Isiah Thomas of ISIAH International, LLC. and CEO of One World Products, Inc. OWPC, the largest Black-controlled, fully-licensed hemp and cannabis producer in Colombia, announced plans to commercialize the vast carbon credit opportunities contained within the company’s control of approximately 1.2 million acres of farmland in Colombia.
“We are thrilled to report on our progress of assessing the development and commercialization of the inherent carbon credits that stem from our partnership with AMUNAFRO. We are exploring several strategies to manage and monetize large-scale industrial hemp feedstock and create one of the largest land and carbon capture communities in the Western Hemisphere,” Thomas said at a meeting with AMUNAFRO’s executive director Jaime Asprilla at an event in Washington, DC commemorating 200 years of diplomatic relations between Colombia and the U.S. AMUNAFRO is the National Association of Mayors of Municipalities with Afro-Colombian population.
Hemp: Good For Production, Better For The Environment
“As a reminder, industrial hemp, the non-intoxicating form of cannabis that grows to 13 feet in 100 days, is grown for fiber, cloth, oil, plastics, food and other purposes, making it one of the fastest CO2-to-biomass conversion tools available. Industrial hemp has been proven to absorb more CO2 per acre than any forest or commercial crop, making it the ideal carbon sink,” Thomas said.
“Add these facts with our natural ability to cultivate three harvests per year in Colombia, we are very excited about the future of our Company and improving the lives of millions of Afro-Colombians and indigenous peoples. As we continue to scale our operations in-country, we estimate that we should generate hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue per year from the sale of our carbon credits, excluding any revenue generated from actual sales of hemp products to customers,” added the NBA Hall of Famer since 2000 who spent his entire career with the Detroit Pistons.
While in DC, Thomas also met Reta Jo Lewis, president and chair of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), the official export credit agency of the U.S. and an independent Executive Branch agency with a mission of supporting American jobs by facilitating the export of U.S. goods and services.
"I had a great meeting Madam Chair Lewis. She is very passionate about how EXIM unlocks financing solutions for U.S. companies competing around the globe. We found common ground in the fact that we are exporting industrial hemp processing and other equipment to Colombia and that EXIM helps businesses grow and create jobs through exporting. I look forward to our future discussions," Thomas said, adding that OWP continues to gain traction on the journey to expand their footprint in Colombia. To that end, they are in discussions about adding additional acreage.
"Our vision is to provide carbon-capturing hemp-based products and solutions for as many companies as imaginable across the world to improve upon their current carbon footprint and meet their short-term and long-term ESG and sustainability initiatives to the betterment of all humankind,” concluded Thomas.
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