1880’s – Hemp was still flourishing in a few areas of Pennsylvania, but was mainly grown as an ornamental plant. It was also grown to provide seeds for poultry and bird seed. Additionally, hemp was used to condition soil as a rotation crop and to provide buffers between crops to protect potatoes and other crops from insects. Until 1883, 75% to 90% of all the world’s paper was made from cannabis hemp fiber.
1937 – The hemp industry in Pennsylvania came to an abrupt end with the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act, which made the growing of hemp illegal in the United States. However, evidence remains that hemp was still being cultivated throughout the state in the 1940s. Some rural districts are said to have continued growing hemp until 1970.
Hemp millstones and other remains of Pennsylvania hemp mills can be found at the Landis Valley Museum and the Hans Herr House Museum, both in Lancaster County.
Hemp is once again being recognized as the versatile plant that it is. Some shampoos, lotions, and fabrics, as well as cooking and food ingredients are made from hemp.
Chiques Creek is leading the way to welcoming the revitalization of hemp agriculture in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and beyond.