AMERICAN HEMP SEEDS ARE GROWING, BUT…
Nothing like holding the Dutch hemp fiber that goes into Mercedes door panels (fresh off the factory floor, [above], they were silky soft yet stronger than steel) to make an investigative-minded fellow not just smile goofily but also wonder, “Why is the DEA seizing the seeds that will allow the U.S. to catch up with the rest of the world’s billion-dollar hemp industry?”
That’s the theme of an Oped I shot off to the Los Angeles Times this week:
There wasn’t space in the piece to include this detail, but my colleague and friend Jason Lauve, a fellow mentioned in Hemp Bound for his hemp legalization work, was one of the folks trying to get the latest batch of seized seed back into the ground for American farmers. Thanks, Jason – not only the cultivators, processors and entrepreneurs but the overall economy needs your efforts, and one day there’ll be a statue of you somewhere.
In fact, my sense is that American history books are going to refer to this period as The Great Head Scratcher. Indeed it’s hard for me to type when I’m scratching my own head.
Here’s what American farmers from South Carolina to Oregon are wondering as they assume the puzzled squint that accompanies the actual head scratching: “Is that possible? Is a rogue agency in my government really keeping its own nation’s economy from billions and its energy supply from getting more secure?”
Sigh. Alfalfa farmers don’t need to worry about seed seizure. Software companies don’t need to put “federal raids may occur” in the “risk disclosure” section of their prospectuses.
At least this nonsense is nearly over. It’s thrilling to watch major developments unfold every day, on this, the final, inexorable march to domestic commercial hemp cultivation and the massive associated economy.
I just wish the admittedly well-funded folks who reside laughingly on the wrong side of history would concede already. In chess it’s considered good form at this stage. Federal law has changed, for crying out loud. Hemp seed imports are legal for research purposes, and, as the Oped makes clear, necessary (because the U.S.’ world-leading seed stock was lost to prohibition).
For those who smell victory and want to help fully authorize commercial hemp cultivation once and for all, please call your U.S. Senators and urge support of S-359, The Industrial Hemp Farming Act. Its passage is a billion-dollar victory — on paper and short-term. Longer term, it could prove the turning point in humanity’s climate change mitigation efforts and transition to sustainable energy. I envision an annual parade on the date of Presidential signature. Something to do with the hands when we’re no longer head scratching.
Meanwhile, as the first Monsoon rains blessedly and noisily arrive here on the Funky Butte Ranch (check out the rainbow over the front porch below), thanks to everyone for getting their hands on Hemp Bound.
If you haven’t read it, it provides a blueprint for the above-mentioned lucrative and sustainable return of this vital agricultural economy and a model for community-based energy independence. Just that. Just a way to strengthen the nation in a manner that allows for the survival of our charmingly flawed species.
See you at the summer and fall Hemp Bound live events, from Pennsylvania to Slovenia. Both places, by the way, with major historic hemp industries.
“Doug Fine has created a blueprint for the America of the future…Hemp Bound is the best book of the year.” –Willie Nelson
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