Great news for the hemp movement, hemp friends!
Horticulturists at Mount Vernon (George Washington’s famous estate) recently partnered with experts from the local University of Virginia to plant hemp together onsite.
“To bring this crop back it just really helps complete our agricultural story,” says Dean Norton, the director of horticulture at the estate.
From NPR article:
The push to bring back hemp came from a Charlottesville, Va., farmer, Brian Walden, who considers himself a “hemp patriot.”
He hoped planting the crop at Washington’s home again could give hemp a public image makeover.
“And [get] the message across that this is an innocuous plant that has real benefits and our Founding Fathers knew that and they planted it,” Walden says.
But convincing the deciders at Mount Vernon wasn’t easy. “It’s been two generations that we last grew hemp. That means it’s lost from the general population’s knowledge or memory,” Walden says. It took months for him to make the case.
Hemp is still considered a controlled substance by the federal government, but Mount Vernon is able to grow industrial hemp because of a provision included in the federal Farm Bill passed in 2014. It allows states to harvest the crop in limited supply for research purposes only. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 38 states considered industrial hemp legislation in 2018.
To be clear, the hemp harvested at Mount Vernon is not the type of cannabis you smoke, like its cousin marijuana. Rather, it’s used to make rope, cloth and a host of other products.
We hope you love this news as much as we do, and we consider it a win for historical accuracy and hemp!