Hemp History

Hemp History Highlights

For nearly 3000 years Hemp has been our planet’s largest agricultural crop and the most important industry producing the fibre, paper, clothing, lighting fuel and medicine used by much of humanity. It is and has always been Earth’s’ most sustainable natural resource. With modern technological advances it is now possible to make over 20,000 types of products from medicine to houses to cellophane, dynamite and most importantly as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional plastics.

Pre Hemp Prohibition

200 BC First paper invented in China – is made from Hemp.
400 BC Mummified Ying Pan man discovered in China wearing a painted mask made from Hemp – the earliest known Hemp Bioplastic.
768 BC King Charles the Great encourages growing of Hemp throughout his empire.
1454 he Gutenberg Bible – the world’s first book printed on a moveable type printing press is printed on Hemp paper.
1533 King Henry 8th issued a royal proclamation which imposed a fine on any farmer that did not use some of his land for growing Hemp to supply the King’s Navy.
1619 America’s first Hemp law orders – all farmers MUST grow Hemp. Hemp is made a legal tender (ie. can be used to pay taxes)
1690 First American Paper Mill makes paper from Hemp.
1763 Additional laws in America make growing Hemp compulsory for all farmers.
1789 “Make the most of Indian Hemp Seed and sow it everywhere” – George Washington, 1st President of USA and Hemp Farmer.
1797 “We shall, by and by, want a world of Hemp more for our own consumption” – John Adams, 2nd President of USA and Hemp Farmer.
1801 “Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country – If people let the Government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under Tyranny” – Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of USA and Hemp Farmer.
1853 Levi Strauss & Co is founded in USA. The world’s first pair of jeans are made – from Hemp.
1897 Rudolph Diesel invents world’s first diesel engine which is designed to run on clean burning vegetable oils including Hemp Oil which does not cause pollution or create carbon buildup inside engines.
1930 Mellon, one of the most powerful bankers in USA. Mellon plus two other bankers Rockefeller and Carnegie had significant investments in Oil, Paper, Synthetic Fibre, Petrochemical Plastics and Pharmaceuticals – all of which were about to be made obsolete by technological advancements in Hemp processing.
1937 US Congress approves a bill that prohibits the cultivation of all Cannabis including Hemp.
1938 Popular Mechanics magazine article titled “New Billion Dollar Crop” announces the arrival of the new Hemp processing technology that was set to make Hemp America’s #1 commodity had it not been prohibited.
1941 Henry Ford finishes making a car built almost entirely from Hemp and which ran on clean burning Hemp fuel. The car being 30% lighter than steel cars therefore required less fuel. Its lightweight bioplastic body panels were many times stronger than steel – could not be dented with a sledge hammer. “Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the Hemp Fields?” – Henry Ford
1942 US Government cannot take part in World War 2 without Hemp for military clothing and equipment so a campaign is launched to encourage and reward US farmers for growing Hemp with a PR video titled Hemp For Victory.

Hemp Prohibition

1945 At the end of World War 2 the US Government begins its campaign against Hemp and claims there never was a video called Hemp For Victory. When US soldiers return from Europe they are ordered to put their Hemp uniforms back on and are sent out to American farms to burn all the Hemp crops.
1961 Henry Anslinger attended the United Nations and persuaded the UN to have Hemp cultivation prohibited in 150 countries worldwide. As a consequence most of the world’s food, fibre, fuel and medicine went from being made organically by farmers to being produced chemically under the control of the Pharmaceutical and Petrochemical industries.

Hemp Legalization Begins Again

1996 Canada legalizes growing of Hemp which creates employment and hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue for the Canadian people.
2014 Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill authorized hemp research and pilot programs by state departments of agriculture and institutions of higher education. Some states have licensed farmers to conduct pilot programs and research on hemp. In 2017 there were 19 states that allowed hemp to be grown.