercial production of the crop.
It's Time to Grow
- U.S. consumers are discovering the benefits of hemp. In 2012, annual retail sales of hemp products was an estimated $500 million dollars.
- While American farmers often net less than $50 per acre for soy and corn, Canadian farmers just across the border net an average of $200-400 per acre for hemp.
- U.S. companies are producing popular and sustainable hemp foods, hemp body care products, hemp clothing, hemp paper and much more. These companies want to purchase U.S. grown hemp
Hemp is our history! Get involved because It's Time to Grow.