After Centuries, George Washington’s Mt. Vernon Farm Is Growing Hemp Again

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The father of our country, George Washington, grew hemp on his farm in Mt. Vernon, VA. In the 1760s, Washington predicted that hemp could be a more profitable crop than tobacco and he grew it in commercial quantities on his farm. More than 250 years later, horticulturists at Mt. Vernon and the University of Virginia planted an experimental hemp crop. Telling NPR he is a “hemp patriot,” Charlottesville, VA, farmer Brian Walden hopes growing the crop at Washington’s home farm again could give hemp a public image makeover and “get the message that this is an innocuous plant that has real benefits and our Founding Fathers knew that and they planted it,” Walden told NPR. According to NPR, hemp is still considered a controlled substance by the federal government, although 38 states considered industrial hemp legislation in 2018. According to a June report by the Congressional Research Service, "the global market for hemp consists of more than 25,000 products in nine submarkets." Hemp fibers can be made into yarns, paper, construction materials, even parts for automobiles. Hemp oil can be used in lotions and cosmetics, and full spectrum hemp extract is emerging as a popular dietary supplement. To learn more, attend the Southern Hemp Expo, Sept. 28-29, Nashville, TN, www.southernhempexpo.com.