Hemp – ‘Global opportunity, Local possibilities’
Author: Teresa McDowell Date Posted:5 April 2018
Hemp has intrigued and inspired me for many years. As a young child I was always concerned about our earth, the connection we have to its rhythms and the effect we have on its natural laws. I also learnt many years ago of the positive effect hemp can have in relation to the environment and our own personal health. Until prohibition was enacted in the 1930’s many medications were based on cannabis extracts.
There is much written of the history of hemp and prohibition, so I won’t delve into that right now. Suffice to say that a few dubious folks, with power at their side, made decisions that have impacted negatively on us as a society, on our heath overall and contributed to much of the environmental degradation we have witnessed over past decades.
You may think this is a very big claim, but I firmly believe if Hemp had lived out its legacy and realised its potential it would be a very different landscape indeed. Clean energy, maintaining soil health, contributing to sustainable agriculture and sustainable business while supplying natural medicine (with no side effects) is the potential of Hemp.
Perhaps we are now finally on our way to embracing that potential.
Economic markets now depend on sustainable industry and there are many exciting opportunities for South Australia in areas including:
- Hempcrete (housing and construction)
- Hemp seed/oil products – body care, healthy food & fuel
- Industrial products – including bio composites with other materials (car panels etc)
- Animal feed and bedding
With the recent introduction of the Industrial Hemp Bill SA 2017, our farmers can now apply for a license to cultivate Industrial Hemp and local possibilities are emerging. With a growing Billion-dollar global hemp food market now in play, it makes sense for our farmers to explore the opportunities and diversify with this exciting crop.
Local artisans are already embracing ideas that utilise hemps bounty, including skin care manufacturers, soap makers and bread makers. Hemp seeds, oil and gluten free flour fits perfectly into the growing food culture of clean, fresh, organic and raw options. Café’s are embracing the growing trend and offering hemp smoothies, protein balls and other healthy treats.
It really is a great time to learn more about this wonderful natural resource and bring hemp into our everyday lives.