I was born and raised in rural Lexington, Kentucky, which is where my passion for hemp first began. When I was 8, my father worked with Woody Harrelson and others in hopes to influence the U.S. federal government to distinguish between industrial hemp and marijuana plant varieties. The government was not swayed, however it intrigued me enough to question the bounds of U.S. law and later fight for industrial hemp’s revival.
In college, I researched the topic, trying to contact writers and researchers on the subject. I tore through the books in William T. Young library trying to find any information- old or new, on the subject. I found there was lots of information online but it seemed extremely difficult to separate fact from fiction or over-exaggeration. After receiving my bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Kentucky, I moved to California to study for my master’s at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. While working towards two master’s degrees in international environmental policy and business administration, I focused all papers and projects possible on the legalization of industrial hemp in the United States.
Through constant wonderment and research I have been able to interview a DEA agent, the director of the national marijuana initiative, THC testers, processing engineers, growers, manufacturers, hemp industry directors and lobbyists. I have worn the clothes, eaten the food, taken a professional course on industrial hemp building, toured research-oriented and commercial farms, and seen its ‘cousin’ plant.
In May, I received a U.S. Fulbright Scholarship to study the hemp in Canada, which brings me to today. Based in Calgary, I studied the environmental footprint from raw material to disposal for using industrial hemp as a building material. It was a truly hempified experience (hempified, adj. to be completely immersed in the study of industrial hemp), studying a fully commercialized hemp industry before it was legal in the United States, while being fully funding by the US Department of State.
While I was in Canada, the 2014 Farm Bill legalized hemp for research purposes, so after my research and graduating graduate school, I moved back home to Kentucky to start my own hempire.
You can learn more about what I have been up to (it’s a lot) since then at Think Hempy Thoughts
Love and hempiness,