A Hemp Story
by David Chick for the Donnybrook Hemp Information Seminar Feb 2018
iHempWA isn’t the first hemp association in WA, one of our members alerted us to the fact and shared with us a newsletter from 2002. The Hemp Association of Western Australia Inc. (HAWAI) was spreading the good word about cannabis more than 15 years ago. I don’t yet know why HAWAI folded or wasn’t discovered during my research to establish iHempWA, but I trust that in time all will be revealed and on display in the Hemp Museum, at the Western Australian Hemp Emporium.
Purposefully located adjacent the first, of many, hemp processing facilities in the central SW corner. The Emporium of course is built of hemp, not a house of sticks and green leaves but a beautiful, durable, healthy, breathing building of; hempcrete, hemp fibreboard, hemp plastics, using hemp paints and hemp glass. Where school kids arrive by the bus load to visit the education centre and tour the facility; they learn the true story of cannabis; make their own hemp paper; sample healthy hemp foods and beverages, while they view the hemp seed being cold pressed for oil; walk through a greenhouse propagating seedlings and out into a field of hemp towering over their heads to experience the natural serenity availed by the living plants; then through the harvesting display and into the huge decortication shed and up to the viewing platform, where they are safely protected from the noise and dust; before a visit to the pyrolysis shed, where all unused biomass is utilised to produce biochar and energy (gas, fuel), reducing carbon emissions; through the paper, textile and plastics sheds; coming full circle and wide eyed back to collect their now dry self made hemp paper to take home with the stories of their excursion to the WA Hemp Emporium.
In the museum we pay tribute to the brave forward thinkers and doers, the innovators and the early adopters of the new/old hemp paradigm. The first 3D hemp printing machine brought into WA looks antique as do the first portable and crudely modified decorticators. The informative, inspiring and beautiful interactive audiovisual journey; will take us back thousands of years to humanities earliest recorded hemp history; through time to the industrial revolution, the Schlichten Decorticator 1919 and Henry Ford’s car; through the relatively recent marijuana prohibition conspiracy in the late 20’s and early 30’s; to the inevitable dawning of a green new world as humanity collectively wakes up to the true potential of the cannabis plant.
The Hemp Emporium is a place where people from around the world come, most just for a brief holiday experience, but some for a long term collaborative experience, contracting us to help them implement our successful model in their country and grow their own hemp industry. It’s the place where hemp Expos and Conferences take place.
It’s a place where us big kids can access locally grown and manufactured hemp produce; health giving foods and beverages so delicious they haven’t been invented yet, toxin free wellness and body treatments and products, locally grown and manufactured hemp apparel and textiles with our unique creative WA style, paper products yet to be imagined, all manner of biodegradable hemp plastic products and more. It’s a Hemp market place. It’s a Hemp cafe/licenced restaurant/bar. It’s a place where we can celebrate life and the freedom to eat and drink nutritious hemp foods and consume healing cannabis products. It’s the Western Australian Hemp Emporium.
There is no ethical, environmentally sustainable industry that won’t benefit and grow with the hemp boom. Hemp provides the winter grain farmers a summer rotation crop alternative to help rebuild the soil, bringing people back to farming communities. Hemp processing neatly fits into the empty niche left by the all but dead unsustainable old growth timber industry providing employment opportunities. Access to the processed raw products; Bast, Hurd, Seed, fresh and dried Flowers and Extracts will provide the foundations for a myriad of product manufacturing dreams and ideas to be realised here in WA.
Industrial Hemp in Western Australia, the time is now!!! 15 years from now… I trust our association will survive me and have a head office in the Hemp Emporium. iHempWA will be the go to organisation working together, with our large membership of social seed, business grow and corporate harvest members, supporting and working together, with all hemp industry stakeholders, for a better world.