This Saturday, 30 March at 8.30PM local time, is Earth Hour. With its campaign #Connect2Earth, Earth Hour 2019 aims to unite millions of people around the world to show their commitment to the planet and tackling climate change. To join the movement, switch your lights off on 30 March, 8:30 pm your local time in solidarity with global efforts to secure nature and our home.
Hoping to make another major earth-friendly change this year? As well as switching off your lights, make the switch to hemp!
The cannabis plant is thought to be one of the earliest agricultural and economic crops, coveted for its multi-purpose nature. From building to clothing to food, medicine, and recreation, cannabis is one of the most versatile plants used throughout history. Here’s why we need to bring it back.
1. Hemp Cleans Soil
Hemp is like a sponge for environmental chemicals. The cannabis plant pulls in environmental toxins like excess mineral deposits through its roots, binding up potential toxins in its fibrous stalks and leaves. A key component in a process called “bioremediation”, hemp plants have already been successfully used to clean up dioxin, a pervasive environmental pollutant produced as a byproduct of steel smelting, in this case.
In a recent project from Colorado State University, hemp was used to absorb selenium buildup in an experimental setting. While elements like selenium are naturally found in soil, agricultural runoff deposits excessive quantities of the mineral into the surrounding landscape. The contaminant can harm aquatic life if it leaches into waterways, and it may cause harm to plants and animals that are less tolerant of the pollutant.
2. Cannabis Makes Biofuel
There are many reasons to invest in alternative fuels. For one, carbon emissions are the single largest contributor to climate change, which is already impacting weather patterns, animal migrations, and changes in food supplies around the globe.
Secondly, fossil fuels are a finite resource, meaning that there is only a limited amount available for consumption and we cannot make more. The overreliance on fossil fuels makes for security risks for many countries, who are dependent on access to a finite resource for basic living.
Here’s where hemp comes in. Hemp, like other plants, can be processed to make biofuels. Biofuels are oils extracted from plants. In the case of cannabis, the oil produced by hempseeds can be transformed into fuel through a process called transesterification, in which the oil is blended with combustible alcohol via the help of a catalyst.
While all biofuels are better for the environment than fossil fuels, hemp biofuel is a particularly attractive option. The benefit of using biofuel is that plant-based energy sources can be cultivated continuously in local areas without the risk of running out. Hemp is a vigorously growing plant that can thrive even in infertile soils, which makes it a superior selection over other biodiesel crops.
3. Build Carbon-Negative Homes with Hemp
Cannabis may be a sponge for soil pollutants, but it is also a sponge for carbon. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that carbon dioxide emissions are fueling a rapidly changing climate. Cannabis plants are unique in that they can both absorb carbon dioxide, retain the carbon, and release only oxygen back into the atmosphere.
In a sense, hemp plants are like carbon storage devices. For this reason, hemp is oft touted to be one of the “ultimate sustainable building materials”. Hemp stalk and pulp can be mixed with lime to create a plant-based concrete, concrete that incidentally prevents carbon from being re-released back into the environment. This process of “locking away” carbon is called carbon sequestration.
In a 2017 poster presented at the International Conference on Advances in Construction Materials and System, researchers found that a cube of hemp concrete successfully stored 307.26 kilograms of carbon per meter cubed of material. Unlike other materials like wood and metals, which are heavily reliant on fossil fuels and are not considered sustainable building materials, structures made from hemp concrete are considered carbon negative. Hemp pulls more carbon out of the environment than it puts back.
4. Hemp Makes Better Plastic
Let’s be honest, we’ve got a plastic problem. Plastic is polluting the ocean, leaching harmful chemicals into our foods, and refuses to degrade in any reasonable amount of time. Recently, major corporations like Starbucks have recently announced commitments to reduce their use of plastics. Many cities have stopped providing plastic bags in grocery stores, while others have banned the use of plastic straws.
While it would be silly to suggest that we could replace all plastics, the need for widespread alternatives is upon us. Currently, many compostable plastics are made from corn or other botanical materials. Hemp can provide another alternative.
Remember all of that carbon hemp plants pulled in from the atmosphere? Well, it turns out that the herb uses it to make high concentrations of cellulose, a natural polymer needed to make natural plastics.
Hemp biomass contains 60 to 75 percent cellulose, making it a particularly good candidate for biodegradable plastics. By comparison, corn stover has clocked in at a little over 50 percent. The result is a strong and durable plastic that can decompose into natural compounds like carbon dioxide and water, without leaching harmful chemicals back into the environment.
5. Cannabis Makes Better Fiber
Cannabis plants have been used to make textiles and papers for millennia. And yet, cannabis prohibition back in 1937 interrupted what could have been a thriving and sustainable hemp industry. Cannabis plants require less water than cotton or wood, which are the two most common natural fiber sources used today.
Further, hemp plants feature a low concentration of lignin when compared with wood. Lignin is a natural fiber in plants that provides a hard, sturdy structure. This lignin concentration is important for making products like paper. With a lower lignin concentration, hemp requires synthetic chemicals to process into paper and cardboard than wood. This makes processing hemp pulp a more environmentally-friendly practice overall.
Remember to switch off in solidarity with #Connect2Earth and global efforts to secure nature and our planet on 30 March, 8:30 pm your local time.
Psychonauts Celebrate Magic Mushroom Day
September 20 is Magic Mushroom Day. Similarly to stoners celebrating 4/20 and 7/10, and LSD enthusiasts celebrating 4/19, entheogenic communities around the world celebrate the psychedelic renaissance on 9/20.
The concept was coined in 2015 when Nicholas Reville, a mushroom advocate from Providence, Rhode Island, declared September 20 as an “educational day of action,” apparently citing the spirit of 4/20 as an opportunity to talk about psilocybin reform, regulations and, of course, rejoice in the magic of psychedelics.
“9/20 was chosen because it is at the beginning of autumn, when mushrooms are most plentiful; because it is close to the equinox, representing a change in direction; and because it echoes 4/20 and the successful movement for marijuana decriminalization and legalization,” said Reville in an interview with Rolling Stone.
Magic Mushrooms: The Next “Green” Wave?
Interest around the benefits and effects of psilocybin, the main active ingredient in magic mushrooms, has been steadily growing over the last number of years, with legalization closely following.
At the last election in 2020, Oregon became the first state to legalize psilocybin with Measure 109 for mental health treatment in supervised settings.
At the same time, the District of Columbia decriminalize the use of magic mushrooms and other psychedelic substances with the passage of Initiative 81.
Peep the Pepsi x Dapper Dan Football Watching Capsule Collection
Pepsi has partnered with Harlem-based designer and streetwear legend, Dapper Dan, to create The Pepsi x Dapper Dan Football Watching Capsule Collection.
As part of the Pepsi “Made for Football Watching” NFL campaign, the iconic collaboration brings the football fan apparel game to the next level with this limited-edition capsule collection created for fans to show up in style, no matter where they’re watching.
The Pepsi x Dapper Dan Football Watching Capsule Collection features fashion-forward football-watching pieces including a lounger, hoodie, bucket hat, and custom-patterned Pepsi can to ensure fans are fitted and geared up for every touchdown, sack and fumble.
Power & Collaboration Are the Name of the Game at WEIC Women’s Leadership Summit
In 2019 women held 37% of senior level positions in cannabis. Alarmingly, less than 8% of CEOs are women and only 38% of all positions in cannabis are held by women. This statistic and much more will be the topic of discussion at the Women Empowered In Cannabis (WEIC) Power & Collaboration summit on July 21, 2021, from 10 am PST – 5 pm PST.
The one day summit is WEIC’s first virtual Women’s Leadership Summit and will address the rapid loss of female leadership and power in cannabis and question how the community can address and stop this trend.
“We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to build an industry from the ground up that is inclusive, diverse and just, and yet women are losing ground at a distressing rate,” said Kyra Reed, WEIC founder and CEO. “The summit is designed to help women elevate our voices and establish real power in the global cannabis market.”
Meet the Speakers
The Women’s Leadership Summit: Power and Collaboration brings together a diverse group of influential women. This virtual summit offers opportunities for women to learn and interact with each other, irrespective of their location.
Andrea Brooks, Founder and CEO – Sava; Annie Holman, Founder and CEO – The Galley; Christine De La Rosa – The People’s Ecosystem; Kate Lynch, SVP Marketing – Curaleaf; Khadijah Adams – Girl Get that Money; Franny Tacy, Founder and CEO – Franny’s Farmacy; Helen Gomez Andrews, Co-founder and CEO – The High End; Katie Pringle, Co-founder – Marigold Marketing; Kendra Losee, Founder and CEO – Mota Marketing; Lelehnia DuBois – The Humboldt Grace; Dr. Lola Ohonba, WCI Health, Clinical Pharmacist, Certified Medical Cannabis Specialist – WCI; Mara Gordon, Founder and TEDx speaker – Aunt Zelda’s; Mskindness Rivera; Nancy Whiteman, CEO – Wana Brands; Rosie Mattio, Founder and CEO – MATTIO Communications; Scheril Murray Power, Cannabis and Agricultural Attorney – Doumar Allsworth Laystrom Voigt Wachs Adair & Dishowitz LLP; Susan Soares, Founder and CEO – The State of Cannabis; Tiffany Yarde; Valda Coryat, CMO – Trulieve
“Pursuing inclusion and diversity in business is not just a way to encourage goodwill. It is a strategic business decision that can literally make or break a company. This is not a wishful, feel-good attempt to make news or have people speak well of the industry. It is truly how we survive — and maybe how we change the world a little bit.” – Nancy Whiteman, Wana Brands CEO
“This quote from the late Helen Keller says it all – ‘Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.'” – Mara Gordon – Founder Aunt Zelda’s
“Women are the “Pillar” of the world but are being left behind in major sectors of our economy especially after the pandemic. It’s time for us to come together as one to claim our spot at the decision-making table!” – Dr. Lola Ohonba PHARM.D.
“It is well known that women are more than good enough to run companies. We need to recognize if we are good enough to do the work, we are good enough to own the work. We need to empower one another, create financial opportunities and invest in each other to become owners and make sure there are women in the C-suite of the companies we work with. This is why.” – Chrystal Ortiz – CEO/Founder Herb & Market Humboldt, High Water Farm
Power & Collaboration Event Topics
The day’s schedule will be broken into ten categories:
- Keynote: EXECUTIVES: How to Use Power in Leadership
- Keynote: MESSAGING: Developing a POWER message for women in cannabis
- Keynote: FINANCE: Women, Money & Power
- Panel: CULTIVATION: Power & Collaboration
- Panel: MANUFACTURING: Power & Collaboration
- Panel: SCIENCE & RESEARCH: Power & Collaboration
- Panel: RETAIL: Power & Collaboration
- Panel: INTERNATIONAL: Power & Collaboration
- Panel: CBD: Power & Collaboration
- Panel: HEMP: Power & Collaboration
Join the all-day live virtual conference on July 21, 2021, at 10 am PST / 1 pm EST – 5 pm PST / 8 pm EST
Don’t miss this incredible event! Register here to attend.