Contributed by Sara Williams
It was recently brought to my attention that the Governor’s proposed budget guts the Division of Agriculture funding and reverses all funding for writing regulations that will govern the hemp industry in Alaska. First, let’s discuss our reality here in Alaska. We are at least 90% dependent on barges and air freight to bring in the goods and commodities that we enjoy in our lives but more importantly the food. The fruits and vegetables and food on the shelves of the grocery stores in Alaska are predominately shipped in from out of state, therefore if we miss a barge the people will be starving and fighting each other for food, not material things. Food security is something that is a daily struggle in many households in Alaska and it doesn’t have to be.
The answer is hemp.
Hemp is the single plant that could bring Self Sustainability to Alaska. The hemp plant can make 50,000 different products in categories such as biodegradable plastics, textiles, building materials, cosmetics, food, medicine, paper and my personal favorite, biofuel. The versatility of the plant can bring such innovation statewide, that we empower our Native communities to create products for statewide use and global export. The industry is rich with job opportunities and investors who want to innovate these products for worldwide consumption. This is what Alaska needs to succeed and compete globally.
Alaska has millions of acres of land that could be used to grow hemp. Alaska’s unique weather requires indoor growing for year-round production, however it only takes one summer growing season to grow and it is an amazingly easy to grow outdoor crop. One acre of hemp is equal to 2-4 acres of trees in fiber production. One acre of hemp is also equal to 1-3 acres of cotton. The plant is a miracle from God and Alaskans need that right now.
The hemp industry will be the single most transformational industry to Alaska, if we let her grow. She will create jobs in the industry as well as ancillary support jobs. She will create new infrastructure needs as communities all over Alaska realize the versatility and capability of the plant and grow to support her. Entirely new cities will be built and people from all over the World will come to Alaska to help build the hemp industry. Growth brings its own challenges and we will do our best to anticipate those challenges, but we can’t play small any longer.
Great things are still in store for Alaskans. We experience such a high suicide rate because hope is missing, and the hemp industry brings hope.
Hemp for Healthcare
Jesus spoke to me in September of the phrase hemp for healthcare and I have traveled development of this idea now for 6 months. I have organized and executed hemp for healthcare luncheons and presented to local leaders this idea. I have purchased the domain name hempforhealthcare.com and I actively seek investors for the beginning E-Commerce phase that will fund the advocacy for this program.
Hemp has a vast potential to create many different products for the betterment of humanity. Alaska needs a new tax revenue source and a new health care system. Let’s connect the two.
Here’s the plan: Tax the Hemp industry at 20% of the wholesale purchase of the hemp plant product to be paid monthly by the cultivation business including flowers, stems, leaves, seeds and even roots. Each business can earn a 5% tax deduction if they dedicate at least 10% of their grow space, whether indoor or outdoor, to fruits and vegetables to be provided to the local communities at reasonable sales price set by the business.
This tax revenue source will then be directed towards a “healthcare fund”. This fund will pay for healthcare needs of all Alaskan residents. In time of course. In the early years of this program, it can be directed towards the Medicaid system to expand services. The entire healthcare system will need an overhaul and to become much more centralized for the betterment of the residents. I believe many doctors would prefer a salary-based payment structure over the massive headache that insurance companies are to deal with. In the end this creates a human focused healthcare system instead of a profits focused healthcare system.
Alaska needs hemp.
Alaska needs agriculture for self-sustainability and the ability to one day stand as our own country, not dependent upon the volatile and unstable world but to be self -sufficient in the ability to care for our people so that all they may miss if we miss a barge is material things but at least they have food, shelter and fuel and all the other things that the Hemp plant can create. The time is now. If we live in fear and cut this vital service, we miss out on an opportunity to use the land God gave us in a way that will save the world, starting with saving Alaskans.
Sara Williams is an advocate for Hemp in Alaska. Her political platform Hemp for Healthcare is driven by her personal struggles with the healthcare system in Alaska, and she is seeking investors and donors for this project to become a reality. She can be reached at 907-887-6130 or email@example.com.