Atalo Holdings | History

Kentucky - The Hemp Capital of the World

  • 1800

    Graves family is farming in Kentucky. Hemp is part of the rotation.

  • 1910

    Jacob Hughes Graves III is farming hemp in Kentucky, known as “the best in the world”.

  • 1925

    George Washington Carver, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and other well-respected scientists, known as Chemurgists, find tremendous new potential in hemp.

  • 1936

    Jacob H. Graves II and Philip Glass gather hemp seed from all over central Kentucky.

  • 1938

    Popular Mechanics calls hemp a “Billion Dollar Crop.”

Prohibition

  • 1937

    Hemp is included in the Marijuana Tax Act and is illegal to grow.

  • 1940

    Rise of tobacco as a cash crop.

  • 1942

    Graves’ seed confiscated by Federal Marshals for the war effort and was never returned. The Federal government’s Marijuana Tax Act and its strenuous regulations, discouraged further commercial growing of hemp.

  • 1971

    Controlled Substance Act labeled industrial hemp as a Class 1 narcotic, along with cocaine and heroin.

  • 1990

    Tobacco is on the way out. Ag scientists consider hemp as an alternative, but the crop is still illegal. DEA re-asserts their position on hemp even as opiates and heroin become national epidemics.

Advocacy

  • 1993

    Joe Hickey and Dan Wotten form the 4-F’s Club (“Future, Fuel and Fiber Farmers of America) and begin meeting with legislators about hemp.

  • 1993

    Joe Hickey met Prof James Hopkins who wrote History of Hemp in Kentucky, who said Woodford Spears & Sons in Paris, Kentucky still had hemp processing equipment and historic records.

  • 1994

    Joe and Sue Hickey convince Kentucky Governor Brereton Jones to form a commission to study hemp in Kentucky.

  • 1994

    Joe Hickey, Dave Spalding, Jake Graves and Andy Graves re-organize Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative with Jake Graves as Chairman of the Board, Andy Graves; President, David Spalding, Secretary; Joseph W. Hickey Sr., Executive Director and Board Members Jim Barton and Tom Greathouse.

  • 1994

    Kentucky governor Brereton Jones announces a Hemp Task Force.

  • 1994

    Andy Graves, Dave Spalding and Joe Hickey collect feral hemp seeds from Central Kentucky farms.

  • 1994

    Jake Graves III, Joe Hickey, David Spalding and Andy Graves build relationships with the first hemp growers in Ontario to study their approach to hemp.

  • 1995

    Jean Laprise, Woody Harrelson, Anita Roddick and Joe Hickey are founding partners in Kenex, Canada’s first fiber & seed processing facility.

  • 1995

    Woody funds the University of Kentucky Research Survey Center’s state poll that showed 78% of Kentuckians favored hemp production.

  • 1996

    Woody Harrelson brought international experts to visit Donna Cockrell’s grade school class to talk about industrial hemp.

  • 1996

    Kentucky Hemp Museum and Library’s mobile exhibit was created and Craig Lee attended fairs and public events across KY and America.

  • 1996

    Kentucky’s International Hemp Conference was organized by Joe Hickey, then the Executive Director, Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Association.  It was moderated by Woody Harrelson with participants from Australia, England, Canada, Ukraine, Hungary and The Netherlands.

Testing the Law

  • 1996

    In collaboration with Joe Hickey, Andy Graves and Dave Spalding, Actor Woody Harrelson challenge the Kentucky law by planting seeds in Lee County to provoke his arrest. Former Kentucky governor Louie Nunn served on his defense team. Harrelson was later acquitted of growing marijuana.

  • 1996

    Andy Graves speaks at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting in Reno and wins their support, passing a resolution supporting industrial hemp farming across the United States.

  • 1996

    Joe Hickey arranges the breeding feral Kentucky hemp cultivars at Kenex’s seed laboratory in Ontario and developed a hemp seed variety called “Deni.”

  • 1998

    Harrelson funds the University of Kentucky’s study, “The Economic Impact of Industrial Hemp in Kentucky.”

  • 1998

    Graves, Hickey and David Spalding organize Louisville Forum debate between the DEA and Woody Harrelson.

  • 1998

    University of Louisville’s Professor John I. Gilderbloom, Ph.D., weighs the evidence on the economics and ecology of industrial hemp in his paper titled – Hemp: Rhetoric & Reality.

  • 1998

    UK Press reissues “A History of the Hemp Industry in Kentucky

  • 1998

    Andy Graves, Dave Spalding and Joe Hickey are founding members of the North American industrial Hemp Council and author the Council’s Name, Mission and Vision Statements.

  • 1998

    Kentucky Hemp Growers Coop files a federal lawsuit to allow farmers to cultivate of industrial hemp.

  • 1998

    Ketchum Ad agency’s campaign defames “Kentucky Hemp Beer” with “fun ads” at behest of Budweiser, which forced closing of Lexington’s first successful micro-brewer.

  • 1999

    DEA seizes Kenex U.S. hemp shipments in effort to destroy the company.

  • 1999

    Andy Graves, Dave Spalding, Joe Hickey and former Governor Louie Nunn, spearhead efforts to write Kentucky’s Hemp Bill with Rep. Joe Barrows, which passed in 2000.

  • 2000

    Gov. Nunn delivers hemp bales to members of the Pine Ridge Oglala Sioux Tribe in the shadow of Mt Rushmore to replace their hemp crop destroyed by the DEA.

  • 2000

    Jury acquits Woody Harrelson for planting industrial hemp seeds, establishing hemp is not marijuana.

  • 2000

    Sen. David Williams, while holding up the Hemp Bill vote, is visited by former Gov. Nunn who instructs him to put House Bill 855 up for a Senate vote. Kentucky’s Hemp Bill passes.

  • 2002

    DEA attempts to ban hemp foods in the United States.

  • 2003

    Graves, Hickey and Spalding continue building lasting relationships with hemp activists such as David Bronner, John Roulac, Eric Steenstra and Shaun Crew.

New Age of Innovation

  • 2014

    Farm Bill of 2013 signed into law. Section 7606 of the act, Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research, defines industrial hemp as distinct and authorizes institutions of higher education or state department’s of agriculture in states that legalized hemp cultivation to conduct research and pilot programs.

  • 2014

    Atalo Holdings, Inc. is organized by Andrew Graves, Joseph Hickey, David Spalding and others to conduct research, development and commercialization of industrial hemp in compliance with Section 7606 of the US Farm Bill and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

  • 2014

    Atalo Holdings forms a Grower’s Group to inspire and educate farmers about hemp.

  • 2014

    DEA holds up delivery of seed to Kentucky trying to stall the planting season. Atalo Holdings threatens federal lawsuit and the DEA releases the seed.

  • 2014

    Atalo plants first acres of hemp in Kentucky since 1944. Jacob Hughes Graves III, at 88 years old, is again growing hemp after 70 years of senseless prohibition.

  • 2015

    Atalo Holdings acquires the former Rickard Seed Research Facility in Winchester, Kentucky and opens the Hemp Research Campus. Subsidiary Kentucky Hemp Seed Research & Development, LLC is formed.

  • 2016

    Atalo Holdings forms subsidiary companies Super Food Processing, LLC and KentuckyCBD, LLC.

  • 2016

    Atalo Holdings partners with the Kentucky Hemp Research Foundation to host seminars for growers and distributors interested in Hemp. GoOrganic!, the first seminar held, featured Nutiva CEO John Roulac.

  • 2016

    Atalo partners with University of Kentucky in a public university-private sector partnership to improve the male to female plant ratio focusing on fiber, grain and cannabidiol production.

  • 2016

    The Hemp Research Campus announces the addition of Genius Extraction Technologies from Lake Arrowhead, California, to provide advanced plant oil extraction for the 2016 crop and beyond.