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Interview with American Hemp Inc.

American Hemp Inc - Josh Davis

By Josh Davis of Hemp.coAn interview with the founders of American Hemp Inc. – Consider the answers drafts.

By Josh Davis of Hemp.com

According to their website:
American Hemp Inc. is a wholesale distributor of the industrial hemp crop. They are dedicated to offering manufacturers processed hemp as long and short fibers, hurd, or fine at a cost effective, competitive price.

Xavier A. Veille is Chairman of the company, which is based out of Winston Salem, NC.

Josh Davis -Xavier, correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t it illegal to grow hemp in the US? So what is this company all about?

That would be correct. Hemp is illegal to cultivate here in the United States, but it is actually legal to import as long as it is processed beforehand. The company is currently about educating the people about the uses and applications of industrial hemp. The fibers are already in demand in an economy that is moving towards a more, “Made in America,” mentality focused on today’s conscience, green consumer.

Davis:  Why hemp? Why this market?

Two main reasons: the plant’s cultivation characteristics and its applications.

Not only does it not require harmful herbicides or pesticides as it grows, but it actually soaks up harmful metals in the soil, has higher yields than cotton or flax, and returns the majority of the nutrients it takes while it grows back into the soil. Hemp is the ideal rotational crop for farmers from eastern North Carolina to the western shores of California.

Hemp can replace or be blended with synthetics in the automotive, textile, plastic, paper, construction, animal bedding, and packaging industries. We need a renewable crop for expendable products like paper. Deforestation damages ecosystems and tree farming is impractical, especially in comparison to hemp, where harvesting one acre of hemp, which takes three to four months to grow, can yield as much as four to ten years of tree growth. Hemp also does not require the chlorine intensive process necessary to remove the lignin from the cellulose. Trees typically contain approximately 45% cellulose and 35% lignin, while hemp fibers contain approximately 77% cellulose and 3% lignin. Hemp is the cornerstone for the improvement of our environmental crisis.

If U.S. farmers were able to cultivate this crop like in the past in this country, then the abundant supply that would be created domestically would help stabilize the dollar, bring jobs back home by increasing US manufacturing, and lower manufacturer’s procurement costs, allowing companies to remain competitive even with higher domestic labor costs. The idea is to bring back, Made in America.

Hemp was made illegal in the first place, because it can make almost everything we use as human beings. The distribution of wealth amongst farmers and rural communities across America would have decreased the ability of particular companies to monopolize the industry, much of which they have accomplished through making the plant illegal. These industries saw the superior characteristics of hemp and its versatility as a direct threat.

Davis: So you’re saying these industries, made a concerted effort to get Hemp to become illegal? When was this happenening?

It was not until the mechanical revolution reached the hemp industry, which introduced the decorticator that turned the previously 200 – 300 man hours to separate the fibers of the stalk into 2 – 3 hours with the machine that swift action to make the plant illegal went into effect. This was one year before the article entitled, “New Billion Dollar Crop,” referring to hemp, was released in the Popular Science magazine in 1938.

Davis: But didn’t the US re-legalize hemp during World War 2? I’ve seen the film Hemp for Victory so we know that it was legal for farmers to grow then.

When America’s supply of hemp, sisal, and jute from the Philippines and other East Indian sources were captured by the Japanese, the US government had no choice but to re-legalize hemp. They dramatically emphasized the need and importance for American farmers to cultivate hemp in order to achieve victory in World War II. “A 44-gun frigate like our cherished ‘Old Ironsides’ took over 60 tons of hemp for rigging, including an anchor cable 25 inches in circumference.” Hemp was required for soldier’s parachutes, uniforms, back packs, cots, blankets, tents, and rope, to name a few applications.

Davis: Ok so today it’s illegal. But hypothetically (and hopefully soon) Hemp becomes legal for farmers to grow once again in the US. Now all these farmers grow all this hemp and what will they do with it? Is that where your company comes in?

Yes, that is correct. We would take the raw material from the farmers, process it, and provide manufacturers of the different industries previously mentioned with a more affordable, higher quality, truly green material than certain petrochemical inputs that are currently used.

It will open the door to the development of new technologies and businesses around the nation interested, A: in generating American jobs and B: products that are truly green with characteristics that will benefit our planet, not harm it. The trickle effect of hemp would be phenomenal.

Davis: What sort of products are we talking about?

In order to properly understand our vision, one must first look back to the US Census of 1850, which stated that there were over 16 million acres of hemp being grown by US farmers.

I believe the product that will take off the most from the usage of industrial hemp will be anything made by the paper industry. Hemp can be recycled 4x more than trees, takes only 3-4 months to produce between 4-10 years of tree growth on an equivalent acre, and has a higher cellulose and far lower lignin content, thus reducing the carbon intensive process associated with removing lignin from cellulose in trees. These facts should begin to show the reader that the environmental sustainability of hemp farming compared to deforestation, which also destroys ecosystems, is truly practical, unlike tree farming in places like South Carolina where it may take up to 17 years for a farmer to finally harvest his “crop”.

Hemp that is used for textiles will be brought back, as people begin to realize that when their hemp shirt is blended with cotton it displays higher insulation properties, is lighter in weight, has a more relaxed fit, while also having increased durability, lasting longer without ripping or tearing. This also goes for the creation of couches, matresses, curtains, etc., all, “Made in America,” due to the material’s domestic cultivation, processing, manufacturing, and distribution to residents across America’s heartland.

Furthermore, the hempcrete building material continues to exceed government energy standards and satisfy businesses and residents who chose to build with this material. The new introduction of hemp in the injection molding process has increased its use in the plastic and composites industries, performing with equal strength in comparison to conventional plastic inputs, but is also  lighter in weight.

Imagine everything we use on a daily basis that is made from plastic being made from biodegradable industrial hemp and what effect could be on the world’s landfill and pollution problems. In essence, a 16 million acre supply like the US once had, according to a Census in 1850, would mean the cost associated with hemp products will drop substantially, restoring the material to its previous value in American history.

Davis: And your company could create whatever sort of raw material that was needed?

Our company will prepare the material for manufacturers.

JD – Take me through this process. Are there other companies in the US that are doing this? Where would you get the machinery from?

If there are operational US processors, then they are not publicizing it. There are hemp companies that exist in the US, but they rely on the importation of processed hemp grain or fiber. Hemp grain companies like Nutiva and Living Harvest exist on the West Coast, as well as Hemp Traders, and are examples of such companies. The machinery would have to come from Europe or Australia, since the natural fibers industry is so young in the US, but hopefully one day the US will be manufacturing such machines.

Every industry has links in the supply chain that are required for the industry to be successful. The hemp industry is no different. I am excited about American ingenuity in the development of new technologies, especially because all the research that we have conducted proves without a doubt that this plant will only benefit the American economy and the planet we live on.

Davis – Lets talk numbers. How much hemp are we importing to the US (in $) and how much do we use compared to the rest of the industrialized nations?

I believe that the most recent estimate for the American hemp industry is $419 million annually, which is significant because the industry has seen a steady increase in that number every year. Considering the size of America, I say we use a fairly small amount of hemp products, but the hemp food industry has seen more growth than any other segment of the industry. I attribute this to America’s demand for healthy foods and hemp oil is an extremely healthy, natural nutrient, with an Omega 6:3 ratio of 3:1, the closest ratio of any oil in the world to the the daily intake ratio the World Health Organization’s recommends of between 4:1 to 10:1. China is the leading producer of hemp, but I am not 100% sure about the dollar amount of their hemp industry.

Davis – What needs to happen for this to come to fruition? Where do we stand now in terms of laws?

There are a number of states that have already reformed their laws, allowing the cultivation of industrial hemp, but farmers are still faced with the federal law that does not distinguish the difference between hemp and marijuana, thus the farmers are treated like pot growers and exposed to the same type of searches and seizures of property that one would receive for growing marijuana. The federal law is what must be changed. Ron Paul introduced a bill, HR 1831, Industrial Farming Act of 2011, which would change the law to allow cultivars of industrial hemp that have a THC rating of 0.3% or less. This will give farmers the right to grow certain varieties without risking their livelihood. Dr. Paul has introduced the same bill every other year since 2005 and each year it has gained more attention and momentum. The best thing to do is to continue to educate the masses about the benefits of the cannabis plant and to urge their local representatives to become a sponsor or co-sponsor of HR 1831.

Davis -When will Americans wise up and understand that this is a viable business alternative?

Americans are waking up daily to a revolution of information through the Internet. The more information that is spread about this miraculous crop, like the fact that the human race has used it since 6000 BC, the more people will provide support for this issue and wake up to its economic potential. We are taking steps to conduct further research with this crop in certain applications and anticipate results that prove to be superior in comparison to other materials that are currently being utilized.

Where do you see hemp fitting into the current economy? What would your vision an America that allowed its farmers, encouraged them even to grow hemp?

In order to properly understand our vision, one must first look back to the US Census of 1850, which stated that there were over 16 million acres of hemp being grown by US farmers. Like previously mentioned, if U.S. farmers were able to cultivate this crop like in the past, then the abundant supply that would be created domestically would help stabilize the dollar, bring jobs back home by increasing US manufacturing, and lower manufacturer’s procurement costs, allowing companies to remain competitive even with higher domestic labor costs. The idea is to bring back, Made in America.

Josh Davis is a professional Actor, Singer & Producer. He has worked for The Discovery and Science Channel as well as the Washington Wizards. He also is licensed Real Estate Agent for the State of NY and of course Senior Editor of Hemp.com

Xavier Veille is the visionary founder, Chairman, and strategist of American Hemp Inc. He manages Charlotte Hempfest, a non-profit educational organization, and has marketing experience.m

 

Josh Davis is a professional Actor, Singer & Producer. He has worked for The Discovery and Science Channel as well as the Washington Wizards. He also is licensed Real Estate Agent for the State of NY and of course Senior Editor of Hemp.com

Xavier Veille is the visionary founder, Chairman, and strategist of American Hemp Inc.He manages Charlotte Hempfest, a non-profit educational organization, and has marketing experience.


About Josh Davis

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