WV Hemp: The Importance of Local Food

There has been a lot of interest in 2016 surrounding Cannabis Sativa L (industrial hemp) being grown in West Virginia legally – under section 7606 of the Farm Bill (2014). Although it is a great stride to progress this new industry – it honestly does not matter in the context of society if the products are not going to market, and the farmers growing in West Virginia are investing with the hopes that a proof of concept can be shown. That we can, in fact, grow this new industry for farmers and the economy of our state alike.

There are already hemp products being sold locally throughout West Virginia – Chinese twine, Chinese clothing blends, Nepali textiles, Canadian foods, ect. The problem with imported products is that they consequently require more energy, time, and money during transportation. Domestic business makes sense, most of the time, but sometimes businesses would rather side with economy of scale whenever importing their supply of products as opposed to sourcing domestically. And with textiles, this may be okay going into the third year of hemp production in the United States while supply chains are being developed.

BUT, it does not make sense to source hemp foods from anywhere other than domestically. By being a hemp advocate or business person in the United States, to directly compete with domestic farmers is contradictory to the sustainable advocacy the entire industry has begun to adopt. How can we expect this industry to flourish, if business scattered throughout the United States are supporting foreign farmers instead of the farmer down the road?

If you carry food products in your store, or if you would like to learn where to obtain hemp food sourced from the Appalachian region, such as hemp seed, hemp hearts, hemp oil, hemp protein, etc., send us an email at wvfarmerscoop@gmail.com – we would be happy to direct you!



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