Analysis

May the Dark Side meet the Light

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Zuckerman’s new friend Guillaume thinks of the big industrial hemp processors as Le Côté Obscur. If you don’t understand French, just hang on a moment.

Zuckerman met Guillaume in France during a hemp exploratory trip around Europe this past year. Guiallaume’s a rabid promoter of what we might call the “micro-eco” hemp business model.

Zuckerman just coined a phrase!

Among neighbors

Anyway, that’s where local farmers organize themselves to grow and process King Hemp within a radius of, let’s say, 50 miles. Theoretically, costs are kept down by cutting on transport and, with proper marketing, much of the production can be sold locally – all of this put together through an amiable hemp brotherhood, neighbor helping neighbor and everyone profiting while cleaning up the environment. Sounds rather French, somehow, non? Well, it’s actually beginning to happen in France.

Zuckerman thinks that’s magnifique even if he’s not that fond of the French in general.

Gus sneers

Guillaume’s view is the exact opposite of that held by Zuckerman’s friend Gus, who looks down his nose a bit at guys like Guillaume. “Activists and dilettantes,” sneers Gus. “I don’t like the type.” Gus, out there on the Midwestern plains of Obama Country, is just as dedicated to hemp as is Guillaume — but with a different vision. He sees giant John Deere harvesters chewing through vast fields of golden hemp. He sees sprawling processing plants with semi-trucks lined up at the docks ready to deliver seeds, straw and oil to producers who’ll turn out dozens of different products — from cars to hand cream to kewpie dolls. Big Business. Made in the USA.

Let’s make friends

But from Zuckerman’s perspective, it’s all good — at least for now. With the hemp industries fighting for ground in the great consumer mainstream – all over the globe – how much sense does it make to pit these two visions against one another?

Guillaume and Gus. Zuckerman’s gotta get those two guys together soon over a bottle of Merlot — or a nice California White.

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