Hemp for Our Future: A Social Responsibility Initiative
By Shawn Hauser
May 6, 2020
As we settle into challenging times, many of us find ourselves asking, “What can I do to help?” When you’re part of an industry that has the power to produce tens of thousands of products—ranging from food, homemade masks, clothing, and a host of other sustainable, non-toxic consumer products—you feel particularly called to duty. The hemp industry, in its first year of USDA regulation, heeds that call. Feeling the spirit of its former calls to serve our country during wartime, hemp businesses have united in a social responsibility campaign to produce supplies for those on the front lines and in need.
Inspired by the Hemp for Victory Campaign in 1942, when the federal government briefly removed the prohibition of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 so that U.S. farmers could grow hemp to make rope and other supplies during World War II, the hemp industry is rising to action again to help during a time of crisis.
The social responsibility campaign, Hemp for Our Future, is a network of hemp businesses that support the production and donation of hemp-based materials, products, and foods to medical professionals and community organizations impacted by COVID-19. Through the network, hemp businesses will connect with their allies and supporters across the supply chain to produce and donate materials to recipients in their region who need supplies.
The hemp industry is eager to equip Americans with materials made of hemp, given its qualities as a sustainable, non-toxic, and durable material that can be used to make a wide variety of products—from paper, textiles and biodegradable plastics, to health foods and fuel. The many benefits of hemp include:
- Hemp is known as a “superfood” high in omega-3 fatty acids and complete protein, and these nutritive properties make it ideal for food donations.
- The non-toxic, durable, and breathable nature of hemp fiber makes it an excellent material for (non-medical) masks, gloves, and other items that will now be a standard uniform for many Americans.
- As a superior material to paper products, hemp requires fewer chemicals and less bleach to produce.
- Hemp materials last longer, are recyclable and environmentally friendly.
- Hemp production can naturally clean up soil pollution and support farmers.
Whether it’s donating protein bars to health care workers or impoverished communities, providing durable clothing and shoes for nurses, fabricating homemade masks and gowns, or producing lotions and salves that can help the tired hands of essential workers, the hemp industry continues to find new ways that hemp can assist through this initiative.
“Hemp is the standard fiber of the world. It has great tensile strength and durability. It is used to produce more than 5,000 textile products… and can be used to produce more than 25,000 products, ranging from dynamite to Cellophane.” – Popular Mechanics, Hemp: Billion Dollar Crop, 1938
Just like in World War II, helping those in need is an important and meaningful way to illuminate hemp’s uses for thousands of sustainable and critical products, to help revitalize the nation’s agricultural industry, and support farmers. Through giving and community, we hope to influence the future of hemp, and our society, as one that is more sustainable and connected to the farm. The social responsibility initiative is currently focused on helping health care workers and other communities in need during the COVID-19 crisis, but Hemp for Our Future aims to carry this forward for future uses and to unite and strengthen a critical new industry for our country.
The hemp businesses who are participating in this initiative are generous farmers, start-ups, non-profits, and others who are donating their products and services. Please consider donating your services, time or voice to this initiative, as they need your support. Join the helpers of the world and help effect positive change in our communities!
The power of hemp is incredible and the power of a community with purpose is unlimited. Hemp for Our Future is supported by Vicente Sederberg LLP, Vote Hemp, Colorado Hemp Industries Association, Friends of Hemp, Agricultural Hemp Solutions, Colorado Hemp Company, NCIA, Texas Hemp Educational Organization, Cannabis Doing Good, Hemp Industries Association, Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition, Oregon Industrial Hemp Farmers Association, Hemp Road Trip, Hemp History Week, OP Innovates, EARTH Law LLC, US Hemp Building Association, and the National Hemp Association, with more supporters to come! Learn more and join the initiative at friendsofhemp.org.
“There is only one known annually renewable natural resource that is capable of providing the overall majority of the world’s paper and textiles; meet all of the world’s transportation, industrial and home energy needs, while simultaneously reducing pollution, rebuilding the soil, and cleaning the atmosphere all at the same time… and that substance is — the same one that did it all before — Cannabis Hemp!" – Jack Herer, 1985