In Praise of Hemp


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by Jim Prues / September 29th, 2010

Hemp use predates the Agrarian Age, as hemp fibers have been found in pottery in China and Taiwan dating to 7,000 years ago. The classical Greek historian Herodotus (ca. 480 BC) reported that the inhabitants of Scythia would often inhale the vapours of hemp smoke, both as ritual and for their own pleasurable recreation. So presumably the Scythians were the first recorded stoners.

 

In Europe, hemp growing and production became quite popular during the Medieval Age, having disseminated in that direction along with much of the technology of the Arabic Golden Age in Northern Africa. In Europe hemp seeds were used for food and oils, the leaves for teas and the stalks for fibres, including rope, clothes, sails and paper. Estimates put the number of Europeans actively involved in hemp growing and production in the 15th and 16th century at well over 50%.

Hemp has a strong historical influence on every continent, with varied cultural and religious traditions. Many African spiritual practices involve consuming hemp smoke to enhance awareness and generate visions like the Dagga ‘cults’.

The Spaniards brought hemp to the Western Hemisphere and cultivated it in Chile starting about 1545. However, in May 1607, “hempe” was among the crops Gabriel Archer observed being cultivated by the natives at the main Powhatan village, where Richmond, Virginia is now  situated; and in 1613, 

Samuell Argall reported wild hemp “better than that in England” growing along the shores of the upper Potomac. As early as 1619, the first Virginia House of Burgesses passed an Act requiring all planters in Virginia to sow “both English and Indian” hemp on their plantations. The Puritans are first known to have cultivated hemp in New England in 1645.

In more modern times, hemp was a popular crop in antibellum Kentucky and other southern states. It was commonly used for a variety of products, most notably the paper on which the U.S. Constitution was written. Several of our founding fathers were hemp farmers.

All this changed with William Randoph Hearst, who began demonizing hemp in order to leverage his great tracks of forest for paper production instead of needing to buy hemp from other farmers. His effort to demonize the plant was also instigated by his racism, as many hispanics and blacks used hemp for recreation. The word, marijuana, is the hispanic term for that form of hemp which has psychoactive ingredients.

There are several varieties of hemp, most of which have very little THC [tetra-hydro-cannabanoid], the mind-effecting component. For most of U.S. history, the distinction was well-understood and laws reflected that awareness. Like so many with the power of media, however, Mr. Hearst did his best to cloud that distinction, as he was against hemp in any form. Indeed, industrial hemp was referred to as ‘ditchweed’, while hemp for medicinal or recreations purposes has come to be known as marijuana.

An analogy would be poppies, where you have the breadseed poppy seeds that can be found on bread or rolls, in contrast to the opium poppies grown to create morphine and heroin.

As reference, the timber and lumber industries, textile and petro-chemical industries are the most influential in keeping hemp illegal. As usual, we can follow the money. Then for pot there’s the pharmaceutical industry, the alcohol lobby and all those anti-drug agencies with self-preservation interests. We learn much from understanding these connections.

With this background, let’s consider how hemp might again play a pivotal role in our culture.

Assuming access to air and water, our most regular needs are for food and energy. In the World4 culture, these needs, at least for the industrialized world, are met through global corporations like ADM, Monsanto, BP and Exxon. And of course, hemp is illegal to grow in much of the industrialized world and particularly the United States.

But as noted above, hemp is easily grown with little required in the way of fertilizer or pesticides. As such, hemp typifies a sustainably-oriented plant. Corn, by comparison, requires heavy doses of fertilizer, especially nitrogen, and requires a good deal of pesticide use, with Roundup often used to kill weeds, and genetically modified corn seed that is resistant to the effects of Roundup. With the vast expanses of corn grown in this country, it should be no surprise that the runoff from these chemicals has created a huge dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. And let us not forget that our tax dollars subsidize these efforts through farm and energy subsidies.

With hemp, we have a low-impact, high-yield crop that can be used for a variety of uses. The stalks and fiber can used for composites that can be a wood substitute in an array of products. They can also be processed to create ethanol. They can be burned as a carbon-neutral resource, since the carbon they release is but the carbon the plant ingested during it’s life. Durable, light-weight, and strong, it’s difficult to imagine all the uses for industrial hemp were we to focus on designing and building hemp-based products.

With hemp oil we have another energy-rich resource, which can be used in cooking, as lamp oil and as a medicinal, as its high concentration of essential fatty acids is great for the skin and overall health.

Hemp seed can be used as a food as well. The roasted seeds are crunchy, they can be used in soups and casseroles, mixed with cereals or other foods. They’re highly nutritious, have a good deal of protein and again, are positive-impact environmentally.

Hemp has remediation properties too. It absorbs heavy metals in the soil, reducing their toxicity and harmful environment effects. There are vast expanses of hemp in the area of the Chernobyl nuclear accident for just that reason.

Hemp can be grown successfully in nearly every state in these United States. One can imagine a culture where locally produced hemp provides a good portion of the energy, food and product needs for our communities. This methodology would provide employment in both production and processing of the plant. It would reduce the environmental damage caused by our overused, subsidized corn. [Corn syrup is a cheap, low grade sugar that’s in a ton of processed foods.] Re-integrating hemp into our culture is just good, common sense.

And then there’s marijuana. The heathen devil-weed [a term coined by Heart’s yellow press] was blamed for all sorts of bad behavior as part of the demonization process. But as usual, someone who smokes pot and acts badly likely acts badly anyway, with marijuana as the straw man. Marijuana reduces aggressive behavior, unlike alcohol. This slander against the singular most influential plant in human history is but one example of the dysfunctionality of our culture.

Weed does indeed have psychotropic properties of note. Being stoned has a curious effect on the mind. Most say it tends to enhance whatever we feeling or experiencing at the time, offering a heightened experience of music or games or food [the proverbial munchies]. It is often used as a mind-quieting agent as well, as the stream of thoughts so constant to most of us becomes less pressing in a marijuana state of mind. In our fear-ridden, highly-stressed culture that alone could be of great value.

It’s worth noting that marijuana has not been placed as the medical cause in a single death in this country. Compare that with alcohol, tobacco, or the host of concoctions the pharmaceutical industry markets to us constantly. Mary Jane is decidedly benign.

As a medicinal, hemp oil has the afore mentioned essential fatty acids that are very effective for skin issues like excema and when ingested enhances body health. Medical marijuana is much in the news these days, being legal in California and a handful of other states. It’s value in alleviating the worst effect of cancer treatments,  chronic back ache and other issues is well-documented. Imagine if our culture actually encouraged research on medical marijuana. Not likely when the legal drug cartel we call the pharmaceutical industry has so much influence in government.

Proposition 19 is a measure on the ballot in California this fall that makes hemp legal. It merits our support for all the reasons indicated in this writing. Perhaps with this ballot measure passing we can begin to reverse the foolishness that has withheld leveraging this marvelous plant for the last 100 years.

Perhaps one of the most beneficial characteristics of this renewable resource is that the hemp plant can be used in its entirety, and that a streamlined life-cycle assessment yields positive impacts on the environment throughout the growth, harvest, and production stages. The industrial hemp plant offers a wide variety of high performance applications through the many aspects of community design, and will help strengthen our local economy, return power back to our local agricultural industry, and restore the environment as it grows. – Scott Blossom

Well said, Mister Blossom. Perhaps this fall [in California Ballot Measure Prop 19] we’ll begin to see a return to sanity in our policies toward this marvelous and versatile plant. And wouldn’t it be just swell to see this happen in the wider context of a return to localism. Very World Five – dude.

Jim Prues is the founder of World 5.0, a new cultural operating system based on peace and love. He can be reached at jim@world5.org. Read other articles by Jim, or visit Jim’s website.

CONTINUE READING…

Hope for Hemp: Cave City family sees future in new crop


Hannah McCarthyin Feature Long Reads

Story and photos by Hannah McCarthy

Just 2 miles outside of downtown Cave City, Kentucky, the landscape quickly turns from old brick and mortar to farmhouses and dirt roads. Down one such dirt road, a 45-acre plot of land rests nestled between patches of trees, large stretches of wildflowers and tall grasses. Two 2012 Clayton model mobile homes, an old red barn and a spattering of newer-looking structures dot the immense sea of green grass.

The dirt road leads to a gravel pathway almost up to the door of the main house. This is the new home and farm of the Wilson family, one of Kentucky’s first families to enter into the world of hemp farming through the Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program.

Inside, two men, the heads of the two households, scurry around in the small kitchen of the main home. Dodging the kitchen island, the dog and each other, they are busy making phone calls to clients and searching for a product or a tool or a piece of paper. There is much to be done on this April day, as the summer is quickly approaching.

One of them is a burly bearded man in a farmer’s plaid button down. The hat he wears reads “Green Remedy,” and it is adorned with buttons and pins with pro-hemp sayings, phrases and images. Tufts of curly gray and black hair stick out from beneath the hat, and a salt-and-pepper goatee wraps around his bright smile.

This is Chad Wilson, sometimes better known as the Hemp Preacher.

He doesn’t remember when he first got the name or even who gave it to him; all he knows is that it has caught on over the years.

“I can get up on a soapbox pretty quick,” he laughs. “Thing is I get to speakin’ and it just turns to preachin’.”

Chad knows he is not the only one out there who preaches the power of hemp as a versatile and strong plant. He believes in its abilities to rejuvenate Kentucky farms and the agriculture industry across the nation.

As for his nickname, Chad does not want to end up as the face of Kentucky hemp, although he slowly starting to gain that reputation. He said his biggest goal is to spread the word about the industry and to help it grow with or without his name.

This year, Chad and his family are taking their involvement in the industry one step further. They will be planting and growing their own hemp in order to have a hand in every aspect of the production.

“We’re trying to get into a position where we help others, and we feel like it’s our calling; by doing that we help grow the industry.”

Hemp History and the IHRPP

Hemp has been planted on American soil since the Colonial Era. According to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Kentucky planted its first crop in 1775, and the state would become the leader in hemp production for years to come. In 1850, hemp production was at its peak with 40,000 tons of the crop coming out of Kentucky’s soil. However, in 1938 all forms of cannabis, including hemp, were outlawed, and so began its disappearance from the American farm.

During World War II, a small resurgence occurred in the industry, as hemp was used to make rope and materials for the war effort. Once the war ended, the crops began to dwindle and died out completely by 1958.

The “Second Prohibition,” as it is called by some hemp enthusiasts, occurred in 1970, when the Controlled Substances Act was passed, declaring Marijuana a “Schedule 1 substance.” Although hemp is also from the cannabis plant, it is grown and cultivated differently than marijuana. However, much of the legislation passed in the 19th and 20th centuries lumped both plants together without exception.

While marijuana is grown in a wider, spread out area, hemp farmers hope that stalks will grow up rather than out. Marijuana is also grown and harvested for its THC content. Hemp is cultivated for its seed and fiber. It has been used to make lotions, clothing and hair care products, but until recently it has been a U.S. import.

The 2014 U.S. farm bill allowed certain states to test hemp farm pilot programs. Kentucky was one of the first states to adopt the Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program, and from its installation has seen the acreage of crops planted go from zero to 2,300 acres in just under 3 years. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture hopes to see continued growth in the industry as the 2017 season begins around late May. However, many local farmers still worry about the risks of industrial hemp farming.

In a letter included in the 2017 IHRPP Policy Guide, Ryan Quarles, KDA Commissioner, stated the importance of maintaining flexibility and strong communication between farmers, government officials and law enforcement agencies:

“Freedom, flexibility and latitude to try new methods and applications are essential to the success of any agricultural research pilot program… the Department must work closely with federal, state and local law enforcement officials to devise and oversee a research pilot program that encourages continued expansion of industrial hemp production while also effectively upholding laws prohibiting marijuana and other illegal drugs.”

Still, some small family farm owners have not seen this kind of flexibility from their local law enforcement and government. In fact, they have experienced quite the opposite sentiment as regulations on percentages of the cannabinoid, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are strictly enforced.

This month, Kentucky agriculture officials seized and burned almost 100 pounds of Kentucky industrial hemp from grower, Lindsay Todd. Her crop, when measured for THC percentage, came out at .4083 percent according to officials. That means the crop was one-tenth over the legal limit of .3 percent, giving officials the right to eliminate it.

Chad Wilson weighed in on the incident, saying that alternatives are necessary if the IHRPP is to continue successfully in Kentucky.

“There have to be rules and regulations, but there also have to be concerns for the farmer and mitigation of loss…the plants are affected by the environment, by the weather, by stress that can throw those levels off,” Chad said.

As long as the law remains at .3 percent and no compensation for loss is provided, Wilson worries other farmers will be reluctant to begin growing their own crops in Kentucky.

How it all began

For most of his life, Chad Wilson, like many of his now critics, had a deep-seated opposition to hemp based on the assumption that it was the same as marijuana and was detrimental to society.

“I didn’t understand what hemp was, that it wasn’t marijuana. That’s how we were raised here in the South,” said Chad. “So I’ve made this incredible journey from where I was to where I am now.”

In 2011, Chad Wilson discovered the benefits of hemp after he began seeing posts about its various uses on Facebook. He started to look deeper, and he found information about the use of industrial hemp farming for vital remediation of the soil.

Then, as he looked further, he found stories about medical hemp and CBD oil helping children and adults with epilepsy or other painful health problems.

After being given the book “The Emperor Wears No Clothes: Hemp and the Marijuana Conspiracy,” Chad said things changed. He is now an advocate and self-proclaimed activist for the agriculture industry and industrial hemp in Kentucky.

In an effort to spread the word about hemp and provide hemp-based products to a larger market across the state and country, Chad and his partner, Chris Smith, founded Green Remedy, Inc., in October 2014. It is a company dedicated to the production of solely hemp products such as hair and skin care items, foods, and oils. The company also sells Cannabidiol products such as tinctures, capsules and concentrates.

Cannabinoids can be found in both hemp and marijuana plants. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) does not cause euphoria or intoxication, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Instead, preclinical studies have shown that CBD has “anti-seizure, antioxidant, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-tumor, anti-psychotic, and anti-anxiety properties.”

Green Remedy, Inc. specializes in the now-legal production of this medicinal cannabis product.

In March 2015, hemp hit home for the Wilson family when Chad’s father suffered a stroke that left him virtually speechless for months. He would look with blank expression at his family members and respond to them with a simple “yes” or “no.”

“I knew we had to get CBD into his body,” Chad said.

Chad’s sister was a nurse practitioner who did not agree with the use of CBD, and she was especially against using it on her father. Not wanting to cause a divide in the family, Chad let go of the idea.

Six months later, Chad’s father was still having trouble formulating full sentences and engaging in conversation. His eyes looked different. They were dimmer than before.

Chad, unable to wait any longer, took his father to his computer. He sat him down and told him to read about the U.S. government patent on CBD oil, which states, “nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention.”

“Take it,” Chad’s father looked at him with pleading eyes. “I’ll take it.”

In less than 10 days, Chad noticed a change. His father was speaking again, in full sentences. A year later he was laughing, joking and living on his own with a new lease on life.

“They said he would never drive again. They said he would never live on his own again. He would probably never speak again, never ride his motorcycle or be able to care for himself. We put him on CBD, and now I have my daddy back,” Chad said behind tear-filled eyes. “I have my daddy back.”

The Local Perspective

Not everyone shares the Wilsons’ sentiments about hemp and its role in American agriculture. Chad has faced ignorance and even discrimination from people around the country. Some of the most obvious opposition and lack of knowledge comes from his own locale, South Central Kentucky.

On Broadway Street, one can find a variety of antique shops, small restaurants and a number of “For Sale” signs. Squatty buildings with chipping paint and once-bright shop signs beckon a number of town locals and some tourists on a good day. Along Broadway, one patio set-up seems to catch the eye.

Magaline’s Antique Mall, with its plastic patio chairs and array of flowers and small trees, sits awaiting customers.

Inside, Magaline Meredith stands behind the counter.

“Hemp!? You mean that marijuana stuff? I’m afraid I don’t know nothing about that, darlin’,” she said.

A clay-like concealer covered her creviced face, and bright eyes shown through the thick black mascara under her polka-dotted hat.

“Come right on in, sugar,” said the old woman with raspy southern drawl. Her attention drifted to a raincoat-clad customer walking in the door.

“What can I do ya for…oh, well hey there honey,” she said, growing louder with the realization that her guest was actually someone she had been expecting. The man began to chat with Magaline’s husband behind her and they quickly engaged in a conversation about a plastic credit card scanner.

“Ya know, we used to use that hemp in the Navy. Made ropes and such,” he said.

“Yeah, and they’re usin’ it to make plastic and lotsa cool things nowadays,” said the man in the raincoat.  “Hell, they could probably make this credit card swiper outta hemp.”

“So it doesn’t get you high like real marijuana then?” Magaline asked, her bright eyes now sporting a look of confusion.

“I guess not,” said her husband.

“Well then, I guess I’m fine with them plantin’ it,” Magaline said, and they all went back to their search, leaving the conversation behind without a second glance.

Scenes like the one at Magaline’s are common in the state of Kentucky. While some people do know about hemp’s alternative uses, many still group the plant with its high-in-THC counterpart, marijuana.

In May of 2016, Chad paid a visit to the Warren County Justice Center to help his son get a driver’s license. Once he entered the building, Chad was told that he would have to leave the premises if he did not remove his Green Remedy hat. According to the Bowling Green Daily News, the officials said that Chad’s hat “promoted marijuana” and so he would have to remove it before going any further.

Chad, not wanting to cause a scene, removed the hat but was disheartened by the entire event. After having explained himself to the officials and telling them that he was in fact a licensed grower, they still made him take off the hat.

“The only way this industry is gonna grow is if people take down these walls and freely communicate and share ideas,” Chad said. “And right now we’re still not seeing that.”

The Plan of Action

Back on his own farm, Chad and his son, Jordan, patiently await planting day. For now, June 1 is the set date when the first cutting will be placed in the soil. The Wilsons will be experimenting with cloning their plants rather than planting seeds.

“Cloning helps us ensure that the plant has good genes,” said Jordan. “That way it’ll be easier to regulate those THC levels and the quality of the plants we’re farming.”

With the planting of the cuttings quickly approaching, there is still much to be done on the farm- a shop to be furnished and cemented, greenhouses to be readied and careful protection of the plants themselves. Although the weather has been an obstacle in the process, the Wilsons remain hopeful that they will have a fully functioning farm within the next couple of months.

“We have a pretty good outline of what we’re going to do,” said Jordan. “But we don’t want to make anything too strict because things happen. It may rain. We may have some other setback. We just know what our end goal is, and we know we’ll make it happen.”

The Wilsons hope that the entire farm will one day become a place that draws people to Cave City. Chad believes that his farm has the potential to bring life back to the small town with an agritourism approach.

Jordan has planted radishes and carrots while he waits for the day to start planting the hemp cuttings. Another goal for the Wilson family, which Jordan is especially passionate about, is to run a certified Kentucky Organic produce farm. First, they will have to prove to the KDA that the land has been free of pesticides and chemicals for a three-year period.

Both Chad and Jordan are confident that they will receive the certification, as most of the land has not been farmed in years. Except for the back, where there was corn and soybean production, the Wilson family can prove that there have not been any chemicals or sprays on the land for around six to 10 years.

With big plans ahead of them, the Wilsons work daily to ensure that their farm will run smoothly. Chad wakes up almost every morning at 5 a.m. to begin his day making phone calls, doing business and readying the farm.

After the cuttings of hemp are planted in the greenhouse beds, the Wilsons will finally have a hand in all aspects of hemp agricultural production.

“I especially care about keeping [the hemp plants] inside, away from external factors like bugs and bad weather, especially if they will be used medicinally,” Chad said, mentioning the importance of knowing exactly where your hemp products come from.

Chad will get to oversee every part of the process from plant birth to the lab at Green Remedy and then, he hopes, into the lives of people in need.

Once everything is up and running smoothly, the final steps in Chad’s plan include making the farm a training center for anyone who wants to grow hemp. Old farmers who want to try something new. New farmers who have never put one seed in the ground. Anyone with a true desire to grow the plant will be welcome to listen and learn the Hemp Preacher’s lessons.

“My hope is that I can build something that’s a benefit to the farmer and the agricultural economy around Cave City. Then, eventually we can experiment with new crops…see what works and what doesn’t, and then we can train farmers based on that research,” Chad said.

“We’re starting a new page of history for this farm.”

CONTINUE READING AND TO SEE PICS OF FARM!

Company to process hemp, other fiber receives state dollars


For Immediate Release

April 13, 2017

Company to process hemp, other fiber receives state dollars

FRANKFORT—A Kentucky-based company looking to process the fiber of around 750 acres of hemp and the jute-like plant kenaf has been approved for $381,500 in state funds to expand its processing facility.

The Louisville-based Sunstrand received the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board’s (KADB) approval for the funding, drawn from the state’s tobacco settlement agreement dollars, in February. Approved state funds will be used to match county-level KADB funds up to $381,500, with any shortfall covered as a loan up to the full amount, Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy (GOAP) Deputy Executive Director Bill McCloskey told the Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee yesterday.

McCloskey said the natural fiber processed by Sunstrand is being used instead of plastic and glass fiber in car parts manufacturing and other industries, with economic benefits.

“It can be a lower input for the plastic and injection mold industry, specifically car parts,” he told the committee.

Sen. Dennis Parrett, D-Elizabethtown, told the committee that funding Sunstrand may lead to commercial fiber processing-facility requests from other parts of the state. “We opened up an avenue for several of these others. Are you going to be able to treat them the same way?”

GOAP Executive Director Warren Beeler said “probably not.”

“This idea was to do a seed plant and do a fiber plant, and then step aside,” he told Parrett.

Another hemp-related project that came before the KADB in February was a request from the Kentucky Hemp Research Foundation, which McCloskey said requested $189,592 in state and county-level agricultural development funds for research. Total funds approved by the board were $2,000 in Floyd County funds, said McCloskey.

The county funds were approved because they were prioritized by the county, Beeler told the committee.

“We trust the county more than anybody, and they put a high priority on it, then we assume that’s how they want to spend their money,” said Beeler.

At the same time, Beeler said the KADB “felt like research probably needs to be left at this point and time to the (state) universities,” which McCloskey said were conducting 17 hemp research projects in 2016.

The KADB in February also approved:

· A request for $12,000 in county funds for Hopkinsville Elevator to investigate business opportunities in canola;

· $179,373 for Eastern Kentucky University for robotic milkers for dairy farming;

· $50,000 to Kentucky Agricultural Opportunities Inc. to create a producer-owned entity to look at business opportunities in Central Kentucky, specifically the Bluegrass Stockyards project.

Committee Co-Chair Rep. Myron Dossett, R-Pembroke, thanked the GOAP for the update on how tobacco settlement dollars are being used for the state’s benefit.

“I think it’s important for us to share …the importance of what this tobacco settlement money is doing, not only for our ag producers, but how it’s impacting our communities,” said Dossett.

–END–

Kentucky Hempsters | April 2017


 

 

Springing into hemp season!

 

April showers mean May planting is right around the corner! We’re excited to spring into year four of Kentucky hemp crops, and can’t wait to show you the progress that has taken place through the hemp pilot program over the past three seasons!

Last month, our state took another step toward progress as the Kentucky General Assembly passed two bills that aim to improve the hemp pilot program. House Bill 333 and Senate Bill 218 will protect and expand the Kentucky hemp industry, particularly in regards to CBD (cannabidiol or hemp extract) crops and the products derived from them.

Looking forward, we are eager to share updates as we prepare and plant our crops this season! There are also several events coming up with opportunities to learn more about industrial hemp, get involved, purchase Kentucky Proud Hemp Products, and network with others in the industry.

State Hemp Legislation

Last month proved particularly stressful for those involved in hemp legislation on behalf of the Kentucky industry, as several bills included language that could have negatively impacted hemp pilot projects. Fortunately, and due largely in part to the many concerns expressed by program participants, these bills have been revised to benefit and expand the emerging industry.

House Bill 333

KY HB 333 is an effort to deal with the state’s growing opioid abuse problem. As introduced, the bill included a controversial provision which would require CBD (cannabidiol, or hemp extract) to be prescribed by a physician and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA.)

Fortunately, this language has since been altered to protect and expand CBD hemp protection within the state. According to Commissioner Quarles, the bill removes any remaining doubt that CBD products derived from industrial hemp are legal, and not “marijuana” under state law. Click here to learn about the subsections in HB 333 that concern industrial hemp derived CBD and CBD products.

Senate Bill 218

KY SB 218 revised legal framework enacted by the Kentucky General Assembly Senate Bill 50 in 2013, and aligns the state law with Section 7606 the 2014 Farm Bill. In a recent press release, Quarles described the bill as “a product of six months of close collaboration and consensus-building with the Kentucky State Police and the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.” It passed early last month, and the law immediately took effect after Governor Bevin signed it on March 20, 2017.

Click here to learn more about KY HB 333 and KY SB 218

Federal Hemp Legislation

We are anxiously awaiting the introduction of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act (2017) by Kentucky Congressman James Comer! If passed, the bill would: 

  • Get the DEA off the Farm: Remove industrial hemp from the purview of the Controlled Substances Act; empower states to monitor and regulate.
  • Redefine Industrial Hemp: Distinguished from its cousin, “marijuana,” industrial hemp is all parts of the cannabis sativa L. plant with a THC level of less than 0.3% (and potentially up to 0.6% if states permit.)
  • Create A New Industry: Allow for the growth, production, and commercialization of industrial hemp and hemp products.

Those working alongside Congressman Comer on the bill have informed us that the legislation should be introduced sometime early this month, if all continues to progress accordingly. Stay tuned for updates on social media! 

Click here to learn more about the Industrial Hemp Farming Act (2017)

CONTINUE READING…

Hemp Lobby Day Report


Vote Hemp

 

Vote Hemp held a fly-in in Washington, DC on March 1st in coordination with Hemp On the Hill. Attendees included 55 farmers, business owners and advocates who engaged in more than 80 meetings with Senate and House members and staff. A number of attendees were able to meet with their representatives including Senators Grassley, Ernst, Graham, Scott, Manchin and Wyden. Meetings are critical to building support for passage of The Industrial Hemp Farming Act which should be introduced soon. If you couldn’t make it to Washington, you can still help by attending a district meeting. See below for more info. 

Hemp Lobby Day 2017

You can still schedule meetings with your Senators and Representative in your district. Click here to view our advocacy toolkit documents. Make sure and let us know if you are interested in doing a district meeting. We can assist with scheduling, preparation and follow up with you post meeting. Contact Ben Droz at congress@votehemp.com. We are coordinating with the Hemp Road Trip on a number of state lobby day’s as well.  Contact us for more info.  

DEA Arresting Hemp Farmer

Please Support Vote Hemp!

Vote Hemp depends entirely on contributions, bequests and in-kind donations from supporters like you to do our work. Please help us continue this very important work. Your contributions help make action alerts like this possible, help defend farmers and much more. 

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Vote Hemp | www.VoteHemp.com

ORGANIC HEMP IS IN DEMAND BUT CURRENTLY IT CANNOT BE CERTIFIED IN THE U.S.


 

ORGANIC HEMP IS IN DEMAND

BUT CURRENTLY IT CANNOT BE
CERTIFIED IN THE U.S.

HELP US CHANGE THIS!
See “Take Action” Section Below to Act Now.

Your participation in this call-to-action is crucial to our collective progress regarding organic certification of domestic hemp production.

Currently, hemp cultivated in the U.S. per Sec. 7606 Farm Bill regulations cannot be certified organic by the USDA, due to misinterpretation by the National Organic Program that aligns industrial hemp with other forms of cannabis.

We are asking all our supporters to register public comments for the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Spring 2017 Meeting, which is being held in Denver, Colorado, this April 19-21.

Background

Congressionally mandated by the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA) and governed by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the NOSB considers and makes recommendations to the USDA National Organic Program (USDA-NOP) on a wide range of issues involving the production, handling, and processing of organic products.

Out of any rule-making process left functioning at the federal level, the NOSB is the most openly democratic in that any citizen is able to contribute to the process through written and oral public comment. It is because of this process that we have such robust standards where if international production is under equivalency and certified compliant under USDA-NOP standards, it may carry the USDA Organic Seal.

The USDA-NOP is currently basing approval of organic certifications for domestically-produced industrial hemp on a misinterpreted definition articulated on the “Statement of Principles on Industrial Hemp,” which is in contravention of the Sec. 7606 definition and is confusing certifiers, producers, consumers, State Departments of Agriculture and law enforcement in the implementation of legal hemp pilot programs.

Take Action! Here’s What We Need YOU to Do:

The official NOSB-USDA-NOP Docket for the meeting can be found here. All written comments must be registered through this site by 11:59pm ET, Thursday, March 30, to be considered.

We are collectively recommending the main points in our registered written comments to the NOSB,

feel free to copy & paste the following points into the NOSB-USDA-NOP Docket page:

  1. We highly-value the congressionally-mandated NOSB process and the integrity of the USDA Organic Certification. 
  2. Like many other common crops, hemp is bioaccumulative in that it has the potential to uptake toxins in whatever medium it is growing. It is important for hemp products consumed by humans and animals to be distinguished as organic if they are grown as such, for consumers with these food safety considerations in mind.
  3. We ask that the NOSB make a strong recommendation to the USDA-NOP to immediately clarify the instruction “Organic Certification of Industrial Hemp Production” to allow organic certifications of Industrial Hemp adhering to the congressional intent of the Sect. 7606 definition, and removing the language “as articulated in the Statement of Principles on Industrial Hemp” from the instruction.

Please consider adding your own comments on how this issue affects you and your involvement in the hemp industry.

We encourage you to share this action so that others may join in solidarity.

Thank you for all you do!

SOURCE LINK

Hemp Industries Association Sues DEA For Ignoring 9th Circuit Decision in HIA v. DEA (& Please sign this petition for Hemp)


Hemp Industries Association Sues DEA

For Ignoring 9th Circuit Decision in HIA v. DEA

In 2001, the DEA issued new rules to ban hemp foods despite the fact that Congress had exempted them in the Controlled Substances Act. The HIA, Dr. Bronner’s, Nutiva and other plaintiffs went to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to challenge the illogical rules and won a victory. This ruling prohibited DEA from treating legal hemp products as controlled substances and helped the burgeoning hemp foods market to take off. 

Despite this victory and the clear order from the court prohibiting DEA from enforcing the rules, DEA has continued to put out incorrect and confusing information advising the media and state officials that hemp foods are still illegal if they are intended for human consumption! 

Today the HIA filed a motion with the court to ask that DEA be found in contempt for refusing the follow the courts order. You can read the filing here.

 

Image result for kentucky hemp

Let American Farmers Grow Hemp Once Again to Create Jobs and Rebuild the Rural Economy – Sign This Petition

Created by E.S. on January 20, 2017 – Sign This Petition

Industrial hemp was once a dominant crop on the American landscape. This hardy and renewable resource was refined for various industrial applications, including paper, textiles, and cordage. Unfortunately hemp was conflated with marijuana but hemp can't be used as a drug.

Over time, the use of industrial hemp has evolved into an even greater variety of products, including health foods, body care, clothing, auto parts, construction materials, biofuels, plastic composites and more.

Farmers in Europe, Canada and China all grow hemp and over $600 million in imported hemp products were sold in the USA in 2016. Congress has 2 bipartisan bills which would bring back hemp farming and create rural jobs. We request that President Trump work with Congress to pass hemp legislation in 2017 – Sign This PetitionSign This Petition

Seminars to provide information on Kentucky’s hemp industry


 

Below and attached you will find details for a series of hemp seminars to be held across the state.  The seminars are a collaborative effort of the UK Cooperative Extension Service, Kentucky Hemp Research Foundation, Kentucky Hemp Industries Association and Kentucky Department of Agriculture.  I highly recommend that participants in our Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program and anyone interested in hemp research attend one of these seminars.  This is a good opportunity to learn more about hemp in general.  These seminars should NOT be confused with the mandatory orientation meetings for pilot program participants.   See attached for more details of the daily agenda and the full press release from UK.

Please call the corresponding extension office to reserve your free lunch.

Thanks,

Doris

2017 Kentucky Industrial Hemp Seminars

· January 30, 2017   Christian County Extension Office     270-886-6328

· January 31, 2017    Clark County Extension Office           859-744-4682

· February 9, 2017   Shelby County Extension Office         502-633-4593

NEWS

Contact: Tom Keene, 859-257-3144

Seminars to provide information on Kentucky’s hemp industry

By Katie Pratt

LEXINGTON, Ky., (Jan. 17, 2017) – New and experienced industrial hemp producers and interested individuals can get a broad overview of hemp production and the Kentucky hemp industry at one of three regional meetings.

The meetings will be at the following University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service offices: Jan. 30 in Christian County, Jan. 31 in Clark County and Feb. 9 in Shelby County. They are a collaboration between the Kentucky Hemp Industries Association, Kentucky Hemp Research Foundation, UK Cooperative Extension Service and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. All the meetings will begin at 10 a.m. local time and end at 4 p.m.

“These meetings will give producers and processors good information about the hemp industry in Kentucky and will get them ready to grow and process hemp this year,” said Tom Keene, UK agronomy specialist.

“Our strategic objective is to position the commonwealth’s growers and processors to ultimately prevail as national leaders in industrial hemp production,” Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. “These regional meetings will help us achieve that objective. We appreciate the opportunity to work with our partners to inform the participants in the Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program.”

The KDA Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program has tripled its acreage for the upcoming growing season, bringing the total to 12,800 acres.

Topics on the agenda include hemp marketing, hemp agronomics, the KDA’s Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program and KDA policies. Presenters include Keene, Doris Hamilton, program manager of KDA’s Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program, and representatives from Kentucky’s hemp industries.

More information is available by online at https://hemp.ca.uky.edu/ or by contacting each host site. Those numbers are 270-886-6328 for Christian County, 859-744-4682 for Clark County and 502-633-4593 for Shelby County.

Writer: Katie Pratt, 859-257-8774

UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment through its land-grant mission, reaches across the commonwealth with teaching, research and extension to enhance the lives of Kentuckians.

http://www.ca.uky.edu

AGRICULTURAL COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES • COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND ENVIRONMENT • UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY

131 SCOVELL HALL, LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY 40546-0064

PHONE (859) 257-4736 • FAX (859) 257-1512
The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is an Equal Opportunity Organization.

Doris Hamilton

Industrial Hemp Program Manager

Department of Agriculture

Office of Marketing

111 Corporate Drive

Frankfort, KY 40601

Doris.Hamilton@ky.gov

502-782-4113

A Kentucky-based hemp seed grower is the first company to have its seeds approved and officially certified by the Colorado Department of Agriculture.


 

 

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Blair Miller

DENVER – A Kentucky-based hemp seed grower is the first company to have its seeds approved and officially certified by the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

Lexington, Kentucky-based Schiavi Seeds LLC had three separate seed varieties certified as CDA Approved Certified Seeds under the new program, which aims to promote hemp agriculture in the state.

CDA has worked with CSGA and Colorado State University over the past several months to breed plants that produce seeds under the 0.3 percent THC content threshold to qualify as hemp and not psychoactive marijuana.

Varying seed types were grown and tested in trials in different parts of the state in order to find ideal conditions for hemp cultivation.

Colorado law requires industrial hemp seeds to contain less than 0.3 percent THC. Three trial seeds from Schiavi Seeds – Eletta Campana, Fibranova and Helena – passed trial tests and were accepted by the state Seed Growers Association’s review board.

CDA says seeds submitted by Fort Collins-based New West Genetics have also passed the THC trial, but still have to be accepted by the review board before they can also be labeled as a CDA Approved Certified Seed.

Congress approved hemp production in 2014, but a state certification like Colorado’s is necessary to raise the crop.

Colorado farmers will be able to start buying and growing the seeds next year.

CONTINUE READING…

First new hemp strain bred for US farmers


By: Chris Conrad

Retail Hemp field crop

A new industrial hemp cultivar has passed the THC hemp trials managed by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, the first hemp seed variety bred for the US to pass a Department of Agriculture hemp trial in any state.

Thomas Jefferson was a jealous hempseed breeder who allegedly brought Chinese seeds in from France in the 1790s to mix with the European strains. Later the US Department of Agriculture adopted an aggressive program to breed plants that were drought resistant and climate or soil specific for different parts of the United States and came up with some of the best hemp strains in the world. That all came to an end with the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, when hemp farming was essentially banned. The national seed banks died out when the federal Drug Enforcement Agency took control in the 1970s and destroyed them in the name of the Drug War.

Act of Congress opened the way for new hemp seedlines

In February 2015, Congress passed the hemp amendment to the Farm bill and opened new avenues for cannabis hemp. Two years later, Rely™ by New West Genetics has become the first modern hemp variety bred for the U.S. to pass Colorado Department of Agriculture hemp trials. The plants have a stable THC content below 0.1 percent, compared with the federal standard of 0.3 percent or less.

“This is a landmark victory for New West Genetics, as well as hemp production in the United States overall,” said Wendy Mosher, CEO for New West Genetics. “The use of regionally bred hemp seed for production is imperative for the US hemp industry to succeed, and we hope that the results for Rely™ act as a catalyst for other U.S. hemp product makers to recognize the benefit of regionally bred varieties – better yield, disease resistance, sustainability, etc. and demand those be used for their products.”

PLEASE CONTINUE READING…