My colleagues and I are often invited to speak to groups about the re-emergence of hemp in our country and its economy.
We always say yes - and when asked to address young people, the yes is a little louder and more enthusiastic.
You see; we had the need to re-educate ourselves too many of us being children of the ‘70s. We became believes through research that the promise embedded in this ancient plant is nothing short of extraordinary. Probably the best kept secret through fear marketing campaigns that ever existed. Of course in some places this may also be referred to as ‘propaganda.’ Let me take you on a thought exercise and see if it lights you up the way it does students in college and post grad classrooms:
Imagine you are a young clerk, placed in the office of a man named Henry Ford. He has an idea to routinize the manufacture of automobiles. Clearly, he is crazy right? But you stick around a while, and soon, you are more than a witness to revolution - you are a key player.
Now imagine that you work for a small technology company whose executives come out of the military. They spent years sending messages to one another through the ether, (that you can’t see) - something called email on a thing called a world wide web. And now they want to monetize that pipe and that ether. Well they would seem nuts too, right?
Well, now you can imagine why hemp has ignited the imaginations of our company members and the network of industry partners we have harnessed. Hemp was banned in the U.S. in 1937, then made temporarily legal again in 1942 in the ‘Hemp for Victory’ campaign. The post-war, second era of hemp prohibition didn’t occur immediately after the end of World War II, the final commercial hemp harvest occurred in Wisconsin in 1957.
Skip to 2018, now it is legal again to grow and process in the U.S. Hemp can make over 25,000 products and the list is growing. Indeed, 80% of a motorcycle body can be made of hemp (and has been), and an acre of hemp can remediate decades of toxic emissions in a single growing season. Its oils can feed and heal. Its fibers can clothe and build.
Is it going to be easy? Well, no. But it wasn’t easy for Henry Ford and his competitors either. Fun fact: in 1895 there were only two cars on the road in the entire State of Ohio. They crashed into one another. Which spurred the advent of things like traffic signs and signals.
One of the Hempgrid goals is to help create best practices - the speed limits, yield signs and merge lanes - that turn this from a really promising plant to a truly transformative industry.
If you’re reading this, then chances are you’re someone we want to know.
Remember those young people I told you we race to talk to whenever asked? They get it. We start talking about a green revolution and a whole new, uncharted industry, and their eyes light up. They lean in. They want in.
More than ever, we need better and smarter ways to produce goods. Hempgrid was created to help fuel this shift and create a hemp ecosystem. We look forward to stepping on the gas. So why not get on board?