• Hemp: A Single Issue Movement?

    I recently saw a meme that featured a picture of Donald Trump holding a executive order that said, “all cannabis is legal”. The photoshopped photo directed me to click ‘like’ if I would support Trump in legalizing hemp. This is not an uncommon thing to see, a politically naive (it takes more than an executive order to legalize hemp) meme about hemp legalization. Normally, I wouldn’t bat an eye at such a meme, I might even click ‘like’. But these aren’t normal times.

    These first few weeks of a Trump administration has been a whirl for me. I know that he’s just doing what he promised (which is, after all, a strange thing for a politician to do), but somehow it didn’t seem real until now. Maybe it was my ‘liberal bubble,’ but somehow I didn’t expect things to move this fast, for us to be this divided. I wasn’t ready for our racism to be worn so proudly, so arrogantly. And this is why the meme shocked me. It was so…normal. It acted as if our support of Trump, even as he signs an unconstitutional migrant ban, depends solely on whether or not he supports our industry. And it got me thinking: are we a single issue movement?

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  • DEA and CBD: The Controversy Explained

    Our last blog outlined just how difficult it can be to nail down the taxonomy of the hemp plant. For decades, scientists have been arguing about the nature of Cannabis. But, one thing has always been very clear: Cannabis, when grown as an industrial crop with low THC content, is not a narcotic. It cannot get you high. Not at all. So, why then is the Drug Enforcement Agency messing around with the regulation of hemp products? Let’s dive into it.

     

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  • What Is Hemp? Taxonomy and the .3% Threshold

    It’s important to set the historical record straight: George Washington did not grow marijuana. He grew hemp for industrial purposes like rope and clothing, as did many other founding fathers and colonists. But, his hemp may have been a little different than our hemp.

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  • Standing Rock, Industrial Hemp, and Filling the Cultural Void: an Interview with Marcus Grignon

     

    FILLING THE GENERATIONAL VOID

     

    Once upon a time, on the Menominee reservation in Northeastern Wisconsin, there was a big pine snake. The big pine snake would slither its way into Marcus Grignon’s grandfather’s garden on the regular. The snake liked to eat the little critters that they found there, like rabbits, mice, and other rodents. One day, Marcus Grignon’s father ran into the snake. He was a small boy at the time, but he still instinctively wanted to protect himself and his family by killing the big snake. “Don’t do that, he protects my garden,” said Grignon’s grandfather, who had observed his scaly friend eating all of the rodents who would otherwise eat his vegetables. He knew that the snake was a vital part of his garden ecology, that the serpent helped protect his family. Marcus Grignon tells me this story like a myth, with a reverence and a slight melancholy. Much of his grandfather’s ecology has been forgotten in what Grignon calls a “generational void”.

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  • Have You Heard About Hurd? The Future of US Hemp Manufacturing

    As I waded through Salt Creek Hemp Company’s field of sturdy, vibrant hemp plants last weekend, I harbored not a single doubt that this plant has a strong future with U.S. farmers. As I walked through the various exhibits in the horse arena at Hemp on the Slope, eating my hemp ice cream, it was clear to me that the innovative minds of American engineers and product developers will continue to produce sustainable, practical and beautiful products made from hemp. We have all heard the hard facts (and the not-so-hard “facts”) about hemp, the miracle plant, but hearing the actual experience from the farmers who are out in the fields with the plant every day brings new life to the story. It is inspiring to hear from growers like Aaron at Salt Creek. Aaron controls the headwaters of a local water source, and told us about how thrilled and astounded his neighbors are about how much water he was able to send downstream this year, since he was using so much less for his new hemp crop. It’s inspiring to see this plant beginning to get its due after more than 70 years of being relegated to the DEA enforced shadows. Yet, there is still a long way to go.

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