The game changing Farm Bill of 2014 includes a section called the Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research. In a nutshell, Congress is allowing hemp growing pilot programs in 24 states, by allowing the Department of Agriculture to certify farmers to grow industrial hemp as a research crop. The bill has brought to the frontline concerns on why the U.S. seems hesitant in joining other industrial nations growing hemp. The screening of the documentary Bringing It Home has sparked more interest in the topic.
Industrial hemp is a non-psychoactive plant that is grown in about 31 countries. The crop is used in the manufacture of many sustainable products. It is also considered as a potential solution to deforestation, poverty, malnutrition and global warming. In the U.S., hemp can be a cash crop for farmers, creating many jobs in the process. Of late, especially after the signing of the “Farm Bill” many questions have become a public point of discussion, including:
- Even with all the benefits associated with the crop, why does the Government have such a tight hold on its production?
- Why does Federal policy still classify hemp as a drug?
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Bringing It Home – The Documentary
The documentary studies the past, present and future of hemp through a series of interviews and was created by filmmakers Blaire Johnson and Linda Booker. Interviews feature global business leaders, and entrepreneurs, and the footage includes animation and archive images from the U.S. and Europe.
As part of the narrative, designer of “America’s First Hemp House,” Anthony Brenner, explains his journey towards creating a healthy building. In the film, the designer explains that he is inspired by his daughter’s need for a safe environment free of chemical residues. With the help of Hemp Technologies, Brenner takes advantage of the non-toxic, pest, fire and mold resistant nature of recyclable carbon neutral hempcrete.
The biggest drawback for U.S. home builders is that they have to import the hempcrete fiber. Obviously, this influences costs – and a material that has the potential to be carbon neutral loses this benefit because of long transportation distances.
Bringing It Home follows the trail of hemp all the way to the U.K. Grand Designs TV host, Kevin McCloud, discusses the uses of industrial hemp in his country with farmers, researchers and business owners. Among the interviewees are a host of million dollar U.S. companies’ CEOs who import sustainable and healthy hemp products. Included in the film is an interview with one lobbyist from the CA Narcotics Officers Association.
The documentary makes a case for hemp by showcasing some of the benefits of the misunderstood plant. Viewers get to learn more about products that can be made out of hemp. Such hemp-based products include textiles, food, auto-parts and concrete. The film also explores how a positive relationship between humanity and hemp can be forged.
Bringing It Home is extremely emotive, while still offering objective information on hemp as a product. This timely documentary dispels the confusion that surrounds hemp, promoting greater understanding of hemp as an important agricultural crop.