In 2012, my partner Elizabeth Knight and I launched Colorado Hemp Company as an organization that would make a conscious effort to focus on the industrial, nutritional, therapeutic, and environmental applications and benefits of hemp. Soon after, we launched an umbrella company called WAFBA— We Are For Better Alternatives— a family of brands based on the non-intoxicating side of cannabis. Hemp is cannabis, marijuana is cannabis, but hemp is not marijuana...and, hemp is federally legal.
The 2018 Farm Bill, signed by President Trump, has that language clearly states that hemp—and all parts of the plant, including cannabinoids, extracts and derivatives—is not part of the Controlled Substances Act and is no longer under the jurisdiction of the DEA. The crop should be treated like any other agriculture crops such as corn, wheat, soy or strawberries. In terms of regulation and jurisdiction, hemp now falls under the United States Department of Agriculture.
Hemp In Food, Medicine & Agriculture:
Hemp is a superfood, a super fiber, a super nutrient, and a super ingredient (for thousands and thousands of products). Hemp is a super plant. As an affordable, renewable resource, hemp can help our local communities, our country, our personal health, our planetary health, and even our furry little pets and livestock. Hemp as a crop can help small, medium, and large farms alike by providing lower input costs and higher dollar returns per acre. Hemp can be grown organically and regeneratively without the use of petrochemical fertilizers and toxic herbicides so often used in agriculture today. Hemp will create tens of thousands of jobs across multiple sectors of industry, not only here in the United States, but across the globe.
Hemp seeds and hemp seed oil are incredibly nutritious and rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, along with being one of the best sources for plant based protein and amino acids. Hemp derived CBD and other cannabinoid products—for both ingestibles and topicals—are being used with great success in assisting with conditions like pain, anxiety, sleep, depression, heart health, skin health, brain health, and even certain types of epilepsy.
Hemp For Manufacturing:
Hemp stalks, which include bast fiber, the outer material of the hemp stalk, is one of the strongest and most durable of all natural fibers. It’s antimicrobial and can be used for a variety of textile products, including clothing, carpeting, and upholstery. Hemp fiber can be used in nanotechnology materials for supercapacitors that show promise in outperforming graphene, at a fraction of the price.
Hemp hurd, the inner woody core of the hemp stalk, is extremely efficient when used for building materials. It can produce carbon neutral, to carbon negative homes depending on binder and finish recipes. Bioplastics, composites, paper, inks, paints, adhesives, fillers, and a myriad of other industrial products can be made using hemp stalks and replace their petroleum and wood based competitors, while reducing the carbon footprint of these industries.
We have environmental and climate change issues, right here, right now, period.
Let me reference a couple quotes, first from the late Jack Herer, author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes, one of the literary catalysts that has inspired millions of hemp and cannabis advocates like myself over the last 30 years to stand up and speak the truth when it comes to the benefits of this plant.
Jack said, “Growing hemp as nature designed it is vital to our urgent need to reduce greenhouse gases and ensure the survival of our planet.”
Investigative journalist, hemp farmer, and author of Hemp Bound, Doug Fine adds to this by saying, “In the midst of a climate crisis, an opioid crisis, an obesity crisis and a plastic waste crisis, the hemp renaissance is emerging to lead the way to a solution. This time around, the farmers are in charge."
What Can I Do?
People ask me all the time, “So, how can I get involved?” “What can I do to facilitate change?”
I tell them this: Let your political representatives know you support hemp, that you support cannabis, and that everybody should be able to participate, not just a selected few. Let Facebook, Instagram and social media sites that censor hemp companies and block them from advertising know that what they are doing is discriminatory and wrong. Complain, loudly. Hemp is legal and should be able to be advertised and promoted through all available advertising channels — including Facebook!
Educate yourself through networking, events, and social functions created to advance the knowledge and understanding regarding the applications and benefits of hemp. And remember, one of the best ways to make a difference is to vote with your wallet. By supporting organics, buying from local farmers and local businesses, and making the switch to hemp based products, we’re weaning our society away from an old and broken system and into a new future focused on healing ourselves, our communities, our environment, and the planet.
Together, we've got this.