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American Hemp Farmer

Adventures and Misadventures in the Cannabis Trade

By Doug Fine


The inside story of the world’s most fascinating and lucrative crop from gonzo journalist–turned–hemp farmer Doug Fine.

Hemp, the non-psychoactive variant of cannabis (or marijuana) and one of humanity’s oldest plant allies, has quietly become the fastest industry ever to generate a billion dollars of annual revenue in North America. From hemp seed to hemp fiber to the currently ubiquitous cannabinoid CBD, this resilient crop is leading the way toward a new, regenerative economy that contributes to soil and climate restoration—but only if we do it right.

In American Hemp Farmer, maverick journalist and solar-powered goat herder Doug Fine gets his hands dirty with healthy soil and sticky with terpenes growing his own crop and creating his own hemp products. Fine shares his adventures and misadventures as an independent, regenerative farmer and entrepreneur, all while laying out a vision for how hemp can help right the wrongs of twentieth-century agriculture, and how you can be a part of it.

Reviews and Praise

Library Journal

“An essential book for the aspiring hemp farmer, there is much to consider here for anyone interested in organic farming, drug policy, and community organizing.”

Publishers Weekly

“For anyone interested in hemp cultivation or simply learning more about the newest ‘gold rush’ crop, [American Hemp Farmer] is well worth picking up.” 


“A conversational guide for the horticulture geek interested in cultivating hemp. . . . [Fine’s] text is discursive but also helpfully specific and will soothe and encourage any would-be grower.”

“A fantastic piece of Americana that shows the way to a sustainable future.”—David Bronner, CEO, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps

“With American Hemp Farmer, Doug Fine shows he is not just our preeminent hemp author, he is one of the most important authors of our time. As I’ve watched him leap between tending goats on his Funky Butte Ranch and hemp fields in Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, and who knows where else, it sometimes occurs to me that he might be the most interesting man alive. The resulting book is an absolute must-read.”—Eric Steenstra, executive director, Vote Hemp

“After 83 years of prohibition, cannabis’s emergence from the underground has sparked a gold rush that has every farmer, wannabe farmer, and agricultural entrepreneur rushing to stake their claim. With American Hemp Farmer, Doug Fine makes an incredibly well-written case for a regenerative agriculture–based, small- to mid-scale approach to the industry that prioritizes quality of over quantity, and where soil carbon sequestration is a bottom-line goal. Humorous, timely, and important.”—Jeff Carpenter, coauthor of The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer

American Hemp Farmer would have been in George Washington’s library. President Washington grew hemp and was a passionate, regenerative agriculturist. Washington sought advice from those that practiced their trade. Doug Fine’s American Hemp Farmer is a scholarly, practical, and impeccably enjoyable work and a must-read for those who cultivate hemp or are interested in leaping in.”—Dean Norton, director of horticulture, Mount Vernon Estate

“In his latest, author Doug Fine—a modern day Johnny Hempseed—has painstakingly penned a love letter to the cannabis plant and all those who tend it. Doug details the beneficial and no longer forbidden relationship between cannabis and humanity and how together there is a path to rejuvenate the entire planet. As a state hemp program administrator, I hope every hemp farmer and policymaker reads this book carefully. It details a roadmap for success, for farmers and the planet. And that’s probably because Doug doesn’t just write about hemp, he lives it.”—Cary Giguere, hemp program coordinator, Vermont Agency of Agriculture

“As a hempcrete homeowner, I’m proud to keep American Hemp Farmer on my shelf as the must-read book on hemp. Someday we may even see NBA arenas built from hemp. But for now, Doug should be prepared to lose more money at the poker table that sits on the hemp floor of my hemp-paneled card room.”—Don Nelson, two-time NBA Hall of Fame inductee

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