SLC Hemp: Behind the Herb

SLC Hemp, located on 2100 South, is the only location in the state of Utah where customers can buy hemp products. The store has a selection of women and men's  clothes made out of the fabric, which is more breathable  than cotton. Photo by Ryan Green

SLC Hemp, located on 2100 South, is the only location in the state of Utah where customers can buy hemp products. The store has a selection of women and men's  clothes made out of the fabric, which is more breathable  than cotton. Photo by Ryan Green

There’s more to SLC Hemp, a small store tucked away on the side of 2100 South, than first meets the eye.

A truly one-of-a-kind shop, SLC Hemp is the only place in the state of Utah where someone can buy hemp products—a rarity largely due to the plant’s history of illegalization and demonization in the United States.

“What’s also unique about [SLC Hemp] is that all the hemp stores in the country, most of them have smoke shops also combined,” said Jerry Huff, who has worked at the shop for over a year.

Hemp stores usually sell mostly drug paraphernalia, such as glass pipes for smoking, and have a small clothes section.

“What’s rare about us is we’re all hemp clothes,” Huff said.

Hemp is illegal to grow in Utah but legal to wear. However, some would like to see a move toward further legalization of hemp because the crop is tougher than cotton and breathes better, making it a practical choice for clothing. It is also easier on the environment than dirtier crops like cotton, Huff said.

Hemp, on the other hand, is good for the planet.

“It restores life to the soil, and it’s easier and cheaper to grow,” Huff said. “You can get food out of it, you can get oil out of it, you can get fiber for construction out of it, you can get clothes out of it, you can get medicine out of it. So, essentially no part of the plant is wasted.”

SLC Hemp is a testament to this tenant. The store sells not only hemp clothing products but also body care and food products.

The shop has faced stigma because of hemp’s association with marijuana, Huff said.

“There’s definitely an uneducated general bias [against] hemp, where most people have no idea what hemp is,” Huff said. “They associate it to getting high, and there’s so much more to it than that. For how long hemp has been in our history, we’re very uneducated.”

SLC Hemp makes sure its employees are equipped to answer any questions customers may have by making the employees read a book on the history of hemp called “The Emperor Wears No Clothes.”

Huff said people are becoming more educated on hemp but said he encourages Westminster students to come in and see for themselves what the store has to offer.