2. The Story Behind the Controversy
Even though there are no psychedelic components in hemp (it contains less than .3% THC), the federal law prohibits farmers from growing it in the U.S. That also means brewers can’t use hemp leaf or its flower.
To get around that hurdle, The Hemperor is brewed using hemp hearts (the meat of the hemp seed, minus the shell).
“Our base understanding is that seeds can be sterilized to a point that makes them legal for use,” Koenigs says.
Interestingly enough, hemp’s origins and uses are pure. It can be used to pull toxins from the earth; it’s a more sustainable alternative to cotton (it doesn’t require pesticides or as much water); and in WWII there was a Hemp for Victory campaign that urged farmers to grow the crop to turn it into clothing and rope for soldiers, a New Belgium spokesperson tells Men’s Journal.
“The restrictive regulatory process around brewing The Hemperor HPA gives New Belgium the opportunity and platform to raise awareness around the social, environmental and economic benefits of industrial hemp,” the company says in a press release.
New Belgium is also partnering with GHC Inc., Willie Nelson’s family of advocacy brands to support Hemp for Victory. They’re donating $1 from every barrel of The Hemperor sold to continue the national campaign to raise awareness and promote pro-hemp legislation.
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