Dean Norton, director of horticulture at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, pulls out his cellphone and cranks up some Jimi Hendrix as he walks toward the cannabis patch on the founding father’s estate.
The weed is tall, planted in tight rows, and has the serrated leaf edges of your classic ganja.
As Hendrix’s 1968 epic “Voodoo Child” drifts from the phone, Norton jokes about having a suitable vibe for the plot. “We should have a speaker in the middle,” he says. “Would people go nuts? “
But this is not that kind of hemp. You don’t smoke this stuff. This is raised for its fiber. It’s industrial hemp, the kind Henry Ford sought to build cars with. And Mount Vernon has started growing it because George Washington did.
The landmark home of the nation’s first president, about 20 miles south of Washington, is part of an effort to return industrial hemp to its historical context and promote its use in the modern world.
Industrial hemp, while cannabis, is far different from its marijuana cousin.
While both contain tetrahydrocannabinol, THC, the substance that’s creates the “high,” industrial hemp contains only tiny amounts of THC and has no psychoactive effect, experts say. [Read more at The Washington Post]