One plant that has been at the center of human agricultural history for over 10,000 years is Hemp. A wide range of industries have used Hemp to revolutionize their business. It has been farmed for seeds, stalks and leaves; from fuel to textiles to the arts. Because the government has falsely compared Hemp to its cousin botanically speaking, Marijuana, it has not been farmed until recently after a long layoff. Here is The History of Hemp and the Top 14 Dates.

8000 BC

Evidence of Hemp cultivation over 10,000 years old was found in the regions of ancient Mesopotamia and East Asia.

1100 BC

Hemp is used in ships, rope and as a medicine. The city of Carthage uses Hemp to dominate the Mediterranean. Usage continues to spread throughout India and China.


Using Hemp to make ropes and sails for ships makes Columbus’ trip to America possible.  Any other fiber would have decayed halfway through the trip.


In Jamestown, Virginia, farmers were required by law to grow hemp because it was such a vital resource. Massachusetts and Connecticut passed similar laws in 1631 and 1632.

18th Century

The first Hemp paper mill was started by Benjamin Franklin giving American its own supply of paper used for the colonial press not from England. Early patriotic literature written by Thomas Paine was written on Hemp. 14 years later, early drafts of the U.S. Constitution are also written on Hemp.


Thomas Jefferson states; “Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth and prosperity of the nation.”

President George Washington sets duties on Hemp to encourage domestic industry. President Washington himself grew hemp on his farm, as did Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe and Andrew Jackson.



Westward Expansion is fueled by Hemp; Hemp lassos and Hemp canvas-covered wagons are commonly used to cross the Great Plains, and Hemp oil is used extensively in lighting oils.


A U.S. Department of Agriculture report finds Hemp is capable of producing four times more pulp for paper manufacturing than traditional lumber sources.


Facing pressure from competing industry lobbyists and public demonization of Hemp’s parent Cannabis family, the US Congress passes the Marijuana Tax Act severely limiting the use of Hemp and destroying the industry.


During World War II, the US government commissions the “Hemp for Victory” program to encourage farmers to start growing Hemp again, as the fibers were vital for military goods such as rope and canvas. After the war, the program is dismantled and the hemp industry disappears again.


Congress passes the Landmark Controlled Substances Act targeting Hemp again despite the millennia of commercial value and decades of government-funded research showing industrial hemp to be unique from psychoactive forms of cannabis. This act made zero distinction between cannabis varieties, listing industrial hemp as a Schedule 1 drug with the likes of heroin and LSD, effectively prohibiting its cultivation and use across America.


President Obama signs into law the U.S. Farm Bill allowing for the cultivation of hemp for research.  Kentucky, Vermont and Colorado become the first states to pass legislation establishing pilot programs, opening up a new era for American Hemp. This only happened because of the decades of grassroots efforts that built on centuries of non-psychoactive Hemp being a staple crop in the US for fuel and fiber.


In just three years after the passage of the farm bill in 2014, more than 25,000 acres of American Hemp is being grown by nearly 1500 farmers across 19 different states. In addition 32 different research institutions are involved in Hemp research.


Non-THC hemp is removed from the Controlled Substances Act as the new US Farm Bill is signed into law legalizing the cultivation and sale of hemp at the federal level.