Candi Penn, the executive director of the Hemp Industries Association and director of VoteHemp, Inc., spoke to the FSU community on behalf of hemp legalization last week.
lectured on the environmental benefits of hemp
...Hemp advocate Candi Penn extolled the virtues of hemp use to help protect the environment last week in Florida State University's State Ballroom. Penn, the executive director of the Hemp Industries Association and the director of VoteHemp, Inc., discussed the multitude of uses for hemp and hemp seeds and the ways in which she claims using hemp can help to protect the planet's dwindling natural resources.
"Basically anything you can make out of a petrochemical you can make out of hemp," Penn
Currently, it is illegal to grow hemp in the United States, although importation is legal.Its growth was encouraged by the government as recently as World War II, but was cut off after the end of the war. Penn
feels the current ban is due to the misconception that hemp is the same as marijuana and law enforcement's unwillingness to distinguish between the two.
"The Chinese are the leaders right now as far as hemp textiles go," Penn
said."They blend hemp with cottons, silks and even Lycra to make all types of garments."
A self-proclaimed "nature lover," Penn
explained that the average growth cycle of a hemp plant is 90 days, versus the 50 to 100 years it takes for trees to mature.For this reason, hemp is a more readily renewable source for the manufacturing of things like paper or building materials.The use of hemp for building materials is just starting to be explored in the United States, but it is not yet widely accessible due to the hemp ban.
"If hemp is going to be used for building materials, it has to be grown locally and processed locally to make it cost-effective," Penn
mission is to educate the public about the many uses of hemp and how to incorporate hemp use into daily life.
"The best thing you can do for the hemp industry is buy hemp products, like T-shirts, snack bars or paper," Penn
said."Hemp products are becoming more available and more affordable every day.People just have to seek them out or ask for them."
Representatives of FSU NORML, the sponsor of the event, said that they hope the lecture served to educate students about the issue.
"I was glad that Candi
provided some new information about what kinds of hemp products are available, because buying hemp is one of the biggest ways to support the hemp movement right now," said Heather Anesta, FSU sophomore and assistant director of FSU NORML