JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL-TV) – The Hemp Road Trip made a stop in Downtown Johnson City on Tuesday.
A group of hemp advocates from across the United States are following the presidential primaries and traveling cross country in a bus filled with items made from industrial hemp. The purpose of this national grassroots campaign is to educate Americans about a plant grown by our founding fathers that’s coming back to the U.S. as a source of tens of thousands of American jobs.
Creator of the Hemp Road Trip Rick Trojan talks about the thousands of uses for industrial hemp, “It has over 30,000 uses. You can use it for clothing, for bio-fuels, you can use it for building houses and construction, it’s even being used to build a plane. Car parts, BMW, Audi, all use industrial hemp in the manufacturing of their goods.”
Industrial hemp, according to the U.S. Farm Act of 2014, is any part of the hemp plant with a THC concentration of less than 0.3% on a dry weight basis. Hemp is not psychoactive. While 27 U.S. states have passed legislation to grow hemp, the crop is still listed on the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and not legal at the federal level. Hemp is legal in almost 30 countries and it’s legal to import hemp.
Trojan says the stereotyping of hemp has lead to a lot of misunderstanding, “I have a hemp farm in Colorado, we grow over 300 acres, and you could smoke the entire farm and your lungs would give out before you fell any psycho-active so it’s not psycho-active, it’s not a drug, it’s simply a plant like corn, like wheat, like sorghum, it’s simply just a plant.”
Consumer sales of hemp products in the U.S. rose to $400 million in 2014, up 26 percent over a year earlier. In 2015, U.S. hemp consumer sales reached an estimated $500 million. With full federal legal cultivation and processing, the U.S. hemp industry is poised to become a billion-dollar industry by 2020, and a source of tens of thousands of American jobs for rural family farmers and entrepreneurs.
Trojan says that the reception by farmers has been very positive, “Once they understand the difference, once they understand what hemp is, and once we’ve de-mystified the last 80 years of misinformation, the reception has been very good. Farmers ask “what do we need to grow it? What are we going to get for it at the end of the day? People want to wear it, hemp clothing, people want to build with it. Once they find out all the versatile things hemp can do, it’s really been well received nationwide.”
The Hemp Road Trip has launched a Federal Campaign to pass the Industrial Hemp Farming Act <https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/525/text> of 2015-16. This bill, currently sitting in the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, will remove hemp from the Controlled Substances Act and make the crop fully legal. More information can be found on Facebook (Hemp Road Trip), Twitter (@HempRoadTrip), Instagram (hemproadtrip) and at their website (HempRoadTrip.com).
Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.