This week is industry week!! Yayyy!!! I am not sure if we have mentioned this enough times but the industry we work in, let’s just call it the cannabis industry, is absolutely insane. I know, I know, everyone says that but believe me in the case of cannabis, it’s true.
So, over the next 4 blogs we are going to talk about the shape, scope and current development of the cannabis industry. Let’s go!!
In The Beginning…
In the beginning there was the word, and the word was Chronic. Ha-ha, just kidding, we all know the word was Maryjane. Seriously though it’s difficult to know where to begin. We have talked at some length about the modern history and demonization, we have spoken about the ancient traditional use of cannabis in medicine, but we have not actually addressed cannabis as an actual industry. So, let’s start there.
Ropes And Sails And Roofs Oh My
As it turns out the past is really cool, particularly when it comes to the cannabis industry. Technically it should be considered the hemp industry because the plant strain that was and is used for technical purposes is Cannabis Sativa L we wrote about that here and here.
The main difference between Cannabis Sativa L and Cannabis Sativa is that Cannabis Sativa, or Marijuana, has Delta 9 THC in abundance and gets you ‘high’ when you ingest it. Cannabis Sativa L or Technical Hemp has very little Delta 9 THC and does not have get you “high” or have any psychedelic effect on you at all.
Traditionally technical hemp was used for technical purposes, duh. Technical purposes such as making ropes and sails for boats, this was a huge industry even into modern times. Supposedly one of the major reasons Napoleon invaded Russia was to secure their hemp supply for his navy.
Other uses for technical hemp included feed and bedding for livestock, thatching for roof tops, rushes for stone or dirt floors, and of course grain for food and flour. There were other uses as well, but these are the primary uses.
So which cultures had fully developed hemp industries? Well the Chinese and Asia in general had a hemp industry in ancient times. There is evidence that the industry thrived in the Middle East region as well. But the Europeans and the age of exploration are the ones responsible for the development of global industrial hemp.
The Europeans relationship to hemp is well known and documented. In 1535 Henry the VIII required landowners to grow hemp on at least one fourth of an acre of their property. If they refused, they were penalized financially. The same was required of the colonists in the original Jamestown settlement in Virginia. The colonists were required to grow hemp and could use it to pay their taxes.
During the age of exploration, the Europeans took hemp with them everywhere they went. The Spaniards brought it to South America and planted it there. The Africans had a very long history with both Hemp and Cannabis that did not escape the attention of the Portuguese. Essentially hemp was pretty much everywhere. Cannabis is a super sturdy plant that requires very little in the way of water or nutrients. It can grow almost anywhere and planting it is as simple as throwing seed into the soil and that’s it.
The cultivation of hemp was in and of itself an industry. Plants were modified for specific purposes. Seeds were cultivated, harvested and sold to people who were experts in the cultivation of hemp and cannabis. The industry seems to have been most mature in Europe and the Europeans to this day have a very solid relationship to both technical hemp and cannabis.
We will talk more about that in next week’s blog, for now I am sure we all have some serious weekending to do. So, get to it and don’t forget to stop by the shop and try our totally amazing awesome gummies. See you next Friday!!