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Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Hemp is the health, wealth and security of this country”. During World War II, the U.S. Department of Agriculture had a “hemp for victory” campaign to encourage farmers to grow the plant. Yet illogical fears about the dangers of marijuana led to the passage of laws such as the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 and the Controlled Substance Act of 1970 that severely discouraged farmers from growing hemp.

On this episode of Let’s Be Blunt, Montel talks with Matthew Harmon, the author of “Marijuana Hater’s Guide to Making a Billion Dollars From Hemp”. Matthew is a seasoned real estate executive with a sharp eye for viable commercial and retail business ventures. When California decriminalized cannabis, business opportunities increased as prospective tenants took advantage of its new status. Researching the new industry, he was shocked to learn that hemp was classified as a Schedule One controlled substance at that time, despite the fact that it contains minimal amounts of the psychotropic ingredient in cannabis and cannot be used to get high. He educated himself on industrial hemp’s historical significance, its thousands of commercial uses, and the plant’s potential to support or replace current diminishing resources, and concluded that hemp seemed a far more impactful and sustainable business investment than cannabis. That set him on a mission to expose why industrial hemp had been criminalized for decades, and to lift the illogical and arbitrary laws that left the United States with a $78 million hemp trade deficit.