Blast From the Past: Hemp Returns to Mount Vernon After More Than Two Centuries

After more than two hundred years, industrial hemp is making a comeback at the home of President George Washington.

The handlers of the Mount Vernon Estate have partnered with the University of Virginia’s industrial hemp research program to begin growing hemp at the Pioneer Farm site. The crops were planted in May and harvesting began on Aug. 22.

Historians have confirmed that Washington was indeed a hemp grower himself. There are nearly 100 references to the crop in his personal diaries.

Brian Walden, who spearheaded the idea of bringing hemp cultivation back to Mount Vernon, hopes the image of ‘George Washington the Hemp Patriot’ will bring awareness to the crop’s utility. Despite its unfortunate reputation as a front for the illicit marijuana industry, hemp is a non-intoxicating product with a wide variety of uses.

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