For centuries, hemp has been cultivated in North America for its fibers used in the manufacture of ropes and textiles. However, it was eventually banned in the United States due to its relation to marijuana, a Schedule 1 controlled substance with no medical purpose and a high potential for abuse. This ban on hemp can be seen in the language of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Hemp and marijuana are two varieties of the same plant species, Cannabis sativa, and they look and smell alike.
This similarity led to the federal policies that were reinforced by the CSA of 1970, which virtually prohibited industrial hemp production during the war on drugs. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now responsible for overseeing hemp cultivation. Some state programs have offered corrective measures instead of immediate destruction when it comes to hemp. The Hemp Industries Association has also named this law as the beginning of the ban on hemp, as it made it difficult for farmers to produce hemp. Despite its economic value, there was nothing that could be done to overturn the 1937 ruling. The rule re-emphasizes an earlier USDA ruling that interstate transportation is legal, even if the shipment travels through a state that does not allow hemp cultivation.
This uniformity could reassure those who compare hemp to marijuana at the federal level and have moved away from working with hemp companies or have tried to ban hemp products. It is speculated that hemp was banned because it looks similar to marijuana, but based on their chemical differences, it is clear that they are not the same thing. Hemp is also used for practical purposes such as clothing and concrete, whereas marijuana has no practical uses. Hemp production is an industry that is waiting to replace cotton and the felling of trees to return to where it belongs - at the heart of the industry.