Hemp is a crop that has been with us since the founding of this country; in fact, the Declaration of Independence was written on Hemp paper. Only for the last 80 years or so has Hemp been illegal and before that, it was used for everything from paper to clothing to rope to use as a source of protein.
Hemp became fully legal Nationwide in 2018, and slowly the States are all coming out with their local policies regarding Hemp and CBD. Hemp is relatively easy to grow outdoors and offers Farmers the prospect of a new, sustainable, high value cash crop. Hemp is a crop that greatly benefits farmers, and the CBD oil that is extracted from Hemp has a list of extraordinary potential benefits for its users. For many users, CBD may provide a safe, legal, non-addictive, non-psychoactive alternative to many over-prescribed drugs.
CBD is a natural product that provides relief from many ailments for millions of people, and it’s produced from a crop that directly benefits beleaguered Farmers everywhere – what a great combination!
Evolution of New England Farming
Farming has always been a challenging but essential profession. The Farmers in New England face a unique set of challenges that represent an existential threat to an industry that has been with us since the founding of the Colonies. New England Farms are located in some of the most densely populated states in the country, and they face unrelenting pressure from high land values, commercial development, harsh winters and many other challenges unique to the Northeast. Generational pressures also exist for children who inherit Farms and are forced to sell their properties to pay taxes or who sell simply because they no longer want to farm the land.
Hemp - the Future of New England Farming
There is hope on the horizon. Hemp is a cash crop that has the potential to be a radical game changer for New England Farming. By definition, Hemp has very low levels of THC, the psychoactive component of the Marijuana plant, and high levels of CBD, which can provide therapeutic benefits to many people. In essence, it won’t get you high but it may help what ails you! The history of Hemp is as old as the history of Man; it was one of the first plants to be spun into usable fiber over 10,000 years ago in Europe and Asia, Hemp was introduced to North America in the early 1600s and it was a staple crop in the Colonies - in fact many Colonial era farmers were required to grow hemp. Throughout history, Hemp has been used to make paper, ropes, clothing, animal feed, and many other products.
Today, Hemp is highly prized for the CBD oil that is processed through extraction. CBD has many potential benefits for users although medical study is really just starting. Medicine and the general population are really just starting to truly understand the hemp plant and the potential benefits. Some benefits may include pain relief, anti-anxiety, and anti-depression. With the passing of the 2018 Federal Farm Bill growing hemp is now legal nationally. Many states in New England have started programs allowing the cultivation of Hemp.
Hemp Cultivation in New England
What does this mean for the great states of New England? The average New England farmer is 58 years old. The average farm is 68 acres and produces just $64,000 in income. Hemp farmers could expect to make between $50,000 - $100,000 per acre depending on the quality of the Hemp that they grow.
Hemp and CBD oil extraction could prove to be a major boon for the current farmers of New England and help secure farming life in New England for many generations to come! We at New England Hemp Farm are proud to support local New England farmers.
For more detail on the origins of Hemp, see below!
World Timeline of Hemp
• 8,000 BCE: Traces of hemp have been found in modern day China and Taiwan. Evidence shows that hemp was used for pottery and food (seed & oil)
• 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 is found in southern Russia
• 500 BCE: a jar of hemp seed and leaves were found in Berlin, Germany. Use of hemp continues to spread across northern Europe
• 200 BCE: Hemp rope is found in Greece
• 100 BCE: China uses hemp to make paper
• 100: Hemp rope is found in Britain
• 570: A French Queen was buried in hemp clothing
• 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: Cannabis is introduced in South America (Brazil)
• 1616: Jamestown, first permanent English settlement in the Americas, grows hemp to make ropes, sails, and clothing
• 1700s: American farmers in several colonies are required by law to grow hemp
• 1776: The Declaration of Independence is drafted up on hemp paper
• 1840: Abraham Lincoln uses hemp seed oil to fuel his household lamps.
• 1916: USDA publishes findings that show hemp produces 4X more paper per acre than trees
• 1937: The Marijuana Tax Act placed a tax on all cannabis sales (including hemp), heavily discouraging the 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: The last commercial hemp fields in the US were planted in Wisconsin
• 1970: the Controlled Substances Act classified hemp as an illegal Schedule I drug, which imposed strict regulations 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 are 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) was introduced in the House and Senate. If passed, it would remove all federal restrictions on industrial hemp and legalize its cultivation.
• 2016: A Colorado farm has earned the Organic certification from USDA for its hemp
• 2018: President Trump signed the Federal Farm Bill which Nationally legalizes the production of industrial hemp (defined as Cannabis sativa plants containing less than three-tenths of one present of THC).