Ministry of Hemp

Ministry of Hemp

America's leading advocate for hemp

Category: Hemp Startups

Why You Should Make the Switch to Hemp Underwear Now

Privates, we all have them and we now can finally protect them naturally with hemp. Up until recently the best material we had for our undies was cotton. 100% cotton…

Privates, we all have them and we now can finally protect them naturally with hemp.

Up until recently the best material we had for our undies was cotton. 100% cotton underwear is undoubtedly a very good option, as it is a natural material which wicks away moisture from the skin and discourages the growth of yeast.

But now there is an even better natural option with hemp underwear from WAMA. As we explain below, we believe anything cotton can do, hemp can do better. Now with hemp undies you can feel more comfortable, fresh and relax knowing your privates are protected by the natural powers of hemp.

WHY HEMP UNDERWEAR IS BETTER, HEALTHIER UNDERWEAR THAN COTTON

The hemp plant is known to be a miracle plant for all of its uses and benefits. Hemp is known to have anti-bacterial properties and may also be anti-microbial, so hemp textiles provide natural odor protection. Hemp fabric is also a very breathable material and comfortable when worn. Hemp clothing also offers some natural UV protection. And, after all, who wants a sunburn down there?

 

Advantage of hemp underwear
With all of these benefits coming from hemp fabric, it is easy to see the best application for hemp fabric would be underwear. Hemp underwear can kill microbes and bacteria growth allowing you to wear your undies longer without it smelling. Hemp fabrics are also very breathable which helps with airflow, which research suggests can help fight against yeast infections.

Many brands claim their underwear will help kill bacteria growth and odor by adding silver to the fabric. Silver embedded in textiles can definitely kill odor, but silver exposure can also be harmful. While scientists currently believe silver in clothing poses minimal health risk, why take any risk when there’s a completely natural, and naturally odor-killing alternative?

Another great benefit to hemp underwear is that it is super comfortable — we believe it will be the most naturally comfortable underwear you have ever worn. All in all, once you try a pair for yourself you may never go back.

UNDERWEAR YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT WEARING: THE WAMA UNDERWEAR STORY

WAMA HempUnderwear
WAMA Underwear is a new hemp apparel start-up releasing hemp boxer briefs for men and hemp hipsters for women. We wanted to make hemp underwear cool and fashionable so that we can bring more awareness to hemp in the fashion world.

Today, clothing production is the second largest polluter in the world and we are here to do our part and fix this. Most underwear in the world today are made from a synthetic fiber or cotton, or a blend of the two. Synthetic textiles are well, synthetic. They are man made usually starting from a laboratory and don’t offer the health benefits of breathable, natural textiles. Cotton is a plant and is natural, however it requires more than its fair share of water to grow and is one of the most chemically dependent crops in the world. Luckily, hemp requires little to no pesticides to grow and uses only a fraction of the water that cotton uses. It is easy to see that hemp is the most sustainable option.

Here at WAMA we have chosen to only partner with suppliers who are certified by Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) to ensure our textiles are organic. Not only is the transparency of our production important to us but we have also spent almost two years building the perfect pair of underwear. From visiting the biggest hemp factory in the world in Shanxi, China, to developing the perfect fabric, patterns and overall design, WAMA Underwear has changed the game. We’re nott just providing a pair of hemp underwear but a fashionable everyday underwear that you will feel good about wearing.

HEMP UNDERWEAR: IT’S ABOUT MORE THAN JUST FEELING GOOD, IT’S ABOUT DOING GOOD

Feeling good is very important to us and you will feel good when wearing your new WAMA’s. Everyone who has tested or worn WAMA prototypes tell us how comfortable the natural fiber feels against their skin. Product testers say the fabric gets softer and more comfortable with every wash. They have also mentioned that it “wears in” instead of wearing out, making hemp underwear very long lasting. Test after test and fact after fact, it is easy to see why you need to make the switch to hemp underwear.

 

Hemp Underwear Present
Help us help nature. Yes, we think creating hemp underwear is cool but we have always wanted this to be more than that. We believe with more purchases of hemp clothing comes more awareness to hemp as a textile option. With more awareness comes more use and with more use comes less pollution and the preservation of nature.

So it all started with us creating sexy cool organic hemp underwear, but now it is your turn to support the hemp movement. By backing our campaign on kickstarter, you are not only helping bring WAMA Underwear to life; you will be supporting the hemp movement in the fashion world by bringing more awareness to hemp and all of its benefits.

Visit the WAMA Homepage

 

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Hemp Road Trip Documentary Travels Cross Country To Deliver Powerful Message Of Pro-Hemp Advocacy

For a year and a half, Rick Trojan III and his friends traveled around the country demanding the legalization of hemp. “We did 48 states total the last 18 months,”…

For a year and a half, Rick Trojan III and his friends traveled around the country demanding the legalization of hemp.

“We did 48 states total the last 18 months,” he told us when we talked to him by phone earlier this week.

Inspired by his experiences as a hemp grower in Colorado, Trojan wanted the Hemp Road Trip to show the nation why this valuable crop should be legal nationwide, and educate people about its numerous benefits. He found the biggest barrier was overcoming decades of fear driven by the War on Drugs, but most of those he met were open to listening and learning.

Now Trojan is transforming his experiences into a new documentary about the Hemp Road Trip and industrial hemp itself, in the hopes of reaching more people. While he already has many talented contributors lined up, an IndieGogo campaign that he launched on Tuesday should help finish the project and bring it to audiences worldwide.

‘Why Don’t You Do Something About It?’: Legal Frustrations Lead To Hemp Road Trip

Hemp Field
A company Trojan co-owns created CBD oil supplements from a hemp crop grown in northeastern Colorado, but he became frustrated when he found the confusing legal landscape around CBD prevented him from easily selling the supplements nationwide.

“We couldn’t sell it to friends in California or Kansas,” he explained.

While sales of CBD were legalized for research purposes under the 2014 Farm Bill, and consumers have yet to encounter significant legal difficulties buying or using CBD supplements, the Drug Enforcement Agency continues to insist that CBD is illegal under federal law.

“This not only is unfair to domestic farmers and producers, it’s completely un-American and just plain wrong,” Trojan said.

“I was complaining about it to a buddy in a bar and he was like ‘Why don’t you do something about it?'” he recalled.

So Trojan bought a bus outfitted to use biodiesel fuel, covered it in illustrations of the many uses of hemp, which can be made into everything from CBD oil to hempcrete to dozens of everyday products, and went on the road.

Starting at the Iowa Caucus in January 2016, the Hemp Road Trip traveled to all 48 contiguous states, plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. The tour unfolded in three distinct phases. First, they followed the presidential primaries around the country, attempting to reach as many candidates and voters as possible.

 

Later, the road trip focused on speaking at university campuses, and finally they visited state and federal legislators at their home offices with their message of hemp legalization. Along the way, they stopped at events like Vote Hemp Lobby Day and met with supportive businesses like Dr Bronner’s, Nutiva, Mt. Hempire, Marcel Hemp, Dash Hemp & Winterfox Farms.

‘How Can We Get Hemp In Our Community?’: Hemp Tour Meets With Excitement, Uncertainty

The journey was fraught with highs and lows from the start. “Of course the bus breaks down the first day,” Trojan told us with a laugh.

While they waited for repairs, Trojan said he encountered a local farmer who was initially hostile to hemp:

He goes “What do you do?”

“I have a hemp farm in Colorado.”

He refused to shake my hand. He goes, “I have a commercial drivers license.”

He was afraid that if he shook my hand he would go positive for a drug test on his commercial drivers license. That was day 1.

After talking for 45 minutes, the farmer had changed his tune.

He shook my hands and said, “I’ve got a lot more to learn but I think our state could definitely use this crop.”

So I think that was a very tell tale sign of how the whole trip went.

While people sometimes started out afraid of hemp, at other times they were enthusiastic about what hemp can do for their communities.

“A lot of people are struggling” in these economically trying times, but this also means hemp looks like an opportunity, Trojan said. He was frequently asked, “‘How can we get hemp in our community?’ It’s more of an economic and logistics conversation, which is a great spot to be, that means we’ve made a lot of progress as a industry.”

 

 

Governor O'Malley Hemp Road Trip

Hemp Road Trip crew with Governor O’Malley

Even legislators were mostly open to hearing about hemp. Mostly, that is:

We drove to the Senators’ offices in Utah and they called the police and the K9 unit and wouldn’t let us go up to see the Senators. But three days later we ended up in front of the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy on accident, trying to speak with other Senators. The cops started out scared but then they came around.

Most legislators, however, were cautiously open to being educated because both Republicans and Democrats support hemp. Trojan explained:

As an advocate, I go into Republicans and I say this is a jobs issue. We need jobs. It’s also a less government issue. Less government, more jobs, economic stimulus, why wouldn’t you want it? So that argument is simple to the Republicans. To the Democrats, again it’s a jobs issue, but it’s also an environmental issue, it’s safety, it’s a health issue.

Despite the divisive atmosphere in Congress, Trojan expects the Industrial Hemp Farming Act to be reintroduced later this year with bipartisan support.

‘Hemp Road Trip’ Documentary Will Motivate Viewers To Action

While Trojan says it’s a “daunting task” to turn an 18 month road trip into a single film, he has big plans for the “Hemp Road Trip” documentary, which he hopes will be the most important hemp-related movie in almost a decade.

Production is already underway, but the Indiegogo campaign will help cover all the costs as well as raise publicity about the project.

“We’re coming from a shoestring budget but we want to make a big splash,” Trojan told us. “We’ve got independent bands we want to hire to make some music; we’re trying to make this as collaborative as possible.”

Donors to the crowdfunding campaign receive digital access to the film, and at higher levels get additional perks like a movie poster, a U.S. Constitution printed on hemp, and even VIP tickets to a special screening in Denver.

The film will focus on the “state of hemp” in the USA, following The Hemp Road Trip’s cross-country journey and featuring individuals from throughout the industry.

“We’re going to explain what hemp is, and focus less on the history and more on current events,” Trojan said.

Though hemp has been used for centuries in the United States, its history has been covered in other documentaries, including the government-made film “Hemp for Victory.” Instead, Trojan hopes the “Hemp Road Trip” film will educate people about the path to legalization.

“I want people to walk away saying they learned something, they didn’t realize what hemp could do, but also believing that our government needs to get out of our way,” he told us. “I want them to walk away excited about the possibilities but also motivated to take action.”

‘You Can Talk About It Or You Can Do Something’: Hemp Documentary A Call To Political Action

Hemp Takes Root
“I learned that our political system is pretty messed up across the board,” Trojan told us, summing up his 18 month trip.

He reserved his sharpest criticism for the DEA, who continue to oppose legal hemp and cannabis despite all their benefits.

“If they can no longer seize cannabis as a drug they’re going to lose a lot of people and jobs, a lot of money. They have a vested financial interest in the fear and that’s what they’re trying to keep going. That financial interest runs contrary to what’s better for America.”

But the trip also inspired Trojan. “I really got more involved in our political process.”

In addition to promoting hemp legalization, Trojan hopes his story will help others follow his lead and become more invested in improving our country:

“Really what I think I learned is if you want to make change, you’ve got to just get out and do it. You can talk about or you can do something, and I’d rather just do something. So that’s what we did.”


 

 

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Why Hemp Clothing? A Viable Solution to One of World’s Major Problems

San Luis Obispo, April 2017 — EVERYBODY knows how bad oil is for the environment. Its by products spew from the back of our cars, its thick black toxicity lays…

why hemp clothing

San Luis Obispo, April 2017 — EVERYBODY knows how bad oil is for the environment. Its by products spew from the back of our cars, its thick black toxicity lays upon our gulfs when spilled, and some people can even taste the dirt and chemicals fracking adds to our water. While oil has been at the forefront of our conception of pollution, another industry lurks in its shadow (and in your shadow) and has been a harbinger of environmental damage. The clothing industry has been hiding behind our backs, giving us fast fashion and synthetic fabrics that are continuously destroying the environment in many different ways.

When four students at Cal Poly SLO discovered this fact, they became determined to enact change in any way possible. After refining uncountable plans and courses of action, one rose above them all. Bract Company: a clothing company dedicated to educating people on the endless benefits, uses, and sustainability of hemp as well as providing products that enable sustainable and affordable outdoor wear.

The clothing industry has three main phases of pollution separated into cultivation, production and use & disposal. Hemp is a viable solution on all of these fronts.

hemp vs synthetic vs cotton

Hemp fabric can help us conserve a LOT of water & the use of toxic chemicals

1. Cultivation: Hemp can reduce carbon & water waste

Cotton makes up almost 40% of the clothing industry and is a massive contributor to its pollution. Cotton uses 24% of the world’s pesticides and 11% of the world’s insecticides. These dangerous chemicals damage arable land and can seep into local waterways contaminating the ground and drinking water. Cotton is also a very water intensive crop using on average 720 gallons of water to produce enough fiber for a shirt.

Hemp is naturally resistant to pests and requires no chemicals during cultivation. Hemp plants can also be used as “carbon sinks” due to the fact that a single acre sequesters 9.82 tons of C02 during its lifespan. Along with these natural advantages, hemp is extremely versatile allowing it to grow in almost any climate with very small amounts of water. Hemp plants use ½ the water of cotton to produce twice the amount of fiber.

2. Production: Hemp Requires Zero Fossil Fuel To Make

Synthetic fabrics make up 58% of the world’s textiles and they are created with the use of fossil fuels. Polyester alone burns through over 70,000,000 barrels of oil annually and that number is only increasing. Production of synthetic fibers is very energy intensive and also releases extremely dangerous greenhouse gasses such as N20 which is 300x more damaging to the environment as C02. While natural fibers do not require fossil fuels to produce, dying processes are the main form of water pollution IN THE WORLD and cause many local waterways and rivers to be poisoned when left untreated.

pollution from synthetics

While the production of hemp fibers does not greatly differ in energy use compared to cotton, the C02 sequestered during cultivation is nearly enough to offset the C02 emitted during production. Alongside this, our company ensures the use of natural dies that cause no water pollution whatsoever.

3. Use & Disposal: Hemp is Biodegradable & Longer Lasting

Synthetic materials will stay in landfills for around 300 years after being disposed of

Every time synthetic fabrics are washed, microfibers drain into the ocean damaging marine wildlife. On top of this, synthetic materials will stay in landfills for around 300 years when disposed of. With the average American throwing away around 65 pounds of clothing every year, this presents a large problem. Although cotton is a natural fiber that is biodegradable, the chemicals used throughout the production process can contaminate decompositions sites.

Americans throw out 65 tons of clothing per year

Being a natural fiber as well, hemp will decompose in a matter of months. Also, due to the chemical free nature of the plant and natural dyes, our clothing can even be composted in your backyard bin.

Along with its sustainable benefits and minimal ecological footprint, the hemp plant has extremely beneficial natural advantages that carry over to textile form. These advantages make hemp one of the most useful and durable fabrics for outdoor use.

hemp clothing is superior

Hemp fabric is extremely eco-friendly and useful yet it makes up less than 1% of our textiles. Despite the wide varieties of products that hemp can provide a sustainable alternative for, it remains illegal to grow industrially in the USA and many other countries due to its relation to marijuana. Another main priority of Bract Company is to increase demand for hemp products by showing its benefits and usefulness as a sustainable resource. We hope to be a contributing factor to the legalization of industrial hemp through our products and donations.

Help us, help you, help nature

Along with the legalization of hemp, Bract Company promotes giving back to the earth by planting two trees in a national forest for every product purchased from us. Our first collection is currently live on kickstarter until the end of the week and can be seen at: The Pioneer Collection

For every product bought from us, we will plant two trees in a US National Forest.

We strive to become a brand that you love by providing products and services that you love. We aim to spread information, awareness, and involvement on this issue of pollution in the clothing industry and how we can solve the problem. By funding this Kickstarter, YOU are helping us do that! By wearing and representing our hemp based clothing, you can help spread awareness and help us make a difference.

 

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Kahush offers High Performance Hemp Bags for the Outdoor Lovers

In search of a new backpack? Kahush, a newly launched hemp startup, is reimagining the look of hemp bags. Until now, hemp bags and accessories were known for their high…

In search of a new backpack? Kahush, a newly launched hemp startup, is reimagining the look of hemp bags. Until now, hemp bags and accessories were known for their high quality fabric, but not so much for their design. Kahush is looking to change all that. Recently launched on Kickstarter, this startup from St. Louis, Missouri is working to bring high performing hemp bags for the outdoor lovers. Their products range from outdoor backpacks, disc golf bags, to duffle bags (and more!).

We sat down with Jan-Michael, the founder of Kahush, to learn more about Kahush and its mission.

What’s the origin of the name? Your backpacks all have unique names as well (Asa, Hennep, Dr. Hanf, Hamp, and Dr. Hamppu) – how’d you come up with those?

The term, Kahush, stands for ‘grade A’, ‘premium’, ‘number 1’, ‘the best’, while also playing on the word “kush”. For our backpacks, we wanted to come up with a naming convention that represented the global usage and impacts of hemp.

That’s how we came up with our signature line – Asa. “Asa” is a Japanese term for hemp. The reason why Japan is significant for hemp is because they have a religious tradition that requires the Emperor to wear hemp garments. These hemp fabric traditionally came from a very small plot maintained for the imperial family only.

We took a similar approach for our other bags too – “Hamppu” is a Finnish term for hemp; “Hänf” is German; “Hamp” is Norwegian, and “Hennep” is Dutch.

What made you start this project? What made you design your products with hemp?

“This startup is all about making a significant impact on our environment and creating a sustainable product.

When we started product development in 2014, we wanted to create an outdoor bag and pack company that doesn’t rely on synthetic chemicals for production. This startup is all about making a significant impact on our environment and creating a sustainable product. As we learned more about hemp and how it could potentially have over 50,000 uses and benefits, we got more passionate about this material. We also came across several other hemp startups working in various product niches that all shared the same sustainability goal. We thought this would ultimately be an exciting community to be a part of!

Kahush hemp bags

Some reasons we decided to use hemp were:

  • Hemp can substitute for anything made from trees, cotton, plastic, and petroleum. (As a matter of fact, The U.S. Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper.)
  • Hemp does not deplete the soil like other industrial crops do. It can clean soil of toxins and impurities such as phosphorus and radiation.
  • Hemp can produce 2-3x more fiber than cotton using the same amount of land and it matures in only 4 months.
  • Hemp requires no pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides and adds nitrates back into the soil, healing our planet.

I noticed you guys are from St. Louis, Missouri – How would this business be of benefit to your local community?

Hemp is still considered one of the planet’s most important natural resources. Hemp products are in a high-growing industrial revolution. Unbeknownst to most Missouri residents, Missouri was previously one of the largest growers of industrial hemp in the world. Because of recent revised Missouri statutes, hemp production and cultivation facilities now exist in Missouri but in limited numbers and production capabilities. With Missouri being the former hemp capital of the world and St. Louis having the fastest growing startup scene in the U.S. we couldn’t think of a better home for Kahush.

I know there’s a pretty strong disc golf community around the US – what makes the Hennep better than backpacks already out there?

“We saw an opportunity to marry an environmentally friendly textile with an environmentally friendly sport.”

While we are focused on your everyday carry essentials, we saw the opportunity to create an environmentally friendly product for what is the fastest growing sport in the US. The sport of Disc Golf is growing by leaps and bounds both domestically and internationally. With disc golf being a great deal more sustainable than regular golf, we saw an opportunity to marry an environmentally friendly textile with an environmentally friendly sport. Fact – it takes 2.5 billion gallons of water a year to maintain U.S regular golf courses.

kahush hemp disc golf bag

This also gave us the ability to show off our product design skills and show how incredibly versatile hemp can be. Hemp is a very environmentally friendly crop. Hemp requires no pesticides and needs little water, yet it renews the soil with each growth cycle. In combination with disc golfs’ eco friendliness and a bag made out of hemp, we could see this being the most sustainable sport in the world.

Where do you currently source your hemp?

Hemp, in general, is mainly sourced from overseas today because it is typically unavailable here in the United States. Our hemp is sourced from China where it has been legal and masterfully crafted for centuries. They simply make the best hemp textiles on the planet. Hemp products are in a high-growing industrial revolution. As members of the sustainable business community, we aspire to be a part of the high-growing industrial revolution that changes antiquated laws, and re-legalizes the cultivation of industrial hemp in the United States.

What advantages does a hemp backpack offer customers?

Stronger and more durable than cotton. Sustainable. Versatile. Ecofriendly. Antimicrobial.

The market opportunity for Kahush is to take the strongest and most useful natural fiber (hemp), and create highly functional bags to reflect our love and devotion to the outdoors.
Kahush gear features hemp for a variety of reasons. Stronger and more durable than cotton. Sustainable. Versatile. Ecofriendly. Antimicrobial. The vast majority of products in the outdoor industry come from petroleum based products nylon or polyester. Cotton is typically grown with herbicides/pesticides. It is a weak material unfit for most outdoor packs, and consumes a considerable amount of water to be grown. Animal based products such as leather are even worse, as it uses a considerable amount of resource to produce.

You’ve recently launched a kickstarter campaign. How will the crowdfunding help your initiative?

kahush hemp duffle bag

The roadblock we are currently facing is raising the necessary funds for production to bring these products to life. For Kahush, Kickstarter was the best way to capture the attention of early adopters for our brand. We’re hoping to use this opportunity to educate consumers on the benefits of hemp and start a new trend in the backpack industry.

How can our readers get involved?

Support us on Kickstarter: Kahush | The Most Functional Hemp Bags Ever!

We can use all the help we can get sharing our Kickstarter to the masses. Please connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Thanks!

For more information on Kahush check us out: https://www.kahush.com/

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Affordable Hemp Water Filters Hope To Change The World

Clean, healthy water is the essence of prosperity in every society. Yet, as we’ve seen from recent crises such as the one in Flint, Michigan, access to clean water continues…

clean water

Clean, healthy water is the essence of prosperity in every society.

Yet, as we’ve seen from recent crises such as the one in Flint, Michigan, access to clean water continues to be a challenge even in a developed country like the United States. But what if there was a low-cost, quick-fix solution for the nation’s aging water systems that filters and purifies water at the tap without the need for harmful chemicals or costly systems?

Using hemp as a water filter seems to be a viable answer.

Foundation for Industrial Hemp Production & Research (FIHPR), a non-profit organization, has developed a hemp microfiber water filter after 2+ years of research and development. The new filter addresses many noticeable and unnoticeable problems, such as actively reducing rust, chlorine and E.Coli. It contains all-natural filter media: scientifically proven anti-bacterial/-microbial hemp fiber as well as activated coconut shell carbon, achieving a more thorough purification than most standard pitcher and faucet filters.

hemp water filter

Hemp Microfiber Water Filter

“We have one, and it works so well! Our water is terrible fairly certain our pipes are rusted and a landlord who has no concern,” remarked one anonymous tester. “Since we got a HMF filter there has been no brassy residue and I feel confident it has improved our water quality significantly!”

Why use hemp for filtration

Michael Crippen, the founder of FIHPR, started researching water purification with the use of hemp micro-fibers at the request of an ex-navy entrepreneur about 2 years ago. Originally starting on a project on hemp biodiesel, he discovered the antibacterial nature of hemp fibers that could be utilized in the consumer market.
Ever since this discovery, Michael has spent the past two years on research and prototyping. As a student at University of South Florida majoring in chemical engineering, Michael has dedicated most of his research and free time on developing the hemp filter.
Michael bemoans the use of toxic chemicals and non-organic materials, as these methods may persist into the consumer’s’ drinking water and cause illness. Instead, his organization seeks to make available a healthier alternative that helps to reduce harmful components of municipal filtration. None of the filters contain any harmful materials.

The advantages of a hemp water filter

using hemp filter to purify water

According to FIHPR, there are numerous upsides to the use of the hemp microfiber water filter. This includes a near endless resistance to mildew and mold, along with all the capabilities of standard filters. The vision behind the filters is to assist households around America and the world with an easy-to-use, effective in all environments filtration solution.
Currently, the only purification method to achieve anti-bacterial/microbial results are solutions such as UV-radiation and chlorine. The former option in incredibly expensive and bulky, while the latter is incredibly toxic. Hemp as an alternative is truly an attractive option that makes purification affordable and non-toxic.
The hemp water filter is more than just a filter. It’s a softener and purifier that cleans drinking and cooking water for the whole family. The hemp microfibers captures and kills 95% of bacteria and microbes without leaving toxic residue. It also effectively reduces natural gas, dyes, and tannins.

How the hemp filter could be a real gamechanger

water quality is a major issue around the world

Water quality infographic by UN Water

According to the UN-Water, “783 million people do not have access to clean water and almost 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation. ” This figure, along with the National Resource Defense Council’s study on copper and lead violations, provide a good view of the global water situation.

With the adoption of hemp filters as a viable purification solution, we can hope to positively contribute to solving this crisis. As a non-profit, FIHPR’s goal is to provide filters at no-cost to in-need communities and to help modernize aging and developing infrastructure around the world.

The water crisis in Flint, Michigan was a critical reminder of the importance of the quality of drinking water in society. With contamination and water scarcity becoming an increasingly bigger issue around the world, an eco-friendly and affordable solution such as hemp filter should be seriously considered.

How you can help

Unfortunately, most consumers end up purchasing filters based on what’s immediately available in supermarkets and don’t know if it’s actually improving their tap water.
Michael asks that any customers with questions or concerns contact their direct line +1(727)271-9916 for immediate assistance.Each filter costs $29.99 and the refills come in packs of 4 for $64.99. FIHPR intends to take the proceeds and start a non-profit that will help to provide adequate filtration to in-need houses at no cost, while expanding the type of filters and available services.

 

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The Top 6 Hemp Food Products & Their Health Benefits

Among the numerous uses of hemp, one of its most popular application is as a food source. In grocery stores, you can now find hemp food products such as hemp…

Among the numerous uses of hemp, one of its most popular application is as a food source. In grocery stores, you can now find hemp food products such as hemp seeds, hemp seed oil, hemp milk, hemp tea, and even hemp infusion drinks. These hemp (or cannabis) products bring together the nutritional and medical benefits, along with hemp’s unique nutty taste to a variety of different consumer products.

Top Hemp Food Products

In this article, we’ll break down the top hemp food products that you can buy online or at your local grocery store.

Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil is made by cold pressing of hemp seeds and is not suitable for frying because of its low smoke point (160 C/320 F). One of the main health benefit of hemp seed oil is that it offers a very balanced EFA (essential fatty acids) distributions in your body, unlike flaxseed oil. Hemp seed oil consists of:

  • 55% linoleic acid (LA/omega-6)
  • 22% alpha-linoleic acid  (ALA/omega-3)
  • 1%-4% gamma-linoleic acid (GLA)
  • 1%-2% stearidonic acid (SDA/omega-3)

Hemp Oil

Often confused with hemp seed oil, another beneficial variation of hemp oil is hemp extract oils with phytocannabinoids. One of the most clinically studied cannabinoids is CBD (cannabidiol). which is known to have numerous benefits. Among many other things, it’s known to have the potential to treat neuroinflammation, chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis (MS), HIV/AIDS and even cancer. The higher CBD content, the more potent medicinal effect observed.

Therefore, some experts recommend not only to take hemp oil as a supplement, but also apply it directly to your skin. There are plenty of skin care products, such as balms and shampoos, infused with hemp oil that are loved by consumers for its properties. They not only are excellent moisturizers, but they also help reduce dandruff, seborrhea, and itchy scalps.

Hemp Seeds

Probably the most yummy product that is derived from cannabis is hemp heart seeds. You can easily add these to almost any salads. Hemp hearts are rich in fiber, full of complete proteins, and contains well-balanced fats. Among the health benefits of the hemp hearts, many studies support the ideas that it could promote digestion, reduce bowel syndrome, and normalize gastrointestinal tracts. It’s also shown to reduce PMS and menopause symptoms. More critically, hemp seeds have shown to be beneficial to cardiovascular health, as it may reduce blood pressure and decrease risks of a heart attack.

Hemp Milk

Hemp milk, is another popular product made from hemp seeds, often additionally flavored with vanilla or chocolates. Overall, it is a great alternative to soy, nuts milk or traditional milk as it contains no dairy. Hemp seeds are also known to not cause any allergic reactions. Majority of hemp milk’s benefits come from the hemp seeds, which provides rich omega fatty acids, calcium, iron, niacin, and zinc.

Hemp Tea

Hemp tea, which consists of dry hemp leaves or toasted hemp seeds, contains trace amount of many useful cannabinoids (like CBD) that may substantially vary depending on the plant species. However, majority of cannabinoids are not water soluble. Therefore, in order to maximize the health benefits of hemp tea, we recommend adding the dry hemp with a few spoons of oil, butter, or some alcohol. This will help cannabinoids to dissolve faster and more effectively. Hemp tea lovers claim multiple health benefits of hemp tea, such as:

  • Helps with insomnia, reduce anxiety, stress and depressions
  • Illuminates nausea and irritable bowel syndrome that are frequently happening to chemotherapy patients
  • Reduces chronic pain, sometimes reduce allergy, reduce inflammations. This makes it popular among rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis (MS) patients

Hemp Infusion Drinks

Cannabis Infusion Drink

Hemp infusion drinks, like Hempfy, is a great example of how hemp is  utilized to make healthy and tasty drinks. They can be consumed solo or even added to cocktail mixes.

Whatever cannabis products you choose to try, we hope you’ll come to love cannabis as much as we do 😉

Hempfy

 

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Hemp skateboards bring sustainability to the street sport

Can hemp penetrate a $4.8 billion skateboard market? With over over 11 million skateboarders across the globe, skateboarding is still a highly popular sport for teenagers and athletes in neighborhoods…

skateboard 1

Can hemp penetrate a $4.8 billion skateboard market?

With over over 11 million skateboarders across the globe, skateboarding is still a highly popular sport for teenagers and athletes in neighborhoods and skateparks all across the United States. Yet, in this aging sports market, innovation has been slow. Skateboards released in 2016 are not that different from skateboards that were developed in 2010. Skateboards have conventionally always been built out of a wooden frames. When you include longboards, snowboards, and even skis, that’s a lot of trees being cut down to fuel our entertainment.

But what if we could eliminate the need to cut down trees to enjoy these activities?

That’s the question Nick and David were trying to answer as they were brainstorming ways to combine sustainability and skateboarding. After 3 years of prototyping and development, they found the answer through hemp. By using hemp to build the frames for skateboards, Granny Smith Sports has been able to develop a skateboard that’s not only sustainable, but also lighter and more durable.

The implications of this is huge for hemp. Especially with skateboarding added as an official Olympics sport in Tokyo 2020, the popularity of skateboarding seems likely rise in the foreseeable future. In addition, when you consider the fact that the technology used to make hemp skateboards are directly transferrable to different sports and products, such as snowboards and skis, the opportunity seems limitless.

We sat down with David to learn more about his skateboard brand and where they plan on taking it from here.

Let’s start from the very beginning. How did you guys even come up with the idea of making a skateboard with hemp?

Nick and I were eating dinner one night just brainstorming on a sustainable concept. This was right around the time the Fukushima nuclear disaster [2011] happened. I was in a fit because I thought the entire coast of California was going to be toasted with radiation. Being a surfer, this was a big scare.

For us, that pretty much sparked a frenzy between us. That’s when we decided to try to develop a sustainable product to at least step foot in the right direction for preserving the planet.

So you decided to use hemp for sustainability reasons. How did you choose skateboards?

Our first idea was to make trucks out of hemp, so we contacted several universities and organic chemists to pick their brains without revealing what we were trying to make. Most people familiar with organic composites were saying that such a process did not exist, nor did they think it could be done. [Note: To learn more about cars made with hemp, check out our featured post on the Cannabis Hemp Car]

By fate, we found our current partner, Greg, online and reached out to him. It was like hitting lightning in a bottle to find someone who has such specific and similar special interests with us. He said trucks were possible, but for moneys sake it would be a lot easier to start with something smaller. Since we were passionate surfers and skateboarders, we decided on skateboards.

One non-disclosure agreement and 3 years of work later we launched.

Granny Smith Hemp Skateboard

Sounds like an amazing journey! So tell us a bit more about the skateboards. How are they actually constructed?

It’s a patented compression molded with two simple ingredients, Hemp and Resin. The ratio is 80% hemp fiber and 20% plant-based resin.

In terms of sustainability, how is this compared to conventional wooden skateboards?

A regular skateboard is typically made out of maple wood. When you consider the amount of skateboards sold across the world, this is a big cause of deforestation, especially in Canada. When you add to this the toxic adhesives that are used to glue all the parts together of a skateboard, the environmental impact is sizable.

Hemp completely eliminates this harmful practice. We’re using a crop that can be grown in 4-6 months and using plant-based resin instead of toxic glue.

Does hemp make the it more durable than regular skateboards?

“One night, it got ran over by a car downtown dead in the center than again on the nose. Even with all this, the board did not break.”

When we made our first prototype over three years ago, our initial thought was, “Ok, is this even going to work?”.

But when we received the board from Greg, initially I was blown away by how similar it was to a standard wooden skateboard. We put it to the test by thrashing it pretty hard and taking on wall rides and banks to see how it did. Surprisingly, it didn’t even budge! Finally one night it got ran over by a car downtown dead in the center than again on the nose. Even with all this, the board did not break in the center but only chipped on the nose! We were so shocked on the strength of the material. So yea, I’d say it’s more durable than regular skateboards.

Are there any downsides to the board being made from hemp?

From a manufacturing standpoint, yes. The process is definitely more labor intensive because they are all hand made and materials cost a tad bit more than glue and maple. We also pay more for our materials, as we are committed to staying 100% plant-based.

But for customers, there aren’t any downsides. The board is light in weight (24oz) while also being completely water resistant. We’ve tested our products’ durability and can guarantee a longer life span than a plastic cruiser or other wooden cruisers. Wooden boards tends to swell and stretch over time, which causes it to lose strength and de-laminate. Cheap plastic chips away and breaks over time.

Let’s shift gears a bit to your brand. “Granny Smith Sports”. What’s the origin or the meaning behind your name?

Granny Smith Sports

We wanted a mark that was memorable and an identity that spoke of our company mission, which was to have all plant-based products and promote good health. To us, Granny Smith Sports embodies that.

What is the long term vision that your company has?

Our goal is to be known and to have an undeniable reputation for making the highest quality products while not sacrificing our conviction of being 100% plant based. We also aim to make all sports products possible out of our bio-composites. That means we could replace hard plastics and other harmful materials from pretty much any sports products or gears.

Where do you get your supply of hemp? Was it difficult for you to get the hemp raw material?

All of our fibre and hurd comes from the United Sates. We also use a small amount of woven hemp cloth that is sourced from other countries overseas. That’s mainly because it is unavailable in the US. We do encourage more hemp farming in the United Staes for industrial use because we see there will always be a demand for it.

How have customers responded to your skateboards?

Granny Smith 2

It’s been awesome! People love the boards. A lot of people are shocked and can’t really believe it’s made from hemp. It is a branding process and an entirely new product that many people are not familiar with, so there is work to be done there.

Anyone who rides them loves them!

How can our readers try out Granny Smith skateboards? Where can they find you?

Check us out at www.GrannySmithSports.com. We have an online store where you can directly buy completes and decks. For these first few months of our launch we are putting a discount on the boards, just to help get the products out there.

We will also be on Amazon.com next week and are in the process of getting in to local surf and skate shops through out the US.

We also love to share customers pictures and videos of them riding on our Granny Smith boards! Check out more pics on our Instagram or Facebook.

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Made in the USA: Victory Hemp Foods

Here’s a first: A company selling US grown hemp protein and hemp oil We’re all familiar with some of the top hemp brands in the US, such as Nutiva, Navitas,…

Here’s a first:

A company selling US grown hemp protein and hemp oil

We’re all familiar with some of the top hemp brands in the US, such as Nutiva, Navitas, and even Manitoba Harvest. But did you know all those hemp seeds are still sourced from Canada?

Hemp cultivation has been restricted in the US for over 80 years, thanks to its controversial prohibition. That all changed in 2014, when several states passed legislations, allowing farmers to plant and cultivate hemp on US soil. Kentucky is one of the states that have led this movement.

Since then, hemp companies have started looking at domestic supply for their hemp products, but the transition has been slow due to supply constraints and uncertain regulations that still remain from government agencies, such as the DEA and FDA.

Yet, Victory Hemp Foods, a startup based out of Kentucky, is paving the way to develop hemp products made in the USA.


Victory Hemp Foods makes hemp foods made in the USA

Chad Rosen, originally from California, decided to move his life to Kentucky in 2014 after the state passed its hemp legislation with the goal to change the domestic landscape of hemp.

Hi Chad, we’re really excited to hear the story behind Victory Hemp Foods (VHF). First, could you tell us a little bit about the startup and what it offers.

Chad Rosen: Victory Hemp Foods is building a domestic supply chain for hemp as well as a market for hemp foods. We are doing this by bringing to market our domestically grown Hemp Oil and Hemp Protein. Both of these products have been proudly grown and processed in Kentucky.

We are still working to transition all of our Hemp Hearts (Hemp Seed germ) from Kentucky crops, but with a lack of key equipment to dehull the hemp seeds, we have to get them from either Canada or Colorado at this point.

Overall, our company goal is to add value to the hemp industry by expanding the demand for hemp in food products. While we are always going to be another brand on store shelves that a consumer can grab, our highest value is to develop products that incorporate hemp foods (oil, protein, hearts) as additives and ingredients to help fortify the nutritional profile of everyday meals.

Hemp Seeds can be an additive to many different foods

That’s a great angle to popularize hemp – to make it an “additive” to make our foods more nutritious. Do you have any examples of this?

CR: We contributed to a collaborative group that developed the Kentucky Beef Sausage infused with hemp, which is a good example of breaking barriers and finding markets for hemp. Before this project, hemp had never been approved for use as an additive or ingredient in meat products by the USDA. With the help of farmers, the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Associations, and Congressman Thomas Massie’s office, we were able to run this issue up the flag pole in D.C. and get the USDA to clear hemp for use in meat products. This established a precedent for the entire hemp food industry. We have a couple other non-meat related value added products that are in the final stages of development and we think they’ll be a fresh take on some classics.

The progress being made in Kentucky seems pretty remarkable. You also mentioned building a domestic supply chain for hemp. Could you elaborate on that?

CR: Building the supply chain involves more than just getting some viable seed in the ground and then harvesting it in the fall. We’re working to connect existing infrastructure to process the hemp stalks from our grain crops to provide multiple revenue centers from the same plant for farmers. We’re also developing proprietary equipment to process hemp food efficiently, effectively, and most importantly, safely here in rural Kentucky.

So what makes VHF different from some of the other bigger hemp brands, such as Nutiva or Navitas?

CR: The most obvious difference is that other brands import 100% of their products from Canada. Canada has a terrific grain supply, good genetics, experienced farmers, efficient processors. From a hemp farming perspective, they have a 20-year head start on us.

With these advantages, how do we even compete with Canada? Do our farmers even stand a chance?

CR: I think what Canada is not doing very well is their single focus of hemp seed production. While they have tried for some time to develop ancillary industries to fully utilize hemp for its fiber and hurd, they haven’t been very successful. They haven’t been able to compete with what Europe and China have been able to do with hemp fiber, hurd, and even CBD.

So I see this as our biggest opportunity, applying that good ‘ole American ingenuity to innovate and accelerate towards a multitude of solutions.

What drives your passion behind hemp? What made you start a hemp company?

CR: If hemp has 25,000 different uses, I could probably give you close to as many reasons for what drives my passion to see this plant come into the rotation. I believe in the rhetoric of what’s possible with this plant, from paper, textiles, graphene, food, construction materials to even replacing our fossil fuel based economy with an agriculture based economy. An economy that doesn’t rely on synthetic chemicals for production is more than possible. It’s scalable.

There are a lot of people in this industry working in different directions, some will be successful with those technologies and it’s exciting to be a part of it. Even distracting at times!

You moved to Kentucky from California to start VHF. Why Kentucky?

Victory Hemp Food farms hemp in Kentucky

CR: Kentucky is an agricultural state – lots of good soil, sun, water, and farmers. Mix that with strong support from political leaders and it seemed like a great place to germinate a business in hemp. When you start to unravel the economics and the motives that legislators here in Kentucky had for aligning the laws to allow hemp into the rotation, you can’t go far without learning about the economic diaspora that took place when the demand for tobacco began to evaporate. As a high value crop, tobacco fit in well to the hills and holler’s that shape Kentucky’s topography. With hemp’s potential to offer multiple revenue points from a single plant, there’s strong potential for it to fit well into the agricultural system here in Kentucky. From that standpoint of impact I couldn’t think of a better place to grow roots for Victory Hemp Foods.

Kentucky legalized hemp farming back in 2014. What changes have you noticed in the hemp landscape there since then?

CR: Certainly there’s been a lot less talk and a whole bunch more work and collaboration happening between farmers, processors, and marketers. We’ve learned that hemp doesn’t grow without inputs, that weeds can be a significant challenge to overcome, yields aren’t always what we anticipate, and no one is getting rich quick. The folks that are still involved in the program have learned a lot, and that learning curve is very expensive.

While I can’t say that Kentucky will always be the leader in hemp, I think many of the good folks here will go on to build the industry around the country. We are already seeing that most of our processors are branching out setting up projects to work with farmers in neighboring states, such as North Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, Virginia, and even out to Minnesota, Vermont, and Texas. It seems to me that “local” is a big part of what the market wants when it comes to hemp.

Customers, no matter if they are eating hemp foods, or wearing hemp clothing, or using CBD want to know that their hemp is being grown in their community. This penchant for local sourcing is being driven by the consumers, and the companies that move away from a centralized purchasing or processing model to more of a distributed production and purchasing model will probably rise to the top as the next wave of hemp based businesses come to market.

What do you foresee as the biggest challenge for US grown hemp seed brands to catch up to Canada?

CR: The experience, efficiency, volume, and ensuing buying power that the established brands have in place give them the financial resources and momentum that will make it difficult to compete directly. Those economies of scale make it easy for them to maintain big margins while outcompeting local brands on price. This is just the reality of the economics that puts us at a disadvantage. Of course we could complain about free trade as well, but it’s that same free trade that gives us strawberries in December and allows our farmers to export corn and soy for (subsidized) profits.

So we’ll have to get creative, and go beyond trying to compete directly with the price of hemp seeds from Canada. I think it would be better for hemp food companies coming online to focus on expanding the market. The focus should be on taking market share from the unsustainable fish oil or meat protein market by developing product offerings that attract new customers and expand the market for hemp foods. This approach should help us all to go further faster.

In your experience, what are some benefits of using US hemp seeds over imported hemp seeds?

Hemp farming in Kentucky

CR: There isn’t much “quality” difference between using Canadian seeds and our domestic seeds, but growing our domestic supply will be hugely impactful for our rural communities. First, I think that it’s important for food manufacturers to always prioritize domestic supplies. They can help create a culture that encourages customers to look for locally grown products. Whole Foods, the biggest natural foods retailer, have done a great job in creating a program that collaborates with domestic farmers and using their produce.

Over the years, you can tell consumers are looking more for locally grown products. They want to help support our farmers and our agriculture. Overall, I believe using US grown hemp seeds will help bring more money to our rural communities and bridge the gap between our rural communities and our urban areas.

What are the immediate challenges that you face now?

CR: I’m not alone when I say that we’re undercapitalized. I think that’s the biggest challenge for most of the domestic industry at this point. The payback for investors on most hemp projects, notwithstanding CBD is pretty long, say 5-7 years. With that sort of time horizon, there’s just an enormous amount that could change.

Traditional angel investors aren’t so excited about the acronyms that float around hemp industry Facebook pages, such as DEA, FDA, USDA, DOJ. They see that there’s a window to walk through, but more wonder if it will remain open. Now there are many newly minted investors who have done real well in the other side of cannabis, marijuana, but typically those investments have much shorter payback periods on wild multiples driven by enormous margins. The liquidity in marijuana investments typically allows investors the option to move in and out of the market more freely.

I bring this up because in our search for funding, there’s an abundance of referrals to investors in the marijuana industry. While the businesses both intersect around cannabis, the payback period in scaling a fiber plant to compete with glass fiber insulation or a food processing facility to knock soy protein off its perch is entirely different. We’re moving into very entrenched and competitive markets, where achieving efficiency takes massive investment in capital expenditure, time and patience. This is why I’d really like to see the crowd that claims that they’re “impact” investors step up and get involved. Right now I think the industry needs a bridge.

You bring up a great point about the “long-term” perspective of investing in hemp. But for an investor, that might be a hard sell if they don’t see some promise in the short term as well. In your opinion, what are some early wins that the hemp industry could strive for to help make this long term goal more achievable?

CR: You can tell that hemp still serves a very niche demographic. In order for hemp to really grow, hemp businesses need to attract mainstream consumers. In order to do that, we need to make our branding less about hemp and more about solutions. Let’s take hemp seeds for example.

We need to stop marketing hemp seeds for the sake of being hemp, but rather for the nutrition it offers. When we can communicate the benefits that hemp has, whether it’s seeds, protein, or even shirts, people will buy it because of its superior benefits. The fact that it’s hemp can become secondary.

So what is your ultimate vision with Victory Hemp Foods?

Victory Hemp Foods

CR: I’d like for VHF to be able to give small hold farmers incentives to grow a crop that has the potential to provide income from multiple markets by utilizing different parts of the same plant. Working with companies that use fiber and others that use CBD, we want to identify the cultivars and techniques that give farmers more than one revenue source from the same crop.

If the US has the strongest economy in the world, it’s because of its flexibility. Look at Joel Salatin and his Polyfarm. Diversity of income is the best hedge against the price volatility that farmers often suffer from. Just like athletes who use performance enhancing drugs to compete, farmers are encouraged (even shunned) when they don’t use chemicals to compete and increase yields. Having less reliance on one income source or crop [insert soy/corn/cotton] is proven to be the strongest economic model that a farmer can employ.

We have come to view brands as something more than a name and a logo. A brand is really what it does, what it is achieving. If we can add value to the agricultural space by giving farmers a market for a crop that helps to reduce volatility and provides younger farmers to a viable livelihood that rewards stewardship for our environment, then we’re headed in the right direction.

How can our readers support you and our Kentucky farmers?

CR: Try out our hemp products and let us know what you think! We offer the following Kentucky Proud hemp products:

Try Victory Hemp Foods

We’re excited for you to try them out!

Can’t wait to hear what customers say about these homegrown hemp seeds! Keep up the great work Chad.

 

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Hemp Bedding offers Animals a Cleaner & Healthier Home

As a horse owner, one of the most tedious jobs is cleaning out the stable. In a matter of hours, the stable can reek from the straw bedding that’s used…

As a horse owner, one of the most tedious jobs is cleaning out the stable. In a matter of hours, the stable can reek from the straw bedding that’s used as the horses’ home (and bathroom). For the owners and their animals, this is not just a matter of “bad smell”. If the cleaning isn’t done diligently, these odors and the resulting dust could expose them to ammonia and other respiratory issues.

If you’ve ever owned a pet hamster, you can relate to this as well. You set up the hamster’s home by laying down woodchips or straws, only to find out how quickly it turns nasty. It was probably one of the more annoying parts of owning and taking care of one.

Animal bedding is needed for a wide range of animals, ranging from horses, chickens, to even snakes. Traditionally, pine and straw have been the popular materials used for these beddings. But a startup is now offering a superior alternative.

Old Dominion Hemp, an animal bedding startup based out of Virginia, is looking to improve the quality of bedding materials by using hemp. Simply put, hemp offers a much more absorbent, longer lasting, and more sustainable bedding than straw or pine.

Old Dominion Hemp Logo

Hi Marty. Excited to learn more about Old Dominion Hemp! Could you tell us a bit about the company? What do you guys do and where are you based out of?

Marty Phipps: Old Dominion Hemp specializes in hemp bedding for equine (horse) and small animals. We started the company with the goal to show the public, specifically farmers, that industrial hemp has many agricultural uses. Our company was founded in Charlottesville, Virginia, where we’re located less than 5 miles from the home of Thomas Jefferson – who we like to call the Founding Father of Hemp.

We now serve customers nationwide. Recently, we’ve gotten a lot of interest from states such as Minnesota, Indiana, Colorado, and we’re even looking to send a package over to Alaska.

Specifically, what animals require this type of bedding?

MP: We currently serve animals such as horses, chickens, lambs, ducks, peacocks, mice, cats, snakes. Any animal that requires bedding will benefit from this material.

Using hemp as animal bedding is a novel application for many of us. Could you tell us a bit more of what advantages hemp brings as a bedding material?

MP: The benefits of hemp bedding are seemingly endless. Hemp is extremely absorbent as it can hold 4X its own weight, and lasts much longer than pine or straw bedding. Hemp bedding is very low dust, which is great for horses with respiratory issues. It also reduces odor better than straw or wood shavings. This is great for chicken owners, who often incur ammonia from the chicken scat. Hemp bedding is very economical for the farmers, as it lasts longer and reduces the products loss to waste. This, in turn, saves the consumer money. Lastly, hemp bedding is completely biodegradable, where as, pine can have a high acidity and “burn” fields, Hemp naturally decomposes into the earth. Our clients are actually mixing their hemp manure with seed and returning it to their fields.

Old Dominion Hemp Hurds

Hemp Hurds

What part of the hemp plant is used?

MP: We use hemp hurds for our bedding. Hemp hurds are the soft inner core of the hemp plant. It works great as bedding material as it is highly absorbent and rich in cellulose and has great thermal and acoustic properties.

And do you get your hemp supply from the US?

MP: We currently have to import our materials from Europe. However, with the movement that many states are making towards industrial hemp, we forecast using domestic supply by the end of 2018. Some states may even see 2017 as a possibility to use their domestic supply for hemp applications.

I hope that day comes soon! So how did you get started with ODH?

MP: We have been in business for about a year now. The drive behind starting Old Dominion Hemp was from losing our family land. That land had been in our family for over 100 years. The land could have been saved, maybe if we had another agricultural crop, such as hemp. We could have offset of the economic pressures coming from major entities that drive down the prices of other cash crops to the floor. These circumstances are destroying the inner fabric of our nation – the rural farmers.

Could you tell us how you got involved with hemp in the beginning?

MP: I’d say there’s a few reasons. First, I became a hemp activist through the Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition. That was where I was introduced to the movement by Jason Amatucci about 3–4 years ago. I was able to meet the leaders of the hemp industry and got to learn a lot about hemp. Eventually, I purchased our first pallet of hemp bedding, which we used to conduct a 7 month Research & Development and Proof of Concept testing by donating our hemp bedding to places such as The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, Virginia Piedmont Search and Rescue Mounted division, and other local horse and chicken farmers.

Old Dominion Hemp Bedding

 
Personally, I became a believer in hemp when I started giving hemp-derived CBD oil to alleviate pain and joint stiffness for my dog, Sadie. She had bone cancer in her leg and was told that she would only have weeks to live. My belief is that the CBD helped her, as she lived another full year, and she finally lost the battle to cancer in January.

How have your customers taken to using the hemp bedding material?

“Bedding longevity, cleanliness and earth friendly qualities are things the consumers are looking for and hemp bedding offers that solution”

MP: The response has been unbelievable and we were blown away by the immediate responses. Bedding longevity, cleanliness and earth friendly qualities are things the consumers are looking for and hemp bedding offers that solution. This helped us even sponsor a show horse called Wisteria at the Dressage at Lexington event.

What have been some of the bigger challenges during the past year?

MP: Pricing has been the biggest issue. The up-front cost is more, however the longevity and labor reducing qualities of the product make it competitive against pine or straw. The longevity of this product is far greater than anything on the market. As more customers experience the benefits of this crop, we foresee that more owners will make the switch.

Basically, we are working with customers across the whole spectrum. We go to events that cater to all the different types of demographics, from local chicken swaps to high end horse shows. Ultimately, we want to make this an affordable product for anyone that has animal that needs bedding.

When you look 5-10 years down the road, what is your vision for Old Dominion Hemp?

MP: Our vision is to provide the consumer with high quality hemp products with a focus in agricultural needs, such as, hemp animal bedding. We want to show farmers, if they grow hemp, there is a market to sell hemp. Ultimately, we want United States farmers to be allowed to grow hemp, period.

We are hoping that as the applications of this crop grows, it will allow farmers to cultivate this crop. Old Dominion Hemp is here to bring the best bedding possible to the market and to let farmers know that there is an end game to the monotony in farming. It is coming in the form of industrial hemp.

What Old Dominion Hemp Offers

Thanks for sharing your story with our readers Marty! How could our readers help with your mission?

MP: The number 1 priority for hemp is for the plant to be taken off the Schedule 1 Controlled Substances Act. This will be done when the Industrial Hemp Farming Act is passed, which is still sadly stuck in congress. I would encourage everyone to call or write to your local representatives and senators. After reading about businesses like ours, tell them about the useful applications that hemp has that could benefit our economy and environment.
 

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How Hemp Today is giving a voice to the global hemp industries

  Ministry of Hemp talks with Kehrt Reyher, founder of Hemp Today, the leading hemp media company based out of Poland. Hemp Today is taking the lead role of being…

 

Ministry of Hemp talks with Kehrt Reyher, founder of Hemp Today, the leading hemp media company based out of Poland.

Hemp Today is taking the lead role of being the voice of the global hemp industries – covering the global hemp movement as it gets legalized and grows in countries all over the world. In our interview, Kehrt provides us an overview of the European hemp industry, discusses why they felt the need to start Hemp Today, and envisions hemp’s potential in the global market.


Hemp Today Media Company

Hi Kehrt, thanks again for being with us. We’re excited to get a chance to learn about the European hemp landscape, as many of us are based out of the US and are still learning a lot about this plant.

To start off, could you tell us about your role in the hemp community today?


Kehrt Reyher, founder of HempToday
KR: We’re based out of Poland, but I work with partners all over the world to cover the global landscape. We’re covering and promoting industrial hemp exclusively in the B2B sphere. We report on cannabis but only when it affects the industrial hemp markets. We endeavor to organize all the information out there about hemp, which is quite scattered and all over the place. We noticed that nobody was really doing this for the industry. Moreover we began to quantify the global hemp markets, identifying the players and reaching out to them to form a global network of relationships and support.

Many of us in the US are not familiar with the hemp landscape in Europe. Can you give us an overview of the hemp industry in Europe? (regulations, markets, etc)

KR: It’s generally legal to grow hemp around Europe, and EU regulations do address it; there are even farm-oriented EU support programs for hemp. Of course, the bureaucrats could always help improve the situation, so there are regulatory challenges when you get into such things as THC levels, rules around CBD in the medical sphere, and so on. So there are challenges.

But the markets — for foods, CBD-based products, health and beauty products, textiles and building materials — are growing. The market has suffered its ups and downs but generally keeps moving forward. There are great in-country organizations supporting hemp and, of course, the European Industrial Hemp Association which in turn pulls all those groups together from across the continent and, really, from around the world.

Fifty countries were represented at the EIHA international conference earlier this month.

Some people are curious why hemp hasn’t taken off in Europe, especially if it’s as healthy & beneficial as many claim it to be. What are your thoughts on this?

KR: Well, I’d say it’s already taken off. Just look at food. It’s in mainstream grocery stores in several countries and is even being advertised on the radio in Germany. Consumers in almost all European countries are looking for healthier food alternatives — hemp fits perfectly in this case. So food is really front and center now as far as hemp is concerned. There are great European hemp food companies such as Hempoint in Czechia and Hempro and Hanf-Zeit in Germany. And there are lots of others operating in various niches, even if they’re only importing to local markets — they’re helping to raise awareness at the consumer level and driving demand. These are truly pioneering firms, and their time has arrived. EIHA indicators from earlier this year show that hemp foods will really come on strong in Europe in the next two years.

From HempToday’s perspective, we see the anecdotal evidence of this. I mean a lot of anecdotal evidence. Anyway, food is where hemp can really earn a place in the broader public consciousness — and that’s key to it taking off not only in the food sector but in other sectors as well.

Of course, we’re also big promoters of hemp building and insulation. Again, as people look for more healthy lifestyles, hemp as a construction material is absolutely perfect. It’s as green as green-buildings can get.

The medical stuff will advance. The companies and organizations working in this area are world-class and highly determined to see the industry follow the right path. They’re all socially conscientious firms and individuals. This is really the most exciting part of this end of the business. Plus the stakes — like for CBD — are extremely high, as can be the profits. Europe’s a leader in all of this. In some sense HempToday’s mission is to underscore the advancements and show the world what’s out there in all regions of the world. Hemp has just not yet been promoted properly.

From what you’ve noticed, what type of benefits have you seen hemp bring to your country (or continent)?

KR: We’re based in Poland, which is historically a hemp-growing nation. We see localized hemp growing and processing as having the possibility to give decent returns to small farmers. This is already happening in parts of France and Germany, where hemp interests cooperate up and down the value chain to share costs and benefits, keeping it as best they can in a Community Supported Agriculture scheme where final products are sold as close to their original source as possible.

Hemp fits in perfect in this sense too, if you think about all the things you can do with it, all the products you can create — from soap to houses and many, many things in between. Hemp is attracting interesting farmer entrepreneurs all across Europe. They’re creating clever products and expanding the hemp markets, but most of all they’re creating demand, economic activity and jobs.

You cover the global landscape for hemp, what type of trends have you noticed around the world in regards to this plant?

 

“The promise is unparalleled comparing to any other plant nature gives us”

 

KR: Mostly I notice a trend toward legalization, and herculean efforts in some cases to establish a reasonable regulatory framework for the hemp industry. The forces that have long been fighting for both cannabis and hemp are extremely well organized these days and the message is getting through that neither cannabis nor hemp is bad for you and that, quite the opposite, the promise is unparalleled comparing to any other plant nature gives us.

 

International Hemp Building Association's project in UK

International Hemp Building Association’s hemp project in UK

 

It may not be a trend, but there are absolutely amazing projects going on in hemp building such as Steve Allin’s (International Hemp Building Association) projects to rebuild with hemp after the earthquakes in Nepal and Haiti, and Monica Brummer’s project (Cannabric, Granada) to use shiv from naturally occurring cannabis that grows in Morocco’s High Central Rif to rebuild traditional farming homesteads which are architectural treasures as well. In Morocco, they’re also trying to cut down on the drug trade by working to legalize both marijuana and hemp for use in medical treatments. Getting the laws to support cannabis in all its forms is really happening. And it will cascade worldwide once the USA removes cannabis from the Schedule I drug list, where it never should have been in the first place. Market-wise, as I mentioned before, and in the coming next few years, hemp food will see a good strong upward curve.

What are your thoughts on the future of hemp in the US? What potential do you see?

KR: In many parts of the world, hemp is seen as a chicken-or-egg proposition. This isn’t so in the United States, where the market is already estimated at more than $500 million — even though there’s really no domestic farming to speak of. So that’s all based on imports but it’s the demand indicator that makes it all so fascinating. That’s due to a lot of people who have been promoting hemp for a long time both in official policy circles and in the marketplace, to the consumers. Hemp marketing is reaching a fever pitch in the USA, which we can always count on for world-leading market-to-consumer communication.

Meanwhile the science is really advanced in the USA as a lot of universities are now probing the material for a variety of uses, working on seed science, and so forth. We’re definitely predicting a boom in North America once hemp is fully legalized. It’s getting incredible play in the media even down to the smallest small-town newspapers and local TV and radio stations — especially in the traditional farming states. In short, hemp will be huge in the USA — and that will have a domino effect all around the world in a lot of ways.

What is HempToday’s big project at the moment? What are you guys working on?

KR: We just released our first-ever print edition, in conjunction with our partner the European Industrial Hemp Association, for their annual conference. We enjoyed the advertising support of about 25 leading global hemp firms from as many as 12 countries all around the world.

In July we’ll produce our first annual Big Hemp Yearbook with regional reports from around the globe; as many statistics as we can track down; specific buy/sell offers and a lot of profiles and features of leading international hemp players.


The Big Hemp Year Book by Hemp Today
One of our other hemp projects is To Grow A Village, a local economic development initiative also under our foundation in which we’re working with local government and local farmers right here in our little parish in Poland. Our goal is to build a truly sustainable local economic model based entirely on the hemp crop. We’ve partnered with Stokvel Collective, a group of great South African eco farmers, and Hempoint from Czechia. They’re both food producers but they help to enable farmers and smoothe the way for them getting into hemp.

 

“Our goal is to build a truly sustainable local economic model based entirely on the hemp crop”

 

What kind of benefits do you hope to see from these projects?

KR: The Yearbook is one of our foundation’s “retail” media products where we’re trading information for cash income which helps cover the cost of research, newsgathering and production. We’re feeling strong demand and great support. We’re able to produce great information products at a reasonable cost as more and more companies participate by buying subscriptions, advertising, and the communications services we offer in our media hub — where we boost our customers’ marketplace presence by working in collaboration with other great firms all over the world.

To Grow A Village, as I said, is aimed at creating economic activity and all the benefits that come with it. Of course, we want to get into various forms of hemp processing so we’ll need the material our farmers would deliver, but we know we’ve got to prime the pump, in our case, from the middle.

But with hemp, the main benefit is working with and learning from leading practitioners based all around the world. I find people in hemp are always more than willing to share information, knowhow and resources with others in the industry and even newcomers. This will greatly speed up the industries’ development and expansion around the globe.

How can our fellow hemp advocates in the US help?

KR: Of course, as with any small operation, cash is always at a premium. So we offer premium media opportunities and products at a good value for price for companies looking to get global exposure. Next, most important, is we look for the right fit with people and companies who have experience at all levels of the hemp value chain — for advice, to develop exchange programs and work together on things like field equipment and processing solutions.

We’re active in barter and try to work with great companies based on their means and needs even if they’re tiny, with the goal of raising the water level for everyone. Finally, we work only with firms that have a strong ethic regarding sustainability and who give back to their communities and to the hemp industry in general.

This was very insightful – thank you for sharing the amazing progress that’s been made in Europe and the work you’re doing to lead the hemp movement. We look forward to checking out the The Big Hemp Yearbook next month!

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