History of an ancient plant - Hemp
Hemp is among the oldest industries on the planet, going back more than 10,000 years to the beginnings of pottery. The Columbia History of the World states that the oldest relic of human industry is a bit of hemp fabric dating back to approximately 8,000 BC. Hemp is an ancient plant that has been developed for centuries. The Columbia History of the World (1996) states that the weaving of hemp fiber started over 10,000 years ago! It has been a vital source of food and fiber with references dating back to ancient China and Mesopotamia.
In 1937, Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act which successfully began the era of hemp prohibition. Then came World War II, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor shut off foreign supplies of “Manila Hemp” fiber from the Philippines. During the war, U.S. farmers grew about a million acres of hemp over the Midwest. After the war ended, the government quietly shut down all the hemp processing plants and the industry faded away once more.
During the period from 1937 to the late 60s, the U.S. government understood and acknowledged that industrial hemp and marijuana were distinct varieties of the Cannabis plant and supports the exemption for non-viable seed and fiber and any products produced from them.
According to Wikipedia: Hemp, or industrial hemp is typically found in the northern hemisphere, is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for the industrial uses of its derived products. It is one of the fastest growing plants and was one of the first plants to be spun into usable fiber 10,000 years ago. It can be refined into a variety of commercial items including paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food, and animal feed.
Although cannabis as a drug and industrial hemp both derive from the species Cannabis sativa and contain the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), they are distinct strains with unique phytochemical compositions and uses. Hemp has lower concentrations of THC and higher concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD), which decreases or eliminates its psychoactive effects.
Demand for cultivation & manufacturing Hemp products have drastically increased from year to year, below is the Industrial Hemp Licenses issued year wise: