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Hemp History

Three Kings Day

From historian Chris Bennett:“Today in Poland and Lithuania, and in former times also in Russia, on Christmas Eve when it is believed that the dead visit their families, a soup made of hemp seeds, called ‘semieniatka,’ is served for the dead souls to savor. In Latvia and the Ukraine, a dish made of hemp was … Continue reading "Three Kings Day" ...
1999: “The Peanut Butter of the Next Millennium”

1999: “The Peanut Butter of the Next Millennium”

This was an ad we ran in many national consumer magazines to drive pull-through at retail, and make the product a success. In this case, Hemp Times. From 1995 through 2001 we spent $250,000 in trade and consumer ads, and PR to make it a Thing. It worked: today hemp food is hemp’s first billion … Continue reading "1999: “The Peanut Butter of the Next Millennium”" ...

John Stahl on Hemp for Paper

Here’s a scene from Dave Olson’s 1997 documentary “The Hempen Road” featuring hemp pioneer John Stahl of Evanescent Press. He was planning on growing hemp for paper in Humboldt, and even installed a 12-foot fence and security lights to satisfy DEA. Local marijuana growers told him they wouldn’t let his first crop pollinate theirs because … Continue reading "John Stahl on Hemp for Paper" ...

“Empirical THC Testing”

Here’s a scene from Dave Olson’s 1997 documentary “The Hempen Road” featuring hemp food pioneer Dr Jace Callaway of FINOLA talking about how he tested the crop for THC, much to the surprise of police. Filmed at the Vancouver Hemp Symposium. 1:49 Copyright 1997 Dave Olson ...

Revelations from Congressional Testimony in the Hearings on the Marihuana Tax Act in 1937

These quotes are from Harry Anslinger, the man uber-racist FDR dispatched to put brown-skinned people in jail not for drugs, but for not having one certain little stamp proving they paid a tax; an economic crime. By 1937, many of today’s drug companies made hundreds of popular and efficacious medicines dispensed by pharmacists containing Cannabis … Continue reading "Revelations from Congressional Testimony in the Hearings on the Marihuana Tax Act in 1937" ...

Anslinger’s Super Racist Boss: FDR

I know Herer said the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was all Harry Anslinger, but do you really think only Anslinger was behind it? A low-level railroad cop was able to single-handedly marshall the federal government to wage a war on Blacks and Mexicans, getting Congress to go along and the White House what, just … Continue reading "Anslinger’s Super Racist Boss: FDR" ...
The State of Hemp Foods in 1997

The State of Hemp Foods in 1997

Here is a clip from the 1997 documentary “The Hempen Road” by Dave Olson, featuring Eric Zima (Zima Foods) and Todd Dalotto (Hungry Bear). In 1997, the hempseed food industry was in its quaint infancy. “Hippies making food in their kitchens” would not be an uncharitable description for the most part. None of these were … Continue reading "The State of Hemp Foods in 1997" ...
1999: Hemp Foods on National TV x5

1999: Hemp Foods on National TV x5

In America, the fastest way to introduce something new and spur diffusion and acceptance is through that one-eyed monster, TV. To normalize Cannabis a generation ago, the easiest path was by using marijuana’s red-haired stepchild, hemp. Ironically, hemp has proven to be the sharp point of the Cannabis legalization spear. And especially food, as it … Continue reading "1999: Hemp Foods on National TV x5" ...

INDUSTRIAL HEMP: GLOBAL MARKETS AND PRICES (1997)

Regarding INDUSTRIAL HEMP: GLOBAL MARKETS AND PRICES (1997) by Valerie L. Vantreese in the Department of Agricultural Economics at University of Kentucky. Many think China banned hemp cultivation sometime in the last century. I know they did not as I purchased hundreds of tons of seed from them in those years. Here is confirmation: “China … Continue reading "INDUSTRIAL HEMP: GLOBAL MARKETS AND PRICES (1997)" ...
1996: The HempNut Story

1996: The HempNut Story

The HempNut Story           We believe HempNut is the greatest invention to happen to hempseed ever!  Most people agree that the outer shell is not very tasty, more for birds than for humans.  It’s dirty, with typical field contaminants such as pathogens and manure.  And the shell has trace amounts of THC on it, not … Continue reading "1996: The HempNut Story" ...
1996: Citizen Citation

1996: Citizen Citation

City of Baltimore Citizen Citation Baltimore was where I first introduced hemp foods, at ExpoEast in the convention center in September 1994. When my amazing PR agent Sandra Weinstein asked them to give me this Citizen’s Citation and why, they agreed! It was a surprise, I didn’t even know it was a Thing. “City of … Continue reading "1996: Citizen Citation" ...
1994: Tofu cheese and rock ‘n’ roll

1994: Tofu cheese and rock ‘n’ roll

Tofu cheese and rock ‘n’ roll Santa Rosa Press Democrat Business section, Sept 18 1994, by Brad Bollinger. What can you make of a guy who has an MBA, hair down below his shoulders and plays guest guitar with a band called the Pink Flamingos?           A budding business star, according to Inc. magazine.           … Continue reading "1994: Tofu cheese and rock ‘n’ roll" ...
1996: Hempsters Consult With the Navajo Nation

1996: Hempsters Consult With the Navajo Nation

In September 1996 a few hempsters were asked to go to Window Rock in the Navajo Nation. Woody Harrelson, Chris Boucher, Michael Myers, Jim Robinson and I traveled there for 3 days, on our dime and at Christie Bohling and Patrick Lange’s request, to consult on hemp with the Navajo Nation administrators and a Judge. … Continue reading "1996: Hempsters Consult With the Navajo Nation" ...
1997: First Recipient of Award for Hempseed Food Achievement

1997: First Recipient of Award for Hempseed Food Achievement

Years before today’s companies even thought of starting, we won the Cannabis industry’s first awards, the Hemp Achievement Award in the Hemp Food category. Three of them, in fact, in just two years 1997/8, all for food innovation including HempNut brand shelled hempseed, the industry’s first. To: Assignments or News Editor Date: June 1, 1997 … Continue reading "1997: First Recipient of Award for Hempseed Food Achievement" ...
“Americanize” New Foods in Order to be Literally and Culturally Palatable

“Americanize” New Foods in Order to be Literally and Culturally Palatable

In the 1980s, in order to normalize Soyfoods which are foods made out of tofu or soymilk, I offered them in traditional American flavors and forms. Cottage Salad, soymilk, dips like Missing-Egg Salad and Tofummus, Soy-o yogurt, chocolate and strawberry puddings (Bill Cosby was big then), but also brands like LeTofu (similar to ice cream), … Continue reading "“Americanize” New Foods in Order to be Literally and Culturally Palatable" ...
1997: HIA True Hemp Fabric Certification Program

1997: HIA True Hemp Fabric Certification Program

In 1997 HIA asked me to start and manage the True Hemp Fabric Certification Program. It was the first certification program in the North American hemp industry. They thought a food guy wouldn’t know how to do this, but with no loopholes only Denny Finneran’s Crucial Creations registered. I also designed the Certification logo. NEWS … Continue reading "1997: HIA True Hemp Fabric Certification Program" ...
Pricing for Problem Customers

Pricing for Problem Customers

When I was running fast-growing Rella Good Cheese Co. (#281 on the Inc. 500 in 1993, known then as “Sharon’s Finest”), I realized some wholesale customers were a delight and some were a total Pain In The Ass, yet they both were charged the same price. Those who were a hassle took more of our time and … Continue reading "Pricing for Problem Customers" ...
The Birth of “Business = Activism”

The Birth of “Business = Activism”

In 1980 many vegetarian entrepreneurs had a collective vision inspired by the Book of Tofu (William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi). Some of us went on to create Silk soymilk, Westbrae tofu, and TofuRella cheese alternative. Small village style tofu shops, thousands across the country just like Japan. Yes, we were naïve, yet we persisted. I … Continue reading "The Birth of “Business = Activism”" ...

2015: Making CBD “Sausage”

“Laws are like sausages, it’s better not to see them being made.” The following is the letter I wrote in 2015 to the person handling hemp for then-Congressman Polis. It was on behalf of 18 CBD companies, fifteen in Colorado and three of which were the largest in the country at the time. It was … Continue reading "2015: Making CBD “Sausage”" ...
2002: State Dep’t on Kenex NAFTA Suit

2002: State Dep’t on Kenex NAFTA Suit

In 1999 Kenex Inc. was a Canadian company exporting many different hempseed and fiber products to the U.S. I was one of their customers for one shipment, and in reviewing pro-forma invoices in advance of the export to me in California I noticed a massive red flag: they put “Contains less than 10 ppm THC.” … Continue reading "2002: State Dep’t on Kenex NAFTA Suit" ...
My Forty Years Under FDA’s Thumb

My Forty Years Under FDA’s Thumb

I write a lot about FDA, and the things I say are admittedly not in the realm of Conventional Wisdom. See it here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. So then, why listen to me when it comes to FDA? I don’t know what you … Continue reading "My Forty Years Under FDA’s Thumb" ...

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