History of Hemp


World Timeline of Hemp

  • 8,000 BCE: Traces of hemp have been found in modern day China and Taiwan. Evidence shows that hemp was used for pottery and food (seed & oil)
  • 2,000 BCE – 800 BCE: Hindu sacred text Atharvaveda (Science of Charms) as “Sacred Grass”, one of the five sacred plants of India
  • 600 BCE: Hemp rope is found in southern Russia
  • 500 BCE: a jar of hemp seed and leaves were found in Berlin, Germany. Use of hemp continues to spread across northern Europe
  • 200 BCE: Hemp rope is found in Greece
  • 100 BCE: China uses hemp to make paper100: Hemp rope is found in Britain
  • 570: A French Queen was buried in hemp clothing
  • 850: Vikings use hemp and spread it to Iceland
  • 900: Arabs adopt technology to make hemp paper
  • 1533: King Henry VIII, king of England, fines farmers if they do not raise hemp
  • 1549: Cannabis is introduced in South America (Brazil)
  • 1616: Jamestown, first permanent English settlement in the Americas, grows hemp to make ropes, sails, and clothing
  • 1700s: American farmers in several colonies are required by law to grow hemp
  • 1776: The Declaration of Independence is drafted up on hemp paper
  • 1840: Abraham Lincoln uses hemp seed oil to fuel his household lamps.
  • 1916: USDA publishes findings that show hemp produces 4X more paper per acre than trees
  • 1937: The Marijuana Tax Act placed a tax on all cannabis sales (including hemp), heavily discouraging the production of hemp
  • 1938: Popular Mechanics writes an article about how hemp could be used in 25,000 different products.
  • 1942: Henry Ford builds an experimental car body made with hemp fiber, which is ten times stronger than steel
  • 1942: USDA initiates the “Hemp for Victory” program – this leads to more than 150,000 acres of hemp production
  • 1957: The last commercial hemp fields in the US were planted in Wisconsin
  • 1970: the Controlled Substances Act classified hemp as an illegal Schedule I drug, which imposed strict regulations on the cultivation of industrial hemp as well as marijuana
  • 1998: The U.S. begins to import food-grade hemp seed and oil.
  • 2004: Ninth Circuit Court decision in Hemp Industries Association vs. DEA permanently protects sales of hemp foods and body care products in the U.S.
  • 2007: The first hemp licenses in over 50 years are granted to two North Dakota farmers.
  • 2014: President Obama signed the Farm Bill, which allowed research institutions to start piloting hemp farming.
  • 2015: The Industrial Hemp Farming Act (H.R. 525 and S. 134) was introduced in the House and Senate. If passed, it would remove all federal restrictions on industrial hemp and legalize its cultivation.
  • 2016: A Colorado farm has earned the Organic certification from USDA for its hemp
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