Hemp History

1954: Cover of Canapa [Hemp] magazine, Italy

1954: Cover of Canapa [Hemp] magazine, Italy

1954: Cover of Canapa magazine, Italy. December. “People may not realize this but hemp has been a living industry in Italy for a long time, so long that we have two museums dedicated to the agricultural history. That’s one reason Italian hemp seeds are so prized.” Credit: Museo Della Canapa. Click to SAVE as … Continue reading "1954: Cover of Canapa magazine, Italy" ...

Henry Ford: Passion for Plant-based Foods

I can't help but think that if Henry Ford realized just how nutritious the seed of hemp is, he would have done what I did and pivot from using soybean to hempseed to make foods like milk and ice cream. ...

1998: Hempseed Foods

By Richard Rose           When hemp’s potential for commercialization is discussed most people think of clothing, fabric, cordage and the like.  Even though hempseed is far more nutritious than soybean in virtually all respects and almost as versatile, the typical reaction to hempseed as a food is that it has limited application beyond nut bars … Continue reading "1998: Hempseed Foods" ...

1992: Hempseed: Nature’s Perfect Food?

Lynn and Judy Osburn were the first to write about hempseed as food that I know of. Alan Brady was the first to make hempseed ice cream that I know of. While both used whole hempseed, my vision was to shell it in order to increase the nutrition and palatability. Dr Udo Erasmus was the … Continue reading "1992: Hempseed: Nature’s Perfect Food?" ...
1994: Secret Government Hemp Crop Destroyed

1994: Secret Government Hemp Crop Destroyed

One of the most-persistent canards about hemp is that it was banned. But that’s not true, it always just needed a permit. In 1994, HIA co-founder Chris Boucher grew a ½ acre plot of Fedora and Kompolti hemp in Brawley California, with USDA’s permission on USDA land. But in mid-summer, with little warning, Imperial County … Continue reading "1994: Secret Government Hemp Crop Destroyed" ...

1999: Hemp Foods on CBS-TV; Roseanne and Richard Make Potato Salad for Millions

I might as well wrap up Hemp History Month 2021 with a watershed event. This was a big moment for hemp, and to this day the biggest stage for hemp foods. Roseanne Barr had an afternoon talk show on CBS-TV, and I answered easy questions about hemp and made a hemp potato salad. We had … Continue reading "1999: Hemp Foods on CBS-TV; Roseanne and Richard Make Potato Salad for Millions" ...
1994: How I Sold Not Just a Product, But Social Change

1994: How I Sold Not Just a Product, But Social Change

"This is how you sell not just a product, but social change. Normalizing Cannabis, one bite at a time." ...
2001: HempNut Display Unit

2001: HempNut Display Unit

“Finance Your Activism” by Selling HempNut Foods ...

1994: “Then and Now”, Inc. Magazine

“I cut off my hair and wore suits and stuff for a couple years,” he says. “I thought I needed to do that to make it in the business world. And it didn’t work. So I went back to plan B and that was to be myself. And it’s working just fine.” ...
1999: The HempNut Café

1999: The HempNut Café

In 1999 at the annual Health and Harmony Festival in my hometown of Santa Rosa, California, we had a booth selling these hemp foods. That’s when I decided to someday open a HempNut Café, it was such a hit. ...
1999: The Great “U.S. Hemp Embargo” That Wasn’t

1999: The Great “U.S. Hemp Embargo” That Wasn’t

Pro tip: when exporting hemp to the U.S. in 1999, don't put "Contains THC" on your export documents. In the zero-tolerance U.S. it’s an admission under penalty of perjury of importing a Schedule 1 controlled substance. ...
1998: HempNut, Inc. Offers License to Grow the Industry

1998: HempNut, Inc. Offers License to Grow the Industry

With the largest publicity and advertising campaign in hemp history ($230,000), HempNut was the first shelled hempseed brand in North America, introduced in August 1997. In just two decades shelled hempseed would become hemp’s first billion dollar segment, 90% of Canadian hemp. ...
1999: HempNut Funds Largest Hemp Food Ad Campaign Ever

1999: HempNut Funds Largest Hemp Food Ad Campaign Ever

How did hemp food go from zero to hero in just twenty years, 90% of Canadian hemp and hemp’s first billion dollar industry? It wasn’t by accident or a fluke, but due to a concerted campaign by advertising, PR, and food industry professionals with a vision of “what should be.” Already infamous for clever ads, we applied what we learned from marketing tofu for 14 years prior. Over $230,000 was spent on professionals and advertising over just a few years starting in 1995, years before today’s hempseed companies even started. ...
1998: The Slide That Launched an Industry

1998: The Slide That Launched an Industry

This is the slide which launched the hemp food industry in North America. ...

2003: The HempNut Cookbook Foreword By Christina Pirello

The year was 1994. I was in my office, agonizing over the outline for my first cookbook (four books later, I still agonize), when the phone rang. I answered distractedly. “Hey, Christina,” said the warm voice on the line. I relaxed as I recognized the throaty greeting of my dear friend Richard Rose. “Will I … Continue reading "2003: The HempNut Cookbook Foreword By Christina Pirello" ...
1996: The Hemp Salon

1996: The Hemp Salon

In the years 1996 - 2000 at the ExpoWest and ExpoEast natural food trade shows I hosted The Hemp Salon. It was a sweet suite party in the evening complete with live acoustic music, bongs, munchies (new hemp foods), beers, and friends. Deals were done and people were introduced; it was an important social/business gathering for hempsters. Eventually the hotels would put the Kava Party and the Single-Malt Scotch Party on the same floor as the Hemp Salon, making party-hopping easier. Many brought instruments so we had impromptu acoustic jam sessions. Hotel security would sometimes hang out in the hall and keep the tourists away. ...

2017: Hemp Flower Products Pre-DSHEA

Hempseed and other hemp flower products have been in the human and animal diet for many millennia. There is much documentation of that, evidence from around the world including the U.S. Therefore when in 2017 FDA announced it was soliciting comments for which food ingredients should be on the official list as existing before October … Continue reading "2017: Hemp Flower Products Pre-DSHEA" ...

2000: Hemp Seed Delight

2000: Hemp Seed Delight, Health Supplement magazine. Hempseed is positioned to replace soy products in the lives of many nutritionally savvy people. In an exclusive interview with Richard Rose, President of Rella Good Cheese Company and HempNut Incorporated, we see the challenges and opportunities in bringing hemp seed products to market. Hemp Supplement Editor: You … Continue reading "2000: Hemp Seed Delight" ...
1995: Healthy Hemp Burgers in the NY Times

1995: Healthy Hemp Burgers in the NY Times

In May of 1995 the Sunday New York Times Magazine gushed about Hempeh Burger, and included a picture. Authentic momentum is hard to create, but when it happens, it’s magic. Like this.

Later, it was seen on CBS-TV’s Good Morning America, and sported the hemp food industry’s only FDA-legal health claim “reduces risk of heart disease.”

Carnivores and vegans alike enjoyed the hearty taste, made with real food not powders. The first hemp burger was also vegan, high in fiber, gluten-free, keto-friendly, and sold coast-to-coast, 1994-2002. ...
1996: Let Them Eat Hemp

1996: Let Them Eat Hemp

Let Them Eat Hemp. Hemp Times, Oct 1996, story by Peggy Matthews, photo by Dan Skye. Pull quote: “My advisors even said not get into hemp—which of course led me to think that I should” –Richard Rose Overnight successes usually aren’t. So when people wonder how Richard Rose got so successful so quickly, he laughs. … Continue reading "1996: Let Them Eat Hemp" ...
1996: Ancient Fun With Websites

1996: Ancient Fun With Websites

In 1996, my Rella Good Cheese Co. was still known as “Sharon’s Finest,” the company on the Inc. 500 in 1993. Rella then spawned HempRella and Hempeh Burger in 1994, then The Hemp Corporation, then HempNut, Inc. in 1996. I call it Continuous Improvement as applied to Branding. Web sites were fairly new back then, … Continue reading "1996: Ancient Fun With Websites" ...

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