Hemp is a durable crop that grows in a variety of climates and soil types. It can also be used in many different applications, from ice cream to plastics. It represents a significant economic opportunity for this country. But it is illegal to grow hemp here.
Despite the fact that the crop is completely different from marijuana in its function, cultivation, and application, it has stigma because the plant is also part of the cannabis family. In 1937, hemp was grouped with marijuana in the Marijuana Tax Act, and its sales were taxed heavily. Sales decreased. In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act grouped hemp with marijuana and declared it a Schedule 1 drug. And the hemp industry was officially dead.
A few years ago, Congress and 30 state legislatures approved research pilot programs to investigate this crop. The experiment was an unqualified success, and now there is tremendous political momentum to make this initiative a nationwide reality. The US Hemp Roundtable is a multi-ideological, bipartisan group helping to lead the charge for hemp’s legalization in US Congress.
They hired us to help them amplify their message with a strong campaign that would harness their momentum.
Our two main tasks were to communicate that hemp is not marijuana and hemp is a huge, multifaceted opportunity. As it stands now, hemp is not only grouped with marijuana by the government, but also by the hemp products industry itself. Hemp’s branding is all green and leaves and stoner puns. Color was a critical choice for the campaign. So we identified a palette that was natural without treading tired ground.
Hemp’s legalization should be everyone’s concern, because it affects everyone. The campaign is a rallying cry that speaks to everyone, regardless of your knowledge of the crop’s history or cultivation. It has a simple construction that, when flipped, shows the multi-use of the crop – beyond application.