A Tempest of Hemp At The Hempest

Everything in this store is made from hemp—from skateboards, body lotions, and sandals to skirts, shirts, and a large American flag.

It’s called The Hempest, and it opened six weeks ago in the Garage on JFK Street. Store creators said they wanted to educate the public about the hemp plant, which it is currently illegal to grow in the U.S.

“Hemp is so useful even without smoking it,” said store co-owner Kim Johnson, 25.

Hemp can fuel cars, grow anywhere, does not destroy soil, and can be made into virtually anything, she said.

The owners hope that, by increasing hemp sales, they can eventually pressure the government to legalize its growth in the U.S., according to Johnson.

“Hemp is the most misunderstood plant,” she added, standing in her bustling store yesterday.

She considers Cambridge a very liberal city and said that she hopes it will be a promising location to start convincing the public about the positive qualities of hemp.

“Cambridge seemed like a good place to spread the word, spread the storm,” she said.

A short skirt in the store costs $58, and for a pair of all-hemp sneakers, customers must pay $64.

The Hempest has five locations nationwide, including a branch on Newbury Street.

—Please send Harvard Square news to staff writer Shifra B. Mincer at smincer@fas.harvard.edu.