For centuries, the Dutch have embraced the economic benefits of trade in all things cannabis. Almost entirely dependant upon boats for trade and conquest, they relied heavily upon hemp sail cloth and rope. To this very day the Netherlands have been a friendly place to trade in cannabis, as its 40 decriminalization policies have shown the world how safe and healthy cannabis consumption can be.
It is difficult to say how long hemp has been grown for cloth in the Netherlands but it seems to have been done for so long that the word canvas likely comes from the Dutch term for the stiff fabric made from hemp, canefas. Hemp was being grown domestically intensively, with one region boasting at least 28 windmills in use to process hemp fiber. Of course, these windmills had hemp sail cloth wrapped around their wooden frames to capture wind power.
In his book, HEMP: LIFELINE TO THE FUTURE, prominent US activist Chris Conrad clearly explains how the Dutch were able to capitalize on their consistent domestic supply of high quality hemp products. Historically the 16th and 17th centuries were known as the “Golden Years” by the Dutch and the importance of hemp in their empire building has often been ignored. There should be no doubt that without hemp the Dutch would not have been nearly as successful in their overseas conquests nor trade. Indeed, even today the Netherlands benefits greatly by embracing all cousins of the cannabis plant.
For more information please buy my book, HEMPOLOGY 101: THE HISTORY AND USES OF CANNABIS SATIVA and subscribe to the youtube channel to watch the videos we are making highlighting the information contained inside it.
Read more from Ted Smith on the Cannabis Digest Blogs