In the 1600s, property owners in North America had to grow hemp.

By way of a royal decree, King James I required every property owner in Jamestown to grow 100 plants of hemp for export in 1619, according to “Hemp: American History Revisited: The Plant with a Divided History” by Robert Deitch.

Jamestown Colony was England’s first permanent settlement in North America run by the Virginia Company.

The hemp was used to provide cordage and canvas for British ships, Ambrose said.

Similar hemp decrees were later issued in Connecticut and Massachusetts.