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North Carolina: Industrial Hemp Pilot Program To Expand in 2017

Hemp House Ashville

For centuries, industrial hemp (plant species Cannabis sativa) has been a source of fiber and oilseed used worldwide to produce a variety of industrial and consumer products.

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Applications are being accepted for a pilot program to grow industrial hemp for research in North Carolina.

Under the rules, farmers will need to apply for a license to plant, harvest and market the crop. There will be licenses for one or three years available. Applications will be reviewed and approved or denied by the Industrial Hemp Commission. There is no deadline to apply for the program.

Qualified applicants will need to pay an annual fee, provide evidence of income from a farming operation, provide a written statement of their research objective and allow access to the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Plant Industry Division and state law enforcement to sample the field.

"Our aim is to see some industrial hemp growing in North Carolina this year and the only way you can grow it is thru a pilot research program," said Brian Long, of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture. "Actually, so it will coincide with federal law, it was another thing that was in the last farm bill, opening the door to industrial hemp research across the United States."

Kentucky: Senate Approves Bill Expanding Industrial Hemp Program (SB 218)

KentuckyHemp

The bill will improve the framework for the growth of the industrial hemp farming in Kentucky.

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

With a 35-0 vote, the Kentucky Senate approved legislation (SB 218) to expand Kentucky law, establishing rules for hemp production in the Commonwealth.

If passed by the House, the bill will authorize the Kentucky Department of Agriculture to publicize administrative regulations for the program and replaces the Hemp Commission with an Industrial Hemp Advisory Board.

Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles said, "The bill will improve the framework of a growing industrial hemp program in Kentucky.”

"As many as 12,000 acres of hemp could be planted this season. That compares to 4000 acres approved for hemp production last year," according to Commissioner Quarles.

In 2014, the program began in Kentucky with a minor 33 acres. By 2016, 137 growers were approved to plant up to 4,500 acres. With more than 12,800 acres approved to be grown, 2017 will mark the state’s largest industrial hemp crop under the program.

“We are proud to have 40 processors with brick-and-mortar locations in Kentucky, the highest ever, that are turning this raw product into intermediate or final materials. Its potential uses are unlimited,” said Commissioner Quarles.

Wisconsin: Lawmakers Propose Bill To Restore Industrial Hemp

Fairwater Hemp Company 1917

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

MADISON, WIS. - Lawmakers are seeking to restore Wisconsin's once-prominent hemp industry, giving farmers the chance to add the versatile plant to their rotation.

Representative Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum) and state Senator Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) have proposed a bill to regulate the production of industrial hemp, which has thousands of uses. The bill has bi-partisan support within the state.

Representative Kremer recently issued the following statement from his office on February 23, 2017: "I am really excited to have had the opportunity to educate myself on this topic over the past six months. The 59th Assembly District has a rich history of agricultural hemp production in the first half of the 20th century and processed industrial hemp in Hartford for the war department. Today, the future is bright for this commodity -- new jobs, increased tax revenue, brand new tech industries and agricultural growth."

“I think we can be a leader on this, and that’s what I’m hoping to get with this bill,” said Kremer.

United States: Cannabis Activists Join Social Media Blackout on Inauguration Day, Friday, January 20, 2017

Social Media Blackout

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News

Cannabis activists are joining a nationwide protest on social media during the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th U.S. President by posting only black graphics. Activists are also encouraged to contact their Senators to reject President-elect Trump's cabinet nominations for their anti-cannabis stance.

The wealthiest in U.S. history, President-elect Trump’s cabinet is to include people who have been publicly hostile to the very agencies to which they are expected to provide oversight, revealing an historic plutocracy in the making.

"My concern is that Trump will move cannabis to schedule II, marketing it as "compassionately legalizing medical marijuana" while actually handing cannabis over the the pharmaceutical industry. Nothing about the Trump administration is predictable," stated Vivian McPeak, organizer of the Social Media Blackout.

Oregon: Vote NO on Measure 26-180 Tax on Recreational Marijuana Sales - Portland Measure 26-180

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Vote NO on Measure 26-180 Tax Increase on Recreational Marijuana Sales (Portland Commissioner Amanda Fritz's Proposed Money-grab on the Nascent Cannabis Industry)

The Cannabis Industry Is Taxed Enough. Keep Recreational Cannabis Affordable.

* More than 70% of Portland residents voted yes on Measure 91, and tax funds have already gone above and beyond toward the programs that Oregonians supported with the measure: 25% for drug treatment, prevention and mental health; 40% for school funding; and 35% for state and local police.

* There are no specifics on where this money is to be used, aside from some broad topics that, some of which, are already supported under the State allocation of tax funds from legalization. What is to prevent another money-grab next year, and then the following? Say no now.

* Raising taxes only continues to support the black market, rather than help to decrease it in Portland. Forcing higher taxes in turn raises prices for the consumer, only re-enforcing the black market. This hurts the growing cannabis industry.

Singer, Songwriter and American Icon Merle Haggard Passes Away at 79

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In a statement from his son, Ben Haggard said of his father, "He loved everything about life and he loved that everyone of you gave him a chance with his music. He wasn't just a country singer, he was the best country singer that ever lived."

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News

Merle Haggard, the prolific singer-songwriter whose autobiographical outlaw songs and political anthems are loved across generations of fans, died April 6 surrounded by family at his home in Palo Cedro, California.

Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994, Haggard was instrumental in developing the Fender Stratocaster twang and rugged baritone voice of the Bakersfield Sound and recorded 38 No. 1 hits, including "I'm a Lonesome Fugitive," "Mama Tried" and "Sing Me Back Home."

Haggard, although best known for his 1969 classic “Okie From Muskogee" which protested the counterculture of the time, had evolved his stance on the marijuana plant over the years.

Criminal Justice, the War on Drugs, and the Pursuit of Civil Liberty

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Born and raised in Cook County, Illinois, the friends I had and the life I enjoyed would earn me the label of long-haired, jean jacket wearing Deadhead, by some. Being lumped into a stereotype often has disadvantages, and I was an indignant witness to many atrocious casualties of the failed War on Drugs, specifically regarding marijuana. The shakedown always feels imminent, even today.

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News

In the United States, marijuana arrests, prosecutions, and convictions have wrought havoc on both individuals and communities, causing direct harm and resulting in dire collateral consequences including affecting eligibility for public housing and student financial aid, employment opportunities, child custody determinations, and immigration status.

Marijuana convictions can also subject people to more severe charges and sentences if they should ever be arrested for or convicted of another crime. In addition, the targeted enforcement of marijuana laws disproportionately against people of color, and the unsettling, humiliating experience such enforcement entails, creates community mistrust of the police, reduces police-community cooperation, and compromises public safety.

Just this week, writer Dan Baum published a story for the April 2016 issue of Harper’s. Former Nixon domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman told Baum that “the Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people.” This isn’t surprising considering how “The War on Drugs” was soon to come.

Music: Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real’s New Album “Something Real” Melds Variety of Styles, Eras and Emotions

Promise of the Real

By Michael, Hemp News

When Lukas Nelson talks music, it’s not just about sound. “Music is like color,” says Nelson. “When I listen to the musicians who affected me when I was growing you, I take from the primary colors to find my foundation. Then I apply secondary colors and the music becomes more and more complex.”

The intricacy of the music that has been created by Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real on their new album, Something Real, is an amazing combination of sound, color and a wealth of their lifetime influences. With only their own footsteps left to follow in, Promise of the Real is taking their music further than ever before.

Building on a foundation they started in 2008, when Nelson and drummer Anthony LoGerfo met at a Neil Young concert and began development of Promise of the Real, the band is at a point where yesterday’s reminiscing and today’s urgency have been fused into one incredible collaboration.

United States: Oregon Senator Ron Wyden - Hemp is the future! (And also the past.)

Bulletin 404

Hemp is a fascinating fiber.

For millennia, hemp has been used to make everything from paper to rope to soap. George Washington even cultivated it at Mount Vernon for industrial use. But a heavy-handed law is standing in the way of American farmers.

Hemp is legal to buy but illegal to grow. That means producers of hemp-based products spend millions importing this cash crop from Canada instead of buying it from Oregon farmers. And that’s got to change. Hemp may be in our past, but it’s also our future.

I had a wonderful time yesterday at the Industrial Hemp Expo on Capitol Hill. The hemp industry is growing by leaps and bounds and there are so many exciting developments. Hemp is an environmentally friendly alternative to everything from cotton to wood.

Industrial hemp has the potential to revolutionize our rural economies in Oregon while saving precious natural resources. I’m going to keep fighting to end its prohibition.

Thank you for standing with me!

Senator Ron Wyden (Oregon)

South Dakota: Bill Seeks To Allow Hemp Cultivation (HB 1054)

South Dakota Hemp

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News

Earlier this month, Rep. Mike Verchio (R-Hill City) along with a bipartisan coalition of 39 cosponsors introduced House Bill 1054 (HB 1054). The legislation would allow people to apply to the state Department of Agriculture for a license to grow industrial hemp, if they pass background checks.

"Cultivation of the plant could be a force for economic development in South Dakota if misconceptions about hemp can be dispelled," said Republican Rep. Mike Verchio, the proposal's sponsor.

Verchio sees benefits from allowing cultivation beyond the producers who grow it. "Hemp fields could feed manufacturing facilities to turn the plant into products ranging from mortar to fiberboard," he said.

"Industrial hemp is a farm crop, and it offers great benefits to industry," said North American Industrial Hemp Council Chairman Erwin Sholts, who has promoted hemp for decades.

HB 1054 was referred to the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. It's first step will be getting out of the committee by a majority vote before moving on to the full House for a vote. The committee hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 2.

South Dakota Attorney Genera Marty Jackley has not taken a position on the measure.

The bill is patterned after North Dakota's industrial hemp law.

Maine: Cultivating Hemp for Fiber, Food, Fuel, Moving Forward

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By Michael Bachara, Hemp News

Because of hemp's value as a cash crop, states such as Maine have turned to hemp to help farmers prosper. The state is one of the most recent to join the nationwide effort to research hemp farming, which gained momentum when the federal government eased restrictions with the 2014 Farm Bill.

In 2015, after Gov. LePage vetoed LD 4, an act to promote industrial hemp, state lawmakers showed their support for the bill by overriding his veto. The House voted for the bill 135-6, with 10 members absent. The Senate approved it 28-6.

In 2015, Jon Olson of the Maine Farm Bureau testified in front of the state's legislative committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, that his organization opposed the federal ban on hemp farming and saying of the state's farmers: "This could be a value-added crop that could help them," he testified.

John Jemison, an agricultural specialist at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, is among several researchers in New England investigating hemp as a crop that could be grown for everything from fishing ropes to insulation and seeds rich in nutrients and protein.

“It has the potential to be a really good rotation crop,” Jemison told farmers at the Maine Potato Conference this month at the Caribou Inn and Convention Center.

Hemp and marijuana are varieties of the cannabis plant, which has “been domesticated about as long as we’ve had agriculture,” according to Jemison.

Oregon: Cannabis Lobby Day at the Capitol, February 8th

CannabisLobbyDay2016

By CRRH Staff

Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH), along with several other cannabis organizations, will be participating in Cannabis Lobby Day at the Oregon State Capitol on Monday, February 8, 2016. The free speech event, will feature speakers, music and vendors, will be held from 12pm to 5pm.

* Protect the OMMP and continue the fight for patient rights and access to medicine.

* Prevent over-regulation of marijuana under M91 by the OHA, OLCC, OAC and ONI that could hinder, rather than aid, the creation, regulation and stabilization of legal marijuana related businesses.

* No Federal Scheduling - Support the effort to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act. It is time for the federal government to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act.

* Show support for social cannabis clubs. Clubs are an essential aspect of our culture and there should be allowance for these types of clubs.

* Network with Other Local Groups – CRRH, The Human Solution International, Oregon Chapter of Parents 4 Pot, Portland NORML, Cannabis Liberation Front and more!

All are encouraged to attend. We suggest to those who cannot attend to call or write to your representative and fill their inbox and voice mail with your input! Make your voice heard!

Press conference to be held at 12pm.
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Before arriving at the Oregon Capitol, you will want to know your State Senator and State Representative’s name & Salem office address. It is helpful to know what they look like.

U.S.: Oregon Delegation Legislative Action - Removal of Cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act

United States

Oregon Officials,

We are in a time of great change in our country with respect to the attitudes toward and understanding about cannabis, and as citizens, we will continue to fight for the liberation of the cannabis plant. Thousands of scientific studies have shown that cannabis has therapeutic, medicinal properties, yet cannabis remains listed federally as a Schedule I drug.

In the 1980’s, DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis L Young stated, “Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man."

Compassionate Investigational New Drug program is a US Government-run program that allows a limited number of patients to use medical cannabis grown at the University of Mississippi. It is administered by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) but no longer allows new patients. Oregon resident, Elvy Musikka, entered the program in 1988 and relies on the program's cannabis supply to alleviate her symptoms of glaucoma.

In 1999, the United States Department of Health and Human Services filed Patent 6630507 for cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants.

In June 2010, the Oregon Board of Pharmacy reclassified cannabis from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II drug.

Celebrate Love. Celebrate Life. (Honoring John Trudell)

John Trudell

Celebrate Love, Celebrate Life. (Honoring John Trudell)

On December 8, 2015, the earth lost a dedicated freedom fighter, friend and poet, John Trudell.

This Friday, January 8, from 7pm to 9pm at Portland Community Media (2766 NE Martin Luther King Boulevard, Portland OR), the cable access programs "A Growing Concern" and "Cannabis Common Sense" will be combined and co-hosted by Jim Lockhart and Paul Stanford for a two-hour tribute to the late, great Santee Sioux artist, John Trudell.

John's long-time Bad Dog bandmates, Mark Shark (guitar/vocals) and Milton Sahme aka Quiltman (vocals), will perform and join the panel to reminisce and celebrate the life of a dear friend.

The tribute will feature video clips of historic performances from John Trudell and Bad Dog and memorable spoken word from lectures John gave in Portland throughout the years.

If you would like to be a part of the live studio audience, please arrive before 6:45pm to ensure your spot. If you would like to participate in the tribute but do not live in Portland, we will be streaming the event globally at: http://ustream.tv/channel/cannabis-common-sense

What: A Growing Concern/Cannabis Common Sense - Celebrate Love. Celebrate Life. (Honoring John Trudell)

When: Friday, January 8, 2015 7pm-9pm

Where: Portland Community Media - 2766 NE Martin Luther King Boulevard, Portland OR 97212 - Studio A

Online: http://ustream.tv/channel/cannabis-common-sense

Oregon: Cannabis Legalization Legend, John Walsh, Passes Away

John Walsh, Oregon Capitol, July 6, 2012

Although his home was in Eugene, Oregon, John Walsh traveled the state collecting signatures and registering Oregonians to vote like Johnny Appleseed planted trees.

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent

Today, January 3, the cannabis community lost a colorful and dedicated freedom fighter, John Walsh. Walsh collected signatures for the hemp and cannabis movement for the past thirty years and if asked, he could tell you exactly how many signatures he collected for each and every initiative and ballot measure that relates to hemp or cannabis throughout that period.

"It makes me terribly sad to say that John Walsh, one of the biggest cannabis activists in the country, and dear friend of mine has passed away. It was John that originally introduced me to SSDP during my Freshman year in college. Thank you for everything you have done to make this world a better place," said former University of Oregon President of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), Sam Chapman.

Chapman worked with Walsh for several years and called him a “poster child” for medical marijuana, on which Walsh relied for his chronic pain. Though he could not walk down stairs and had to do most everything sitting down, Walsh worked tirelessly for the legalization movement. Chapman noted that it was Walsh who inspired him to become involved with the SSDP.

Another SSDP Member, Attorney Bradley Steinman stated, "RIP, John Walsh. Thank you for all your selfless work and hustle to end the war on drugs."

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