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Hemp - We put that shit on everything.

Posted by Emma Baron on

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Song of the Week - Pusherman by Curtis Mayfield

A tongue-in-cheek celebration of the opening of Ontario’s dispensaries. Also a definite spring come-up. The taste of your first patio visit with friends. A sidewalk strut with an unzipped winter jacket. It’s all coming up Millhouse.

Hemp: We put that shit on everything.
 

We were so excited to learn about all the new technology in textile and clothing production that we hardly touched on hemp and cannabis in our last newsletter. So today we bring you PART DEUX in our sustainable fashion series: Hemp, I put that shit on everything.

 

Now, if your mother was a recycling-obsessed hippie like mine (or if you ARE that mother/father/person), you probably have the eco-guilt following you around every consumer decision corner. You probably try to use a travel thermos as much as you can, you stash away the nice bags from gifts you’ve received to use again, and you think about alternative ways you can recycle or even upcycle items that might otherwise find themselves in the trash.

 

So naturally, when my recycling-obsessed brain was introduced to the world of cannabis, I wondered why we weren’t using all the leftover stem materials from all the cannabis grows to create hemp textiles?

 

The first recorded uses of hemp are all for fibre and textiles. The earliest example of hemp cloth was found in Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq / Iran) in 8,000 BC. In the Middle Ages, hemp was an incredibly important crop for both food and fibre - Sailboats were dependent on it for both rope and sails. We just learned in the research for this newsletter that the word ‘canvas’ comes from cannabis. So there, this is an educational newsletter.

 

It turns out that not all plants from the cannabis and hemp family are good for textiles. Some plants are better for growing the protein-rich hemp hearts that you may enjoy on top of your smoothie bowl. Some plants are best for the therapeutic applications of THC and CBD. Sadly, those leftover stems and stalks from all of the medical and recreational grows across the country can’t be used to make a beautiful linen button-down shirt - yet.

 

We’re hoping a genius will come along soon with a use for the millions of kilos of waste material generated from licensed producers. CBC reported last year that as the regulations currently stand, producers are required to destroy all leftover materials. While it wouldn’t necessarily make the nicest fabric, it could still be used for as a reinforcement material in concrete; fibre in animal feed; or as insulation.

 

While expecting harem pants, hemp hearts, and a high from a single cultivar of cannabis may not be in the cards, hemp that’s grown for fibre still far exceeds other plants grown for fibre in terms of beneficial impacts. Hemp plants require far less water than cotton, and don’t need pesticides or herbicides. Bonus, the cannabis and hemp family of plants are natural soil remediators, sucking up heavy metals and renewing the soil for the next crop.

 

Ultimately, by buying hemp, you’re making a great decision for the planet. We’re just always looking for ways to do better. If you - or someone you know - are the genius working on uses for the waste material generated in the cannabis industry, we’d love to feature you in an upcoming newsletter.

The News

Excellent news: the first seeds are being made available to recreational consumers, just in time for Spring planting season. We would like to make a bit of an objection in regards to how easy the consumer presumes it is to grow a cannabis plant, based on the findings from the Plant Diary section of our previous newsletters. To be fair though, they probably have more backyards in Edmonton than we do in Toronto, making the process much easier than condo growing.
The Social Calendar

Gear up! It’s a full month of activities between the start of Spring, Easter, Earth Day, and Cannabis Christmas.

  • Halifax: The Cannabis Sessions - a one-day series of discussions and activations on education, application, and demystification of recreational cannabis - Saturday, April 6th, 2019
  • Toronto: High Park Sakura Blossoms - Get daily updates on how those buds are poppin’ - Now until early / mid May, weather dependant
  • Vancouver: Moonroot Meditation x Hempology 101 UBC at Blyssful Alchemy - Sunday, April 7th, 2019

  • Toronto: High Time: Legalizing and Regulating Cannabis - A panel discussion at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University that explores how cannabis regulations came to be in Canada, and how our policy making will affect the rest of the world - Monday, April 15th, 2019

  • Calgary: 4th Annual Aboriginal Women’s Health Day - Expert talks covering a range of themes, including a discussion on cannabis and health - Friday, April 26th, 2019
Let us know if you attend any good / bad cannabis events over the month of April - we always like to hear what you're up to.

Cheers,

Emma & Carol
Milkweed website







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