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Asian Hemp Summit: It’s all about Perspective

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Asian Hemp Summit: It’s all about Perspective

by Rick Trojan

Today I’m sitting at the base of Machapuchare (aka Fish Tail Mountain) in the Himalayas, one of the three sacred mountains in the Hindu religion, and the apparent residence of Shiva. To us Westerners and “round eyes,” it’s the Mount Olympus of the Hindi. I spent the last few days hiking the mountains after the Asian Hemp Summit, which Morris Beegle and I attended, spoke at, and ROCKED!  We brought the magic of karaoke to Nepal, and Morris sang his first karaoke ever – Black Sabbath’s War Pigs – and I rocked some Jack Black & Vanilla Ice… ice baby!

The conference was not only enlightening and educational, but provided opportunity for networking with leaders of 25+ countries.  As I listened and learned, I had one main takeaway – It’s all about perspective!  That’s exactly what Let’s Talk Hemp and the 422 podcast brings, a variety of perspectives.

Machapuchare, one of the three holy mountains for the Hindu religion, stands tall at 6,993 meters (22,943 feet) and its left sided neighbor, Annapurna South, stands 7,219 m (23,684 ft), over 600 feet higher. Sitting here I can plainly see that Annapurna South is higher than Fish Tail. However, during my hike down from and around Fish Tail, it clearly looked like the taller mountain. The reality is, the mountain altitude didn’t change, but my viewpoint did; making the smaller mountain seem higher.

The same holds true for our industry.  With all the recent changes, the 2018 Agricultural Act and FDA interference, it’s easy to lose perspective on the industry and market. As an American, I’m raised to believe that my country is the leader of the world, which includes cannabis. However, after attending the event with Morris in Kathmandu, I realized that my perspective is skewed. In fact, China holds more than 50% of the patents on cannabis, India has been growing and using this plant for eons, and Japan is realizing the economic benefit of its fiber, food and dietary supplement.

America, I realized, has a lot to learn from other countries regarding cannabis. We are not the tallest mountain. But we are the largest market.

It’s with these new glasses that we return to USA and launch Let’s Talk Hemp Season 2 – Changing the Cannabis Conversation. It’s time to embrace the knowledge that Morris and I have gathered during our international speaking engagements – be it Colombia (March 2018), Balkannabis in Athens (June 2018), the European Industrial Hemp Association conference (Cologne, Germany 2018), Japanese exploration (November 2018) and the Asian Hemp Summit (Nepal, Feb 2019).

Meeting folks from India, China, Japan, Nepal, Poland, the Netherlands, Tasmania and 18 other countries helps provide unique perspective. This is the perspective that we’re bringing to Season 2 of the podcast, launching Feb 22, 2019.  

Rick Trojan is Founder of the Hemp Road Trip, VP of the Hemp Industries Association, Director of Vote Hemp, Director of the Industrial Hemp Research Foundation, and with Morris Beegle is co-host of the Let’s Talk Hemp Podcast.

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