INTERVIEW: American hemp legend Richard Rose recently released a treasure trove of reports, scientific papers and other documents about hemp online at The Richard Rose Report. Richard, who’s living in Italy these days, tells HempToday why he believes in the open source information model and talks about his mania: work.
HempToday: Why the release of these resources now?
Richard Rose: The passing of the (U.S.) 2018 Farm Bill catalyzed an explosion in interest in hemp, especially farming and CBD processing. Since I’ve made about 1,000 original educational posts on mostly CBD and Hemp since 2014, I have about 40,000 followers on social media. And seemingly every last one suddenly wants to grow hemp, but few understand what’s actually involved. So to help them, I decided to do The Richard Rose Report to offer my thoughts on emerging issues, and free documents to explain them.
HT: Why not just stay on Facebook to do it?
RR: Because the day Trump signed the Farm Bill, Facebook shut down my advertising account; thus the handwriting was on the wall. Hemp has never had as many problems as it does today, post-“legalization.” I do not believe that is an accident: the more fear in the space, the more people will hire lawyers, lobbyists, and associations to hold their hand.
HT: Why are you giving this information away instead of selling it?
RR: I’ve always educated for free, since 1980. Open-source the information and idea, then if someone is serious about commercializing it I’ll charge them to do it right. Not everyone is in this for the Benjamins, some of us live comfortably on a fixed retirement income. In fact, Social Security indirectly funds some of the best education, advocacy, and research in the space.
HT: You say it has only $10k in value? It must be more.
RR: Some find it priceless, so they tell me. Just think of it as 40% of the cost of a Board seat at a hemp trade association, but for FREE.
HT: I want to get involved in CBD. What’s in the release that’s essential to me?
RR: Oh, just everything. What do you want to do: Grow? Process? Sell? Ancillary? Data? Consulting? Manage? Start? Seed? Clones? Marketing? Sales? Distribute? Import? Export? White-label? Retail? R&D? Research? Publicize? Obfuscate? Retard? Diss? The segment is wide open, there’s money to be made on all those and more.
HT: Talk about some of your current or recent projects
RR: My mania doesn’t allow me to be sedentary, I’m always thinking and working on SOMETHING. But I refrain from talking about it now, because my work speaks for itself. I’ve already given away too much information and pissed off my consultant colleagues. They’re nice about it, but aren’t sure why I do it and wish I wouldn’t. Friends like that are among the few I’ll listen to.
HT: May we call you a guru?
RR: I’ve been called far worse by those engaged in fuckery of the First Order. But if you insist, call me “CannGuru”… I have all kinds of ideas in my pouch.
HT: What’s up with that “Blah, blah, blah” section of your website?
RR: Legalese is the least-read but most-important part of a website. To me whenever I read it, all I can see is “Blah Blah Blah.” So I named it that. If you can’t have fun marketing and doing stuff like a new website, why bother?