Jack Herer and the Seattle Hempfest, What A Trip!


The very first hemp festival in Seattle was held 23 years ago in 1991. There’s a great history on their website that you can read here: Seattle Hempfest History

The Seattle Hempfest takes place the third weekend of August so this past weekend was their most recent. The first and last time I made it to Hempfest was five years ago as Jack Herer’s guest in 2009. It was Jack’s very last one.

I wanted to take time to honor Jack and take a walk down memory lane, so I thought I ‘d share some of the very last pictures I ever took with Jack at the Seattle Hempfest.

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There were over 300,000 people at the Seattle Hempfest that year. I remember how excited Jack was about the large turnout. I always compare walking through Hempfest with Jack to what it must of felt like walking though the Red Sea with Moses. The crowd would part and honor him everywhere we turned. His jubilance was palpable and very contagious. Oy! The charisma of that man was so awesome!

I loved every minute of being in Seattle with Jack in spite of the fact that I was super ill with the flu. I was so sick; I missed the very first morning of Hempfest because I was stuck in bed with a temperature. As I made my way through the thick crowds later that day and reached Jack’s booth, I was so relieved that it was totally worth the effort. I got to see Jack in action. I saw the love I felt directed towards me when I was with him, be distributed to the masses. Jack loved people, FOR REAL!

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Jack was intent on introducing me to everyone and anyone, but especially made it a point for me to meet Don E. Wirtshafter, Keith Stroup and the Hempfest organizer that year, Vivian McPeak. During the festival, I remember Don taking me aside and drilling me about my hemp clothing line and my hemp knowledge and then taking me back to Jack saying, “she checks out.” Little did I know, I wasn’t just having a nice conversation with Don, I was being vetted!

I almost didn’t make it to Hempfest that year. I didn’t think my clothing line was ready for its debut but Jack insisted that I go. Several times, I said I couldn’t go until Jack finally convinced me. (He was great at guilt trips!) His insistence beat out my tenacious Virgo tendencies to strive for a perfect product. So Jack made room for me in his booth and as he sold his books and videos, I sold tees that were inspired directly from his book.

I can tell you this, I felt a little like “Legally Blonde” amongst the Rastafarian vibe, but I had a blast. There were lots of fun stories that came out of that weekend, like the time I thought I was following Jack’s van back to the hotel and ended up following the wrong van and walking into a stranger’s house looking for Jack. It was a scene straight out of “stoner movie!”

A month after Seattle’s Hempfest, Jack was on his way to Portland’s Hempstalk. He called me on the way to say he wished I could have gone to that festival, too. I told him I wished I could be there as well, especially because I had had such a blast at the previous festival. As usual, he told me he loved me and I whole heartedly reciprocated as we hung up. That would be the very last conversation I would ever have with Jack. It was at the Portland Hempstalk that Jack suffered a massive heart attack on stage in the midst of his speech. He never fully recovered and passed away seven months later. My friend, mentor and hero was gone.

It’s been difficult for me to return to Hempfest. It just doesn’t seem like it would be the same without Jack. The recurring thought I always have is thank God he pushed me to go to the Seattle Hempfest that year. I would have missed out on so much. The lesson I learned from that is to take advantage of opportunities when they arise. You just never know when it will be your last chance.

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Miss you so much, Jack. One day, I’ll make it back to the Seattle Hempfest, just for you.

 

 

 

 

Will the Energizer Bunny Be Hempified?


 

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Just when you think you got a grasp on all things hemp, NBCNews.com posts an article about a brand new use for this wonder plant: batteries.

Currently, batteries use graphene which according to another article on NBCNews.com “…is the strongest, slimmest and most malleable material in known existence. Graphene, which is a form of carbon, could change the way our devices look, feel, perform and even interact with our bodies”

That graphene stuff sounds pretty remarkable, doesn’t it? But oh wait! There’s something even better!

Check out what The American Chemical Society’s  had to say about hemp at their national meeting which is currently being held in San Francisco:

Industrial hemp, the non-psychoactive cousin of marijuana, can play a role in manufacturing super-powerful supercapacitors for energy storage at a cost that’s far cheaper than graphene, researchers report. The hemp-based technology took center stage Tuesday at the American Chemical Society’s national meeting in San Francisco. A team led by David Mitlin, an engineering professor at Clarkson University, heated up hemp fibers to create carbon nanosheets that can be used as electrodes for supercapacitors. Compared with graphene, the hemp-derived carbon is “a little bit better, but it’s 1,000 times cheaper,” Mitlin told NBC News.

Well, I think that is very “energizing news” for the hemp industry. Perhaps this will take us one step closer to getting industrial hemp legalized in the U.S.

You can read the rest of the article here: Far Out! Hemp Could Power Better Super-Batteries

Gisele Does Luxury Hemp Well


Did you know that Gisele Bundchen was an environmentalist and a hempster? As founder of the Clean Water Project as well as two companies that raise funds for diminishing rain forests, this supermodel even has a forest named after her in her native Brazil.

I love Gisele’s philosophy: “The environment has always been my passion. Mother Earth is our fundamental life-support system, and by becoming aware and responsible now, we can assist in preserving the planet.” 

I couldn’t agree with you more, Gisele! I’m also impressed by Gisele’s choice to wear a beautiful hemp silk gown made by Prophetik to attend a gala for the Rain Forest Alliance. This is a popular dress since I’ve now seen quite a few other celebrities opting for his gown as well, such as James Cameron’s wife, Suzy Cameron as well as Colin Firth’s wife, Livia Firth who wore hers to the Golden Globes.

I knew there was an audience for chic, luxury hemp. I can’t wait to get them into Jae Julian’s Luxury Hemp soon!

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2622925/Gisele-Bundchen-kicks-heels-fans-Prophetik-hemp-gown-Rainforest-Alliance-Gala-NYC.html#ixzz3A2zjnFNI

In Spite of the DEA, Kentucky Hemp Crops Flourish


Happy August everyone! Can you believe it’s already August? Yikes!

There’s good news on the hemp farming front! Hemp is flourishing in Kentucky and researchers say this is a baby step in a positive direction. As  you may have heard in the news earlier this year, the DEA seized a 250 pound hemp seed shipment that came from Italy and Kentucky had to sue the DEA in order to get their hands on these seeds. While that stall tactic shortened the growth cycle by several weeks, University of Kentucky plant researcher, David Williams reported that Kentucky’s very first hemp crop is thriving and has already grown from 6 to 16 feet in two months. That’s exciting!

What’s not so exciting is the Drug Enforcement Agency. What is up with the head of the DEA, Michelle Leonhart? Who’s she beholden to that she feels at liberty to waste tax payer’s dollars to defy congress and the will of the people? With Michelle Leonhart at the helm, any real progress with the DEA seems futile so I was not surprised to come across a petition to fire Michelle Leonhart on Change.org.

Kudos to Kentucky for starting a hemp farming trend and for standing up to the DEA! While this is a small step in the right direction with regards to growing hemp, I hope enough people become outraged by the shenanigans of the DEA and ban together to take our power back. A first step could be signing this petition asking President Obama to remove Ms. Leonhart from her post:  Change.org.

 

 

 

Hemp’s Future’s So Bright, It’s Creating Shades!


It hadn’t dawned on me that you could make sunglasses from hemp so when I came across these today, I thought,”But of course, makes total sense!”

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These hemp glasses are made by a company called Hemp Eyewear and  are estimated to launch early 2015 (looks like 2015 will be a busy hemp year!)

This company believes the world needs more utilization of hemp to create sustainable and eco-friendly products and I couldn’t agree with them more. Bravo Hemp Eyewear!

So show these people some love and sign up to get updates about their launch on their website: www.hempeyewear.com – You know, us “hempreneurs” need all the support we can get!

 

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The Imaginary Perils of Tomatoes and Industrial Hemp


Linda Werner:

A great blog that explains the absurdity of hemp prohibition here in the U.S. The imagery of the tomato plant being deemed dangerous is such a great parallel for industrial hemp.

Originally posted on Arlington Stone:

Hemp Field - Kentucky 2What if tomatoes were poisonous? Many of us used to think they were. Back in the less enlightened years of the United States and Britain, tomatoes were regarded as a known danger throughout much of the 17th and 18th centuries. There are links to enlightenment via Thomas Jefferson’s fondness for the fruit after dining upon tomatoes in France. Others credit the influence of less superstitious immigrants from Europe and South America. But regardless of who made us snap out of our baseless fear of this delicious staple of the modern American diet, I ask you to ponder the what-ifs of an alternate history.

Perhaps we discovered that the tomato itself is not a bad thing, but the leaves are patently dangerous, and riddled with toxins. Thus we find ourselves with a mixed bag of positive and negative aspects. Eat the fruit and you are one-third of the way to a…

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