The Nimbin HEMP Embassy was created in 1992, along with Nimbin’s annual MardiGrass cannabis law reform rally and gathering, after a particularly savage round of police helicopter raids on hippy communities growing pot in the Nimbin area that season.
The Embassy’s objectives are cannabis law reform through educating the community about the cannabis plant and hemp, and promoting a more tolerant and compassionate attitude to people in general. The Embassy also supports various community groups and projects in the village of Nimbin including the Aboriginal Cultural Centre.
The Hemp Embassy Shop
The Embassy shop in the middle of the tiny village of Nimbin in Northern NSW sells all sorts of hemp products to educate people about what an amazing and useful plant we made illegal. Our products include handmade men's and women's clothing, accessories, books, hemp based health and beauty items, smoking gear, in fact anything to do with the plant, including a little grow shop.
The Nimbin Hemp Embassy sponsors the annual Nimbin MardiGrass Cannabis Law Reform Rally. MardiGrass is one of the best organised and most peaceful protestivals in Australia. The event features an international conference, The Hemposium, which provides cutting edge information on industrial hemp, medicinal cannabis, and drug law reform. MardiGrass is a major boost to the local economy and a huge drawcard for Australian and international tourists.
The Nimbin Hemp Embassy provides the Nimbin community with a tangible presence of the Aquarius Age which initially brought so many to live and visit our community. Tourists and local people alike have a colorful and dynamic reminder of the origins of counter-culture and the plethora of other socio-political issues that have evolved as a result of the increase in awareness.
The Tomato Sauce building has been part of alternative Nimbin since the Aquarius Festival. It was inhabited by Graeme Dunstan and Vi Tourle for a period during and after the Aquarius festival, and was later sold to the Community School at a nominal price. It became the Community School Annexe, and then a Youth Club. Since the Nineties it has been the Nimbin HEMP Embassy. Many people who were involved in Aquarius also support the Embassy’s aims, and some are members.
The downstairs room, having been the Hemp Embassy and MardiGrass headquarters for many years, is wallpapered with irreplaceable posters and newspaper articles, and is a historical site for drug law reform activism in Australia.
The Hemp Embassy is constantly adding to an already large and definitive reference library on a range of issues such as: industrial hemp, medicinal usage, and law reform issues. The Hemp Embassy provides visitors and researchers a variety of resources via books, an extensive media library, a news clipping collection and via the Hemp Embassy website.
The Embassy runs regular workshops on medicinal cannabis, featuring doctors, politicians, medical cannabis patients and medicine makers. MardiGrass has organized visits of leading medical cannabis experts and advocates over the years including Dr Bob Melamede from Colorado in 2009 and 2010 , Dr David Bearman from California in 2015, and Dennis Peron, leading Californian politician and medical cannabis activist in 1999.
The Hemp Embassy is actively researching medicinal cannabis use. Local cannabis expert, Andrew Kavasilas, published “Medical Uses of Cannabis -Information for Medical Practitioners” in 2004.