Hemp Contributes to a Sustainable Future

Hemp has a long love-hate history in the United States. Colonial and Revolutionary War era ships relied on rigging and sails crafted of hemp. Throughout the early history of the United States, farmers were encouraged by the government to grow hemp in their fields. With the American involvement in World War II, the federal government again encouraged farmers to grow hemp for the war effort in a homefront campaign they called “Hemp for Victory” during which 375,000 acres of the plant was harvested. Read about hemp’s history here.

Hemp is a fast growing, hardy annual plant that is propagated through seeds. It establishes a strong, foot-long taproot like that of dandelions, can grow up to 18 feet tall, becoming a windbreak, and matures in only 4 months. Farmers have long used hemp as a rotation crop. Its taproot helps to aerate compacted soil and prevents erosion while absorbing environmental pollutants such as heavy metals and chemical contaminants. Hemp is easy to grow from seed and needs little to no herbicidal or pesticide assistance. Growing hemp uses a negligible amout of water when compared to any other common agricultural crop. Every part of the hemp plant is valuable in industrial and agricultural applications from its stalk to its sap.

Hemp is a misunderstood plant with compelling benefits for healthy homes, food, farmers, job creation and our environment. … BRINGING IT HOME explores “Why aren’t we growing it here?” and the latest effort by advocates to legalize hemp farming in America.

Despite its extremely low levels of the active compound found in marijuana, abbreviated as THC, the hemp plant was classified so that legally growing it in the United States consists of a difficult process of paperwork and governmental red tape. Opposed to the seeds from seedbanks which are able to cultivate THC rich plants, the fiber varieties and seeds of industrial hemp cannot be used as a drug. Regardless, Hemp in the United States is a Schedule 1 narcotic.

industrial-hemp-2Domestic production of the plant and products would vastly improve our environmental and financial standing. It’s known useful properties and products are not enough to pass legislation. Hemp needs support from farmers and consumers alike. The recent medical marijuana victories and promising proposed agricultural legislation may help bring hemp back into the domestic farmscape, however. Hemp helped to make this nation great in the past and it is only right that it is a part of our future greatness as well.