Tag Archives: Agricultural Act of 2014

Genius Extraction Technologies, a California company the produces hemp and cannabis oil extraction equipment, announced plans to build a new $400,000 hemp processing facility in Winchester


 

 

The Sunday Drive: Kentucky, others getting on board with hemp

Posted: Monday, July 11, 2016 11:37 am

By Steve Foley The Winchester Sun | 1 comment

Section 7606 of the Agricultural Act established in 2014 is quickly making it’s presence felt here in the Bluegrass.

That, my friends, is a good thing.

The Agricultural Act of 2014 allowed certain states including Kentucky to start farming hemp again after a ban of almost 60 years. 

While it will probably take a few years before we fully know if hemp can replace a significant portion of the income lost with the disappearance of tobacco and coal revenue, there’s a plethora of Kentuckian entrepreneurs, farmers and manufacturers who already are staking their future on it.

The hemp revitalization began soon after Feb. 7, 2014, when the Agricultural Act bill was signed into law. It authorized five-year pilot programs throughout universities and state departments of agriculture. 

As of today, there are 28 states including many in the South which have been approved to grow industrial hemp — some for research and some for commercial value. For the next four years, hemp can be grown and processed to produce fiber for textiles, paper and building materials, as well as seed and oil for food, beauty products, biopharmaceuticals and fuel.

It’s been well advertised Kentucky is the epicenter for hemp, as U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer have made the state a leader in industrial hemp production.,

Now, farmers across the state including many former tobacco farmers are planting hemp seeds that have been grown in the country since the crop was banned nearly 60 years ago.

Last year, the Kentucky State Department of Agriculture  licensed more than 100 programs at universities, private farms and processing sites. One of them is here in Clark County located off Colby Road at Atalo Holdings, Inc, a 27-acre farm of cannabinoid-rich plants.

Last month, Genius Extraction Technologies, a California company the produces hemp and cannabis oil extraction equipment, announced plans to build a new $400,000 hemp processing facility in Winchester.

The facility will be located at Atalo’s Hemp Research Campus on Colby Road, where early testing and setup has been underway since March.

The company expects to process some 250,000 pounds of hemp for commercial uses in the fall for Atalo and its subsidiaries, Super Food Processing and KentuckyCBD.

Across the state, hemp pilot programs have dramatically increased over the past year with hundreds participating and close to 4,500 acres of hemp being planted.

According to a recent report from SurfKY News, Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy Executive Director Warren Beeler told the Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee Atalo Holdings’ hemp contracts this year cover over half of the 4,500 acres planted statewide.

Atalo got its start with $492,000 in state funds pulled from a 16-year-old settlement between the state and cigarette manufacturers after Kentucky made state-sponsored research legal in 2013, Beeler said.

It was the first project to receive state tobacco settlement dollars for a hemp-related project, the GOAP reported last year, and it is currently processing its product from last year into protein powder and other legal hemp products.

Many other hemp operations are also at work across the state, and most hemp grown are being used for cannabidiol or CBD, a lucrative hemp compound believed to have medicinal benefits.

Kentucky passed a law in 2014 that excludes CBD oil from the definition of marijuana for certain epileptic patients.

CBD oil is just one product in today’s ever increasing hemp market. How large the hemp market will grown remains to be seen.

“How big is the market? We don’t know that,” Beeler said in the same SurfKY News story, telling the Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee he hopes hemp production can eventually replace lost tobacco income. “We went from 33 acres (or industrial hemp initially) to somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,000 to 5,000 this year, and I don’t think anybody much is raising this stuff who doesn’t have a contract or place to get rid of it.

“Who knows where we might be in 20 years?”

Contact Steve Foley at steve.foley@winchestersun.com or follow him on Twitter @SteveFoley8.

CONTINUE READING…

What happened to the hemp crop in kentucky? (It took a trip!)


Low hemp harvest yield expected

Story by Lauren Epperson, Contributing writer

Emily Harris/The News Tony Brannon, dean of the Hutson School of Agriculture, said problems with this years seeds could lead to a low yielding harvest.Emily Harris/The News
Tony Brannon, dean of the Hutson School of Agriculture, said problems with this years seeds could lead to a low yielding harvest.

By late May, Murray State agriculture students still were awaiting the arrival of the key ingredient to their summer hemp-growing program: the seeds.

Getting them to Murray took two more months, attempted shipments from two countries, a pair of bureaucratic paperwork snafus and two of the largest delivery companies in the world.

“There were significant problems with this year’s seeds,” said Tony Brannon, dean of the Hutson School of Agriculture.

As a result, this fall’s hemp harvest – the second since the federal government allowed Kentucky universities to grow the crop – won’t be a big one, Brannon said.

“We will probably harvest the full two acres,” he said. “It will not be high yielding, but we will try to harvest all of it.”

Murray State’s agriculture students harvested their first crop last year in late October. But Brannon said college officials haven’t decided when that will be this fall or what they will do with the crop once it’s harvested.

Just getting it to Murray was a logistical miracle.

Sixty tons of seeds left Germany and arrived in Chicago without a key piece of customs paperwork. The seed company, which forgot the seeds’ certification form, paid to ship the 60 tons back to Germany.

Plan B was to receive a different shipment from Canada. FedEx picked up those seeds and brought them to Louisville only to realize FedEx policies prevented them from delivering any hemp seeds, Brannon said.

That hemp went back to Canada, only to be picked up by UPS and returned to Louisville. Upon arrival, U.S. Customs agents seized them and placed them under embargo at the UPS processing and packaging center for another two weeks before the seeds finally reached Murray State.

Murray State’s Department of Agriculture partnered with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, U.S. Hemp Oil and CannaVest this summer to raise and conduct research on hemp for the second time. Murray State became the first university to plant a legal industrial hemp crop in the nation in the spring of 2014.

“It’s been an exciting project,” Brannon said. “Our mission is to provide opportunities for regional agriculture, and if it’s an opportunity for regional agriculture, we want to be a part of it.”

Kentucky was the leading hemp-producing state in the United States until it was outlawed by federal legislation in 1938.

The National Council of State Legislatures has stated that the federal government classifies hemp as an illegal drug under the Controlled Substances Act because it contains trace amounts of the same hallucinogen found in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC).

Hemp production was legalized for research purposes at registered state universities when the Agricultural Act of 2014 was signed into law in February, 2014.

Although Murray State was the first university to plant hemp for research, it is not the only university. The University of Louisville, the University of Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky University also have conducted pilot programs concerning hemp.

“I think it’s really cool that we’re one of the only universities in the state that is allowed to conduct this type of research and I hope that we are able to continue in the future with this agricultural pursuit,” said Sarah Luckett, sophomore from Beechmont, Kentucky.

Murray State’s most recent crop, planted July 12, has reached an average height of three to four feet. Murray State’s Department of Agriculture has not yet set a date to harvest the crop or decided how that process will be conducted.

Adam Watson, industrial hemp program coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, said that he expects the pilot programs to continue and further research to be conducted.

“I think it’s good that our school is able to conduct relevant, respectable and legal research about this issue,” said Chris Albers, junior from Breese, Illinois.

CONTINUE READING…