Jim Politis is running a new campaign.
The businessman and politician sees jobs and economic vitality in the production and processing of industrial hemp. Hemp was grown for fiber, pulp and seed from Colonial times until World War II, but then was banned by the government as a drug threat.
Think it's a far-fetched idea to get anywhere with a plant that's currently viewed legally as the same as marijuana?
First, consider Politis. He once ran a successful electronics distribution company in Knoxville, Tenn. Then he brought buffalo to Montgomery County, running a farm and restaurant, which he later sold. He got elected to the board of supervisors, on which he now serves as chairman.
With hemp, his goal is to eliminate a federal ban on growing the leggy plant and see Montgomery County farmers and business people lead a rebirth of the industrial hemp industry in the United States.
"I want to create 10,000 jobs," the 64-year-old supervisor said.
Well-organized nonprofit groups have sought for years to legalize hemp, which is one of the longest-cultivated plants on earth.
Even in shampoo
Politis is just one more voice for reviving hemp, on one hand. But some fellow leaders believe he's got a point.
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