“If you want to be incrementally better: Be competitive. If you want to be exponentially better: Be cooperative.” --- anonymous
Last week, representatives from a dozen Vermont businesses, UVM, and state government met around the table to talk hemp.
From my point of view, it was an event of historic significance, twenty-three years in the making.
We were invited to Montpelier to offer our initial feedback on a "preview" version of the (soon to be released) draft Rule that will guide the new Vermont hemp registry program. The rule, constructed over the last several months, establishes the registration and quality control platform for the state's hemp growers and processors.
The goal of the rulemaking process, led by the Agency of Agriculture (VAAFM), has been to clearly define the regulatory framework and product safety guidelines around which our state's federally compliant hemp program is to be built.
Gary Giguere, our host and a VAAFM Section Chief, along with his colleague, Stephanie Smith, Chief Hemp Policy Enforcement Officer, opened the 3-hour meeting and helped set the stage for the group.
"... the face of Vermont agriculture is changing. And we believe that hemp is going to have a role in that (change)." ~ Cary Giguere, Vermont Agency of Agriculture
“Today, not starting is far, far worse than being wrong." ~Seth Godin
Hello friends, hello world. [inaugural post and manifesto]
For a while now, hemp has been on my mind. It's also in our garden, and all around the house. Seems like it's everywhere you look!
You see it on shelves. It's growing on farms. It's in my food, my body, my bloodstream. It's in our jeans. For some, it's contagious. It's really here, and it's not going away.
Hemp has such charisma, such a vibrant history. People all around the world speak of hemp with great affection: Cannabis, Konopli, Kender, Chanvre, Cañamo, Canapa, Hampa, Nasha, Ta-Ma, Hanf, Asa, Ma.
Hemp spoken here is a way of saying, "we speak the same language". This language is energizing our culture right now, and that's something I'm excited to explore with you.
My name is Netaka, or Tak (hint; sounds like "tock"). I’ve been close friends with hemp for a number of years; as an early adopter, merchant and entrepreneur, storyteller, hemp grower, and still a true believer.
I’m launching Tak About Hemp to delve into the American Hemp Experience. We're not a "news site", more like a platform where we explore what's shaping hemp culture; the events, people, and products, as well as hemp policies, production & processing techniques. We engage in heady commentary, and discuss what's working ~ or what's not, so that hemp in the U.S. can reach its full potential.
"History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes." ~ Anonymous
Once upon a time..
Early people and their animals followed the moving and migrating herds northeast through Africa. They settled into the hills and valleys of the fertile north in what is now central Asia. The people began farming for food and sustenance, they learned new ways of life. They had time together in one place to create culture (from the Latin colere; to tend, cultivate).
Generations passed, and in a low smokey tent on the steppes a tribal woman spun Cannabis fibers; twisting them into cordage, weaving them into coverings for her feet, making rope to hold animals.
Hemp was grown with the very earliest cultivated crops. The 10,000-year-old remnants she left behind establish the oldest known physical link to tending and working with Cannabis.
In the very spots where culture bloomed, there were cattle and crops. And there was cannabis. True story. Pretty sure there's a connection there.
"Dear God, thank you for the baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy."
Hands together now.
As they say at the beginning of all the big events, "Before we get started, there are some people we'd like to thank."
There are so many people that contributed to end hemp prohibition, so that we can start the transitional move to regulation.
I particularly admire these individuals and groups with their longevity, their passion, and the drip.drip.drip of persistent effort toward the goal of legalized hemp.
So here is my very short shout-out list. Which is silly of course, because we could easily fill volumes with each person's unique contribution to the cause.
"It's better to be an optimist who is sometimes wrong than a pessimist who is always right". ~ Mark Twain
On Thursday December 20, 2018, with a stroke of the presidential pen, hemp prohibition is over.
In last Thursday’s signing ceremony of the Farm Bill, hemp or Cannabis sativa with less than 0.3% THC, was officially removed from the nation’s list of controlled substances.
The Drug Enforcement Agency was compelled to surrender. Oversight of the US hemp industry now moves to the USDA and the individual states. The hemp provisions of the Act are effective immediately.
For a full reading of the changes affecting hemp in the “Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018”, click here
The end of hemp prohibition is arguably the most far-reaching opportunity in decades to affect family farms and rural communities. Not to mention the innovators and purveyors of food, fiber and medicinal products nationwide.
Hemp's bright future awaits. Hang on! It's going to be a wild ride...
I'm Netaka, friends call me Tak ("tock"). I write from Vermont and curate Tak About Hemp.