The New York Times wrote Thursday about Colorado’s “marijuana refugees”: Families who uprooted their lives to the move to the state when it legalized pot because the drug has crucial medicinal effects on their children’s illnesses. “I put what fit in my car and drove out here,” Marisa Kiser, whose toddler, Ezra, has had seizures almost since birth, told the Times. No one could have predicted that the state’s legislation would create a community-in-exile of more than 100 families who help look after one another’s children, trade medical tips—and even, in some cases, shared their first Thanksgiving dinner in this new land.
Colorado’s new law is reaping other changes, too, among them the first legal crop of hemp that America has seen in nearly 60 years. Hemp is a cannabis plant, as is marijuana, but it contains almost none of THC, the component that gives pot its potent effect. Still, hemp—which can be used in “products from rope to auto parts to plastics, shampoo to vitamin supplements”—has paid for the stigma attached to its sister-plant: Though it is legal to buy and sell hemp in the U.S., growing and harvesting it have been prohibited. In every state that discusses legalization, hemp’s economic potential comes up: Data from Canada’s legal hemp industry suggests the crop yields revenue of $390 an acre, and the Hemp Industries Association estimates that products from the forgotten cannabis already constitute a $500 million industry in the U.S., according toThe Denver Post. “I think that once people see the value of hemp, it'll become a no-brainer,” said farmer Ryan Loflin, the Colorado man who has already planted 60 acres of the plant.
Though Colorado’s law legalized hemp farming, and the state is in the midst of craftingregulations for the plant, the federal government could still go after hemp farmers like Loflin. “Federal law does not permit the sale or import of nonsterilized seed suitable for growing,” writes the Post. “It's the hemp farmer's equivalent of what recreational-marijuana activists call 'the year of the magical ounce' —a reference to the unanswered question of how people can obtain marijuana for current legal use before state-permitted retail facilities open in 2014.” As momentum grows behind marijuana legalization, hemp legalization may develop its own tide, and the economic argument may make it an easier sell; last February, a handful of Democratic representatives introduced a hemp bill into the U.S. House of Representatives—and even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell voiced his support. For now, though, Loflin seems to be the only farmer willing to flout the federal mandate. “You have to be willing to bet the farm," admitted Tom Murphy of the pro-legalization group Vote Hemp in an interview with The Miami Herald.
Like pot, hemp has a following in part for what it represents. Because it requires lesswater and land to grow than cotton, it has long been a favorite of the environmental movement, and has become not only a tool but a totem of sustainable and healthy living. On the flip side, hemp may have a hard time shedding the suspicions of the traditional farming community. “We're a conservative bunch around here,” a Colorado banker said when asked about funding hemp farms. “I imagine we'd probably stick with our core crops of corn and milo and wheat.” But old dogs can learn new tricks. He added: “In a few years, who knows what might happen?"
by Kristina Pepelko
What plant produces the longest and strongest naturally occurring fiber? If you guessed hemp then you’re right! We’re not talking marijuana here—we mean industrial hemp, which is a variation of the Cannabis sativa plant. This type of hemp is cultivated for its seeds and fibers and is low in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and high in CBD (cannabidiol), unlike marijuana.
Industrial hemp has long been known for its versatility, durability, sustainability, and high-quality. It grows quickly and in almost any climate, doesn’t require pesticides, cleans up toxins found in soil, and even blocks harmful UV rays when woven into fabric. It has been in use for over 12,000 years and was once the primary fiber used to produce rope, paper, canvas, and clothing.
Over time, other fibers and fabrics became more popular, despite being unsustainable, and eventually hemp was outlawed in the United States because of its connection to marijuana. While it is still currently illegal to grow industrial hemp plants in the U.S, countries like Canada, Australia, and England allow it so we all can still reap its many benefits.
Today, hemp is used to create a variety of eco-friendly products from healthy oil, protein-packed seeds, and amino acid-rich milk to sturdy fabric for clothes and backpacks. You can even purchase quality hemp products for your petsincluding beds, collars, and leashes. The following eight eco-friendly toys crafted from hemp will thrill both you and your furry companion.
Does your pooch have some allergy issues? Then Kyjen’s Plush Puppies Eco Hemp Dog Toy is the right choice for your dog! It’s not only hypo-allergenic, it is also mold and mildew resistant. Plus, this toy is sure to withstand lots of biting and tugging as it’s made with hemp, which is much stronger and more durable than cotton.
This dog toy is both adorable and eco-friendly.Multipet’s Burlapper toy is made of a soft poly-plush outer fabric and a natural hemp face, which can survive even the craziest shake sessions. There’s even a plastic squeaker inside to excite and engage your dog’s auditory sense. Use Multipet’s toy for a game of fetch or just hand it over to your pooch so they can play on their own.
From the Field is dedicated to protecting the planet and offering customers earth-friendly products they can feel good about purchasing. Their made-in-the-US Ringo Dog Toyis antimicrobial and mold and mildew resistant so it’s ideal for dogs who love to chew and chew. The toy is also 100% biodegradable so after your dog has finished with it, it will return safely back to the earth.
From the Field’s Tug-A-Hemp Natural Dog Toyis sure to be a big hit with your dog as well. It’s suitable for both pups and adults and it’s tough—made from 100% hemp. This completely natural rope is also chemical-free and non-toxic so it’s 100% safe for your pet and even 100% biodegradable like their Ringo Dog Toy.
In addition to dog toys, From the Field also makes playthings for cats. This natural, double-knotted hemp rope toy is biodegradable and made in the US like their other products. It would be a winner on its own, but since it’s marinated in US-grown organic catnip your cat might just never put it down.
A perfect gift for your cat or a fellow cat lover’s feline—From the Field’s Shelby the Hemp Mouse Catnip Toy Gift Kit contains their catnip spray rejuvenator and Shelby, the Hemp Mouse. Shelby is made completely from hemp and is filled with From the Field’s popular organically-grown catnip. Plus, Shelby’s reusable so you can add more catnip whenever you like or just use the accompanying spray to refresh the toy with that new catnip scent.
Use this From the Field toy to play a game of chase with your cat or just let them have it and watch as they roll around the floor with delight. Packed inside this hemp cat tail toy is organic catnip, valerian root, andbuckwheat hulls—a treat for your cat’s senses. The toy comes in six different colors: light blue, teal, navy, purple, green, or red, and two sizes: eight inch or 12 inch.
From the Field offers another gift kit in addition to their Shelby the Hemp Mouseone. This Fluffy the Hemp Pillow gift kitincludes a catnip spray rejuvenator and two hemp pillows filled with organic catnip. Give these pillows to your cat during playtime or add them to their bed or favorite nap-time space for an invigorating treat. Since the pillows are made 100% of hemp, they’re strong, durable, and safe for your kitty.