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America's Harried Hemp History

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 Cinnamon    24,750

In 1619, because hemp was such an important resource, it was illegal not to grow hemp in Jamestown, Virginia. Massachusetts and Connecticut had similar laws. During the 1700's, subsidies and bounties were granted in Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, North & South Carolina, and the New England states to encourage hemp cultivation and the manufacturing of cordage and canvas. Unfortunately, these actions failed to establish a permanent hemp industry in any of these states.

Most hemp used for naval purposes was imported. During the first six months of 1770, the colonies imported over 400 tons of hemp from Great Britain, 3,400 tons in 1800, and about 5,000 tons were imported each year between 1820 and 1840, which compares to the domestic production in the 1800's, usually in the 5,000-10,000 ton range, except in the 1840s and '50s when 30,000-plus tons of hemp were annually produced.

In 1839, the Navy's showcase ropewalk in Charlestown, Mass., used 2,733 tons of hemp: 2,500 tons Russian hemp, 200 tons Manila hemp, 33 tons American hemp. This quarter-mile ropewalk was constructed of granite walls and a slate roof that still stands strong.[Editor's note: "ropewalk" = a long, covered walk, or a low, level building, where ropes are manufactured]

Kentucky first planted hemp near Danville in 1775. In 1790, hemp fiber was first advertised for sale in local papers. The hemp industry rapidly expanded and Kentucky became the industry center for the next 100 years. Most of Kentucky's hemp was grown in the "bluegrass" region that includes Fayette, Woodford, Jessamine, Garrard, Clark, Bourbon, Boyle, Scott and Shelby counties. In 1811, there were almost 60 ropewalks in Kentucky, and by the late 1850's, more than one-third of the 400 bagging, bale rope and cordage factories in America were located there. Later in the century, the production of cordage and bagging did not prove to be profitable using domestic hemp, so production was ceased as imported Manila and jute fibers were substituted.



Too bad we don't have a hemp industry. I even have to buy hemp hearts that are grown in Canada.  Hemp could be a huge source of jobs, from cultivation to making clothing, sails, rope, etc. .  The quality would be so much better than what's available now, The government's had a war on plants for too long. Hemp has such a low thc content that you can't even get stoned by smoking it.  So a hemp ban is pointless if that's what they're worried about. People on the street seem to know more about hemp than the ones who rule it's existence. 

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