I’ve been meaning to get in touch with someone who could explain to me the nebulous and exploding new farming industry around the ancient yet newly legalized hemp plant, and I found a gold mine of information in Doug Fine, the author of Hemp Bound and American Hemp Farmer. Doug is known as a solar-powered goat herder, comedic investigative journalist, and pioneer voice in cannabis/hemp and regenerative farming. He has grown hemp in four US states, and the genetics he’s developed are in five more. He’s an award-winning culture and climate correspondent for NPR, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, among others publications.
In this interview, Doug shares the moment that he calls his climate Pearl Harbor which set his life on a new trajectory. He breaks down the complicated history of hemp cultivation around the world and in the United States and we also explore the current state of hemp which has been recently legalized for cultivation. We also unpack the gold rush on hemp products especially CBD oils and Doug explains his caution about the potential for a boom and bust cycle that could be terrible for the industry at large. He also outlines his thoughts on a healthy and regenerative industry for hemp, not only for the land but for all of the yet undiscovered and unstudied properties of this amazing plant, to say nothing of all the useful byproducts in the stalks and fibers. I personally learned a ton from this chat and am really looking forward to watching this budding industry find its roots so to speak and am hopeful for a bright future for the hemp market.