© 2023 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

O'Fallon, Missouri-Based Author Of 'American Hemp' Sees Big Potential For The Newly Legalized Crop

Jen Hobbs is the author of "American Hemp: How Growing Our Newest Cash Crop Can Improve Our Health, Clean Our Environment, And Slow Climate Change."
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

In December 2018, O’Fallon, Missouri-based author Jen Hobbs was about to hand off the full manuscript for her now-released book arguing for the legalization and potential of hemp. Then something completely unexpected happened in Washington.

“The 2018 Farm Bill passed with hemp legalization from the federal government, and they did that right in the middle of the government shutdown,” Hobbs recalled on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air. “So it was pretty miraculous.”

Since hemp had long been listed among Schedule 1 narcotics, Hobbs had some significant revising to do before publishing “American Hemp: How Growing Our Newest Cash Crop Can Improve Our Health, Clean Our Environment, And Slow Climate Change,” which was released this week.

But the policy change has her even more convinced of her argument in the book – that the time is ripe for building a full-fledged hemp industry in America.

Hobbs made her case in conversation with St. Louis Public Radio reporter Jeremy D. Goodwin, who also asked her about some of the similarities and distinctions between marijuana and hemp, which are both varieties of cannabis.

“The two plants are different genetically … the marijuana plant is strictly used for that euphoric purpose, whereas the hemp plant has always been used for industrial purposes,” the author explained. “The stalk of the plant actually has these fibers in it that can be used for all different products, from paper, to rope … [to] plastics and as a substitute for carbon fiber.”

“And then obviously it’s also used for food purposes – the seeds of the hemp plant [can] be found in the grocery store” and in health-food stores, she added.

The interview also touched on Hobbs’ work with former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, with whom she co-authored the 2016 book “Jesse Ventura’s Marijuana Manifesto: How Lies, Corruption, And Propaganda Kept Cannabis Illegal.”

Take a listen:

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. “St. Louis on the Air” producers Alex Heuer, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Jon Lewis give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.

Stay Connected
Evie was a producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.
Ways To Subscribe