June 3-9, 2013 is the 4th annual Hemp History Week. Now in its forth year, Hemp History Week (www.hemphistoryweek.com) is the largest national, grassroots marketing and public education effort to renew strong support for hemp farming in the U.S. and raise awareness about the benefits of hemp products. Hemp History Week is an opportunity to have our voices heard in support of bringing hemp back to U.S. farms.
Hemp is a traditional American crop, grown by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Despite the fact that industrial hemp has no drug value, misguided federal policy criminalized the cultivation of industrial hemp in the U.S.. This outdated policy has created a missed opportunity for American farmers and consumers alike.
U.S. consumers are demanding U.S. grown hemp. Today, millions of consumers know hemp as a healthful source of plant-based protein and Omega 3s and 6s. They are purchasing hemp clothing, using hemp paper, and may even live in an energy efficient home being built with hemp. The Hemp market is rapidly growing where SPINS marketing data from 2012, showed up $156 million in retail sales of hemp-based foods, nutritional supplements, and body care products. The Hemp Industries Association has reviewed sales of clothing, auto parts, building materials and various other products, and it estimates the total retail value of hemp products sold in the U.S. in 2012 to be over $500 million.
Hemp is an untapped opportunity for American farmers and this is a crop that pays. Industrial hemp has been grown in Canada since 1999. Today, Canadian hemp farmers net an average $200-$400 per acre for hemp grown just north of the U.S. border. Hemp farming supports not just farms, but secondary businesses such as processing and manufacturing, creating jobs and building the health of local economies.
During Hemp History Week, our U.S. Senators need to hear from us on behalf of industrial hemp. The campaign is leading a drive to collect 100 letters to Senators in each of the 50 states in support of industrial hemp farming legislation. Write a letter at http://www.hemphistoryweek.com/takeaction
There are many compelling reasons for lawmakers to support industrial hemp. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) explains: “There are several successful businesses in my state who are manufacturing healthy and sustainable products made from hemp. Currently these companies are forced to import their raw materials from Canada and other countries. Changing federal policy to allow American farmers the right to grow hemp right here at home will help these companies thrive, while creating new economic opportunities in Oregon and across the country.”
Support for hemp is building. Hemp History Week is a diverse campaign that includes farmers; prominent natural foods and products sponsors; grassroots organizers; college students; restaurants; and as many as 800+ participating retail stores, including most Whole Foods Market locations in the U.S. By hosting events, educating communities, offering promotions, and spreading the word, together these groups are expanding the base of support for industrial hemp. Farmers play a key roll in this conversation. There are many ways that you can support this campaign. To learn more and find out how you can get involved visit http://hemphistoryweek.com/getinvolved.php and check out the Hemp History Week Farmer Toolkit for helpful resources on hemp farming. http://hemphistoryweek.com/eventkit.phpThis entry was posted in Community, ideas for how to utilize hemp and tagged #hhw13, 2013, activist, commerical, community, consume, economics, hemp, hemp history week, Industrial Hemp, industry, products, rediscover hemp by MaryJanesGirl™ and comments are closed.