Industrial Hemp

Kentucky: Industrial Hemp Processing Plant Expands In Louisville

Sunstrand

The processing plant fibers are being developed to create furnace filters and filaments for 3D printing

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Sunstrand, a Louisville-based hemp processing plant, is a biomaterials company that processes hemp, kanaf, flax, and bamboo for industrial and technical applications. In 2014, the business started in Okolona, after Kentucky allowed industrial hemp. The company's new 25,000-square-foot plant is more than four times larger than its original location. The company has contracts with several Kentucky farmers to grow hemp, and their fibers are being developed to create furnace filters and filaments for 3D printing.

Colorado: Governor Hickenlooper Signs Hemp Bill Protecting Water Stored In Federal Reservoirs

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Senate Bill 117, which will protect hemp farmers who use water stored in federal reservoirs, passed 99-1

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On Sunday, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 117, the Recognize Industrial Hemp Agricultural Product for Agricultural Water Right, into law. The bill, which was introduced in the state Legislature by Sen. Don Coram, and sponsored by Rep. Marc Catlin, will ease complications when water from a federal project is used.

Kentucky: University of Louisville Studying Industrial Hemp for Fuel

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By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

For a second consecutive year, the University of Louisville's Conn Center for Renewable Energy is planting industrial hemp at the school’s Belknap Campus. The university is planting two types of hemp and kenaf to research their potential as renewable energy resources.

The study will focus on the potential for the crops to fulfill energy needs and become a replacement source for biofuels, fibers and 3-D printer applications.

The research will be included in the Kentucky Department of Agriculture's Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program.

Interim president of U of L, Greg Postel, stated that researchers are seeking "unusual answers to renewable energy questions."

“Having the crops grow on campus actually raises awareness about the research that we have going on at Conn Center,” said Assistant Director Andrew Marsh.

"What we do with this plant matter is actually convert it into substances that will help solve energy problems, so the mission of the center is to work on technologies to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels, and this industrial hemp and kenaf planting is one of those research directions," said Marsh.

Many farmers in Kentucky believe hemp could help revitalize Kentucky’s agricultural sector, and the hope is the research at Conn will help students and scientists study the crop’s potential as a fuel.

West Virginia: Governor Signs Industrial Hemp Bill

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice has signed a bill expanding the availability of licenses for the state's hemp production, reports the Register-Herald. The measure will allow the Commissioner of Agriculture to approve a license for any individual rather than just state colleges and universities.

First-time license applicants will be required to submit their fingerprints and undergo state and federal background checks at their own expense. Individuals granted a license will be “presumed to be growing industrial hemp for commercial purposes,” according to the bill text. Licenses will expire annually on December 31.

The measure passed unanimously in both the House and Senate.

Crescent Gallagher, communications director for the Department of Agriculture, said industrial hemp could play a role in improving the state’s economy.

“The department is looking forward to working with individuals who are interested in growing industrial hemp,” he said in an April 5 Gazette-Mail report. “The hope is that hemp becomes a niche crop that helps grow our agriculture industries and spur economic growth to help diversify our economy.”

Oregon: Hemp Bills Would Move Crop Into Mainstream

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Two bills would bring hemp more into the mainstream of Oregon's agriculture by creating a commodity commission and seed certification process for the crop.

“Industrial hemp has a huge potential in Oregon, we just need a few tweaks to help move it forward,” said Matt Cyrus, a hemp grower in Deschutes County, during a March 28 legislative hearing.

House Bill 2372 would allow Oregon's hemp industry to join 23 other crop, seafood, and livestock sectors with a state commission meant to promote and research a commodity through fees raised from producers.

House Bill 2371 would establish a system to get the purity of hemp seeds certified through a system overseen by Oregon State University.

“It’s truly about a certified seed, one we know Oregon can count on,” said Jerry Norton, a hemp grower.

HB 2371 would also establish a hemp pilot program at OSU to comply with federal provisions in the 2014 Farm Bill that allow hemp research.

Commercial hemp production is still illegal under federal drug laws which place hemp in the same category as marijuana, its psychoactive cousin.

New Mexico: Governor Vetoes Industrial Hemp Bill

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Susana Martinez, Governor of New Mexico, has vetoed a bill that would have created a research program for industrial hemp.

The Democrat-sponsored bill was vetoed by the second-term Republican governor on Wednesday without comment.

The bill would have required the New Mexico Department of Agriculture to set up an industrial hemp research program for cultivation and marketing.

Democratic Sen. Cisco McSorley of Albuquerque has authored a more restrictive bill which is on its way to the governor's desk right now. McSorley says it addresses concerns raised by Martinez two years ago about potential conflicts with federal law and provides for police training.

Thirty-one states have authorized hemp research. The 2014 federal farm bill allows state agriculture departments to designate hemp projects for research and development.

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)

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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

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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.

New Mexico, Hawaii: States Pass Bills To Decriminalize Industrial Hemp

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Both New Mexico and Hawaii overwhelmingly passed bills earlier this month to decriminalize industrial hemp. Passage of the bills into law would set the stage for the people there to nullify federal prohibition of the plant.

Rep. Rick Little (R-Chaparral) introduced New Mexico's House Bill 166 (HB166) on Jan 18.

A coalition of eight Democrat representatives introduced Hawaii's House Bill 773 (HB773) on Jan. 20.

The new legislation will remove industrial hemp from each state's list of controlled substances. Both bills will require no license and will create no state regulatory structure. Industrial hemp would be treated like any other plant, such as corn, in both states. Residents of the states will now be able to start farming industrial hemp should they be willing to risk violating ongoing federal prohibition.

The New Mexico House passed HB166 by a 53-13 vote on Monday, February 18, and Hawaii's House Agricultural Committee passed HB773 by a 7-0 vote on February 8.

U.S.: Hemp Industry Association Says DEA Ruling Does Not Make CBD Illegal

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The Hemp Industry Association has made an announcement that a recent ruling by the U.S. DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) did not make cannabidoids (CBD) illegal.

The following statement was issued by the Hemp Industry Association:

Yesterday the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a Final Rule on the coding of marijuana extracts. Unfortunately some misleading media stories and social media postings lead quite a few people to panic at reports that CBD was being banned under this new rule.

The Sky is NOT Falling. The Final Rule published by DEA did not change the legal status of CBD. This can only be done by a scheduling action which has NOT occurred.

HIA has carefully reviewed this with our legal advisors and discussed it with industry experts. While there are some differing opinions on the effect of the rule, there is general agreement that yesterday's ruling did not change the status of CBD. Here are some important facts to know:

Cannabidiol is not listed on the federal schedule of controlled substances
Sec. 7606 of the Farm Bill defines hemp as distinct from marijuana and does not treat it as a controlled substance when grown under a compliant state program.

Despite these facts, DEA has stated that CBD is a controlled substance previously.

North Dakota: First Industrial Hemp Crop Showing Promise

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

North Dakota's first industrial hemp crop is looking promising, showing better returns than many other commodities.

Three farming operations in three counties grew hemp this year under a federally approved research program. The goal of the program is to determine whether hemp can be a successful crop in North Dakota.

Research program crop yields range from 860 pounds per acre to 1,125 pounds, according to program director Rachel Seifert-Spilde, a plant protection specialist with the state Agriculture Department. The $280 per-acre cost of raising the crop yields a much higher value with hemp being worth about $1 per pound.

“Without a doubt, there was a lot of value in this program,” Seifert-Spilde told The Bismarck Tribune. “There were some good yields and very few hiccups.”

The state research program will be conducted again next year. The Agriculture Department will announce in October when grower applications are due.

“There’s a lot of promise in hemp and potentially big revenue for the farm as we get further into production and development,” said Clarence Laub, a Grant County farmer who grew 10 acres of hemp as part of this year’s program.

New York: Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo Boasts Strong Attendance

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Trade Show for All Things Cannabis Featured a Presidential Candidate, Pro Athletes, Advocates and Non-Stop Education, Deal-Making & Networking

For three days, the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition (CWCBExpo) at the Javits Center in New York, was a hotbed of business activity when nearly 4,000 attendees (almost double attendance from last year) came to learn, network and build relationships in the country’s fastest growing industry.

CWCBExpo NY, took place June 15-17 at the Javits Center in New York and garnered major media and audience attention, and included a special appearance by Gary Johnson, the Libertarian presidential candidate.

This year’s CWCBExpo NY increased its attendance with attendees coming from the tri-state area as well as Canada, New England, and the Rust Belt states including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

“The explosive growth of our audience is testament to the fact that the East Coast is fast becoming a major area of interest and business for the cannabis industry,” said Christine Ianuzzi, show director, CWCBExpo NY. “People came to CWCBExpo NY to learn, network, and discover new business opportunities in the emerging legalized cannabis industry.”

Guyana: Lobby For Industrial Hemp Begins

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A group in Guyana has begun lobbying the government for approval to produce and export industrial hemp.

Turhane Doerga, head of the Guyana Hemp Association, says he is confident at least 5,000 jobs would be created in the first year and that hemp would earn income five times greater per acre than rice. “There is no reason not to do hemp and become the major supplier of hemp products to the world,” he told Demerara Waves Online News.

He says the objective is not to replace rice or other products. “Not at all! We have to add it to the two other excellent products that we have,” he said. “Hemp can only be an addition to what we are doing and you have to make sure that not because of the windfall from hemp that you destroy your other industries.”

Doerga says the GHA has written to President David Granger, asking for permission to grow industrial hemp on the basis that the 1961 United Nations Single Convention Treaty excludes that plant from the list of narcotics. “There cannot be a better way to get poverty eradicated, get people a job and make this country prosperous and please understand that half an acre of hemp gives a guy a good income so if we don’t do this, this is a crime against Guyana as it was a crime against humanity to have it criminalized in those days,” said Doerga.

Global: Facebook Waging Weird War On Hemp

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Facebook’s weird and inexplicable history of attacking CBD (hemp oil) pages is well documented. It doesn’t make any sense, but we all know it happens: Facebook routinely shuts down pages for any number of often-unspecified reasons, and evidently CBD falls afoul of one of its labyrinthine, incomprehensible and arrogant policies.

So it was perhaps no surprise that one of the most popular UK CBD pages, Canabidol who produce the CBD Gel-Tab, the UK’s best selling CBD supplement, was last week shut down by Facebook admins.

Facebook is a vital tool for pretty much any business today. If you want to sell anything -- especially if you’re selling a niche product -- a social media presence is vital.

Many businesses, like Canabidol, spend thousands on Facebook advertising. It’s an investment into building an audience of potential customers, so when businesses lost their Facebook pages their profitability takes a hit, especially if they have client information, order details and other vital data stored in the page’s inbox.

North Carolina: House Committee Approves Industrial Hemp Research Study

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

North Carolina lawmakers are aiming to allow researchers to begin planting industrial hemp next spring.

The House Agriculture Committee approved a bill Thursday that will allow state land grant universities to grow hemp under the guidance of a nine-member commission and the Department of Agriculture.

Hemp is a variety of cannabis with low levels of the psychoactive chemical tetrahydrocannibinol, or THC. It has high nutritional value and can be used to make biodegradable plastics, fuels, clothing, construction materials, and rope. In 1937, before hemp was banned, Popular Science magazine called hemp "the new billion dollar crop."

The bill would allow the commission to fine growers up to $2,500 for growing marijuana on property designated for hemp.

Rep. Mark Brody, R-Union, assured the committee hemp grows differently than medical or recreational marijuana plants, and growers are unlikely to mix the two.

U.S.: 7th Annual Hemp History Week Features Events June 6-12

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The 7th annual Hemp History Week will be observed June 6-12, 2016, marked by several special events during the campaign. Hemp History Week is the national effort of grassroots organizers, leading hemp product manufacturers, farmers and advocates from all walks of life, working to change federal policy on industrial hemp in the United States.

This year promises to be an historic time in the movement to legalize hemp farming, as more farmers than ever before are planting hemp in states that have lifted prohibition on the crop. The 7th annual campaign will include grassroots events across the country, nationwide retail events and promotions, hemp plantings (in some states where hemp farming is legal under Section 7606 of the U.S. Farm Bill), documentary screenings, farmer outreach, and more.

In addition to its sponsorship of the national program, CV Sciences, via their PlusCBD Oil™ brand, will also be hosting and participating in a number of events focused in California and Kentucky.

U.S.: Hemp Industry Generates Half a Billion Dollars In Sales

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The hemp industry netted half a billion dollars in sales in the United States last year, despite unconstitutional federal restrictions on industrial hemp farming.

As reported in The Weed Blog:

"The Hemp Industries Association (HIA), a non-profit trade association consisting of hundreds of hemp businesses, has released final estimates of the size of the 2015 U.S. retail market for hemp products. Data from market research supports an estimate of total retail sales of hemp food, supplements and body care products in the United States at $283 million….The HIA has also reviewed sales of clothing, auto parts, building materials and various other products, and estimates the total retail value of hemp products sold in the U.S. in 2015 to be at least $573 million."

Eric Steentres, executive director of the Hemp Industries Association, says the next step is very obvious.

“We need Congress to pass federal legislation to allow commercial hemp farming nationally, for this ripe industry to finally be able to bloom,” he said.

But congressional action seems unlikely anytime soon.

It is technically "legal" to grow hemp, but farmers are required to obtain a permit from the DEA. That happened just once in four decades up until 2014. Since then some states have taken action to nullify the federal regulation.

Germany: True Leaf Brings 'True Hemp' Pet Treats To Europe

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True Leaf collaborates with Pet Horizons to unveil product for European distribution at Interzoo®, world’s leading pet supply show

With successful US and Canada launches under its belt, True Leaf International Ltd. on Tuesday announced it will soon offer its True Hemp pet treats for sale in Europe, unveiling the product – ready for sale – at the upcoming Interzoo pet supply exhibition May 26 - May 29, in Nuremberg, Germany.

Interzoo®, the world’s largest bi-annual exhibition of supplies for pets, including dogs, cats, horses and birds is renowned for showcasing innovation in the industry. In 2014, more than 37,000 visitors caught up with the latest in pet care at over 1,700 exhibitors from more than 60 countries.

True Leaf’s product line, already available in North America, appears to be well positioned for the European market.

“Europeans have always had an appreciation for high-quality natural products,” said Darcy Bomford, True Leaf CEO. “In addition, hemp has been grown in some regions of Europe for generations and we’re excited to use European hemp as a key component of our product lines.”

The company announced it has "already seen interest in the product line leading up to the show and expects significant demand as it rolls out across the European Union."

Florida: Bruce Dietzen Makes Car From Cannabis Hemp

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Bruce Michael Dietzen of Florida has built a convertible sports car made from cannabis hemp. He has been promoted as possibly leading the charge in making carbon-neutral vehicles.

He hopes his environmentally friendly car will help remove the negative stigma often associated with the cannabis plant.

“Cannabis hemp is still considered a dangerous drug according to the government. It’s considered as dangerous as heroin or cocaine — it’s insane!” he said. “This green machine is made from three plies of woven hemp, making it lighter than cars made from fiberglass.”

The body of the car, built on a Mazda chassis, is at least 10 times more dent-resistant than steel, so it would fare much better in an accident.

“The body of the car uses about 100 pounds (45kg) of woven hemp,” he said.

Dietzen was inspired to build the car after hearing about Henry Ford using the material in 1941 to build the world's first soybean-hemp car.

Acquiring the material to build the car was harder than he expected.

“I live in Florida, hemp is still illegal to grow so I had to import the woven material all the way from China because we still don’t have the facilities that can make hemp fabrics,” he said.

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