Author, Zack DiLiberto

Meet Zack DiLiberto, co-author of the new book, Hemp the Novel. It’s a historic novel that tells the story about how hemp came to be criminalized in the US when big oil and petrochemical realized hemp was a threat to the demand for their products:

With [...] breakthroughs in hemp-processing, and rumors of Henry Ford’s ‘hemp-mobile’ materializing, hemp is now an imminent threat to Big Oil and its allies. The war on hemp begins.
Acting solely to further their own interests, a conspiracy of powerful, greedy tycoons such as Andrew Mellon, Du Pont, and William Randolph Hearst, and their fanatical, federal pawn systematically outlawed the industrial hemp plant, and with it, the world’s greenest, cheapest, alternative source to petrochemical and tree-paper products. They got away with it, unchallenged, for 74 years . . . and counting!

Recently got a chance to ask Zack some questions about Hemp — both the plant and the novel. He talked about education is the key to legalizing industrial hemp, and discussed the environmental and economic incentives for doing so. So without further ado…

HempNotes: How did you first develop an interest in hemp?
Zack DeLiberto: It was almost as if we were meant to be part of the industrial hemp movement. People started ‘talking hemp’ to my co-author, Nini Martino, and me at around the same time. We both jumped in with both feet, did a lot of research, shared notes, and decided right away: “This is a story that needs to be told, and we’re going to tell it!”

HN: What do you see as the main barrier to legalizing hemp-farming in the U.S (e.g. public education, private interests/lobbies, legislative chauvinism, etc.)?
ZD: Ignorance. Plain and simple. People do not realize there is a distinct difference between industrial hemp and the drug marijuana. The tricky part about the ignorance surrounding industrial hemp is that it is not an accident. What few people are aware of, including many college professors, is that the destruction of the American Hemp Industry can be traced back to a small group of very powerful and well-connected men from the Big Oil, Petrochemical, and Newspaper industries. These men realized that with advancements in the processing of industrial hemp, which had been grown and used in the US since the days of its colonization, their own industries could soon be obsolete. So, they conspired together over 75 years ago to make hemp-farming illegal through a highly-sensationalized smear campaign that falsly equated industrial hemp with the drug marijuana. To this day, most people have no idea that industrial hemp and marijuana are entirely different from each other and that there are almost zero drug properties in hemp.

Hemp - The Novel

This misunderstanding is coupled today with the nearly forgotten history of hemp in the United States. Most people have no idea that in 1941 Henry Ford had already developed a car that ran solely on hemp fuel and was constructed from hemp plastic. Furthermore, few people know that the Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper, “The Star Spangled Banner” on a hemp envelope, and that the first American flag was sewn by Betsy Ross using hemp cloth. In fact, many of our Founding Fathers, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, grew their own hemp crops and firmly believed that hemp must be a staple crop in our countries advancement from independence. Needless to say, there is a lot about hemp in the United States that is either unknown or misunderstood, and we are convinced that raising public awareness on these issues and correcting the falicies that surround this industry are the best way to get the pro-hemp movement towards a tipping point. Once the ignorance about hemp is cured, voters will undoubtably demand a change in the laws and the green revolution we describe in our book will finally be realized. We see it coming; and we’re excited to be part of the process.

HN: Do you think there are significant economic incentives to legalizing hemp production?
ZD: Of course! Hemp can become the New Big Oil! The renewable, home-grown, non-polluting alternative to OPEC! What better incentive could there be? Hemp can replace virtually every petro-chemical product in existence. And then there’s the textiles, the paper and building-materials, and even food! These are all green industries, creating green jobs. They’re doing it successfully today in every industrialized nation except the USA! It’s insane!

HN: What do you think is hemp’s biggest environmental potential?
ZD: It’s hard to choose. The list is huge. You need to check out our HEMP FACTS page. But if I have to choose, I’d say the reduction of the world’s carbon imprint by switching from petroleum to biomass-fuel. Burning hemp oil does not contribute to acid rain or global warming, and any pollution it does produce is offset by growing it. A close second and third would be switching from tree-pulp paper and cotton textiles to cleaner, greener hemp paper and cloth. Again go to for details.

HN: What is your favorite hemp-based product?
ZD: We’ve got this vision of the next edition of our book being printed on American grown and manufactured hemp paper!


Get 5lbs of Free Hemp Seeds

by Jason Laloux on July 17, 2011

So Manitoba Harvest is having a special for the month of July where shoppers can get a free 5lbs container of certified organic hemp seeds if they spend $250 or more — a $75 value! Now, I know, $250 seems like a lot, but so is 5lbs of hemp seeds.

As their newsletter explains, all you have to do is use the coupon code Free5seed11 at checkout:

These tiny hemp seeds pack a powerful punch of protein, omegas and fiber. Not only are hemp seeds easy to incorporate into any meal they, taste delicious too! Did you know Dr. Oz even refers to hemp seed as ‘Brain Food’?

Our hemp seeds are a raw, vegan-friendly, whole food that contains no additives or preservatives! Manitoba Harvest only sources seed that has not been genetically modified.

How It Works:
When you add $250 worth of any Manitoba Harvest products to your cart and enter the code Free5seed11 we’ll automatically add the free 5lb container to your cart.

Hemp seeds are not only a great source of protein, but of iron, but omega fatty acids as well. They also contain all 10 essential amino acids. They also have a nutty flavor that’s a great compliment to just about any salad, shake, or any other kind of recipe you think of. For some ideas on what you can do with hemp seeds, just check out our recipe section, and then visit Manitoba Harvest and use the coupon code Free5seed11 to get your free 5lbs container of organic hemp seed today.


California Senate Approves Hemp Farming Bill

June 23, 2011

It looks like the Californian Senate has brought hemp farming that much closer to a reality in the Golden State. Senate Bill SB 676 still has a few hurdles to clear, but so far, things are looking up. As the lobby group Vote Hemp just announced in a newsletter: On May 18th the California Senate [...]

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Fighting Rising Global Commodity Prices

January 9, 2011

Global commodity prices rise are on the rise, driving up the price of all staples, from food to coffee to cotton. These increases have been severe enough that they even have some G20 leaders worried about food security. On the cotton front, hemp fibers could help consumers save on their clothing purchases. But if hemp [...]

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Why to Choose Hemp Over Cotton

September 29, 2010

Came across this interesting article on Hemp vs Cotton. It’s just another reminder of how the plant is not only extrememly versatile, but can how, once again, it’s an extremely eco-friendlier alternative to a very environmentally damaging crop. Here were some key points: It takes about 1,400 gallons of water to produce just 1 pound [...]

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Hemp Nuts on a Plane

August 9, 2010

There’s been discussion, lately, about airlines banning peanuts because of allergy concerns. But could you imagine what would air travel be like without those single serving bags of honey roasted peanuts? Well, Richard Davis can. According to FlashNews, Mr. Davis has created hemp nuts, and he thinks they might have a future in the air [...]

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Hemp & Honey Bran Muffins

June 1, 2010

We recently got this recipe in a newsletter from Manitoba Harvest so we thought we’d share it with you. Manitoba Harvest sells all kinds of great hemp products (from hempmilk to hemp protein powder.), so if you can’t find any of the ingredients at your local store, you can always order them online from them. [...]

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It’s Hemp History Week!

May 17, 2010

Today marks the beginning of the first annual Hemp History Week. A joint effort between Vote Hemp and the Hemp Industry Association, the week long event is a grassroots educational campaign to raise awareness of the industrial and environmental potential of hemp farming. Hemp History Week will consist of 185 event across 32 states. Organizers [...]

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