US hemp industry reimagines ‘Hemp for Victory’ campaign to aid frontline coronavirus workers
A national network of hemp farmers, businesses and organizations came together this week, inspired by the federal government's “Hemp for Victory” campaign during World War II, to coordinate the production and donation of hemp-based products and materials for nursing organizations, food banks, and other organizations helping people impacted by COVID-19. The new group announced themselves on Tuesday under the banner Hemp for Our Future, which is described in a statement as a social responsibility campaign to support healthcare workers and community organizations on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis.
“Hemp for Victory” was a film produced by the federal government during the second world war that encouraged American farmers to grow hemp in support of the national war effort on both fronts. It’s become the model under which Hemp for Our Future has undertaken its new campaign.
"This is an exceptionally challenging time for our country, and everyone is looking for ways to do their part to help out," Hemp for Our Future co-founder Shawn Hauser, who is a partner and chair of the hemp and cannabinoid practice at Vicente Sederberg LLP said in a statement. "This nascent industry is only in its first year of USDA regulation, but it is well-positioned to quickly start making an impact. The power of hemp is incredible, and the power of an active and well-organized community is unlimited."
The new organization is seeking products, biomass, logistics services, financial contributions, and additional participants from members as part of their mission. According to a statement, donations of personal protective equipment, sterilization products and equipment, cleaning supplies, food and supplements, and lotions and salves are in high demand.
"One in seven people in Kentucky were struggling with hunger before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and now that number is even bigger," Chad Rosen, CEO of Kentucky-based Victory Hemp Foods, whose company contributed hundreds of pounds of hemp hearts to local food banks said in a statement. "As a superfood ingredient manufacturer, we are trying to do what we can with what we have to help the greatest number of people. We decided to start by donating hundreds of pounds of nutrient-dense hemp hearts to food banks in the communities where we live. We are also encouraging others to take similar action because even small acts can have a big impact.”
Along with Victory Hemp Foods donations, Hemp for Our Future has received more than 1,000 units of hand sanitizers, lip balms, salves, and other topicals from Curaleaf, Fusion CBD, Nanocraft CBD (facilitated by CBD Takeout), and other companies which has been sent to professional nursing organizations in Massachusetts and New York. In addition, the organization has obtained more than 200 items of hemp clothing from Colorado Hemp Company, which was given to the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless.
“Our company is proud to participate in the Hemp for our Future campaign and assist in helping local community organizations in need of donations, such as food and clothing," said Morris Beegle, founder of Colorado Hemp Company in a statement. "It's great to see so many companies and individuals from the hemp and cannabis space stepping up to help those in need.”
Vicente Sederberg LLP, Agricultural Hemp Solutions, and Friends of Hemp co-founded Hemp for Our Future. At least 25 companies now belong to the organization, including Agricultural Hemp Solutions, CBD Takeout, EARTH Law LLC, and Friends of Hemp. Organizers say that the list is continually growing.
"Hemp for Our Future is currently focused on helping health care workers and others on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis, but the network we have created will be able to continue doing good well into the future," Hemp for Our Future co-founder Courtney Moran of Agricultural Hemp Solutions said in a statement. "It is a meaningful way in which we can unite and strengthen this new industry, while also illuminating the utility and sustainability of this amazing crop. Now that commercial hemp production is federally legal in the U.S., we can put it to use to meet our country's industrial material needs, while also regenerating our soils and rural economies."