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Turning Seeds Into an American Icon: A History of Hemp in the U.S.

For years, hemp has had a lousy reputation. Often confused with its cousin, marijuana, it's in fact a different variety of cannabis, with the main difference being a considerably lower THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) level. Michael Lewis and Rebecca Burgess know the difference. They know that the United States has a history with industrial hemp, from colonial times all the way to World War II, and that it can be used to make thousands of products, including textiles, health foods, and car parts. Could growing hemp revive an entire industry? This short documentary by Patagonia follows Lewis and Burgess as they collaborate to reintroduce industrial hemp to the U.S. landscape.

Follow their effort at,, and Patagonia, through their membership in 1% For The PlanetĀ®, provides cash grants and in-kind services to thousands of community-based groups working to create positive change for the planet in their own backyards:

The Short Film Showcase spotlights exceptional short videos created by filmmakers from around the world and selected by National Geographic editors. We look for work that affirms National Geographic's belief in the power of science, exploration, and storytelling to change the world. To submit a film for consideration, please email The filmmakers created the content presented, and the opinions expressed are their own, not those of National Geographic Partners.