Hemp is a natural resource older than all of us. There are thousands of hemp-based products available in the marketplace today. From shirts to car parts to pharmacy products, hemp is increasingly used in everyday life. Even homes are now being made entirely out of hemp.
As a practical matter and from the agriculture side, my family members grew hemp as a research plant many years ago. On the growth, usage and creative side, as it relates to hemp paper and products, my company prints more books and products with today’s hemp paper than probably any other publisher in the continental U.S. Our company in MO applied for the first license, before licenses were even legal: a “pre-application to license” to market, sell and advertise hemp products.
I work with major paper manufacturers on the purchase of hemp paper products and I’ve even printed books on hemp paper that educate on the use of hemp and hemp-related products. As a sort of a “legacy” hemp paper publisher (here and in Canada), I’ve seen firsthand the potential for hemp to help save the environment as it becomes more cost-effective to produce, thereby saving trees across the globe.
One acre of hemp is roughly equal to four acres of trees. To grow one acre of full-grown hemp takes about 20 weeks, whereas growing one acre of full-grown trees takes 20 years. As most people know, the byproduct of plants engaged in photosynthesis — the process of sunlight, water and carbon dioxide that makes plants grow — means they will give off oxygen. Hemp is versatile. It produces oxygen, and yet it can take the form of many different products today — like CBD for an overworked parent with screaming kids.
Let’s take a quick look at hemp, start a conversation and keep the discussion going for a long time.
Is Hemp Really Accepted in Mainstream American Culture?
Hemp is generally accepted for common use in most of America today, with restrictions. Publicly, hemp is accepted, but as far as actual use in the mainstream, it is getting there with a long way to go.
Before hemp was outlawed in the U.S., the uses of the plant were global and quite welcomed. Hemp was grown and cultivated or used worldwide for thousands of years before the U.S. was established. Historians state hemp cultivation began in Central Asia — as early as 2800 BCE in China. Hemp cultivation made its way to Europe and then eventually to North America. During WWII, farmers were allowed to grow hemp for the war effort, before we went back to banning hemp. Hemp production was banned in the U.S. with the passing of the Marihuana Tax Act in 1937. In 2018, hemp became federally legal.
Interest in hemp products, consumer and industrial, is growing significantly. From the development of consumer products to therapies, the usage of hemp products is becoming more acceptable for everyday items, while helping to solve everyday problems. Citizens understood it first, and then U.S. government officials and their offices caught up and recognized the opportunities hemp offers, acknowledging the crop’s interest and possibilities.
How to Support Hemp Products or Add a Hemp-Friendly Line of Products to Your Existing Business
As a business owner or entrepreneur, you must first identify the demand. Look at your sourcing — the hemp wholesalers — and have a defined workable distribution network. Employ a flexible sales strategy, understand prices and margins, and figure out profitability per product or item. In old-school terms: Buy, sell and make money.
One of the easiest and best ways to support hemp products, create revenues or add hemp-friendly products to an existing business is now just a click away. Google hemp products, wholesale hemp items or how to buy quality hemp. Even some government agencies are educating businesses and consumers about the uses of hemp and helping to improve pathways to revenue growth by adding everyday products to a current business. The market for hemp-friendly products continues to grow: combs, toothpaste, food, paper, car parts, soaps, clothing, pharmaceutical products, shampoo and lotions.
Always look for reliable, credible hemp sources by doing your own research, asking many questions and looking or asking for references. Visit tradeshows and look for online events; hemp is everywhere these days. A baseline best practice is: Be honest in your research and be honest with your customers and employees. Accept your wins and losses and keep moving, advancing your knowledge and understanding of what you are selling.
America can make great strides with this plant by easing the burden on American forests — not to mention making money for city farmers and countryside farmers. Americans typically do not go around thinking about hemp, how it’s accepted, who uses it, where it comes from or what happened to this ancient plant — unless they can see the value of hemp in their everyday life. That happens with education, attention to successful hemp products and understanding of the science and use of the plant. In the meantime, I think I’ll go and print some books — all made from hemp.