Happy National Hemp Month! July has been (unofficially) officially Christened with being the month where we celebrate hemp farmers, hemp culture, and of course those who use hemp for commercial purposes. From July 11th-23rd, we recognize the impact and dominance hemp had in the early American colonial times, the prohibition of the plant, & the upwards trajectory to everyday use in modern times.
For most of the 20th Century, hemp has had many hurdles to hop over with stigmas caused by its cousin, the marijuana plant. As well all know – Hemp is derived from the Sativa plant with less than 0.3% THC by dry weight. Since congress passed the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 (prohibition of the hemp plant), the tax and licensing regulations of the act made hemp cultivation difficult for American farmers. The chief promoter of the tax act, Harry Anslinger began what some would call a ‘smear campaign’ of anti-marijuana legislation around the world.
Once America began its involvement with the second World War; the “Hemp for Victory” campaign was created to encourage farmers to grow hemp to benefit the war effort. However, the mass production of hemp would come to an end around 1945, effectively ending the campaign and fading the industry into obscurity. By modern times, the demand for hemp and alternative medicines had increased exponentially with the AIDS epidemic in the 80’s, more calls for reformation and regulation of hemp were actively being lobbied.
Today, hemp derived CBD is used for medicinal purposes within health & wellness-industry for challenges like mental disorders, aches and pains. However, not all these claims have been approved by the FDA. The political climate has kept the nation’s exposure to a minimum so take this month to embrace the upwards trajectory that hemp has been on for the past 85 years – speak to farmers, wear hemp made clothing, speak to politicians, and of course start conversations about its many uses.