Hello friends! We have had so much going on at the lab that it’s been hard to sit down and write a blog. It’s been 6 months of grinding away at extraction with our new equipment in the lab, figuring out our learning curve, and getting to know the farmers in the region.
As many of you know, last year was a rollercoaster for the hemp industry in North Carolina as we were fighting the SB315 Farm Bill which included a very troubling smokable hemp ban. There will be more on this to come in another blog, but basically the Simply team fought very hard along with other industry leaders to get this bill pushed back. It has recently been gutted of all hemp provisions! A huge win for NC hemp.
A smokable hemp ban would have been absolutely hard on the hemp farmers that have poured so much time and money in their crops, yes. But also – what was troubling about this bill and the way that legislators were talking about it, is that they were so concerned about the bill defacto legalizing all cannabis in the state. We were appalled to hear old school conservative legislators like Jimmy Dickson spewing Reefer Madness rhetoric, who was so concerned about law enforcement’s ability to properly distinguish between hemp and marijuana, often throwing them both together as “gateway drugs infesting our community”. This type of thinking is dangerous not only to the economy of the south but to Black and Brown communities as well. We all know that minorities are disproportionately targeted by law enforcement and although we weren’t surprised, we were furious at the rhetoric being thrown around surrounding cannabis by the legislators that are supposed to represent us.
A couple months ago, Melanie stumbled upon a new advocacy organization that touches on this very topic. In fact, they dont just touch on it – they get in there and release non-violent cannabis prisoners! They are called the Last Prisoner Project and their goal is to release every single last cannabis prisoner on the planet.
Taken from their website:
“As the United States moves away from the criminalization of
cannabis, giving rise to a major new industry, there remains
the fundamental injustice inflicted upon those who have
suffered criminal convictions and the consequences of those
convictions. Through intervention, advocacy, and awareness
campaigns the Last Prisoner Project works to redress the
past and continuing harms of these unjust laws and policies.
Our approach: Full freedom
Intervention: The Last Prisoner Project focuses on three key criminal justice
reform initiatives: clemency, expungement, and reentry. A core
focus of the project will be to release incarcerated individuals.
Data shows, however, that released inmates are destined to
fail without the proper resources in place. Reentry can be
incredibly difficult for released prisoners, and two- thirds of
released prisoners will be arrested again within three years.
Additionally, a criminal record can be a significant barrier to
employment, housing, financial assistance, and more.
Advocacy: LPP is seizing on the current momentum surrounding criminal
justice reform to promote legislation that ensures that all
cannabis prisoners walk free. The Last Prisoner Project
advocates on the state and federal level in the U.S. and around
the globe on behalf of those criminalized for the use of
Awareness: The Project also leverages connections with celebrity
influencers, entertainers, and musicians to spread public
awareness about our mission. We host events as well as
participate in industry conferences, trade shows, and music
festivals to educate citizens and industry participants about
the problem and our reform efforts.”
If you’re interested in supporting this cause, feel free to purchase a donation on our website! If you are local to Asheville, there are 4 dispensaries with a convenient donation box:
Carolina Hemp Company – 290 Haywood Rd #002, Asheville, NC 28806
Asheville Dispensary – 919 Haywood Rd #111, Asheville, NC 28806
Two Moons CBD South – 2144 Hendersonville Rd suite e, Arden, NC 28704 Asheville Hemp Farms – 28 N Lexington Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Visit their website at www.lastprisonerproject.org