By Rachael Carlevale
With a common mission of providing healthful, eco-friendly and socially responsible products to consumers, hemp companies often have philanthropy engrained in their brands’ DNA. Given that, the industry is well positioned to play a lead role in helping society address many of the problems facing the world today.
The month of December, with its focus on family, community and giving, presents an opportunity to highlight some of the nonprofit organizations that work with leaders in the hemp sector to help solve some of the pressing issues of our time. There are many organizations doing great work — below find a list of 10 organizations this writer has interacted with in some capacity over the years and identified as potentially worthy of your awareness, consideration and support in the coming year.
Perhaps one or more of these organizations will resonate with you this season of giving and throughout the year.
We know there are many nonprofit and related organizations doing important work that rely on contributions from individuals, businesses and foundations — please forgive us if we didn’t include your favorite nonprofit this time around. However, if you let us know, there’s a chance we can include it next year, and we’d love to hear from you.
Anishinaabe Agriculture Institute
With Akiing — an Indigenous organization dedicated to restoring sacred landscapes, community wealth and resilience — serving as its fiscal sponsor, the nonprofit Anishinaabe Agriculture Institute was founded by Native American leader, water protector, and former candidate for vice president of the United States Winona LaDuke. The organization’s work includes educating youth about Indigenous, sustainable and regenerative agriculture practices, restoring agro-biodiversity and food sovereignty, advancing traditional methodologies, and supporting research into hemp fiber production to benefit local economies. http://anishinaabeagriculture.org
Since 2011, EarthX has brought together the world’s leading environmental advocates, business and political leaders, and the public to rally around our shared love for the precious and fragile ecosystem we call home. The organization hosts an annual Earth Day Environmental Expo, showcases environmental filmmakers at EarthXFilm, and creates partnerships and platforms that amplify and accelerate the work of organizations, governments, and individuals on the front lines of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. EarthX aims to inspire and connect citizens, educators, students, businesses, nonprofits, and global leaders behind a shared goal of building a more sustainable, equitable, cleaner, and healthier world for future generations. https://earthx.org/
Friends of Hemp
Friends of HEMP is a 501(c)3 created to raise and distribute charitable funding to advance the industrial hemp industry. Their mission is to close the information gap to help farmers grow their crops consistently and educate communities on the benefit and value of hemp. Friends of Hemp partnered with the Global Hemp Association to strengthen their outreach and education efforts through independent research and trials. One of the goals of these trials is to create a national hemp agronomic database for farmers and processors. Friends of Hemp is growing the U.S. hemp economy and focuses on normalizing hemp to directly benefit economic development in communities. Donate during the GOOD GIVING CHALLENGE and have your dollars matched! Share your donation on social media with #GoodGivingChallenge. https://www.bggives.org/friendsofhemp
Her Many Voices Foundation
Through environmental, cultural and community projects, Her Many Voices brings a diverse group of artists, humanitarian leaders and businesses together to help solve problems for the betterment of women, children and “our Mother Earth.” Her Many Voices was founded by Native American leader Alicia Fall, a former TEDx presenter and recipient of the New York State Assembly Citation Award. Through Alicia and her team’s work in education, inclusivity and collaboration, the organization is also dedicated to supporting farmers and is currently planning events for Earth Day 2023. https://www.hermanyvoices.org
Indigenous Cannabis Coalition
ICANNC connects the outside world, including business and political leaders, with Indigenous community members to dig deeper from pre-history to the contemporary landscape of Indigenous hemp and cannabis cultures that live on today. The protection of tribal sovereignty in cannabis legalization is critical to the coalition as they work to elevate cultures and economies. Their THC Magazine (Tribal Hemp & Cannabis) shares stories about the perspectives of Indigenous communities in hemp and cannabis to promote our collective understanding of how we can work to protect Tribal Sovereignty in federal legalization. Founded by Mary Jane and Judy Oatman, ICANNC is a collective advocacy and effort to protect Mother Earth, our water, and our lands in the development of new cannabis and hemp economies. https://indigenouscannabiscoalition.com/
Kiss the Ground
With a passionate, committed and growing community inspired by Kiss the Ground: the Movie, a full-length documentary narrated by Woody Harrelson that sheds light on a “new, old approach” to farming called regenerative agriculture, Kiss the Ground was founded in 2013 to educate about and advance a system of agriculture and food production that rebuilds our soils and water resources, sequesters carbon from the atmosphere and feeds the world. Kiss the Ground’s mission is to awaken people to the possibilities of regeneration and inspire participation through storytelling, education and advocacy. https://kisstheground.com
Realm of Caring
Founded in 2013, Realm of Caring (RoC) serves anyone in need of more information about cannabinoid therapies. Through revolutionary research, innovative education, and life-changing grants, RoC seeks to facilitate and encourage the mainstream acceptance of transformative, plant-powered therapies to benefit individuals and families and serve health care providers as well as the hemp and cannabis industries. The Realm of Caring is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that funds and collects research to learn more about cannabis and its effects while legitimizing the therapy, educates consumers and health care professionals on accumulated research, assists clients in choosing a product of quality and helps to direct them where to purchase. https://realmofcaring.org/
The Last Prisoner Project
The Last Prisoner Project (LPP) is a national, nonpartisan nonprofit organization dedicated to cannabis criminal justice reform that aims to end America’s policy of cannabis criminalization, as well as to repair the harms of this discriminatory and counterproductive crusade. The Last Prisoner Project was founded in 2019 out of the belief that no one should remain incarcerated for cannabis offenses. The dedicated team of drug policy reform and criminal justice experts works tirelessly to achieve the goal of freeing the tens of thousands of individuals still unjustly imprisoned for cannabis. https://www.lastprisonerproject.org/
The Rodale Institute
Celebrating 75 years of organic leadership, the “OG” of organic agriculture and research, The Rodale Institute remains in the vanguard of science and best practices in advancing organic and regenerative agriculture. The Rodale Institute’s main office is located on a 386-acre organic research and education farm in eastern Pennsylvania that investigates a number of organic crops and rotations, including hemp, as well as the value of animal husbandry in regenerative agriculture. In September 2022, General Mills announced it would donate the Cascadian Farm home farm in Skagit County, WA, to the institute, bringing the total number of Rodale Institute research campuses to 12. The organization also recently partnered with the Colorado-based nonprofit Mad Agriculture to help farmers transition to organic and regenerative organic farming methods. The Rodale Institute was founded in 1947 as the Soil and Health Foundation by Rodale Press founder J.I. Rodale. https://rodaleinstitute.org
USHBA – US Hemp Building Association
The purpose of the USHBA is to support and advocate for hemp building professionals, projects, and materials in the United States and to facilitate the establishment and stabilization of a thriving American hemp building Industry. By joining the USHBA, you will help create a unified and inclusive coalition of inspiring innovators within the hemp and construction industries to promote and support hemp as a readily accessible, environmentally sustainable and economically viable option to traditional building materials. The USHBA will move hemp building into the forefront of the U.S. construction industry through education, collaboration, networking and advocacy. https://ushba.org/