In the cannabis space, there are people who are passionate about the plant and there are people who came for the cash. When speaking with Morris Beegle, there is no doubt why he works with hemp; he believes it will save the world. And for my part, I hope he’s right.
Beegle is the president and co-founder of the We Are For Better Alternatives (WAFBA) family of companies, which include an array of hemp-centric businesses and events.
His NoCo Hemp Expo is among the largest hemp conferences in the world and is just one of the award-winning projects he spearheads each year.
Whether he’s creating hemp guitars and musical instruments, manufacturing commercial-grade hemp paper, or hosting his monthly podcast Let’s Talk Hemp, Beegle is consistently on the front lines of the hemp movement.
In this exclusive interview, Beegle shares his anger about the state of the world and his passion about hemp’s role in saving it.
Cannabis & Tech Today: Why are you so passionate about hemp?
Morris Beegle: I think hemp can have a significant impact on helping our planet and our species moving forward. We’re in a very precarious time in human history. It seems that we’re entering into another mass extinction.
Look at human behavior over the last hundred years, since the Industrial Revolution.
Look at how we’re doing things, depleting the Earth’s resources, burning up fossil fuels, how we grow our industrial crops, and our livestock, and the impact that’s having on our water, and our oceans, and our atmosphere, and other species and ecosystems.
How can we change course from this? Or can we even do it at this point?
But if we can, I think that the agriculture piece is where things have to change. And can hemp come in? Can we start looking at these different ways, organic and regenerative ways, to grow lots of hemp and other crops as well?
Where it’s not conventional, it’s not spraying stuff all over crops and the chemicals and fertilizers all run into the water. We have to change that. Hemp can potentially lead the way in the course of the next five, ten, twenty, or thirty years.
So that’s why I’m into it, because I think it is a key component in helping people become aware of everything going on around us — with our environment and climate — and all these practices that still need to be contained in the coming decades.
Otherwise, we’re going to be f****ed.
So that’s where I come from. And just as a general thing, I don’t think anybody should be in jail who wants to use the cannabis plant. I think that’s all bull****.
It’s been bull**** for 80 years, and if people want to use cannabis medicinally or recreationally, they should be able to, because it’s a f***ing amazing plant.
Nobody should be in jail for this plant. Period.
C&T Today: Aside from the many events you’ve created, what facets of the hemp industry are you most excited about?
Morris Beegle: Events are really just one part of what we do. We also have a hemp paper company that does marketing materials.
We want to see hemp paper come back into the marketplace, be significant, and disrupt the wood pulp paper industry.
We would like to see that done, more so than chopping down trees and using that material to build the industry, which is harder on the Earth and more disruptive to ecosystems.
We would also like to see hemp getting into the plastics market, the biofuels market, and the building materials market and start disrupting those.
C&T Today: What are some of the most impressive technologies you’ve seen applied to the hemp space?
Morris Beegle: There are lots of people working on bioplastics and the composite side of the plant.
There’s a hemp wood company that just popped up in Kentucky that’s doing flooring, counters, tiling, and cabinets. I’d love to see more of that in the marketplace.
There are some supercapacitor companies popping up that are doing R & D to utilize hemp fiber as a grafting replacement for nano carbon fiber sheets for supercapacitors. I’m excited to see that.
Then, on the plastic side of things, the composite side of things, we can start replacing bottles and packaging and various plastic-based products with some of these bio materials.
We’re heading in the right direction, where we can fully replace that stuff in 20-40 years.
We have to get rid of the whole petroleum plastic side of things and find materials that will biodegrade and be less impactful on our Earth.
I’m excited about people investing energy and bandwidth looking at how these technologies really will change our world. We’re at the beginning.
I’m excited about the fiber side and building materials and just trying to make a cleaner planet on the industrial side.
I think the food and nutritional side is complex, with our food system and agriculture, and just how big of a beast that side of it is, and the damage and devastation it’s doing to our planet. It’s mind boggling.
I hope we can make a change and that hemp is part of the platform that raises awareness. That’s what I would really like to see. It can be that common denominator that brings people together. We’ve got an Earth problem here and we need to look at how we can fix it.
C&T Today: Do you think eventually the cannabis industry will adopt more sustainable practices?
Morris Beegle: I absolutely do. I think the vast majority of people in the cannabis space care about the planet. And they care about the plant, and they would prefer to have eco packaging solutions and less plastic.
Unfortunately, we’re just stuck in this world of plastic right now and it’s not just the cannabis industry. This is all industries.
I think you’ll see, with entrepreneurs who are tech savvy and really into technology, that there will be investment money and there will be solutions, we just have to implement them on a large scale that can really have an impact.
Featured image courtesy of Karli Adams.