The Great Hemp Race

Hemp Legalization and Hemp Product Branding

It’s all happening – hemp legalization, that is. As an industry, we have and will continue to conquer more authority and reputability for promoting and retailing the commodity that we are. The federal (let it sink in) legalization of our good friend’s sister, Cannabis Ruderalis, is upon us and is not a step, but a leap toward normalization.

Hemp legalization will act as a force that brings cannabis into our homes and lives in new and friendly ways. If the majority of your experiences with cannabis are seeing it in the hand of an “other” – someone who is so far removed from your lifestyle that you cannot possibly relate – it is understandable that this amazing, versatile plant is something you wouldn’t stand behind, and wouldn’t defend ardently. Life experience is everything. It’s what defines our core beliefs and shapes who and what we want to be today and stand by today. That is why the legalization of hemp is the domino that should tell every single person in the cannabis industry that we were right. And we’re about to win big.

Here’s where it gets sticky: this bill being passed means that big players will recognize where the best regions for cannabis production in the United States lie, and you can expect major regional disputes over how properties should be utilized, especially when we vest the international interest toward this new horizon. According to Climate Colab (2016), hemp is best grown “in regions with a mild climate, humid atmosphere, and rainfall of at least 25-30 inches per year”. Historically, hemp and cannabis have thrived in wine country. Think Napa. Think Hill Country. Think Humboldt. There will be disruption to the umpteenth degree throughout the scramble to snag a piece of land that has humbly farmed this plant for generations.

Working our way back to that bright shining road ahead of us – cannabis will now find its way into folks’ homes, hearts, and minds. This will arrive in the form of (but certainly not limited to): paper, fuel, oil, food, textiles – even your walls will be made out of hemp in a number of years. Let that sink in. A family sits in their hemp-made car seats, in a car that is running on hemp-made fuel, while Suzy in the back reads her hemp-made picture book. We can picture that. Can you?

For brand strategists, consultants and designers that have been serving Cannabis Ruderalis’ dear sister Sativa for the past decade or so, this means a greatly widened scope. For the same of any other industry, this means a few thousand new products that they can pivot to. So how will we set ourselves apart in the world of hemp branding? Simple. Pay respect to the plant.

As it has been for years – it could be the easiest move, the easiest on the consumer to glaze over the fact that the product in your hand is made out of cannabis. We would like to make a public service announcement: approaching these products we need to remember the long, hard road it took to come home. Call attention to the strength of hemp, the durability and the sustainability in comparison to other materials. 

Cannabis has been utilized in hundreds of ways Stateside dating back centuries, whether our policies have reflected that or not. Remember the families that were torn apart for growing a plant to feed their families. Remember the blood, sweat, and tears. Pay homage to the millions that have waited silently, and the thousands of voices yelling at the top of their lungs that this plant, this flower can help us if only we let it in out of the cold, dark days of prohibition.

Remember, that you aren’t slapping a label on another pair of pants or jar of face cream. You are crafting an experience and an identity that can continue all of these raw and impassioned efforts – that can further this journey, and take this industry to new heights.

Are you with us?