To our surprise, there is a deck of Bicycle hemp playing cards to celebrate the history and influence of hemp on the world. In fact, every deck comes with a “Hemp Facts” card to educate consumers about the various uses of hemp fibers and seeds since ancient times. They even go into the differences between the weed you smoke and industrial hemp. The deck just celebrates hemp, it isn’t actually made with hemp fibers like you may have assumed.
History Of Hemp
Hemp is only starting to become a cash crop now. However, the history of hemp use dates back to ancient times. In fact, the weaving of hemp fiber began over 10,000 years ago. It was used in ancient India, Egypt, China and more with traces of its use from both carbon dating and ancient texts. The ancients likely discovered hemp while searching for textiles. The traces date so far back that Carl Sagan has theorized cannabis could have been the world’s first agriculture crop.
In 1850, the United States census noted 8,400 hemp plantations of at least 2000 acres in the country. Less than a century later, the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act made it almost impossible for American farmers to make hemp.
In 1942, the United States Department of Agriculture made a war-time film called Hemp for Victory to encourage farmers to grow hemp suitable for the U.S. Navy’s ropes. Tax stamps were used as an incentive to get farmers to start growing hemp again. However, in 1969, the Marijuana Tax Act was ruled to be unconstitutional because anyone that claims one is essentially admitting to illegally growing marijuana. Unfortunately, this decision was repealed by the next year with the passing of a new Act.
In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act repealed the 1937 Act and the flaw that made it unconstitutional to enforce. Then, hemp and marijuana were grouped together making both federally illegal. It has only been safe to make hemp in the United States since the 2014 Farm Bill signed by President Barack Obama.
Why Did Bicycle Make Hemp Playing Cards?
Bicycle Playing Cards have been making paper playing cards in the United States since the 1800s. In 1894, they became the United States Printing Company of Cincinnati. Over time, they’ve come to understand two things well. The intricacies of making paper, and more recently, the shifting views on cannabis in their country.
“As a company whose principal output is a paper product, The United States Playing Card Company knows a bit about fibers. We know that hemp fibers are an environmentally-friendly crop used in textiles, body products and even bio-fuel. Hemp fibers are stronger than cotton fibers and can even block UV rays more efficiently than other fabrics.”
Even if you don’t smoke weed, this is a collectible deck of Bicycle playing cards. The case is decked out with a large pot leaf under a green Bicycle logo. There is original artwork on the Ace of Spades, Joker, back design and tuck with a unique hemp-colored background on every card. Weed-theme aside, it’s still one of the most unique-looking decks of cards we’ve ever seen officially printed by Bicycle.
The back design of every card is the same giant hemp leaf on the case. So your opponents will see several pot leaves while you ponder your next move. The fronts of the cards all have the extra hints of green or a pot leaf added to the classic designs in some way.
Final Hit: Bicycle Hemp Playing Cards
Bicycle Hemp Playing Cards are a sign of the changing times. Whether you keep them as a collectible piece of history or use them to play games, the Bicycle Hemp Playing Cards stand out from the rest. They’re no longer available directly from Bicycle’s website but you can find them on Amazon.
You can use the bicycle hemp playing cards to play High Time’s version of poker. We recommend replacing your chips with weed and playing for that instead. Figure out how much everyone is willing to put in and divide that weight into chips. You’ll probably need a scale at the poker table. At the end of the night, someone gets to weigh out a nice pile of buds for their winnings. Hopefully, they’re kind enough to roll one up with the losers before they leave with everyone’s stashes.