By Kristen Schell
The legalization of marijuana in Washington and Colorado has helped revitalize the conversation about the wide-ranging varieties and uses of the cannabis plant, including its medicinal properties and the cultivation of industrial hemp.
Although hemp lacks the psychoactive THC of its marijuana cousin, cultivation remains largely outlawed in the United States. However, as the taboo of marijuana is disappearing, so too are some of the restrictions against hemp, allowing the U.S. to move closer to building mills that can produce hemp yarn and other goods.
What does this mean for the future of retail? The answer is simple: hemp could become a primary resource for a wide range of consumer goods due to its versatility.
Richard Dash, founder of Dash Hemp and a board member for the Hemp Industry Association, said he believes the industrialization of hemp will become mainstream within the next five to seven years in America.
“This country was founded on industrial hemp. … It’s a vital part of our history, a vital part of our heritage,” Dash told Marijuana Venture. “It’s a vital part of our planet.”
Dash’s passion for hemp began in Eugene, Ore. in 1997. He spent two days at a hemp festival, conversing among hemp enthusiasts. His background in clothing, having founded a line of women’s apparel in Hawaii in the 1970s among other endeavors, combined with his newfound interest in hemp, led him to decide industrial hemp was going to play an integral role in his future. It was this excursion that led to Dash Hemp (www.dashhemp.com), an upscale retail company with beautiful detailing and a wide variety of clothing styles.
The pros of using hemp yarn over other traditional fibers, such as cotton or polyester, are endless. It is lightweight, has paradoxical temperature regulation and requires minimal washing due to its anti-microbial properties.
Hemp is used differently from marijuana, although they are both derived from the cannabis plant. Hemp can be used to make a number of different products (soaps, lip balms, clothing, building materials, food, etc.), making it incredibly versatile. It is important to know that THC is not present in any quantity that will induce a high from consumption. Hemp can be grown organically in virtually any climate, and naturally suppresses weeds. It can also produce more pulp than timber.
“Hemp is something everyone can get behind,” Dash said.
Dash has all of his hemp grown and produced in China. He prioritizes the quality of the work environment for his employees, takes care of the mom-and-pop shops, and cares about the consumer. Dash Hemp, which is based out of Santa Cruz, Calif., is a humanitarian company with a drive to pave the way for future hemp retailers to come.