The Original “Hemp Hearts”

June is Hemp History Month.

You’ve heard of “Hemp Hearts,” but did you know it’s not a generic term but rather a brand name stolen from the original Hemp Hearts company, owned by Roger Snow in Alberta, Canada?

Many of the same people appropriating his trademark first turned their sights to my Hemp Nut, calling it “generic” in the ‘90s and thus not able to be trademarked. Two hemp associations even demanded the many trademarks I had on it.

They whipped out that same conniving playbook when Snow tried to trademark Hemp Hearts. It’s a double shame as they will always have to use the common and usual name on the packages, so it will always state “shelled hempseed” or “hulled hempseed.” That means they killed the first two great brand names in the hemp food industry out of pure envy and greed. Especially since one of those companies opposing Snow’s trademark is now trying to get it for themselves, which means eventually they might be able to force him to stop using the brand name he invented.

And yet, Snow didn’t just make me-too and basic boring products like the others, but pioneered an entire diet and eating plan around shelled hempseed.

He started in 1999 making equipment to shell hempseed, a product I started marketing in 1996 as Hemp Nut, until consuming it changed his life and he started marketing the shelled seed itself, oil made from it, then eventually over two dozen products. He also pioneered a number of hemp processing innovations, including oxide-free hemp fiber graphene and batteries, capacitors, and supercapacitors made with it, as well as hemp fiber building panels.

An industry iconoclast, he has pushed back against over-regulation and knock-off artists in Canada, even willing to talk about the herb/pesticide trucks he sees delivering to organic hempseed farms down the road. At first, the government forced him to recall products because it claimed “Hemp Hearts” was good for the heart. That was but one government attempt to shut him down using bizarre interpretations of the law. He fought back for consumers and the industry, but it was a lonely battle; in Canada companies frequently use regulators to hurt their competitors.

Since ethics is a foundational attribute for any industry or organization success, we are fortunate to have Roger Snow keeping it real.

Read more about the original Hemp Hearts at:

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