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Hemp History

2000: Tofu Tsar

2000: Tofu Tsar

2000: Tofu Tsar. Northern California Bohemian, Nov 22, by Paula Harris. OUR OWN LOCAL tofu tsar, Richard Rose, is a guy we can thank for popularizing tofu, somehow making the bland pallid gunk suitable (hey, even desirable) for the American palate. He’s also founder and president of the Rella Good Cheese Co. and HempNut Inc. … Continue reading "2000: Tofu Tsar" ...
2000: Rosebud (High Times Interview)

2000: Rosebud (High Times Interview)

Rosebud. High Times Interview. High Times, April 2000, photos and story by Dan Skye. Richard Rose was a sickly child until he discovered he was allergic to dairy products. Changing his diet changed his life. At 43, the California native is an energetic entrepreneur who built a small natural foods empire, The Rella Good Cheese … Continue reading "2000: Rosebud (High Times Interview)" ...

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" ...
2000: “Hey Dude! Hemp Food Is Here.” Better Homes and Gardens

2000: “Hey Dude! Hemp Food Is Here.” Better Homes and Gardens

Many mainstream publications wrote about my hemp foods decades ago. The bad puns were new and adorably part of it. What does Normalization of Cannabis look like? Like this: Better Homes and Gardens, that bastion of mainstream homemakers. Hey Dude! Hemp Food Is Here. Better Homes and Gardens, 2000. Chips, snack bars, and burgers made … Continue reading "2000: “Hey Dude! Hemp Food Is Here.” Better Homes and Gardens" ...
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. ...
1999: Switzerland Allows Sale of Marijuana Labeled As Hemp

1999: Switzerland Allows Sale of Marijuana Labeled As Hemp

In the ’90s Switzerland allowed the open sale of “sachets” of locally-grown outdoor marijuana, and the sky didn’t fall, stoned zombies didn’t roam the streets, and no one become a junkie overnight. They had a definition of hemp defined by end-use, not % THC. Since they were sachets for fragrance in your armoire, they were … Continue reading "1999: Switzerland Allows Sale of Marijuana Labeled As Hemp" ...
1999: HempNut, Inc. Banner Ads for Hemp Food

1999: HempNut, Inc. Banner Ads for Hemp Food

Back in 1999 websites were fairly static, before embedded videos and Flash. Many still had excruciatingly slow dial-up connections to the internet, so file size had to be small. Some of us remember waiting hours to download one small image, and we still thought it was the coolest thing. Thus the only practical way to … Continue reading "1999: HempNut, Inc. Banner Ads for Hemp Food" ...
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. ...
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" ...

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" ...
1999: First Online Hemp Store, “Finance Your Activism”

1999: First Online Hemp Store, “Finance Your Activism”

Starting in 1999 HempNut, Inc. had hemp’s first online food store, on Yahoo! Stores. It may have even been the first online hemp store of any kind. It was unique for the fact that if one bought a full case, they paid the wholesale price (one-half the retail price). That was by design, to encourage … Continue reading "1999: First Online Hemp Store, “Finance Your Activism”" ...
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”" ...
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. ...

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" ...
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. ...
1998: Hemp Association Guides Budding Industry

1998: Hemp Association Guides Budding Industry

In the early days of hemp foods we had unique issues, from calming consumer fears about THC and drug tests to social legitimization of the emerging segment. Hempsters back then were into fiber, long before CBD, and skeptical that hemp could ever be a commercial food ingredient. So I started the HFA to help other … Continue reading "1998: Hemp Association Guides Budding Industry" ...
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" ...
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" ...
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: 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. ...

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