Cannabis and its values are widely celebrated and most of us realize, the green revolution is already upon us!
People often ask us about selling hemp t-shirts. For the purpose of this post, I wish to talk about the development of hemp, and why it is so important for American agriculture to get behind it, and why it's something for the future.
Hemp is a strain of the cannabis plant and is often confused with marijuana (in short, one can only get high from marijuana, not hemp). Hemp crop is typically ready to harvest in four months, and per acre it produces four times as much paper as trees, which take many years to reach maturity for harvest. It was first spun into a usable fiber 10,000 years ago producing a multitude of durable products including rope, clothing, paper and shoes. During the 18th and 19th centuries, hemp was not only legal in the USA, it was considered an important cash crop. Further, it has always been a sustainable cultivation for farmers, easier to grow and more environmentally friendly than cotton. There was never anything wrong with hemp, in fact quite the opposite.
However in 1937, industrial hemp became strictly regulated in the USA and was made effectively illegal by the Marihuana Tax Act. of 1937, an Act largely attributed to the confusion of hemp with marijuana. A media campaign to blame criminalized activity on the use of marijuana had preceded the Act, but most notable (to us) was the campaigning from wealthy businessmen, including Rudolph Hearst and the Dupont family, whom found hemp to be a direct threat to their own investments. Dupont was then selling a new synthetic fiber, nylon and Hearst had extensive timber holdings. So for the best part of a century, industrial hemp was outlawed despite its high economic value and regardless of its differences to marijuana.
As of December 2018, hemp became legal to grow in the United States under federal law. The Hemp Farming Act 2018 was included in the 2018 Farm Bill, which expands upon provisions in a 2014 version of the bill. Since 2014, the cultivation of hemp in America has progressed significantly and with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, America now has a real chance of competing in the cannabis hemp industry.
Currently, the biggest supplier of hemp is China, which produces more than 70% of the worlds hemp output. American farmers are just getting started with the crop again, and certainly it will take some time to roll out. But with committed manufacturers and a growing conscious customer base, we believe great things will happen quickly and we look forward to working with USA grown hemp in the near future.
TS Designs, a t-shirt manufacturer and printer based in Burlington North Carolina, is committed to improving its socially and environmentally focused business, providing sustainably sourced t-shirts to ethically aware businesses.
Eric Henry, CEO and President of TS Designs is active in reestablishing the hemp industry in America.
From TS Designs website:
Hemp. Bring it home.
Industrial hemp is riding a wave of attention right now, but we’ve been thinking about it for years.
We’ve known it could be a game changer for the US apparel industry, but we refused to pursue something that couldn’t be grown on US soil. Now that hemp’s legal in the US (Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill), we finally have the opportunity to roll with plans that have been on the back burner for more than 10 years.
Exciting times. We already have lessons learned as we’re developing plans for our next steps forward. Review in detail by downloading our “Hemp. A Challenge to Bring It Home Again.” White Paper.