Hemp from the Cannabis Sativa L plant is a form of cannabis that is often called a cash crop. A Cash crop is anything grown by a farmer to make money. Hemp is the stalk and seed of the plant that usually refers to industrial use. Food, textiles, paper, body care products, building materials, detergents and plastics are made from the substance. It is a product that grows fast in many soil settings that has a wide range of usage. According to Hemp.com, It has been used for over 12,000 years.
The USDA says that hemp and marijuana are varieties of Cannabis sativa. Growing hemp in the United States is illegal under the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Currently, hemp is grown commercially in Canada, China, Australia, England, France, Spain, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Russia, Poland, Ukraine, India, and Italy.
Farm Collector writer Oscar H. Will III notes after World War I, the tax act transferred licensing hemp to the department of revenue. The regulation of hemp cash crop production required growers pay an implemented tax and to sign a document stating the plant was not going to be used for drug-related purposes. In addition, the USDA ran a “Hemp for Victory” campaign during World War II when the country needed a fiber supply for canvas, rope and other products. When the war ended, the federal government did not support growing the crop and stopped granting licenses. The status of the hemp portion of Cannabis Sativa L. today is that hemp importers are approved to supply American companies, while U.S. farmers are not allowed to grow it.
According to Natures Path,the 1970 Controlled Substance Act says making, distributing or selling products with THC is illegal. Accordingly included in that law is the exception of hulled hempseed. The amount of THC in hempseed is insignificant and is not used to produce a drug-induced state. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) does not recognize the exception.
In 2003, the U.S. Court of Appeals removed the ability of the DEA to enforce treating hemp as an illegal substance. It supplies protein, amino acids, omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids along with lots of minerals and nutrients. It is gluten-free and there are no allergens connected to it.
The Hand That Feeds U.S. has this quote by former president, Dwight D. Eisenhower: “In no other country do so few people produce so much food, to feed so many, at such reasonable prices.”
According to Nebraska Studies, by 1989, only 1.9% of the U.S. population was made up of farmers. In the 80s, thousands of farms were lost. Farm auctions and foreclosure sales, along with farmers obtaining side employment to maintain their property, was not surprising at that time. Accordingly, in 1935, there were 6.8 million farms; by the mid-80s there were only 2.2 million.
Hemp was once a main stay of farm growth in America; during WWI nearly 120,000 pounds of hemp fiber was used to rig Old Ironsides, America’s oldest Navy ship. The first drafts of the Declaration of Independence were drafted on hemp paper. Will states it was thought to be a farmer’s patriotic duty to grow hemp; taxes were paid with it. Hemp as paper does not require bleaching, reducing the need to use trees. Hemp promotes healthy growth rotation since it chokes weeds and enhances good development of other products, and it also has the potential to replace petroleum.
Advocacy One states there are over 25,000 uses for Cannabis Sativa L. as hemp and American farmers would benefit from having the ability to produce the lucrative cash crop.
By Dada Ra