About the Hemp Local Supply Chain Coalition
The Hemp LSC Coalition is comprised of local farmers, entrepreneurs, researchers, investors, advocates, and policy makers dedicated to building a just, sustainable, and locally-based hemp industry in Pennsylvania, one which will bring greater prosperity to our communities and increase local self-reliance in food, fiber, textiles, and building materials.
Hemp is a miracle plant – cultivated by humans for over 10,000 years to make into a wide variety of useful products, including food, medicine, paper, textiles, clothing, shoes, biodegradable plastics, rope, insulation, building material, biofuel, and animal feed, to name a few. The Declaration of Independence was written on hemp, colonial ships used hemp sails, and Betsy Ross made the first US flag from hemp.
Hemp is a fast-growing plant, resistance to pests, disease and weeds and has a very high tolerance to drought. It is remarkable in carbon sequestration, and remediation and restoration of soil. It can be used to clear impurities out of wastewater, even to clean contaminants at the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site. Yet with all these uses and benefits, hemp has been illegal in the US for 50 years, and in many states for 80 or more years, with the roots of prohibition back as far as 1906. It's relative, marijuana has a psychoactive component (THC). Though the THC content of hemp is miniscule and not enough to be psychoactive, it has been outlawed along with its relative. Many are suspicious that competing economic interests led to prohibition, such as in the timber, cotton and polyester businesses, which feared competition in the paper, building material and textile/clothing industries.
In 2018, the US Farm Bill removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act and deemed hemp an agricultural commodity, no longer mistaken as a controlled substance. At this point, the world-leading producer of hemp is China, which produces more than 70% of the world output. Because of prohibition, there is little foundation for the hemp industry in the US to build on, including access to seeds, processing equipment and know-how. However, it does now provide the opportunity to build a just, sustainable and locally based hemp industry from scratch.
What We Do
Founding Hemp Coalition Members
- Caitlin Watts, Hemp Coalition Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ron Kander, Dean, Kanbar College of Design, Engineering & Commerce, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia
- Heidi Secord, President, PA Farmers Union, www.pafarmersunion.org, Owner, Josie Porter Farm, www.josieporterfarm.com, Stroudsburg, Monroe Co
- Patrick Murphy, CEO, Nearing Nirvana LLC, wholesaler, CBD products www.nearingnirvana.com, Phoenixville, Chester County
- Drew Oberholtzer, Co-founder/partner Coexist, hemp farmer and hemp design/builder www.coexist.build, Blandon, Berks County
- Ana Konopitskaya, Co-founder/partner Coexist, hemp farmer and hemp design/builder, www.coexist.build, Blandon, Berks County
- Cameron McIntosh, President, Americhanvre, hempcrete installer, cast hemp planter production, www.americhanvre.com, Allentown, Lehigh County
- Jeff Tkach, Chief Growth Officer, Rodale Institute, www.rodaleinstitute.org, Emmaus, Lehigh County
- Cherron Perry-Thomas, Co-founder, Diasporic Alliance for Cannabis Opportunities (DACO), www.wearedaco.com, PA President Minorities For Medical Marijuana, Inc, Philadelphia
- E. Oneal Latimore, Founder, The Vaulted Group, www.TheVaultedGroup.com, business consulting, Philadelphia
- Eric White, owner, Mountain Dale Farm, Occult Organix, Monroe County
- Ben Davies, owner Wild Fox Farm and Wild Fox Provisions www.wildfoxprovisions.com, Berks County
- Judy Wicks, founder, All Together Now PA, Philadelphia
What citizens can do to support Pennsylvania industrial hemp
Buy Hemp Products
Because hemp has been illegal for so long, we have few local hemp products, but here are some and more are under development.
Susquehanna Mills, Muncy, PA, hemp oil for cooking and salads, full circle fryer oil (used oil which is used for biofuel). Also sells hemp soap. susquehannamills.com
Wild Fox Provisions, Barto, PA wildfoxprovisions.com (grows their own hemp)
Nearing Nirvana, Phoenixville, PA, nearingnirvan.com
Farmacy Partners, York, PA, farmacypartners.com
Hemp clothes and textiles:
To our knowledge, there are currently no locally produced hemp textiles, but we hope that dirt-to-shirt supply chains will develop and we will keep you posted. A good source of information on the development of US hemp textiles is Fibershed.com.
Advocate for local hemp:
Encourage your state senator and representative to pass legislation that supports local supply chains and locally owned farms, processors and manufacturers of hemp products. If you sign up for our mailing list, we will notify you of hemp bills in the state legislature.
Invest in local hemp:
With partner organizations, we will be sponsoring pitch nights for introducing hemp businesses to investors. Announcements will go out to our mailing list.
Want to get involved in the Hemp Local Supply Chain Coalition?