With the passage of last year’s farm bill, hemp is finally legal to grow in all fifty states! This creates an enormous opportunity for the hemp industry, and also a great responsibility. Can the industry evolve with practices such as regenerative farming that support healthy soil and cool the globe? Or will hemp become just another genetically-modified, pesticide-intensive crop like cotton or tobacco, captured by Big Ag, Big Oil and Big Pharma?
These questions will be answered by farmers, processors, and the owners of hemp companies, who will decide how to grow their crops, and how to develop and produce their products. The questions will also be answered by us—the consumers—because the market will also follow our priorities, our choices in the marketplace.
What a journey! What a year so far!
Sometimes peddling hemp takes you to the most extraordinary places! Last week, the vital road crew stopped for a restful night near Mystic Hot Springs, in a part of Utah where the stars remind you of how very deep the universe can be--and how, though very small, we’re connected to it all.
In Denver, we reveled at the Indo Expo, meeting new friends and re-connecting with allies. I met Peggy B., the founder of Little Flower Colorado Hemp Company, a majority-woman-owned company that grows only organic hemp, and sources other organic and wild-crafted ingredients for their therapeutic tinctures, serums, lip balms and gummies. She fell in love with our clothing; I fell in love with her products. I hemped her out; she hemped me out. Life was good!
After many telephone conversations, I finally met master herbalist, Dawne Vrabel, from Authentic Hemp Company, who ordered soft hemp/organic cotton t-shirts from us last year. This year, I bought the amazing CBD salve that she and her company create from biodynamically-grown hemp, a Juniper Joint Rub that also won this year’s award for best salve. Her friend Ryan came to the booth, wearing the shirt, and we bonded over Costa Rica, yoga, surfing and well, mostly surfing.
In our booth, I finally met David Maddalena, the publisher of Hemp Connoisseur, a magazine that I had just mentioned less than thirty minutes earlier to a woman seeking a magazine to learn about the world of hemp. David and I filmed a little segment for his new hemp-themed show. And of course, I hemped him (and his magnificent cameraman) out!
I also met the owner of the Colorado Worm Company (hemp farmers love their wigglers). We bonded over the many varieties of cannabis, and even traded some hemp clothing for hemp’s more notorious cousin. That put a little skip in my step when bopping down a fresh powder-covered country road on the outskirts of town the next day.
When all was packed away, I took a day to relax. We had been working hard. The snow fell, and later cleared. An old NOCO friend and I went out for that walk along the Denver country road. We saw some geese, and watched a dog chase them away. A horse emerged from a barn to greet us. The world felt vital, harmonious, filled with the possibility that people who run ethical, ecologically-responsible companies will invest in life-sustaining practices, benefiting all living creatures on this small planet we call home. It was a good feeling. Thanks for being vital,
Ron Alcalay Founder/CEO/Hemperdasher
Store and Wholesale: 310.450.2260
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