On February 4th, National Hemp Day proudly weaves a celebration surrounding an industry with a long and innovative history.
Did you know that hemp has been a part of human civilization for thousands of years? Hemp fibers were used in some of the earliest civilizations to make fabric for clothing and other materials. America’s founding fathers drafted early documents on hemp paper and even used a “Hemp for Victory” campaign during WWII to encourage farmers to grow hemp for military use. Hemp has been an essential material in the innovation of several industries including shipping, construction, and textiles. Most recently, the construction industry started using hemp in place of concrete (known as hempcrete) since it is windproof and offers a lower carbon footprint.
The Industrial Hemp Pilot Program allowed several states to grow, cultivate, and process hemp for agricultural purposes. These programs brought thousands of new jobs to an industry that had long been considered obsolete because of the Schedule I classification of hemp (the same classification as heroin and LSD). The 2018 Farm Bill was a huge win for the hemp industry. Hemp – including the leaves, stalks, and stems – has since been rescheduled to a Schedule V classification, the same as OTC low-dose codeine. This makes the growing, producing, and distribution of hemp legal on a national level. Products made from hemp such as CBD, clothing, plastics, paint, insulation, and biofuels will now be more readily available. The passing of the newly-minted Farm Bill brings massive growth potential, with some publications estimating that the hemp industry will become a multi-billion dollar industry for the United States.
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