A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE HEMP AND CANNABIS INDUSTRIES
The hemp industry and the cannabis industry have a long and intertwined history. Both plants are members of the Cannabis sativa species, but have been selectively bred for different purposes. Hemp, which has been cultivated for thousands of years, is used primarily for industrial purposes such as the production of fibres, seeds, and oils. Cannabis, on the other hand, is primarily grown for its psychoactive properties, which are used for medicinal and recreational purposes.
Hemp has been used for a variety of industrial purposes throughout history. The ancient Chinese used hemp fibres to make paper and textiles, while the ancient Egyptians used hemp in the construction of ships. In the United States, hemp was an important crop during the colonial era and was used to produce rope, sails, and clothing. However, the use of hemp began to decline in the early 20th century due to the rise of synthetic fibres and stricter regulations on cannabis.
In the 1930s, the US government implemented the Marihuana Tax Act, which effectively banned the cultivation of cannabis, including hemp. This law was largely motivated by anti-Mexican sentiment and racism, as well as a desire to protect the interests of the newly-emerging synthetic fibre industry. Despite the fact that hemp and cannabis are different plants, the law lumped them together and made it nearly impossible for farmers to grow hemp.
In recent years, the hemp industry has seen a resurgence of interest as more states legalise cannabis and people become more aware of the benefits of hemp products. The 2018 Farm Bill legalised hemp and removed it from the list of controlled substances, making it legal to grow and sell hemp products. This has led to a boom in the hemp industry, with farmers and entrepreneurs eager to take advantage of the new opportunities.
However, the history of the hemp industry and the cannabis industry is complicated by the fact that the two plants are so closely related. Even though hemp is now legal, the association with cannabis has led to confusion and misunderstandings about the plant. Some people still believe that hemp is a form of marijuana, and that it can be used to get high. This perception is not accurate and has led to further stigmatisation of hemp, which is unfortunate as it has many industrial and medicinal benefits.
In conclusion, there is a lengthy and complicated relationship between the hemp and cannabis industries. Both plants are members of the Cannabis sativa species, but have been selectively bred for different purposes. Hemp has been used for industrial purposes for thousands of years, while cannabis has been used for medicinal and recreational purposes. The US government's 1930's Marihuana Tax Act effectively banned the cultivation of cannabis, including hemp. In recent years, the legalisation of hemp and removal from the controlled substances list has led to a resurgence of interest in the hemp industry. However, the association of hemp with cannabis has led to confusion and misunderstandings about the plant.
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