You can eat it, drink it, read it, tie it, wear it, drive it, live in it, and make money growing it, all while saving the soil and protecting the climate.
What is it?
Hemp. That’s right, hemp.
How can a single plant possibly live up to all this hype? Glad you asked. Here’s just a sampling of what this incredible plant can do:
- Hemp fibers can be stronger than steel and are found in today’s BMW, Mercedes and Dodge door panels;
- Hemp plant by-products can be used as a biofuel and, with more research, could create sustainable energy independence in the US. According to a recent study, an acre of hemp can produce power equivalent to a thousand gallons of gasoline;
- With foot long, soil-restoring taproots that require half the water of a corn crop, hemp can be used as a successful rotational crop;
- Hemp-fed laying hens can pass on the plant’s impressive essential fatty acid profile (omega-3 and omega-6) into the eggs we eat; and,
- Hemp can be used as a construction material to build new homes that create a carbon-negative foot print.
Given this impressive list, is it any wonder that after 77 long years of prohibition, hemp supporters across the country are shouting, “Hemp, hemp, hooray!”
2014 Farm Bill
In February, President Obama, together with the US Congress, passed the 2014 Farm Bill which included an amendment allowing hemp to be cultivated for university research.
This is a huge first step in hemp’s domestic comeback, officially distancing itself from its psychoactive cousin, marijuana, and growing across party lines — from conservative Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Rand Paul (R-KY) to liberal Congressman like Reps. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). Even the American Farm Bureau has jumped on the bandwagon and opposed the classification of industrial hemp as a controlled substance. This is an important action according to Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer because, “It shows the growing movement by agriculture leaders to embrace industrial hemp as a crop of the future.”
Author Doug Fine, for one, is ready for that future. In his latest book, Hemp Bound: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution, Doug explains why one of humanity’s longest-utilized plants is poised to rejuvenate the U.S. economy and help save the planet.
Praise for Hemp Bound
So, what are people saying about it?
Willie Nelson (yes, the Willie Nelson) calls it “a blueprint for the future of America.” Put that in your pipe and … oh, never mind.
Mark Frauenfelder, founder of Boing Boing calls Doug’s book, “engrossing and eye-opening.” While William Martin, senior fellow, drug policy, at Rice University’s Baker Institute agrees: “This is an important story, engagingly told.”
Fine’s enthusiasm for the subject leaps off the page when he advocates for hemp. “It’s effective because it’s all true,” he said. “I’ve found that anytime someone gives me five minutes, and I get to discuss the facts, hemp’s role in the founding of our country and where we’re going next as a nation, that person is a convert. I think I’m batting a thousand on that.”
Whether you are a farmer, entrepreneur, investor, or just a curious reader, this book could turn you into the next voracious hemp consumer and leave you wondering why we ever stopped cultivating this miracle crop in the first place.
Hemp Bound: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution is available now and on sale for 35% off until March 30th. Also, check out Doug Fine’s emerging Post-Prohibition Hemp Planting Tour with stops in Colorado, NYC, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, DC, and more.