Chris Boucher: Seeing Hemp in an Entirely New Light

Chris Boucher: CannaVest (OTC:CANV)

He had a set goal to kickstart the hemp industry in the United States and since then has been making waves in the world of hemp for quite some time now. With his presence in the industry dating back to 1990, he is considered a pioneer in the Hemp market and is exceedingly excited for what the future has to offer. It isn’t often we come across an individual that harbors the capacity to combine his heart and soul with his work ethic, but he does it so eloquently. Our interview with Chris Boucher, Vice President of Product Development at CannaVest (OTC:CANV), is nothing short of integral in understanding and seeing the plant in a whole new light.

What was the deciding factor for you to join this particular industry?

I’d have to go back to 1990 when I met a gentleman named Jack Herer, who happens to be the author of the book The Emperor Wears No Clothes. I walked into one of his stores and I was selling some clothing that I had been making and he asked me if I wanted to sign a petition to legalize hemp. I asked him what hemp was and eight hours later, I left his store and my life has never been the same since.

What were you doing before?

I was in the surf and skate active apparel business selling backpacks, wallets, and clothing that was made out of organic cotton.

Tell me about the point in the time you realized the coming of the ‘green rush’?

I think the green rush didn’t really open up until Colorado became legalized about three years ago; I think that was the opening of the cash flow.

I think the green rush didn’t really open up until Colorado became legalized about three years ago; I think that was the opening of the cash flow.

How have you bridged being an activist and working for a corporation in the legal cannabis industry?

I think for any corporation to be successful in any industry like ours, especially since it pertains to cannabis, it needs core foundational people from the culture. You have to stay true to your roots just like these billion dollar companies in the surf and skate industry. The guys that run these massive companies are surfers at their core – They surf everyday, but also manage to run billion dollar corporations. I like that crossover and I see it here in the cannabis industry as well. The companies that are coming into this space on a strictly corporate level don’t have the culture or the core roots and it makes it difficult for them to connect with the current clientele. Until this thing really takes off and becomes available in our pharmacies and health food stores, our industry will still need to be one with the culture of cannabis and hemp; without that link, I don’t believe corporations can be successful.

Right now, where are you guiding your passion and energy towards?

I’m guiding it towards the American hemp industry and seeking to really ‘kickstart’ the American agricultural hemp program in places like Kentucky, Colorado, and California. Creating the jobs here in America and building the infrastructure will be the foundation of success in our company and in other companies as well. That’s where my energy is geared towards right now.

Describe your work ethic to me in one word.

Heart and soul. Those are two words that are hard to separate. My work ethic comes from my heart, but my heart is connected to my soul. To me, they aren’t separate, they’re the same, and they work together as a single drive.

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Tell me about a time in your career that didn’t go as planned and what you did about that? How did you handle it?

In 1994, I was growing industrial hemp at the USDA research center in California. I was on federal property and I had a permit to grow industrial hemp cannabis, but at the end of the project, the DEA came in and they basically said that the THC levels were above the regulated percentage. I was ready to go to prison, but I had permits so it was all empty threats. My plan was to grow hemp across America and begin to grow the entire industry, so I decided to write a legislation for industrial hemp. I hired a lobbyist to help me write the California Industrial Hemp Legislation, which was the first written legislation legalizing industrial hemp in the states. We gave the outline of the paperwork to Colorado for their hemp bill in 1995. Although California’s hemp bill didn’t get picked up by legislation that year, Colorado’s did. That unfortunate mix-up with the DEA essentially brought me to write that legislation and it, in turn, energized legislature for legal hemp here in the United States.

What book have you read that you’ve been inspired by? Any particular read we should put on our list?

One of my favorite books that has inspired me is The Food of the Gods by Terrance McKenna. This book really sent me back to the dawning of humans and their relationship to the earth and their relationship to the surrounding community. I think The Food of the Gods was instrumental in opening up new levels in my mind.

Tell me about an esteemed achievement of yours.

Growing hemp at the USDA research center in California.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?

Listen. Shut up and listen.

What is the most important thing for us to know now about the legal marijuana industry?

I think that the most important thing to know right now is that this is going to be the biggest paradigm shift in our society and culture that we’ve ever seen in the last five generations. There’s been nothing like this since the prohibition of alcohol and that was 80 years ago. I think knowing this and coming to accept it is a real eye-opener in seeing where this is going.

I think that the most important thing to know right now is that this is going to be the biggest paradigm shift in our society and culture that we’ve ever seen in the last five generations.

If we are sitting across from each other a year from now, how will our conversation about the ‘green rush’ be going?

Even better than it is now. Whether or not our legislation takes root and removes cannabis from being a Schedule I drug, our conversation will be completely different. I think that is going to be the big shift that opens the doors to a level of cash flow and investment beyond what we even foresee today!

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