Podcast

Hemp Documentary Comes to Amazon Prime: Josh Hyde, Director of American Hemp

Hemp Documentary Comes to Amazon Prime: Josh Hyde, Director of American Hemp
Ministry of Hemp Podcast

 
 
00:00 / 00:41:01
 
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Today on the Ministry of Hemp podcast, we meet the creator of a new hemp documentary on Amazon Prime Video.

Our podcast Matt talked with filmmaker Josh Hyde, who discusses his work on the documentary film “American Hemp” and his new spin-off docu-series at Amazon Prime, “American Hemp the Evolution Continues.”

Thanks to Pure Hemp Botanicals for sponsoring this week’s episode. Use code Ministry20 your order at purehempbotanicals.com.

Also, be sure to check out the new reworked All About CBD Oil guide we posted. It’s packed with great information to help you pick the right CBD oil product for your needs.

Meet hemp documentary creator Josh Hyde

Josh Hyde was born to a Filipino immigrant mother and an American father. He graduated in film from Southern Illinois University in 2003. Hyde traveled to Peru to make a documentary on Peruvian shamanism while interning at Kartemquin Films. (“Hoop Dreams,” “Stevie,” “Minding the Gap”) He entered the MFA program at Ohio University, working under Croatian director/producer, Rajko Grlic. He returned to Peru to shoot the short film, “Chicle,” which screened at over 50 festivals internationally. (Berlinale, Tribeca Film Festival) “Chicle” was expanded into his first narrative feature, “Postales.” (Edinburgh Int’l Film Festival, Shanghai Film Festival)

Hyde helped shoot and edit the feature documentary, “Sweet Micky” for President, released by Showtime in 2016. (Slamdance Jury Prize, Hot Docs, EdgeFest Winner Best Documentary, Los Angeles FF)

In 2017, Hyde released his second narrative feature as writer/director, “My Friend’s Rubber Ducky.” (RiverRun, Sun Valley, Midwest Independent) A year later, he started the American Filmmaker podcast focusing on the creative journey of filmmakers.

Recently, Hyde started publishing his screenplays before they’re produced, starting with “How to Kill a Bad Man” (Bauu Press, 2018) and “Los Espiritus.” (Trident Press, 2019) Hyde’s newest film, “American Hemp,” is a feature documentary following the hemp industry in Colorado for one year. Currently, he’s evolving this film into a podcast and an Amazon Prime Series.

Hyde enjoys hiking in mountains, a dry cappuccino, good street food, and chen style tai chi.`

You’ve got hemp questions? We’ve got hemp answers!

Send us your hemp questions and you might hear them answered on one of our Hemp Q&A episodes. Send your written questions to us on Twitter, Facebook, [email protected], or call us and leave a message at 402-819-6417. Keep in mind, this phone number is for hemp questions only and any other inquiries for the Ministry of Hemp should be sent to [email protected]

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Photo: A composite image of hemp documentary creator Josh Harney, a smiling man with brown hair, a light beard and big dark glasses, with a rubber duck on his head. In the background, a photo of a freshly harvested hemp plant..
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John Harney is a film maker who recently created “American Hemp,” a documentary series on Amazon Prime Video.

Hemp Documentary Comes to Amazon Prime: Complete written transcript of episode 40

Below you’ll find the complete transcript of episode 40 of the Ministry of Hemp Podcast, “Hemp Documentary Comes to Amazon Prime”:

Matt Baum:
This episode of the Ministry of Hemp Podcast is brought to you by Pure Hemp Botanicals who look to serve their customers with a full line of sustainable vegan CBD products created with compassion. We are super proud to partner with Purehempbotanicals.com, and keep listening to the show for info on how you can get 20% off of your first purchase later in this episode, I’m Matt Baum, and this is the Ministry of Hemp Podcast brought to you by ministryofhemp.com, America’s leading advocate for hemp and hemp education. Welcome back, and today on the show, we are going to be talking to Josh Hyde. He is the filmmaker behind the documentary film, American Hemp, and he’s got a new Amazon Prime docuseries called American Hemp, The Evolution Continues. It’s a really cool conversation and we get into some of the ins and outs of independent filmmaking, why he chose hemp and how you can find amazing topics within a few miles of your own house. I hope you enjoy it.

How to choose the right CBD

Matt Baum:
But first, I want to talk a little bit about how you can choose the best CBD oil for your needs. We get a ton of questions on the show via our phone number. You can call me at anytime, 402-819-6417 with your questions, and I get a bunch of emails too, to [email protected] with people saying, “How do I pick the right CBD oil for me?” A lot of them have stories that sound like they spent a bunch of money on something that didn’t work for them or they tried something that seemed too cheap and didn’t work, and that is a danger. The good news is we have an amazing guide over ministryofhemp.com. It’s The World’s Most Trusted CBD Oil Resource, is the title, and it’s basically a CBD buying guide. Everything from what is CBD to a video on our buying guide and information on how CBD works and how it affects the body, it’s all there.

Matt Baum:
There’s information on all kinds of CBD oil products, like tinctures capsules, topicals, CBD skincare products, vapes, gummies and edibles. It’s all here. There’s a huge frequently asked questions section too. We just completely redid this guide and it is such a great way to answer your own questions or even to share with a family member or friend that is having questions about what kind of CBD oil might be best for them. You can check it out and ministryofhemp.com/CBD, and I can’t stress what a great resource this is and the amount of work that went into it. I’m just a podcast guy, so I had very little to do with it, but I will trumpet it because it’s a great page with a lot of great information. Get over there and check it out. Josh Hyde is my guest today on the show. He is a filmmaker out of Boulder, Colorado, and he’s got a few films under his belt.

Becoming a filmmaker

Matt Baum:
Most recently, he’s been working on a new Amazon Prime series called American Hemp, The Evolution Continues, and it is basically a continuation of the documentary he made called American Hemp. Both are really well produced, very informational and excellent shows. Josh sat down with me from his home in Boulder, Colorado, and here’s our conversation. Is Colorado, was that your entry way to this hemp world, or how did you get here? Before we even get into making the movie and stuff, how did you come to find hemp and decide that it was going to be a passion?

Josh Hyde:
I guess like any kid growing up, I grew up in the Midwest, and you experiment with different things. I was a pot kid-

Matt Baum:
Did you grow up in Colorado or?

Josh Hyde:
No, I grew up in Illinois.

Matt Baum:
Oh, okay. I’m an Alaska guy, so Midwest. I get it.

Josh Hyde:
Yeah. Yeah. I was more of a marijuana kid-

Matt Baum:
Sure.

Josh Hyde:
… in a high school.

Matt Baum:
Sure.

Josh Hyde:
Then that led to me making films, and so I studied at my hometown college, which was Southern Illinois University, and then from there, I just learned how to make films.

Matt Baum:
That’s sort of what marijuana does though. You either get in a band or you start making movies, right?

Josh Hyde:
Yeah, yeah. Seriously.

Matt Baum:
And in the meantime, you cook in restaurants. [inaudible 00:04:46]

Josh Hyde:
Yep, yep. All of my friends did.

From film school to documentaries

Matt Baum:
Yeah. So you went to school for filmmaking, you said?

Josh Hyde:
Yeah. I went to school and then after that I went and I had specialized within documentary filmmaking, and so I went and I did internships at different documentary production houses in Chicago. Then I realized I wanted to be able to write and then direct feature films with actors and-

Matt Baum:
Cool.

Josh Hyde:
Yeah, script. From there, what I did was I went back to graduate school and then I went to graduate school at Ohio University, and then I made some of my first short films with actors. Then from there, those films got into different film festivals, and then I learned how to traverse that reality. But there was always still something there within the documentary filmmaking space-

Matt Baum:
Just kept pulling you back.

Josh Hyde:
Because it’s so accessible. Yeah. Yeah. Just pulling me back because as a film maker, if you want to write a script and then get actors, that’s a whole other process and specialization, whereas with a documentary, you can focus on something and just start filming it, and the story points apply within storytelling-

Matt Baum:
Sure.

Josh Hyde:
… and filmmaking, but you’re just applying them to real life characters.

Matt Baum:
Was it the control of the subject? Is that the idea to put it under a microscope? Was that what appealed to you? Like, “I’m going to pick A,” I mean, whatever, and say, “My documentary is going to be about this and I can control that, and I don’t have to worry about ego of this actor or actress or producer or money person?”

Josh Hyde:
I think there’s always that level of reality within the entertainment industry, the level of politics and the level of ego. For me, I have to make films. That’s what I enjoy, and so I have to put myself in a position to make one film after another film.

Matt Baum:
Sure.

Josh Hyde:
Sometimes when you’re bound in one world or the other world, whether it be the documentary, filmmaking reality or the feature film with actor reality-

Matt Baum:
Sure.

Josh Hyde:
… and a larger budget, then you can’t make as many films, but because I can make a documentary or a narrative film, I can pick and choose. So if it takes me a year to two to write a script, I can write the script, but in the meantime, I can also be working on a documentary.

Matt Baum:
Yeah, that makes a lot sense.

Josh Hyde:
[crosstalk 00:07:16] I made a couple of feature films, and so I did that. But my second feature film was a spiritual stoner comedy that we shot in Chicago.

Matt Baum:
Nice.

Josh Hyde:
Yeah.

Matt Baum:
So tell me-

Josh Hyde:
It was called-

Matt Baum:
Oh, sorry, Go ahead.

Josh Hyde:
… My Friend’s Rubber Ducky. [inaudible 00:07:29]

Matt Baum:
My Friend’s Rubber Ducky. That’s a great name. Where can we see that? Is that any place? Can I find that?

Josh Hyde:
Oh yeah. That’s everywhere. That’s on iTunes.

Matt Baum:
Nice.

Josh Hyde:
That’s on, I guess, everywhere where movies stream. I’m just trying to think of the other places. I know it’s on iTunes, on Google Play-

Matt Baum:
Sure.

Josh Hyde:
… YouTube, all the other streaming portals.

Matt Baum:
Any place you can find downloadable movies basically?

Josh Hyde:
Yeah. Amazon Prime. So it’s available within the United States and the UK-

Matt Baum:
Cool.

Josh Hyde:
… and I think Canada and other countries. Yeah.

Creating the “American Hemp” documentary

Matt Baum:
Tell me about American Hemp, the film that spawned this series. Where did that idea come from? Why go out of your way? You said yourself when you were younger, you were a marijuana kid and there’s plenty of … there’s tons of documentaries about marijuana out there, but hemp, it seems to be a … not less popular, but maybe a tougher subject to tackle, if you know what I mean? Why did you make that choice?

Josh Hyde:
I wanted to make another film and I had finished the spiritual stoner comedy and I was living in Colorado, and I wanted to work on a longer film for a longer period of time. So I came up with a couple different rules and the rules were everything has to be within six to 20 miles around my house. Then I was like … Then there also has to be some type of brand that leads to grocery store shelves.

Matt Baum:
Oh, okay. I see where you’re going here. So it was like a farm to table idea?

Josh Hyde:
Yeah. Yeah, and then so-

Matt Baum:
You’re in Boulder, the farms there obviously, one happens to be a hemp farm.

Josh Hyde:
Yeah, and then one of the films I had worked on before, or at least help put together or at least helped start, was the Steve Madden documentary. So my interest in that was a case study to see if you did a documentary about an entrepreneur, that makes high heel shoes.

Matt Baum:
Sure.

Josh Hyde:
Then that’s linked, the film is linked to a brick and mortar retail business. So you basically get marketing capital out of the film, but what I wanted to do was see if you could apply that same thing to something more important or something like food, and so-

Matt Baum:
(crosstalk 00:09:49)

Josh Hyde:
In the end, I did the research and it turned out that the industrial hemp division was four miles from my house. Then after that, I was like, “Okay, that’s easy,” and then I knew I had to pick a food brand because CBD was still in the space, but hemp is more than just CBD. So I ended up talking to a lot of people and I settled on evo hemp just because they seem to understand the possibility of using the documentary film also for marketing. So while I was filming over two years, I could basically take anything that was on the cutting room floor and just throw it into some type of short one minute clip.

Matt Baum:
That’s awesome.

Josh Hyde:
Yeah, so [crosstalk 00:10:35]

Matt Baum:
So they could use that as well?

Josh Hyde:
Yep. Yep.

Matt Baum:
That’s very [crosstalk 00:10:38]

Josh Hyde:
So that versus it being exclusive and waiting two years for the footage to work and actually build an audience around the story and a community around the story, we could start releasing aspects of the film and just package it in different ways for these one minute clips, these two minute clips. Essentially, when you’re filming for a long period of time, you’re filming so much that you’re only going to use five minutes of seven hours.

Matt Baum:
Right, but you’ve also got this stuff edited, that you’ve already got sitting on the shelf, and you go, “Oh, you know what would work well there, that scene of this. Pluck it out, drop it in iMovie or …” Not they’re using iMovie. I’m sure you said the cooler than that, but …

Josh Hyde:
Oh no. I use iMovie.

Matt Baum:
How nice. I do too.

Josh Hyde:
Yeah. No, no, no. I use [crosstalk 00:11:24]

Matt Baum:
Yeah, I’m a film director too, bro. I get it.

Josh Hyde:
[inaudible 00:11:26] Yeah, yeah. I was just joking. I use Adobe Premiere but I-

Matt Baum:
Oh, okay. Now you make me look bad.

Josh Hyde:
I use a variety of-

Matt Baum:
Thanks.

Josh Hyde:
No, no. I use a variety. Yeah. Well, I mean you have to use a variety of programs sometimes. It just depends for the actual need.

Matt Baum:
Sure.

Josh Hyde:
I knew I was tracking a lot of footage over a long period of time and a lot of the edits I would have to do would have to be a lot more complex. Whereas if I was just doing more straight editing stuff, then I could probably-

Matt Baum:
Sure.

Josh Hyde:
… use iMovie.

Working with the hemp industry

Matt Baum:
Tell me about evo hemp. What drew you to those guys specifically? Don’t tell me it’s just because they were close to your house.

Josh Hyde:
They were also-

Matt Baum:
I mean, if they happen to be, that’s fine, but I just hope that’s not the only reason.

Josh Hyde:
Well, they ticked off the first box, which was-

Matt Baum:
Okay, they were close to your house.

Josh Hyde:
They are about seven miles away from my house. But also the second box was something like a Steve Madden situation, where you had a young brand that had national growth and national potential, and because they were specializing in food, they would be able to vet the retail market before most CBD brands could.

Matt Baum:
Sure, sure.

Josh Hyde:
That checked it off. Then the fact that they were a lot forward-thinking in that they wanted to use a lot of the extra footage. So I was like, “Okay, this is going to be great.” So we started leaking some of the extra footage. The extra footage started to work to build the direct to consumer online business. As the film was going, we were able to leak the footage and then get it out as a form of culture building, which eventually becomes marketing through content.

Matt Baum:
Yeah, yeah. Their website is pretty slick, and I assume most of that is you then.

Josh Hyde:
Not the website as much as the video-

Matt Baum:
The video.

Josh Hyde:
… content. Yeah.

Matt Baum:
The video on the website. Sorry, my bad.

Josh Hyde:
Yeah. I ended up producing most of the video over the last two years, and so my contract ended about six months ago. But it’s good, because we were all on good terms, and then I was able to vet a lot of different strategies, and so because of the-

Matt Baum:
That’s not a bad idea too, because you approach them and say, “I want to make this film and I will let you use any video you want for your stuff,” so you can Make a little money as well. You said your contract … Because I mean, obviously, you’re a millionaire and you don’t worry about money as a small [inaudible 00:13:59] director. But that makes sense. I mean, yeah, that’s awesome. When you approached them, were they just 100% in like, “Yeah, let’s do it. We’re down?”

Josh Hyde:
Unfortunately as a filmmaker, I’m not a millionaire, and so-

Matt Baum:
Oh, come on.

Josh Hyde:
One day, but today is not that day.

Matt Baum:
Sure, sure. I hear you.

Josh Hyde:
But I think what I did is I went in there and when I talked with them, they realized the potential because most brands, whether you’re a hemp brand or even a food brand, only have between 10% and 20% or 30%, if you’re lucky, to spend on marketing. So if you’re building up capital and building up your yearly revenue from one million to three million to five million to 10 million, and that’s kind of the-

Matt Baum:
Yeah, which sounds like a lot but still 10% of that. I mean, that doesn’t go real for marketing.

Josh Hyde:
Yeah, and that’s if everybody’s ducks are in a row. So sometimes those margins are different for all kinds of products, but then they equal out somewhere. For me, I knew that I wanted to make a film, and so if they could give me access then I would be graceful enough to just partner on the marketing.

Matt Baum:
Cool.

Josh Hyde:
Because I wanted to prove that it could work, that if you could put that much content into the algorithms. Because what’s unique about the hemp space is it’s hard to have really good paid boosted advertising-

Matt Baum:
Absolutely.

Josh Hyde:
… with video content.

Matt Baum:
Absolutely. [crosstalk 00:15:40]

Josh Hyde:
So we can still boost content, but it’s got to be photographic ambiguous in nature, someone walking on a beach, a cloud in the sky with a sunset that says, “Relax.”

Matt Baum:
Right. Like the pharmaceutical commercials, where you’re just like, “What is this a commercial for?” A guy is at a [inaudible 00:15:59] or something, and then there’s another dude that’s like, “Organizing his garage.” What are we selling? Turns out they all have psoriasis of the kidneys, or something [inaudible 00:16:10]

Josh Hyde:
It’s true. It’s true. This is really, really true.

Matt Baum:
So you make this movie, American Hemp, that premiers … Where do you premiere that at? Where does that come out?

Josh Hyde:
The whole goal was to just release that online on Amazon Prime.

Matt Baum:
Cool.

Josh Hyde:
Then we also did iTunes, Apple TV and a couple other ones, I think. We did that streaming, but slowly what we realized is as more views came in, a lot of the marketing that was being put around the film was all hemp products. So in a way, making more hemp content makes a case for Amazon to say, “Oh, look, we’ve got approved hemp products. Well, now we can market it around this hemp series.”

Matt Baum:
Sure.

Josh Hyde:
Then you started to see a lot of different hemp movies and cannabis movies being auto suggested.

Matt Baum:
A bunch are out there now, and not all of them are great. Not like I’m going to talk smack or anything, but I will say the stuff that you have done is pretty slick, man, and it looks really good. Not in that sort of … There are certain docuseries that I love watching because they’re not trying to pound a message home, but they are trying to inform and educate and do so in an interesting way, like there’s music playing in the background and stuff, there’s good photography. Your show checked off all those boxes. At first when you mentioned … You had called and left me a message on the Ministry of Hemp line, and I was like, “Oh boy, let’s check this out,” and started watching it. I was like, “This is really good. I’m totally impressed.” We’ll be right back with more of my conversation with Josh. But first, the Ministry of Hemp is super proud to partner with another Colorado native, Pure Hemp Botanicals.

Sponsored by Pure Hemp Botanicals

Matt Baum:
Their mantra, compassion and action, guides Pure Hemp Botanicals in both their work and relationships while serving a growing community of evolving hearts and minds to produce sustainable plant-based vegan and cruelty-free products, while seeking to raise hemp awareness and inspire others to adopt an attitude of compassion themselves. Pure Hemp Botanicals has a full line of CBD products, including soft gel capsules, tinctures, vape oils, mints and even crystals that can be used in drinks, edibles, or vaporizing devices. They also have a hemp-a-licious, and I know I’m saying that wrong, I apologize. Hemp tea, it’s caffeine free, and it reminds me very much of green tea and flavor. Pure Hemp Botanicals were nice enough to send me some samples and I’ve really been enjoying their 1,500 milligram Full Spectrum Tincture. I used it today to help me focus and get this podcast done, as a matter of fact. Check out their products at purehempbotanicals.com, and be sure to use the code Ministry20, that’s capital M, Ministry20 at checkout, to get 20% off your order and let them know that we sent you.

Matt Baum:
Again, I want to say a huge thanks to Pure Hemp Botanicals for partnering with us, and we’re really careful when we make these partnerships. We fully vet these companies and these guys are doing it right. They’re using hemp plants that are nurtured with tender, loving care from expert growers. They’ve got easily accessible third-party lab tests, and they even give a portion of their proceeds to Mercy For Animals, MFA, who is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to promoting compassionate food choices and bringing an end to cruel animal farming practices. Head purehempbotanicals.com, use the code Ministry20 to get 20% off your purchase. Pure Hemp Botanicals, organically grown and produced with love in Colorado. Now back to my conversation with Josh Hyde. Because from what I understand, when you come to Amazon Prime or iTunes or whoever’s streaming service, and you go, “I got a movie,” they go, “Great. Let’s stream it.” Pretty much. They make sure it’s not porn [inaudible 00:20:12] more or less, and they go, “Let’s stream it.” How do you go from that to producing a series for Amazon Prime? How does that happen?

Creating a hemp documentary series

Josh Hyde:
Because I started as a filmmaker, a lot of what I’m doing is basically filmmaking applied to the hemp story and the hemp industry. My goal was to just make the story accessible to people so that it can speak to both sides of the issue, meaning the conservative and the more liberal and the more progressive side-

Matt Baum:
And you did great job on that.

Josh Hyde:
… [crosstalk 00:20:48] as an option.

Matt Baum:
You did a great job on that, by the way, because you’re not demonizing anybody, and I totally get why it’s easy to demonize the other side. But doing so makes you just as bad as someone who was demonizing you. I really appreciate that you did a nice job on that on your show, just saying, “Look, yeah, there is another argument here,” definitely is, and presenting it as such. But back to what we were saying, I’m sorry. Moving it to a series within Amazon.

Josh Hyde:
Yeah. I felt after watching the movie that there were more stories that I wasn’t able to even talk about. So trying to keep it focused on the characters, moving through a time and space in the hemp industry, just so people could meet a large scale farmer, a small scale farmer, someone bringing hemp food to the industry that was then bringing hemp CBD to the industry. I realized that there were so many other stories that I needed to keep telling them, because I had uncovered this in a way unique world and industry that is just emerging. There are a lot of people in the hemp industry that you can demonize. In a way, I realized that that’s the easy part of it, but how do we tell a story about people using hemp for some type of economic redevelopment or some type of small business entrepreneur just starting with his first water-soluble hemp product?

Matt Baum:
Sure.

Josh Hyde:
Because I realized there were so many big companies in the space that you can’t really … When you tell their story, it’s not as interesting.

Matt Baum:
Absolutely. I was like, “This conglomerate was-“

Josh Hyde:
It’s just-

Matt Baum:
“… so brave when they took 0.04% of their billion dollar profits and applied it [inaudible 00:22:38].” Not much of a story there.

Josh Hyde:
Yeah, and their initiatives, because of studying the space, you see people who will put their marketing dollars towards making a new label. It’s like I get it, but making a new label every two years just means you have extra profits and money and you haven’t figured out actual marketing yet. Because rebranding is an easy thing that the next wave of people you bring in-

Matt Baum:
Sure.

Josh Hyde:
… can basically fix the problem.

Matt Baum:
Oh, look, it’s new again.

Josh Hyde:
They always go with rebranding, re-logoing and you’re like, “Dude, that’s going to make it easier for you to sell, but let’s be honest here, there’s other ways to do it.” So I think going deeper with story and video was one of the ideas. Then I also realized too that if I started making the series, we could expand it from Colorado, and so I could start to film a California lab who is just becoming the first hemp lab. I could try to make a short episode on the first CBD-infused sunscreen. Then you’re basically telling the American story, which is two entrepreneurs meeting each other at a music festival and deciding they should start a CBD sunscreen line.

Matt Baum:
That’s cool. You’re also quilting a story-

Josh Hyde:
And then-

Matt Baum:
… a national story as well. This isn’t just in Colorado, this isn’t just in … It’s all of us. This is happening everywhere, and different creative people are trying to figure out different creative ways to bring hemp to the marketplace.

Josh Hyde:
Yeah, and then some of the most interesting products are within that boutique space-

Matt Baum:
Definitely.

Josh Hyde:
… that a North Carolina hemp brand starting an infused skincare company. They might be making the most interesting product on the market in that category or sector. The thing that I’m fascinated with is the spagyric extraction process.

Matt Baum:
Yeah. Yeah, I did a whole show about that, and I pronounced it wrong-

Josh Hyde:
Oh, it’s great.

Matt Baum:
… the entire time. I think I finally pronounced it correctly in the last three minutes of the episode, and I’ll go back and listen to it, I’m like, “Oh God.”

Josh Hyde:
When you get a really good product made with this spagyric extract … The ones I like basically take the spagyric extract and then they put it back into coconut oil. I mean, that extract is so full spectrum and it’s so terpene-rich that-

Matt Baum:
And you can smell it. It’s just big, natural smell. It’s really cool.

Josh Hyde:
Yeah, minty, it’s earthy-

Matt Baum:
Totally.

Josh Hyde:
… [crosstalk 00:25:13], and it’s like fresh feeling.

Telling American hemp stories

Matt Baum:
Yeah, almost like basil meets oregano type smell comes out of that. I love it. Absolutely love it. Did you have any pushback when you came to Amazon and you were like, “Hey, I want to do … expand this movie into a series. Are you guys interested?” Was there any pushback at all or were they just like, “Yeah, let’s do it?”

Josh Hyde:
Luckily enough, because I’m a filmmaker in the middle of this era of distribution that I like to call the streaming wars, Amazon released a [crosstalk 00:25:45]

Matt Baum:
Did you coin that by the way? Is that yours? The streaming wars? Just take credit for it. Like, “Yeah, I’m pretty sure I said that first.”

Josh Hyde:
I will let you tell me that I said it first, and then that way-

Matt Baum:
You heard it here, folks. You heard it here on the Ministry of Hemp Podcast.

Josh Hyde:
[crosstalk 00:25:58] We’re in the streaming wars-

Matt Baum:
There it is.

Josh Hyde:
… enjoy the [inaudible 00:26:05]. Amazon opened up this back door for filmmakers to basically self release all of their work. So when I released the film, I realized that there was the same way that I released it for Amazon Prime. I could do an episodic series or I could do an actual channel. That basically featured I think over 200 titles.

Matt Baum:
That’s amazing.

Josh Hyde:
I didn’t have 200 titles, so I was like, “Let me try this episodic thing,” and then I just want to basically film episodes every couple months and then try to release them every month or two. So we’re in the middle of that. I tried to release three new episodes, which are a little more controversial, and it’s been four or five weeks [crosstalk 00:26:56] and so they haven’t posted yet. So I’m just waiting for that to post and trying to adjust some of the things, because it might be controversial.

Matt Baum:
When you say controversial, what are we talking about? Hit me. I mean, you don’t have to spoil or anything. We want to watch it, [crosstalk 00:27:07] obviously.

Josh Hyde:
Well, the next three episodes, one is just about a brand called SteepFuze Coffee, and it just shows … What they do is they are an infused coffee and tea CBD company, and they also do white labeling for people and they also make their own products.

Matt Baum:
Sure

Josh Hyde:
So we just show their reality, which infused beverages and infused foods are still a little bit, I think, controversial.

Matt Baum:
Big time.

Josh Hyde:
But not really, if you think about it.

Matt Baum:
I mean, not at all-

Josh Hyde:
And then you [crosstalk 00:27:41]

Matt Baum:
But as far as the FDA is concerned, it could be the most dangerous thing that’s ever happened.

Josh Hyde:
Yeah, exactly.

Matt Baum:
It’s ridiculous. Hide your children.

Josh Hyde:
Then the other one that’s a lot more controversial is we followed a gentleman who was diagnosed with leukemia-

Matt Baum:
Oh wow.

Josh Hyde:
… when he was working in a data recovery center in Utah. He was working around a lot of hard drives-

Matt Baum:
Wow.

Josh Hyde:
… a lot of stressful situations. His team would do emergency relief for stuff like Hurricane Sandy-

Matt Baum:
Jesus.

Josh Hyde:
… for different businesses who might be under water but had to have all of their data collected. So he gets diagnosed with leukemia and he tries the traditional methods and he’s about a year and a half in and he decides that he just has to try something else. So he has some friends in Colorado and so he decided to come out to Colorado because he has to get closer to the source of CBD-

Matt Baum:
Sure.

Josh Hyde:
… and of hemp extract.

Matt Baum:
Sure.

Josh Hyde:
So he comes out to Colorado and he starts a couple of hemp businesses, and through those businesses, he ends up doing a lot of research and development into products that he used to basically help himself heal.

Matt Baum:
That is so cool. How do you connect with that story? Did you stumble upon this guy? Or how do you find the stories that you’re making shows off?

Josh Hyde:
I got really lucky for this one. My brother was a friend of Jamie, and so Jamie ended up starting a company called Canna Comforts. [crosstalk 00:29:13]

Matt Baum:
Jamie is the guy that had leukemia?

Josh Hyde:
Yeah, yeah. So Jamie ended up starting Canna Comforts with a group of people. My brother knew him and then we just started talking, and then Jamie wanted it to be filmed and so we just had to decide the best way.

Matt Baum:
That’s awesome.

Josh Hyde:
What we did, because every episode can be different, it doesn’t have to be a standardized format in a way, so you’ll have one episode on Pine Ridge and then you’ll have another episode in the Colorado with a young entrepreneur and then you’ll have Jamie’s journey, which this is a two part series where Jamie filmed himself going through all of this.

Matt Baum:
Oh man.

Josh Hyde:
On his cell phone.

Matt Baum:
Wow.

Josh Hyde:
What we do is we basically interject Jamie’s footage that he shot of himself into this larger story of how these businesses came together.

Matt Baum:
I assume that gets pretty intense sometimes.

Josh Hyde:
Yeah. Yeah. [crosstalk 00:30:14] It was a harder one to edit. It took me a lot longer to edit-

Matt Baum: [inaudible 00:30:17]

Josh Hyde:
… because you’re questioning your humanity every second, every minute. Then also he talks about his treatment. He talked about the different chemotherapies, the different painkillers, the different things for nausea and anxiety, and just that journey. So I tried not to make it political, I just focused on Jamie’s journey [crosstalk 00:30:41]

Matt Baum:
Yeah, the personal story. Definitely.

Josh Hyde:
Yeah.

Matt Baum:
Man.

Upcoming plans for ‘American Hemp’

Josh Hyde:
Yeah, then in that way, I think those are going to be even more exciting, and then my hope is I get to do a couple of episodes in this California lab. So they might be the first lab in California that’s processing hemp and then THC at the same time.

Matt Baum:
Oh wow.

Josh Hyde:
[crosstalk 00:31:00] they have totally separate facilities that have been licensed, but because of the place they’re in in California, the municipality supports, and then that one’s called … I believe is Case Pharma, and then it’s Case Manufacturing. [crosstalk 00:31:16]

Matt Baum:
Yeah, because that’s difficult right now. We think of California as being very, we’ll call it, green friendly because they’re pro THC and pro CBD, but they have made it very difficult for people working in the industry. You can pick one and stay there, you can pick the other one and stay there, but if you try to come together, that’s a completely Wild West, unexplored territory for them right now. Right?

Josh Hyde:
Yeah, I think so. I think it just goes to different states legislation. Because in a way we had the THC reality, which came from medical marijuana states, recreational states, which basically allowed more research into the cannabis plant, and then the hemp legislation came in with those programs, and then now we’re seeing the end result of having successful crops for a couple years, and now we have to process it. But trying to keep them separate because the THC side is definitely regulated more from the medical health department side-

Matt Baum:
Definitely.

Josh Hyde:
… with all of that stuff, whereas the hemp is trying to be kept on the industrial agricultural side, and so I think there’s … We’re seeing its evolution to its next phase.

Matt Baum:
I’m really looking forward to these next episodes. They sound amazing.

Josh Hyde:
Oh yeah. I’m excited too. I mean, they were hard to edit and then-

Matt Baum:
I’m sure.

Josh Hyde:
Then they were fun to release too. Then the hope is that when people see these episodes, what can happen is, if we partner with someone, then we take the episode and we edit it down to little clips, because then you can post … If it’s a 20-minute episode, you can post 21 minute clips.

Matt Baum:
Yeah, totally.

Josh Hyde:
Then those one minute clips [inaudible 00:33:03] on Instagram and then LinkedIn, and then they can help build your culture, but then also push people back to the Amazon Prime series.

Matt Baum:
Yeah, man. You’ve got this nailed down.

Josh Hyde:
I mean, I [crosstalk 00:33:16]

Matt Baum:
Was this a learning process or are you following a model or is it just like, “Hey, this makes sense. Let’s do it this way?”

Josh Hyde:
I think it’s a little bit of both. It’s trying to see what works, but then also look looking at what is available now. Then also I’ve worked in the advertising space with webisode content, so that’s how the Steve Madden thing came about because we were doing short webisode contents for Steve Madden.

Matt Baum:
That’s cool

Josh Hyde:
Then from there, I was like, “Okay, there’s a feature film idea here, so make a feature film on Steve Madden.” But in this case, I was like, “Let’s make a feature film and then let’s chop it into little episodic things that can be used for the brand’s marketing.”

Matt Baum:
Awesome.

Josh Hyde:
Then also for the marketing of the film. Then also the film idea was started, but within that, we started another idea. I started another idea with a group of friends. One was a hemp farmer and another one … One was a hemp farmer and then a couple were [inaudible 00:34:22] computer engineer types.

Matt Baum:
Sure.

Josh Hyde:
It’s review-based website called Tortoise Mountain, and so we just realized that there were all these products being made and no one could talk about their products in the way that they wanted to. So if there was a media company, then media companies like Ministry of Hemp could basically talk about things that they like as a third party endorsement-

Matt Baum:
Exactly.

Josh Hyde:
… and then just help people find it and then communicate the education and the information. We just experimented with that. We started doing video reviews and then we started getting a lot of samples, and then we realized not all products are great. What we decided is that we would only review good products. [crosstalk 00:35:08]

Matt Baum:
That’s where we’re at too, where it’s like … I mean, the idea is you could probably get more clicks by trashing stuff honestly, but that doesn’t do anybody any favors. You know what I mean?

Josh Hyde:
Yeah, yeah.

Matt Baum:
If we’re trying to educate and we’re trying to get a message out there, then maybe picking the best of the best that are out there, the people that are doing it right, and saying, “Hey, steer towards this way. Maybe not that CBD shit you see in the gas station.” Right?

Josh Hyde:
Yeah, yeah.

Matt Baum:
You know what I mean?

Josh Hyde:
Because you just don’t know. When you’re paying such a premium price and when the price wars are-

Matt Baum:
Yes.

Josh Hyde:
… happening within CBD, and then we’re having a price shift happening, which … Try not to have the quality shifts while the price shifts.

Matt Baum:
Absolutely, because you give someone, “Yeah, I’ll try it. I’m going to throw $90 on this bottle,” and it doesn’t do anything for them, guess what? They’re not going to spend 90 bucks again, even on the best shit in the world. They’re going to say, “Nope, I got burned. I’m out.” Giving people good information, steering them to the right place, I mean, it sounds like you’re on the same page that we are.

Josh Hyde:
I think it’s hard because a lot of these bigger brands, which … There are some wonderful big brands that make a wonderful quality product-

Matt Baum:
Yeah, absolutely.

Josh Hyde:
… [crosstalk 00:36:25] they’re the ones who have more of the marketing dollars. So trying to support the little brand and the mid-level brand in a way that allows consumers to find them. But then there has to be some way for Ministry of Hemp or even Tortoise Mountain to make money, and so we’ve tried to figure that out. But really it’s a way that we can keep doing media that’s more educational, and it’s not quite the Amazon Prime series. But then we can release one minute clips as opposed to a 10 or 15 or a 20-minute episode.

Matt Baum:
Again, that all points back to the films that you’re making. It’s brilliant.

Josh Hyde:
Yeah. Well, and it’s partnerships. Because I think one thing I’ve noticed in filming the hemp industry growing is there are people who want to operate hard and fast and there are people who are building for the long term, and I think the media companies understand build for the long term and then let’s build the culture of the space. Then I think the brands that are going to last are going to have that longterm benefit to their partnerships, and then they’ll put sustainability there.

Matt Baum:
Right, without a doubt. The guys that are infusing CBD in your sunglass lenses and stuff, they’re probably not going to be around. [inaudible 00:37:48]

Josh Hyde:
Yeah, don’t buy the CBD mattress.

Matt Baum:
Yeah, [crosstalk 00:37:51]

Josh Hyde:
Don’t buy the CBD mattress.

Matt Baum:
You don’t need it.

Josh Hyde:
Put the CBD inside of you.

Matt Baum:
Yeah. Hey, Josh, thank you for your time, man. This has been fantastic, and we’re looking forward to more episodes. We’ll have links to the episodes, of course, and the show notes and whatnot. But thanks for joining me here in Ministry of Hemp Podcast, man.

Josh Hyde:
I just appreciate everything you guys do to build the hemp space.

Matt Baum:
Thank you.

Josh Hyde:
You guys are a really great media outlet-

Matt Baum:
We’re working on it.

Josh Hyde:
… and I know [inaudible 00:38:17] hard it is. I appreciate the time and literally thank you for everything you do because it’s-

Matt Baum:
Right on, thank you, brother. I appreciate it.

Josh Hyde:
… good.

Final thoughts from Matt

Matt Baum:
You can find links to Josh’s movies, American Hemp, and a series at Amazon Prime, American Hemp, The Evolution Continues, and links to his Tortoise Mountain site all in the notes for this episode. We find ourselves at the end of another Ministry of Hemp Podcast, but there’s plenty of Ministry of Hemp to keep you busy. In the meantime, follow us on all of our social media /Ministry of Hemp, or @Ministry of Hemp. We’re everywhere. If you want to partner with us like Pure Hemp Botanicals did, shoot us an email to [email protected], and we’d love to work with you. If you have hemp questions that you would like to hear answered on the show, you can shoot me an email to [email protected], or call us at 402-819-6417 and leave your hemp related questions.

Matt Baum:
The Editor in Chief of ministryofhemp.com, Kit O’Connell and myself do Q&A sessions every once in a while, and we just did one last episode. It was a lot of fun. So if you missed that, check it out. Also, like I brought up in the beginning of the show, head over to ministryofhemp.com, check out our new CBD oil guide. I cannot stress how much good information is in that new reworked guide. If you dig this show and you like the message that we’re spreading and you love ministryofhemp.com, then please head to patreon.com/ministryofhemp, and become a Ministry of Hemp insider. You get all sorts of extra stuff like podcast extras. We’ll have one this week, with Josh and I talking about young filmmakers working in an age where they seem to have more freedom and more ability to get their art out to the populace than ever before.

Matt Baum:
It’s a really cool conversation. So I hope you check it out. Thank you to everyone that has already donated, and if you haven’t, check us out at Patreon. I cannot tell you how much it helps us to spread the good word of hemp. At the Ministry of Hemp, we believe that an accessible world is a better world for everyone. So you will find a full written transcript for the show in the notes as well. For now, it’s time for me to get out of here, and I like to end the show the same way every time. Remember to take care of yourself, take care of others and make good decisions, will you? This is Matt Baum with the Ministry of Hemp. Signing off.

Photo: A composite image of hemp documentary creator Josh Harney, a smiling man with brown hair, a light beard and big dark glasses, with a rubber duck on his head. In the background, a photo of a freshly harvested hemp plant..
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Matt Baum has been hosting, producing, and editing podcasts for almost ten years. He's been a touring musician, chef, journalist, and avid comic book fan for as long as he can remember. Currently, Matt lives in Omaha Nebraska with his wife Kacie and pugs Mable and Bobo.

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