World Timeline of Hemp
8,000 BCE: Archaeologists found traces of hemp in modern day China and Taiwan. People used hemp for pottery, food (seed & oil) and natural hemp-based medicine
2,000 BCE – 800 BCE: Hindu sacred text Atharvaveda (Science of Charms) as “Sacred Grass”, one of the five sacred plants of India
600 BCE: Hemp rope found in southern Russia
500 BCE: Archaeologists found a jar of hemp seed and leaves in Berlin, Germany. Use of hemp continues to spread across northern Europe
200 BCE: Hemp rope found in Greece
100 BCE: China uses hemp to make paper. Hemp rope also found in Britain.
570: A French Queen was buried in hemp clothing
700s BCE: First hemp paper mills appear in China and the Middle East, first people-powered then using animals or water.
850: Vikings use hemp and spread it to Iceland
900: Arabs adopt technology to make hemp paper
1533: King Henry VIII, king of England, fines farmers if they do not raise hemp
1549: Hemp introduced in South America (Brazil)
1616: Jamestown, first permanent English settlement in the Americas, grows hemp to make ropes, sails, and clothing
1700s: Early laws require American farmers in several colonies to grow hemp
1776: U.S. Founders write early drafts of The Declaration of Independence on hemp paper
1840: Abraham Lincoln uses hemp seed oil to fuel his household lamps.
THE 20TH CENTURY & BEYOND
1916: USDA publishes findings showing hemp produces 4X more paper per acre than trees
1937: The Marijuana Tax Act placed a tax on all hemp sales, heavily discouraging production of hemp
1938: Popular Mechanics writes an article about how hemp could be used in 25,000 different products.
1942: Henry Ford builds an experimental car body made with hemp fiber, which is ten times stronger than steel
1942: USDA initiates the “Hemp for Victory” program – this leads to more than 150,000 acres of hemp production
1957: Farmers plant the last commercial hemp fields in the U.S. in Wisconsin
1970: The Controlled Substances Act classified hemp as an illegal Schedule I drug. Strict regulations imposed on the cultivation of industrial hemp as well as marijuana
1998: The U.S. begins to import food-grade hemp seed and oil.
2004: Ninth Circuit Court decision in Hemp Industries Association vs. DEA permanently protects sales of hemp foods and body care products in the U.S.
2007: The first hemp licenses in over 50 years granted to two North Dakota farmers.
2014: President Obama signed the Farm Bill, which allowed research institutions to start piloting hemp farming.
2015: The Industrial Hemp Farming Act (H.R. 525 and S. 134) introduced in the House and Senate. This act is the first of several attempts to fully legalize hemp.
2016: A Colorado farm has earned the Organic certification from USDA for its hemp
2018: After failed attempts to pass hemp-specific laws, an amendment to the Agricultural Improvement of 2018 (a.k.a. the “Farm Bill”) legalized hemp in the U.S. Pres. Trump signs the bill into law on Dec 20, 2018. This amendment removed the hemp plant, along with any of its seeds and derivatives from the Controlled Substances Act. A huge win for the hemp industry!