Support the development of hemp plants and products to restore soils, sequester carbon, provide food and fiber, and sustain local economies.
For millennia, hemp (cannabis sativa) has been cultivated as a source of food and fiber to make rope, paper, textiles, shoes, and lamp oil. Hemp plants grow quickly and thrive in many regions. Hemp seeds are a good source of plant-based protein, vitamin B1 (thiamine), and minerals like manganese, copper, magnesium, and phosphorus. Hemp plants enhance soil health and sequester carbon dioxide twice as effectively as trees. Hemp can prevent deforestation by replacing wood to make paper as well as certain types of building materials. It is a biodegradable alternative to plastic. It uses water six times more efficiently than cotton plants. In the early 20th century, hemp was banned by the U.S. government along with its cousin marijuana. In 2018, hemp was decriminalized and is now enjoying a resurgence, though it faces ongoing challenges, including stigmatization, stringent regulation, and competition from cannabis growers. Despite these obstacles, hemp’s versatility makes it a botanical ally in addressing climate change, especially if its market potential can be expanded and hemp products become critical in regenerative agriculture.