Hemp is one of the earliest domesticated plants known. Hemp use, archaeologically, dates back to the Neolithic Age in China, with hemp fiber imprints found on Yangshao culture pottery dating from the 5th century BC. The Chinese later used hemp to make clothing, shoes, ropes, and an early form of paper.
In 1606, French Botanist Louis Hebert planted the first hemp crop in North America. By the 1800s the King of England offered free land (and free hemp seed) to immigrants who moved to Canada and grew hemp. Hemp became an essential for new immigrants both as a food and for textile uses.
In the United States, American farmers were required by law to grow hemp in Virginia and other colonies. Founding Fathers George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams all grew hemp. The Declaration of Independence was even drafted on hemp paper. Notable warships like the U.S.S. Constitution were outfitted with hemp sails and rigging. Hemp played a crucial role in evolving the nation.
Largely due to confusion with other kinds of Cannabis, growing hemp was prohibited in 1937. Around the same time, the magazine Popular Mechanics declared hemp as the next Billion-dollar crop estimating over 25,000 different uses for hemp. Also during this time, Henry Ford developed a vehicle made from hemp plastic that ran on hemp ethanol.
The ban on growing hemp was temporarily lifted in 1942 when the US government launched the “Hemp for Victory” campaign encouraging farmers to grow hemp in support of war efforts. Hundreds of thousands of US hemp acres were harvested for rope, fire hose, sails, parachutes and even uniforms. Then, in 1957 hemp was once again banned.
The commercial production of low-THC (Industrial) Hemp is permitted in Canada -- since 1998 -- under licenses and permits issued by The Canadian Federal Government, Health Canada controlled substances Division. The result is the complete transparency of all Canadian Hemp crops. Each is lot-traced and lab-tested and the seeds used to plant the crop (pedigree) are regulated and purchased from the registered seed growers associations. Our Hemp, grown for its use as a whole food, qualifies under the Non GMO program.
The world leading producer of hemp is China with smaller production in Europe, Chile and North Korea however Canada has seen a drastic increase in acres under production in the last few years and the United States has recently surrcumbed to allowing hemp farming after being one of the only Countires in the world to still ban its farming.