Award-winning filmmaker Josh Hyde’s new documentary American Hemp is now available for free on Amazon Prime and other major streaming platforms. The film chronicles the modern Colorado hemp industry for two years leading up to the 2018 federal Farm Bill legalizing hemp. Leaders of the hemp movement, farmers, Colorado regulators, members of the Oglala Lakota Native American Tribe, and the founders hemp food company, Evo Hemp, all share accounts of how hemp has affected their lives and how it will revolutionize the U.S. agricultural economy.
To watch the trailer click here.
“Over the last 2 years, I’ve been documenting the hemp industry because it is one of the most positive things happening in the U.S. today,” said Hyde whose other films include Postales, My Friend’s Rubber Ducky, and Chicle. “The goal of American Hemp is to show a group of people of all races, colors and creeds coming together to create a working solution to a problem society has failed to solve– bringing high-paying agricultural jobs to poor rural communities.”
One of the film’s main characters is hemp activist and former president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe of the Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota, Alex White Plume. Twenty years ago, he was one of the first Americans to openly plant, cultivate, and produce hemp within the borders of the United States since it was prohibited by federal anti-drug laws in 1968. White Plume has partnered with Evo Hemp whose distribution chain has made his Native American-grown hemp available in thousands of retail outlets, and he is now planning a hemp industrial park full of diversified local hemp businesses, and processing centers for tribal growers.
““As a sovereign nation here, if you buy hemp from us it’s legalized by the Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe, not the state of South Dakota,” said White Plume. “There’s a big difference, this is a sovereign hemp.”
The 2018 Farm Bill opened the doors to a hemp boom when it removed the non-psychoactive hemp plant from the controlled drug category where marijuana resides. Hemp is now legally acknowledged as a farm commodity like corn, wheat and soybeans.
“American Hemp gets behind the front lines of the next agricultural evolution,” said Evo Hemp Co-Founder Ari Sherman. “The film tracks the raw hemp from the fields to the shelves of American grocery stores. Along the way, Evo Hemp partners with Alex White Plume of the Oglala Lakota Tribe to create the first Native American hemp products in the United States.”
By the end of 2019, Colorado Department of Agriculture projections anticipate Colorado could have around 50,000 acres of hemp. That’s up from 1,811 acres cultivated in 2014, when the first modern hemp was grown. The demand for CBD oil, the non-psychoactive derivative of hemp, is the biggest driver of the demand for hemp in Colorado and across the nation. Leading cannabis researchers BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research, projects that the collective market for CBD sales in the U.S. will surpass $20 billion by 2024.