The industrial history of cannabis

Hemp is among the oldest industries on the planet, going back more than 10,000 years to the beginning of pottery. The Columbia History of the World states that the weaving of hemp fibre began over 10,000 years ago. Presidents Washington and Jefferson both grew hemp. Americans were legally bound to grow hemp during the Colonial Era and the Early Republic.

In 2000 B.C. hemp was so important to ancient China that it was considered one of the ‘5 grains’, 5 cultivated crops that were thought to be sacred.

In 1454 the world’s first book to be printed on a moveable type printing press, the Gutenberg Bible, was printed on hemp paper. The few remaining original copies are considered to be the most valuable books in the world with a complete copy valued at $25million.

In 1492 Christopher Columbus brought European hemp to the new world.

In Great Britain, hemp cultivation dates back to 800AD. In 1533 King Henry VIII encouraged farmers to plant the crop extensively to provide materials for the British Naval fleet. He even fined those who refused. It was needed for the construction of battleships and their components. Ropes and rigging were also made from hemp along with hemp paper which was used for maps, logs and even for the Bibles that sailors may have brought on board.

In 1690 the first American paper mill made paper from hemp and in 1853 Levi Strauss & Co used hemp to make the world’s first pair of jeans for the Sierra gold miners.

In 1897 Rudolph Diesel invented the world’s first diesel engine which was designed to run on clean-burning vegetable oils including Hemp Oil which does not cause pollution or create carbon buildup inside engines. For 30 years Hemp Oil was the fuel of choice for automobiles until international banking cartels sought to destroy hemp so they could replace it with their toxic petrochemical fuels.

In 1930, everything came to a halt when Harry Anslinger was appointed a commissioner of the newly created Federal Bureau of Narcotics by his father-in-law Andrew Mellon, one of the most powerful bankers in the USA. Mellon plus two other bankers Rockefeller and Carnegie had significant investments in Oil, Paper, Synthetic Fibre, Petrochemical Plastics and Pharmaceuticals – all of which were about to be made obsolete by technological advancements in Hemp processing.

In 1942 the U.S. government couldn’t take part in World War 2 without hemp for military clothing and equipment. This forced them to stop demonising hemp and led to them launching a campaign to encourage, and reward, US farmers for growing hemp with a PR video titled “Hemp for Victory”.

In 1956 the U.S. government decided to elevate the classification of cannabis to a schedule 1 narcotic, stating it had no medical benefit and being equally as harmful as crack cocaine or heroin. Teenagers found in possession of cannabis (including hemp) could face life imprisonment.

40 years later, in 1996, Canada made the decision to legalise the growing of hemp which not only created employment but generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue which then led to the national legalisation of medical cannabis in 2001.



This is an excerpt from the book ‘The Ultimate Guide To Investing In Cannabis‘ by Investment Advisor Jacob Coombs.

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