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Taking Back American Hemp

Author: Emily Cotter

[Hope Valley, Rhode Island, Nov 7, 2022] – One of our leading team members at Lovewell Farms, Emily Cotter, recently published the following article with Motif Magazine. Here is an excerpt from this article, which discusses indigenous farmers leading the New Green Revolution:

For indigenous farmers welcoming cannabis seeds back into American soil, hemp may be one of the missing links in a “pre- and post-petroleum” agricultural model — one that could empower tribal nations to seek social, economic, and environmental justice through the unique opportunities of a versatile crop like hemp. Or as Laduke calls it, “a magical plant for the future.” Hemp is widely known to be a forgotten hero of the past, as well. I can recall hearing that at some point in modern American history, farmers were actually required to grow a quarter acre each of hemp and flax, but I did not learn until now that the word “canvas” is actually derived from the word “cannabis” — that’s how commonly used the fiber was in the past. The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 legally separated hemp from marijuana as a crop, and hemp production was encouraged by the government during the 1940s as part of agricultural efforts during World War II. However, under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, hemp was officially classified and criminalized alongside heroin and marijuana as a dangerous, addictive drug. If only we had continued to embrace hemp as the amazing renewable resource it is, instead of rejecting it as a narcotic that would be inaccessible to farmers for decades… According to Laduke, “We had a choice between a carbohydrate economy and a hydrocarbon economy, and we made the wrong choice.” She believes that everything we have done with oil, could have been done with hemp — a regenerative crop that can remediate soils and sequester carbon faster than any other field crop.

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