Join Team Honeysuckle as we bring you the truth about the next industrial revolution with The Hemp Road Trip, a documentary by hemp experts Rick Trojan and DJ Nicke. Last fall we hosted the film’s New York premiere at the iconic venue Club Cumming, where Trojan gave a live talkback about the importance of the plant and his years of lobbying for legalization.
On Thursday, March 14th, we celebrate The Hemp Road Trip and a legal-hemp future in Knoxville, Tennessee with Blühen Botanicals, one of the leading manufacturing and extraction companies in the new industry. Since the company’s inception, Blühen has been dedicated to revitalizing the local Knoxville community; now they’ll be responsible for educating the populace with a free screening of Trojan’s film this week and their first-ever Hemp Wellness Center, opening in May. (Blühen CEO Joe Fox recently gave CBS a sneak peek into the plans for the groundbreaking Center.)
Ahead of Thursday’s Knoxville premiere of The Hemp Road Trip at city landmark Central Cinema, which will include a talkback by Blühen and special giveaways, we invite you to learn more about hemp for yourselves. Hop on the Road Trip and read why this film changed Honeysuckle Staff Editor Jessica Bern’s mind about hemp – and why it’s key to humanity’s future.
You may not recognize Rick Trojan when you’re walking down the street, but trust me when I say that if you did, you’d stop and shake his hand while offering a huge thank-you. Trojan, who produced and stars in the documentary The Hemp Road Trip, is a pioneer who has spent the last several years touring the country, educating citizens about the incredible benefits of industrial hemp and speaking to politicians about the importance of decriminalizing cannabis.
December’s passage of the 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized hemp, an historic decision which Trojan and countless activists, farmers, entrepreneurs, attorneys, educators and many others have advocated for decades. But what is the next step for those who have worked tirelessly on the front lines of this industrial revolution? And how do we spread that information to the people who need it most?
Because the fact is that hemp should be everywhere. It should be a part of the structure of your home, your car, every rope you tie, the clothes you wear even a part of, if not all of, the food you eat and the medications you take, for a variety of diseases. It should be your water bottle, the container you use to store the food in your fridge, hell, even part of the fridge itself. But it’s not. At least, not yet.
That’s where The Hemp Road Trip comes in. It’s a fast-paced and compelling introduction to the most misunderstood and life-saving resource of our time. “Once you’ve learned about this plant,” says Trojan, “you can’t say no to it.”
Jump aboard Trojan’s Hemp Road Trip bus for an insightful ride through our nationwide confusion about hemp and its innumerable uses. He and director DJ Nicke interview experts in fields ranging from medicine to law, manufacturing to farming, small business owners and environmentalists to Congressional representatives. Together they enlighten the viewer not only on why hemp has been illegal for so long, but also on how it can heal our bodies and every facet of our world.
As the film explains, the mission of the Hemp Road Trip is built on understanding four basic principles: Health, Energy, Manufacturing, Planet. Prepare to have your mind blown by revelations about cannabinoids, certain molecules in the cannabis plant (of which hemp is a nonpsychoactive variety) that interact with our bodies to promote wellness. Testimonials from Trojan himself to a miraculous cancer survival story to doctors amazed by new research help support the idea that we should do whatever we can to take care of our bodies’ endocannabinoid systems. You’ll even get to enjoy a documentary-inside-a-documentary with a look at Trojan’s Morgan Spurlock-esque “Hempseed Challenge,” where he, Nicke, and David Maddalena of The Hemp Connoisseur Magazine dedicate themselves to ten days of eating nothing but hempseeds. It’s a riot, but the results are surprisingly effective – and so are many other aspects of this illuminating movie.
Diving into Energy, we learn that hemp can be used for bioplastics, biofuels, and the next generation of super batteries that can hold their charge for years on end. And when you’re through, Trojan notes with a grin, you can recycle such batteries by throwing their hemp components onto your crops for fertilizer.
“Essentially, if we grow hemp in 6% of all the [arable] land in this country, we’d meet all our consumer needs for energy,” he enthuses.
In terms of Manufacturing, the plant’s many uses means that new jobs could be created in sectors all over the country. This is what convinces members of local, state, and federal governments to support the Hemp Road Trip (part of the film’s beauty is knowing that on this score at least, our politicians listened to the will of the people). Congressman Willie Dove from Kanasas, interviewed throughout the documentary, particularly voices his delight at being able to bring new opportunities to his constituents.
Perhaps most important of all, hemp provides environmental benefits (Planet) that go far above its versatility as a superfood or building material. The plant actually replenishes the soil – unlike more common cash crops like corn and soybeans – and helps aid in a process called carbon sequestration, where excess carbon dioxide can be diverted back into the ground instead of out into our air and oceans. Hemp is naturally resistant to many pesticides and herbicides, and because of its hardiness will often be used to rejuvenate the earth in sites affected by chemical spills or poisons.
These sacred properties carry special significance for a number of Native American tribes, who want to return to tradition and connect with the planet by planting hemp as their ancestors did. Until recently (and continuing in some areas), this has been extremely difficult for indigenous communities to do. Alex White Plume, former president of the Oglala Sioux tribe, made national news when the DEA raided his farm. He continues to be a hemp activist and educator, an inspiration to other Native American advocates like Muriel Young Bear of the Meskwaki Tribe, who runs her own consulting firm and works with tribal communities to diversify operations into the emerging hemp industry. According to Michael Lewis, a veteran and founder of the Growing Warriors Project (which trains military veterans to grow their own produce privately and commercially), “From so small a seed springs forth the means to carry a nation.”
Lewis is right, of course – but only if the people surrounding that seed make it their responsibility to raise awareness. This, then, is the next logical step after legalization. It’s monumental that the laws are now in place to make the hemp revolution a reality. But it depends on the consumers, the people who aren’t industry experts but are concerned citizens, to demand the development of products that will take us into this future.
I admit that up until recently, I thought the word “hemp” was synonymous to “marijuana.” When I was told I would be speaking to Rick, I figured it was a piece about a guy who was spreading the gospel about the legalization of pot, end of story. This response is what puts me into the same category as an entire generation of people who should know, who need to know, that this is not true. Why? Because these are a lot of the same folks that comprise this consumer population, and they are the ones who will be helping bring hemp awareness effectively to the mainstream.
“We need people activated,” Rick says. “We need to build a coalition… Everyone needs to learn about this plant, and by doing so will benefit their neighbors and benefit themselves and benefit their children. After [so much time] talking to Senators, now we need you.”
Here are some simple ways we can get started. Just think about this – see that cheap shirt in Walmart? After how many washes is it tossed into a landfill contributing to the demise of our planet? Replace that cotton-made shirt with an outfit from hemp fabric, which is equally as soft but much more durable and will last twice as long. Is it more expensive? Slightly, yes, but if you amortize the use you get out of it, you’ll find that in the end it’s actually quite the bargain. Or what if you have a headache? Put down the Advil. CBD, one of the most prominent cannabinoids that promotes healing, comes in gel form and can help you take that pain away while also reinvigorating your endocannabinoid system.
Take a few moments and read what is out there – and naturally, don’t forget to book yourself a spot on The Hemp Road Trip. I promise you it will be a truly life-changing experience.
Blühen Botanicals hosts The Hemp Road Trip’s Knoxville premiere free on Thursday, March 14th at Central Cinema. For tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-hemp-road-trip-changing-the-cannabis-conversation-tickets-57289201544.
Also see Trojan, the Blühen team, and other hemp experts live at the 6th annual NoCo Hemp Expo in Denver, Colorado March 29-30, 2019. Get your tickets now and stay tuned for more updates about the hemp community from Team Honeysuckle!