It was one of the first plants to be spun into usable fiber 10,000 years ago. It has been grown and used all over the world. The first president of the United States of America even grew it as a cash crop.
Is it cotton? No—it’s hemp.
Hemp was a major cash crop in the Eastern United States until 1937, when it was outlawed as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. Since then, hemp has been illegal to grow and sell until almost a year ago, when President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill, legalizing hemp by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act. Late last month, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced a program that would allow farmers to grow hemp under federally-approved plans and make hemp producers eligible for a number of agricultural programs. This is big news for the hemp industry.
Our water, air, and land are being polluted more than ever by textile manufacturing byproducts and plastic microparticles. With its resurgence as a cash crop and ability to integrate into regenerative farming practices, hemp might be the answer to our problems.