Industrial Hemp: A Sustainable Alternative
The Bronner family is committed to helping transition our major industries away from polluting, unsustainable materials and methods to cleaner, more sustainable ones. Hemp’s excellent fiber can replace virgin timber pulp in paper, glass fibers in construction and automotive composites, and pesticide-intensive cotton in textiles. Because of its huge market potential and high biomass/cellulose content, hemp is an ideal future crop for producing bio-ethanol and bio-plastics. However, the U.S. government, alone among the major industrialized nations, effectively prohibits domestic hemp cultivation — due primarily to “reefer madness” and confusion regarding hemp’s psychoactive cousin, “marijuana.”
Industrial hemp is the non-psychoactive varieties of the Cannabis plant grown for fiber and seed. Hemp has a remarkable number of beneficial uses, and we support its application in agriculture, manufacturing and trade. Dr. Bronner’s uses hemp oil as a superfatting ingredient in all our soaps because of its unsurpassed essential fatty acid (EFA) content. Hemp oil makes our soap lather smoother and less drying, and it is an excellent moisturizer in our lotions and balms.
In 2001, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) under the Bush administration attempted to destroy the revitalized U.S. hemp industry, issuing regulations purporting to interpret existing law and declaring hemp illegal, and seized shipments of hemp seed and oil at the Canadian border. Dr. Bronner’s funded and helped coordinate the hemp industry’s protracted and ultimately successful litigation with the DEA, which culminated in a clean defeat of the new DEA regulations on February 6, 2004 in the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. David Bronner serves on the Vote Hemp Board of Directors and is involved with the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) where he currently serves on the Board of Advisors and as Chair of the Food & Oil Committee.
The Bronner family is supporting Vote Hemp and the HIA’s legal, media, grassroots and lobbying efforts to re-commercialize industrial hemp in the U.S. Dr. Bronner’s is also the founding sponsor of Hemp History Week, an annual campaign launched in May of 2010. Hemp History Week is the largest national grassroots marketing and public education effort created to renew strong support for hemp farming in the U.S. and raise awareness about the benefits of a hemp economy.