Whatever happened to the North American hemp industry?
I was a founding writer for Hemp Times magazine, which was an excellent vehicle for hemp information, education, and product promotion. It went bankrupt in 1999.
From 1997 to 1999, I wrote about dozens of hemp entrepreneurs. At least half of them were sincere and hardworking. They believed hemp could save the planet, but many of them weren’t skilled in building businesses, especially when the world’s governments have been unfriendly to their primary raw material.
Today, most of the hemp companies I wrote about are gone. Two Star Dog, an awesome hemp clothing and cosmetics company based in Berkeley, California, is still going strong. A few other companies have survived. But primarily, it’s been left to Canada and Europe to keep the hemp industry going, and I recently had the pleasure of talking with Shaun Crew, whose Manitoba-based Hemp Oil Canada (HOC) company is producing a wide variety of quality hemp products.
Crew founded HOC in 1998, after realizing that Manitoba had the land, agricultural experts, research centers and government support necessary to revitalize the hemp industry. As soon as Canada approved domestic hemp production, Crew worked with farmers, bureaucrats, manufacturing moguls and food safety experts to develop Canadian hemp-based products that are reliably fresh, easy to use, and innovative.
I first encountered HOC’s products while visiting Hawaii. I noticed that HOC’s fantastic shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, massage oil, lip balm, and moisturizing cream were a lot better than most “natural” cosmetics, with luscious fragrance and no artificial ingredients. These products worked well, left my hair and body healthy and refreshed, and had a silky resonance that bordered on the sensual.
At snack time, I munched on toasted and hulled hemp seeds, drank a tasty tablespoon of Canadian hemp oil, and sipped delicious HOC “Premium Prairie” hemp coffee. Featuring organic coffee blended with roasted hemp seeds, the coffee was full-bodied and creamy; it was also less acidic than regular coffee.
The superior nature of HOC’s products derive from their design, and from the marvelous health benefits offered by hemp seeds, which contain ideal ratios of essential fatty acids and proteins that benefit humans internally and externally.
Crew is an honest and affable eco-businessman who knows his products are excellent. He worries that anti-hemp decisions by the US government, which result in seizures of products containing even trace amounts of hemp, might prevent his products from reaching the marketplace.
I’m encouraging anybody who loves quality hemp-infused nutritional and cosmetics products to stock up on the HOC line of goods. They’re affordable, well designed and full of hempen goodness.
As Crew says, “It’s the seed you need.”