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Hemp History

In 1792, Kentucky became the 15th state of the United States, and hemp was a vital crop from the start. In 1808, President Thomas Jefferson imposed an embargo on European goods that crippled portions of the American economy, but left an opportunity for Kentucky farmers to grow more hemp to replace the embargoed items. It was at this time that Kentucky became the nation’s leader in hemp production.
After the Civil War, nearly all the hemp grown in America came from Kentucky. In 1902, nine counties in central Kentucky grew 75 percent of all the hemp produced in America. But in 1937, Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act, which killed the Kentucky hemp industry for the next 80 years, except for a brief three-year period during World War Two.
Immediately upon entering World War Two in 1942, the United States needed a hemp supply as a matter of national security. So, the USDA began the “Hemp for Victory” program, for which Kentucky grew 36,000 acres of hemp in 1942 alone.
In 1970, President Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act, which classified hemp as a Schedule I drug. But nevertheless, some Kentucky farmers continued to grow their crop illegally. Between 1985 and 1989, police arrested 70 men from central Kentucky alone. Of the 70 arrested, zero cooperated with law enforcement, earning them the distinction of the “Cornbread Mafia.
In 2012, James Higdon published a book about the Cornbread Mafia and the history of Kentucky cannabis. In 2014, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell passed the Farm Bill to establish pilot projects in states with legal hemp programs. In the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp was legalized outright, including CBD extracts.
We launched Cornbread Hemp Co. with a commitment to sell the highest quality CBD products available. From partnering with expert farmers who have tapped into over two hundred years of Kentucky hemp tradition, to using cutting edge extraction methods that lead the industry, we’re confident you’ll notice our difference when you experience our products, shipped directly from our farms to your doorstep.