The Industrial Hemp Plant and the United States
I am not going to lie ... when my parents presented the opportunity to be a part of a hemp company to me, I struggled. My parents raised us to be drug-free and that was a line I wasn't willing to cross. So, naturally, like many of you I'm guessing, when they presented a hemp company I was dumbfounded and little hesitant.
Do you feel the same way? Are you a bit confused about how this industry is growing in conversation, relevance, and legitimacy?
Over the last few weeks I have learned that the industrial hemp plant is one of the earliest domesticated plants in the world and not only has a rich history in the world, but also the United States. The hemp seed arrived on U.S. soil on the Mayflower at the beginning 200+ years ago. British colonies were required by law to grow the hemp plant because it was harvested and manufactured to make canvas for the sails, caulk for the hulls, and the fiber for the lines of their ships. Naturally, when the rebel colonies decided to start their great country, they took what they'd learned from the Brits and used it against them. That said, the American-grown industrial hemp plant was used to make the USS Constitution, the Navy's oldest war ship. Our history with this plant is rich and deep-rooted.
The industrial hemp plant was a hot, American commodity through 1958, the year of its last significant crop. With the new farm bill in the joint committee, we're excited to see this continue to reemerge a great American commodity.
Today, France and China are the world leaders in producing industrial hemp and the United States is leader in importing hemp from other countries. Industrial hemp has no THC or psycho-active capabilities, but has the ability to be turned into clothing, fuel, health products, paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, and more. Not only is this industry going to reemerge as a leading commodity for the United States, but also has the ability to revitalize or create incredible economic opportunities in third world countries.