As our concern for climate change continues to escalate, the search for identifying renewable clean energy sources continues to astonish those of us in the hemp industry. Why is no one talking about the most obvious and life changing sustainable option that already exists and has been proven for its multi-versatile use, HEMP?
Listening to John Stuart this week talking about what strategies are in place to transition from the toxic fossil fuels, to plant based biofuels, there are none, and Hemp did not arise in his conversations. In fact it seems mainstream realities have no clue or, in the case of the media, they may not be able to bring any attention to the game changing qualities of hemp because mainstream media is bought and paid for by the petrochemical industrial complex.
The question keeps coming back to why? Why are we avoiding the obvious? Here’s an article explaining the whys and why nots for Hemp as a sustainable solution for the transition out of biofuel. The question is, even if it took 5+ years and huge investment, wouldn’t it be worth it to act now?
As one area of focus in transitioning away from fossil fuels, biofuels appeared to have a promising future. Unlike corn or other biomass used for biofuels, Hemp biofuel has not reached its potential highs. What is Hemp biofuel, what is its potential, and why hasn’t it taken off yet?
Hemp’s versatility has always been among its major selling points. Humans have used hemp in innumerable ingenious ways throughout history for a vast array of purposes. Today, hemp seed oil is used to make hemp biodiesel fuel. In this article we’re going to explain what biofuels are, the promising future people envisioned for biofuels, and why hemp-based biofuels have not reached the promise of other biomass grown for biofuels.
A tectonic shift is taking place as previously underground drugs are thrust into the mainstream. As I’ve covered alcohol, tobacco and cannabis for Bloomberg News, a common theme has emerged: Mental-health care is ripe for disruption, and yesterday’s party drugs are tomorrow’s cures.
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Pot Porsches and Hempcrete are here From stalled legislation to falling stock prices, cannabis didn’t have the greatest year. But investors are finding something to be optimistic about heading into 2022: industrial hemp. Demand is poised to rise for hemp — the staid sister to the mood-altering forms of cannabis — as it’s increasingly adopted for a wide range of uses, including concrete blocks, clothing and even car parts. The shift is driven by environmental incentives such as carbon caps and single-use plastic bans, which are making some natural materials preferable to those made from petrochemicals.
“Industrial hemp is the biggest opportunity in the cannabis sector as a whole,” said Mina Mishrikey, a partner at Merida Capital Partners. His firm has invested around 90% to 95% of its $500 million in assets under management in cannabis businesses centered around THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, but aims to make more investments in industrial hemp, Mishrikey told me.
Hemp could use the boost after the market struggled to capitalize on the hype following the 2018 farm bill, which legalized hemp and led to over-planting when not enough companies were ready to create end products. In 2021, the number of acres of hemp planted fell to 33,844 from 70,530 a year earlier and 465,787 in 2019 according to New Frontier Data.
Adding to the challenges, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently refused to regulate one of hemp’s best-known products — CBD, or cannabidiol — as a dietary ingredient, casting a specter of uncertainty over the otherwise booming market for creams, tinctures and gummies.
As a material, hemp remains more expensive than alternatives that come from petrochemicals. But India, Canada, Germany and South Africa are among the countries cracking down on plastics in 2022, making alternatives more economical. Meanwhile, pressure to shift from oil and gas to renewable industries is increasing and carbon credits are becoming more valuable — and that’s an area where hemp has an advantage.
Mishrikey sees the plant’s ability to capture carbon while it’s growing, and its ability to use less water than cotton, as key factors that help it disrupt a range of products. Just one category of industrial hemp alone — precast concrete — is worth around $20 billion, roughly the same size as the current U.S. legal marijuana market, he pointed out.
His fund’s investments include Canadian Rockies Hemp Corp., based in Bruderheim, Alberta, which processes hemp for use in textiles, pulp and paper, animal bedding, rope, composites and automobile components, according to its website. Another is Bast Fibre Technologies Inc., based in Victoria, British Columbia, which has a processing technology to make nonwoven fabrics with natural fibers including hemp. That could be helpful for the booming market in wipes, which are ripe for disruption due to the sewer-clogging gobs known as fatbergs.
Hemp could play a role in many categories: plastics, textiles, papers, building materials, protein for humans and animals, and concrete of all forms. Some of the more innovative applications include hempcrete, where hemp fibers are infused in the mortar, and a Porsche car with some components made of hemp. Some see hemp as a viable alternative to almost anything made from petrochemicals, due to the properties of its cellulose fibers.
The U.S. will have some catching up to do: China is the leading grower of hemp and is tiptoeing into the CBD market, starting with Hong Kong. The plants also require different agricultural and processing techniques compared to other forms of cannabis, meaning the supply chain will have to be built out from scratch. Processing the plant’s tough fibers, called decortication, is an arduous practice that takes heavy machinery and has created something of a bottleneck.
That bottleneck is about to get some help from a $500 million impact fund by rePlant Hemp Advisors, launched in early November by Geoff Whaling, co-founder of Collective Growth Corp., and others including Michael Woods, former chief executive officer and chief operating officer of Rothschild & Co. Asset Management U.S. The fund plans to help develop U.S. infrastructure to process hemp and improve the supply chain, focusing on hemp for food and fiber. “I probably have a dozen companies call me a week” about using hemp in their products, Whaling said, citing brands like Chobani, Wrangler jeans and Tesla.
“They all want to know where they can get 100 tons of fiber a year, and the answer, at this point, is nowhere,” he said. “No major manufacturer will sign unless there’s a two-year supply in a warehouse.” But slowly, that’s changing.
“We’re seeing more countries advancing and mandating use of sustainable fibers, more auto companies adopting natural fiber solutions,” Whaling said. “It really is an industrial hemp revolution.”
Number of the week 16.6% The compound annual growth rate of the legal U.S. cannabis market from 2020 to 2025, as estimated by New Frontier Data in their 2021 Year in Review report.
The Chemurgic principles of George Washington Carver and Henry Ford can stimulate the imagination, “anything made from a hydrocarbon can be made from a carbohydrate” and “grow our oil don’t drill for it.” But replacing fossil fuels with hemp is an expensive and difficult proposition, will take decades, and will compete for land for food and medicine production.
While everyone believes hemp has a role in improving climate change and sustainability by reducing fossil fuels, many focus on the hardest segments to realize. But biofuels are not yet economically viable, and building materials are not yet approved for use in construction. And growing hemp for CBD often uses artificial lighting, wide spacing, plastic mulch, and CO2 gas for extraction, thus is the worst of all for climate change impacts.
However, there is one hemp product that is the low-hanging fruit in the fight against climate change which few mention: use of the seed to replace or supplement meat and dairy products in the human diet. Hempseed is actually a fruit, and is grown to be shorter than fiber hemp. Thus it is literally the low-hanging fruit in the climate change fight. Before CBD, hempseed was the value-driver for hemp, and is expected to be once again.
Worldwide, an estimated 2 billion people live primarily on a meat-based diet while an estimated 4 billion live primarily on a plant-based diet. The U.S. food production system uses about 50% of the total U.S. land area, 80% of the fresh water, and 17% of the fossil energy used in the country.
Cows generate the bulk of emissions in the livestock sector, which itself is responsible for almost 15% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) use far more grain protein than they produce in meat or dairy protein, thereby turning abundance into scarcity. But shelled hempseed (“Hemp Nut” or “Hemp Hearts”; the seed of the hemp plant with the shell removed, exposing a delicious savory nutty fruit) can be used directly to make such dairy-like foods as ice cream, milk, yogurt, and even burgers and other meat alternatives. And unlike most other aspects of hemp, incorporating hempseed into operations would be very easy for food processors.
The growth rate for vegan foods is high, the future is so bright many meat companies are embracing the trend with their own offerings. People eat two or three times every day, thus food has widest range of potential customers and highest potential sales volume.
Touting the least-viable and most-expensive uses of hemp which also require the biggest capital investment is not necessary when hempseed can be used in foods immediately. Hempseed as food is hemp’s first billion dollar segment, and today is over 90% of Canadian hemp.
Ben and Jerry’s, Dannon, Hormel, and the like could have products made from hempseed on the shelf in months. With 1/3 complete protein, 1/3 essential fatty acids and delicious raw, hempseed is a better material than soy for most foods, can be used in any recipe, is free of drugs, is non-GMO, can be organic, and is free of most of the anti-nutritional factors plaguing soy.
Transitioning to plant-based solutions to climate change won’t be easy, many industries will be impacted. Perhaps that’s why one of the easiest and cheapest ways to cut greenhouse gas, by replacing animal products with plant-based sources, isn’t discussed. Hempseed could disrupt milk, yogurt, ice cream, and cheese production, as well as the animal protein industry. Not everyone will be happy with that especially powerful and politically-connected CAFOs, as artisanal production will always have a market. The global hemp-based foods market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 24% during 2018-2022. Hemp as food will also encourage organic and regenerative production.
It’s easy to see Big Oil as the Boogeyman deserving disintermediation, and harder to get behind disrupting local corporate meat and cheese makers. But pivoting to hempseed to replace dairy could be done easily and quickly and the factories already exist, we just need the seed.
Aseptic and fresh milk, yogurt, cheese, and ice cream can displace some-to-all of the dairy product used. Even just 5% hempseed in the formula is a good start; it kicks off the revolution and gets factories into the protocol and swing of things. It’ll be a big change for them but having made plant-based dairy analogs in a dairy plant many times since 1984, I know it’s not that hard to incorporate shelled hempseed into formulations, you just have to want to. Oh, and perhaps buy a small mill; but seriously that’s about it.
Other possible products include protein powders, functional ingredients, egg replacers, vegetable oil, animal feeds, birdseed, and even Cannabisin from the shells.
If 100% plant-based versions could be supported by the public, it would quickly develop. It could create a new hempen Silk brand, or a hemp Tofutti or Tofurky. Take it public. That playing field is wide open, no one has yet done it right in hemp. Tempt tried, Evo did well. But no one yet created hemp food’s Big Brand, at least in this century. HempNut, Inc. did last century, but that’s ancient history at this point. Many other younger hemp food companies innovate circles around the legacy ones, such as Hemp Way Foods and Planet Based Foods.
To develop a breakthrough national hemp food brand will take a company with an authentic genesis backstory. That doesn’t preclude say a Venture Capitalist from starting a “fauxthentic” co-packed brand for the U.S. while living in Dubai by throwing money at it. He’ll come up with his “Juan Valdez,” the fictional coffee grower. It’s totally possible to do that, buy your way in.
But it’s also possible for a passionate young person to have the vision of “what should be,” and create an honest food processing company employing many. It could even be a farm, a co-operative of farms, or an existing food company.
In hemp foods, right here right now… the world is yours. It’s like the automobile industry in 1915, video games in 1985, or tofu in 1980. But unlike those eras, you have the benefit of leveraging major social issues. The marketing of cars was riding social concerns as well; American exceptionalism, westward expansion, the feeling of independence and freedom, the new concept of commuting far to a job from the suburbs, etc. But autos did not present the value proposition of active engagement in healing a planet on fire, like we have today. The imperative of protecting the world our children’s children will live in is a powerful lever.
Smart branders will no doubt use that in a Neoliberal Marketing campaign, “buy our product to fix climate change.” It’s inevitable these days, hopefully it won’t be yet another marketing lie.
Comparing plant-based milks with cow’s milk, soy is the best understood. Researchers who compared the units of fossil-fuel energy required to produce milk and soybeans found that it takes 14 kilo-calories (kcal) of fossil fuels to produce a single kcal of dairy milk, whereas just 1 kcal of fossil fuels can produce 3.2 kcal of soybeans. That measurement takes into account the fertilizers, pesticides, and other industrial inputs used in agriculture.
The carbon footprint is only one aspect of a given food’s sustainability; it’s also important to consider the source of the product (such as whether the soy is sustainably farmed) and the other resources, such as water, needed to produce your non-dairy milk. Non-dairy beverages also require additional processing—after all, those 3.2 kcal of beans have a long way to go before they are transformed into your vanilla soy milk. Compared to soy, hempseed has a number of advantages: it is not genetically-engineered to allow drenching it with herbicides, it can be grown in more regions, has more genetic diversity, is more likely to be grown organically, captures more carbon, has fewer allergens and anti-nutritional factors, has more uses besides just the seed, and tastes better raw. Soy requires extensive heat processing before being edible, unlike hempseed.
Whereas soybeans are grown in rows and don’t get much taller than 2 m, hemp grown for seed can be very tall, with exponentially more biomass sucking carbon out of the atmosphere than a field put to soy. While the current practice when growing for seed is to have short plants for harvesting ease, that’s more an equipment limitation than a natural one. Comparing soy agronomy and processing to hempseed, soy is more energy intensive.
While a liter of soymilk generates only 18% of the GHG of a liter of cow’s milk, hempseed will be even lower, much lower. And although tofu is 8% of the greenhouse gas generated per pound of protein than herd beef, simply because shelled hempseed can be eaten raw, unlike soybean, it could generate far less GHG by the time it gets into people’s stomachs.
The Naturally Nutrient Rich score of shelled hempseed is 21.1. PDCAAS is 0.46, protein digestibility is 0.93, and PER is 1.87. The Disaster Response Diet Score of hempseed as food is 11.
And where there’s hempseed, there’s bast and hurd fiber… lots of it. As much as twenty times more fiber than seed, per-acre. To get that seed, you’ll have to also find a revenue stream for all that fiber. It won’t likely be suitable for textiles, but still has value and tons of carbon locked-up inside it. It could be used in Biocrete to make carbon-negative building insulation, ethanol, biochar, animal bedding, auto parts, erosion control, and many other products.
Growing hemp, especially for food, aligns with many Sustainable Development Goals. Where a Carbon Credits system is implemented it may give hemp farming an economic advantage over other crops or operations and could warm investors and asset owners to hemp.
“The documentary future generations will be wishing everyone watched TODAY.” ~ Leonardo DiCaprio
Eating our Way to Extinction takes audiences on a cinematic journey around the world, from the depths of the Amazon rainforests to the Taiwanese Mountains, the Mongolian desert, the US Dust Bowl, the Norwegian Fjords and the Scottish coastlines, telling the story of our planet through shocking testimonials, poignant accounts from indigenous people most affected by our ever-changing planet, globally renowned figures and leading scientists. This powerful documentary sends a simple but impactful message by uncovering hard truths and addressing, on the big screen, the most pressing issue of our generation – ecological collapse.
The documentary covers biodiversity loss, deforestation, desertification, food and water security and the destruction of our oceans, and the link between these issues and our diet. The UN recently released a report that states we have 10 years left to reverse climate change before we face significantly more devastating effects, and other scientists are saying that at the current rate of our environmental destruction, we are in the 6th mass extinction! So, if we really want to save this planet for the next generation, we need to take action now, not in 10 or 20 years’ time.
Our aim is to ensure as many people as possible watch the documentary across the globe, educate themselves, and change to a more sustainable and healthy food system.
“If we don’t take care of our world now, we’ll not have a place to live later.” — Darlene Mea
We’d also like to share what Kate Winslet said to the audience before the film premiered at the London Odeon on Sept 8th:
“Our wonderful film makers present to us facts that are staggering; that are at times uncomfortable to hear and even terrifying to comprehend that these are real facts, not a hoax. The filmmakers’ shared hope is that you will gain enough knowledge to perhaps experience a shift in your perspectives on this global crisis and perhaps make some changes that we so desperately need as a collective, as a community, as human beings who wish to preserve and protect our planet, our air, our children, our mental health and our animals. It can be done. This film shows us we can be powerful, not powerless.
Let us stand shoulder to shoulder with these filmmakers and bit by bit we may find ourselves realizing that maybe we can go without those foods that we have become so used to putting in our sandwiches, and reaching for the plant-based alternative. We’re emerging from lockdowns the world over. Perhaps this moment of re-emergence for us can also include new thought patterns around how we feed ourselves, and consider our next chapter whilst knowing that collectively the difference we can make will be seismic.”
Follow the money and you’ll find the deeper mysteries of what’s going on. In this case, we’re following the practically of what needs to happen for us to sustain our self. It’s apparent our environment, our economics and our Industrial evolution, is in dire straights. Hemp Is leading the way to a New Industrial Revolution
Money seekers are hot on this ‘new trail’ of Industrial Hemp and beginning to ask, what about the rest of the Hemp Plant. Beyond CBD there’s a multi-Billion Dollar industry slowly pirculating, ready to become full brew. Many of us have know this for years… Including the leaders like Thomas Jefferson ‘Hemp is the necessity to the wealth and protection of this country!’
Hemp: The Next Step or Pivot for Investors in Future Green Wave Stocks
The continued maturation of the cannabis industry, and subsequent recent sell-off of recreational marijuana stocks is leading companies to reevaluate new opportunities to expand into.
Industrial hemp is a logical choice as it promises blue sky potential in product development that recreational marijuana never could. This assumption is based on both the multiple health benefits associated to CBD content, but also the industrial applications that the entire hemp plant could provide.
The industrial hemp market space is an exciting new area of product development and research. The next few years will bring us new and exciting choices when it comes to the blended clothing we wear, the raw materials that encompass the cars we drive, the paper we write on, the recognized and healthful food we eat, the natural medicinal alternatives we are prescribed and the wellness products we use.
Industrial hemp has thousands of applications, with many more yet to be discovered now that the plant is available to scientists for research.
According to a 1938 article in Popular Mechanics, at that time, there were over 25,000 uses for the hemp plant. With the increase in technology, knowledge, manufacturing, etc., experts now estimate that with whole plant utilization, the hemp plant actually could have around 50,000 uses!
Industrial hemp can be used for textiles, car parts, pet supplies, biofuel, food, construction materials, and biodegradable plastic.
We are quite literally on the forefront of discovering what this extraordinary plant can do. The possibilities are just beginning to be known, which means there is unrealized potential for forward thinking investors positioned in the industrial hemp market.
Many of the products that can be produced from hemp are still in the R&D phase. In my opinion, in the next few years, we could see an explosion of hemp-related manufacturing processes and products that will be available to multiple industries and ultimately the end consumer.
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Editor’s Note – We are not encouraging buying of any stocks – Encouraging you to keep your eyes open on the Hemp Industrial Revolution! If you happen to know of viable Industrial Hemp Stocks, feel free to reach out and share.