Let's Talk Hemp @ NOCO7 Digital Magazine

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By Winona LaDuke She’s an amazing plant. You can learn a lot from a plant. For the past four years I’ve been hanging out with cannabis plants. I have a bit of a maternal streak which seems to translate well to animals and plants (children, I am not so sure), and I’ve been growing cannabis. That’s the plant’s name. We all say industrial hemp so that we are not demonized, and people don’t think I have a big marijuana farm out there by Osage. There’s apparently some “stigma” attached to cannabis. So, let me just say it loud and proud. I’m a cannabis grower. Here are my thoughts four years into growing under a Minnesota state permit. The plant is not a slave, she’s an amazing teacher, and we got this, we just gotta figure it out. The Farm Bill opened the floodgates for “industrial hemp”, meaning a plant which will produce seed, flower, and stalk, and comes in less than 3% THC. Minnesota issued seven permits in 2015; 550 in 2019. People acted like it was the gold rush. Just like the spooners and diggers, they all jumped in. As far as “hemp,” it appears that everyone planted as much CBD cannabis as they could, and they are sitting on it. There was this idea that everyone was going to make a million bucks off a plant. Well, that’s not going to happen. There are some people who may lose their farms in Kentucky, where they plowed up entire farms and put them into cannabis. That’s particularly ironic, because Senator Mitch McConnell, the architect of the industrial hemp component in the Farm Bill, really could have helped his team out a bit more. It’s like responsible cannabis farming, about the amount and intent. Farming and love and sex. Treat the plant well, and she will respond. The plant takes love and understanding. When I plant seeds, I develop a relationship with them. What it says on the packet is not what it says in your soil, or in the weather over the upcoming months. It’s sort of like a date, do some chit chat, see how you like each other and decide if you are going to hang out. Images courtesy of Winona LaDuke

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Let’s Talk Hemp @ NoCo7 Digital Magazine

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