Industrial Hemp, or Cannabis sativa L. has been prohibited in the United States since 1937. Because cultivation of the crop has been banned in the United States, our country is missing out on many of the benefits that hemp can offer as an agricultural commodity from an environmental and economic standpoint. Historically, hemp has been used around the world for tens of thousands of years. Currently, industrial hemp is being utilized by 30 other nations in the world and sold within a global market.
The United States is the only industrialized nation in the world in which hemp production is very highly monitored and supervised by drug enforcement laws. Hemp has been coined as an extremely efficient and versatile crop in both its cultivation processes and its uses. Some estimate that industrial hemp has over 25,000 uses ranging throughout a collection of submarkets. However, misconceptions about the plant in the early 20th century and its inherent chemical link to marijuana lead policies and the majority of the American public to comply with these prohibition laws ever since. Most Americans are misinformed about the potential uses of hemp and what it actually is. This reality is predominantly due to the fact that the United States government and media have actively covered up the potential benefits of a hemp industry for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons are drug enforcement related, others have to do with competing industries of hemp and the threat that hemp poses in its ability to substitute for many other agricultural industries.
The main goal of this research is to present valuable information about industrial hemp, to uncover the reasoning for its initial and continual prohibition in the United States, to assess whether or not hemp has the potential to be a major contributor to more sustainable agricultural system through environmentally friendly cultivation methods, and to evaluate the economic potential of a U.S. hemp industry in a global market through a wide variety of industrial applications.