hemp growing in a field

For the first time since the 1950’s, hemp is now legal to grow in several states. There are thousands of uses for industrial hemp, including food, manufacturing and industrial applications. Currently U.S. law makes it illegal to grow industrial hemp, yet hemp, its components and extracts are completely legal to import.

History of Hemp in the Southern United States

Hemp production ¬†was once a thriving industry across the south. Hemp was grown commercially in the U.S. until the 1950’s, when it was outlawed over unfounded, racist arguments being made by cannabis prohibitionists. The fear of black people and Mexicans getting high and committing crimes was the main argument for prohibition. Many industries in the United States, including cotton and paper, saw profits increase substantially when hemp was outlawed.

To date at least 20 states have passed laws making hemp cultivation legal and twelve more are considering legislation.

States where hemp is currently legal to grow:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • West Virginia

States that have created hemp study commissions:

  • Hawaii
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland

States that have passed hemp resolutions:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Virginia

States that have passed hemp study bills:

  • Arkansas
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Minnesota
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Vermont

What is industrial hemp?

Hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant that contains no psychoactive chemicals, has been used for thousands of years to make fiber, oil, food, wax, resin, rope, paper, cloth and fuel (to name a few items). Hemp is one of the most durable, renewable and nutritious plants on the planet and its prohibition in the United States is partly responsible for the enormous amount of oil, trees and other natural resources that have been used up and destroyed over the last 60 years.

What can southern farmers achieve by growing industrial hemp?

Imagine a crop that:

  • Could be planted, harvested and re-planted every 90 days
  • Low water consumption (only needs 10-13 inches of water)
  • Has thousands of potential uses
  • Hemp makes an outstanding rotation crop, as it helps detoxify and regenerate soil
  • Hemp is naturally pest-resistant
  • Could create a cleaner energy source nuclear, coal or fuel oil
  • Could help eliminate non-biodegradable plastics
  • Reduce or eliminate deforestation in the south by converting current paper production to hemp paper, which can be recycled up to eight times (as opposed to three times, which is what we get out of paper produced from trees)

More about hemp

For more uses of industrial hemp click here to read VoteHemp.com’s report titled ‘Why Industrial Hemp?”.

Contact Us

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