Interview by Thomas Ivory, Jr
A world-class adventure writer and investigative journalist, Doug Fine has become the written word, the radio voice, and the smiling face of not only his sustainable realizations, and his drug policy work, Fine is also the world-wide reporter for Industrial Hemp.
Author of a handful of books including, Hemp Bound, a world-wide field research novel, and his latest essay, First Legal Harvest, Fine tours the world speaking about his findings.
The NOCO Hemp Expo is excited to have such an insightful and entertaining Industrial Hemp activist as Doug Fine to emcee the event.
He was able to unbury himself from endless journalism duties for a moment to be on the other side of the table and reply to a few e-mailed questions.
(NOCO) First off, congratulations on getting the emcee gig for the 2015 NOCO Hemp Expo. Your free-spirit and humorous attitude is reflected in your writing. Is this also true in your stage presence? How do you pull it off?
(Doug Fine) Thanks, that’s a lot of kindness in one question. I feel lucky to have a performance outlet. It’s part of who I am. And the narrative voice in my nonfiction is very much me — usually investigating something new on a topic that feels important (sustainability, drug peace, hemp’s return to humanity), and getting in over my head. Not a bad career when every trip to the emergency room is tax deductible. When it comes to hemp/cannabis, the story line is about re-learning hemp processing (with teachers from Slovenia to Kentucky) and jumpstarting, in the real economy an ancient industry that can seamlessly reemerge in the digital age. The model I’m putting forth is called Tri-Cropping, and I’ll be talking about it at the Expo.
(NOCO) Last year the Expo was held at a large bar in Windsor, CO. This year the event is held at the much larger Ranch Events Complex in Loveland, CO. Does this new venue illustrate the quickly growing awareness about Industrial Hemp? And who is becoming more interested?
(DF) The hemp situation is evolving so fast it is safe to say it’s developing by the day. I got these replies to you in between discussing European hemp seed imports vis a vis current federal law and writing a hemp-printed monograph about last season’s First Legal Harvest. All that while homeschooling and milking goats. Oh, and working on hemp legislation in my home state of New Mexico.
(NOCO) At NoCo you will be releasing a new piece of writing, First Legal Harvest (and pre-order is on now at dougfine.com). The 20-page monograph reports the world’s 2014 Industrial Hemp harvest. Since before your first book in 2004, you have written a lot about sustainability. How has Industrial Hemp most enlightened you about sustainability? And how do you foresee the plant being utilized in the future?
(DF) Hemp has spurred a model by which I believe rural communities can be successful in the digital age. It’s just human survival. No big deal. First Legal Harvest’s subtitle is: Game On For An Industry: A hemp-printed report from the world’s agricultural cannabis fields and the digital age industries they are already supplying as farming communities prepare for something strange: affluence through local vertical economies.
(NOCO) Final question: Are we too late? Even with the help from Industrial Hemp, is humanity doomed?
(DF) Nope. I’ve never been so bullish about humanity’s climate mitigation project and overall future. That’s why I’m calling this year’s live events “The 2015 #FirstLegalHarvest/#HempBound Tour: What Would Doctor Bronner Do?” Because success in this effort is contingent on the kind of successful business that, for example, works entirely with organic and fairly traded materials and pays its CEO five times the lowest paid worker.