Industrial Hemp

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.

Kentucky: Farmers, Universities Get International Hemp Seed

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Last week, farmers and university research programs in Kentucky received international hemp seed provided by CV Sciences for research projects throughout the state.

This seed distribution, more than a month earlier than last year, allows Kentucky farmers to improve outcomes, make important research gains and keep Kentucky at the forefront in developing a domestic industrial hemp supply.

By receiving the seeds promptly, and thanks to the expeditious work of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, four farms and two university programs will be able to plant at the optimal moment, according to CV Sciences.

Over the past three years, CV Sciences has supported industrial hemp research and development through Kentucky’s Hemp Pilot Project. In addition to providing seeds to several Kentucky universities agronomic research departments in past years, the company has assisted research efforts with monetary donations as well.

CV Sciences also funds the work of the University of Kentucky’s first graduate student focused entirely on hemp and cannabinoid research, who is studying various methods to increase cannabinoid production. The company plans to continue to expand research efforts with universities and Kentucky farmers through the remaining years of the pilot project.

Ohio: Medical Marijuana Efforts Differ In Who Can Grow, Who Can Use

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Ohio looks likely approve medical marijuana, and would become the 25th state to do so if either a new state law clears the Legislature, or a constitutional amendment is approved by voters this November.

State lawmakers and two citizen advocacy groups are working simultaneously to bring medicinal cannabis to Ohioans who have qualifying medical conditions, reports Alan Johnson at The Columbus Dispatch.

Here are some key differences among House Bill 523 (which is the proposed legislation), the Marijuana Policy Project amendment, and the Medicinal Cannabis and Industrial Hemp amendment, according to the Dispatch.

Impact: HB 523, the legislation, would change only Ohio law. Both ballot proposals would amend the Ohio Constitution.

Marijuana in smokeable form: HB 523 does not specifically allow it but doesn’t rule it out. Both ballot issues would allow it.

Home-grown pot: The legislation would not allow growing marijuana at home; both ballot issues would allow it in limited quantities.

Growers: The Marijuana Policy Project amendment would allow 15 large growers and unlimited small growers. Neither the legislation nor the cannabis and hemp amendment specify grower numbers.

Pennsylvania: Cannabis Business Conference Set For April 30

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Pennsylvania’s first business accelerator specific for ancillary startups in the cannabis and industrial hemp industries will host what's being called "Philadelphia’s first ever canna-business and medical research conference" at the Chemical Heritage Foundation on Saturday, April 30.

Innovation in the Cannabis Industry; Technology, Medical & Investment is a one-day conference that is taking place in Center City Philadelphia at the intimate Chemical Heritage Foundation. This daylong conference features panel discussions from 17 of the cannabis industry’s thought leaders on critical topics such as canna-technology, medicinal research, and investing in canna-businesses, with a specific focus on expected trends emerging on the East Coast.

South Dakota: Federal Judge Lifts Decade-Old Injunction Against Native Hemp Farmer

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A federal judge on Monday lifted the injunction which has been in place for almost 12 years prohibiting a South Dakota tribal member from cultivating industrial hemp. Other issues remain to be resolved before Alex White Plume can grow it on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Viken of South Dakota said there has been a "shifting legal landscape" since the original order was filed in 2004 against White Plume, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, reports Dave Kolpack of The Associated Press. The federal hemp laws were loosened in the 2014 Farm Bill, and marijuana has been legalized in several states in the interim.

Former North Dakota U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon, White Plume's lawyer, said the Monday's decision is a victory for both White Plume and tribal sovereignty.

"This order brings some justice to Native America's first modern day hemp farmer," Purdon said. "For over 10 years, Alex White Plume has been subject to a one-of-a-kind injunction which prevented him from farming hemp."

Federal prosecutors in South Dakota couldn't be reached for comment.

Still unresolved is the question of whether hemp cultivation on southwestern South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation should be legal. Purdon said Judge Viken's order should "further the discussion" on whether the Oglala Tribe is being treated unfairly, since the Farm Bill allows states to produce hemp under certain restrictions.

Kentucky: State Beginning Third Year of Hemp Research Projects

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is planting 4,500 acres of hemp in 2016, adding to hemp research projects started in 2014.

The Department of Agriculture started these projects to study hemp production, processing, and potential products.

Kentucky was the leader in hemp production for nearly 150 tears before Congress outlawed production in the 1930's.

"It's important to note that Kentucky, back in 2014 reintroduced a crop that had not been seen for decades," Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said."

The research projects will set Kentucky apart from other states.

"So that we have a competitive edge, establish research production and also a market, for if and when it becomes a legal crop."

Quarles also said that of all the states that do have research, Kentucky is number one.

"Kentucky is known as not only having a historical path of industrial hemp, but today it's known as having the most robust research program," Quarles said.

But the department says hemp isn't the only thing they are researching. "Here at the Kentucky Department of Ag, we're looking at more than just one crop for Kentucky farmers to potentially benefit from," Quarles added.

The industrial hemp has not been planted yet, but will be once the temperature warms up.

India: Study Shows Hemp Has Shielded Ellora Caves From Decay For 1,500 Years

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Archaeologists say they've discovered the reason India's famous Ellora Caves haven't decayed over the 1,500 years they've existed. The reason is hemp.

"The use of hemp helped the caves and most of the paintings remain intact at the 6th century Unesco World Heritage site," according to a study conducted by Manager Rajdeo Singh, a former archaeological chemist of the Archaeological Survey of India's science branch, and M M Sardesai, who teaches botany at Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University. The study was published in the March 10 issue of the journal Current Science.

"Cannabis sativa, popularly known as ganja or bhang, was found mixed in the clay and lime plaster at Ellora," Singh writes in the study. "This was confirmed by technologies such as scanning of the electron microscope, Fourier transform, infra-red spectroscopy and stereo-microscopic studies.

"Hemp samples were collected from areas in Jalna district near Aurangabad and also from the outskirts of Delhi," Singh wrote. "These specimens were matched with the samples found in cave number 12 of Ellora. There was no disparity. In the sample collected from the Ellora cave, we found 10 percent share of cannabis sativa in the mix of mud or clay plaster. This is the reason why no insect activity is found at Ellora," Singh wrote in his study.

Alabama: Bill Would Authorize Research On State Growing Industrial Hemp

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Two Alabama legislators are sponsoring a bill to allow research on growing industrial hemp in the state.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Paul Bussman, R-Cullman and Ken Johnson, R-Moulton,and would allow a state university or the state Department of Agriculture to research hemp production.

The lawmakers held a news conference at the Alabama State House along with Mcmillan Arrington, owner of a hemp processing plant in Nebraska, and Alabama state Agriculture
Commissioner John McMillan.

The federal Farm Bill passed in 2014 authorizes state agriculture departments and state universities to research hemp production.

About 28 states so far have passed legalization to authorize projects, including all four states bordering Alabama.

Hemp stalks and seeds are used to make a wide variety of different products, such as carpeting, rope, fabric, insulation, paper, building materials, and food products.

Hemp is a form of cannabis, like marijuana, but only has trace amounts of tetrahydrocannibinol (THC), the psychoactive component of marijuana that causes a high.

Many automobile components, such as door panels, are made from hemp. Henry Ford was using it in his cars in the 1930s.

Bussman said hemp has the potential to be a boon for Alabama farmers.

"We look forward to giving them the research that they need to grow the product in the best way and the fastest way and the most productive way that they can," he said.

Washington: Governor Vetoes Industrial Hemp Bill, 26 More In 'Fit of Childish Rage'

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

You have to love state Rep. Cary Condotta of Chelan, Washington. This straight-shooting libertarian-leaning Republican calls it as he sees it, and he's very unhappy with Gov. Jay Inslee.

Inslee, piqued with the Washington Senate for not agreeing to a House budget, vetoed 27 bills in a row, according to Condotta, including an industrial hemp bill.

"Apparently in a childish fit of rage our moron, yes that's what I said moron, governor has vetoed a number of really good bills including our hemp bill which was three years in the making," Condotta posted on Facebook late Thursday night. "I would hope that Democrats and Republicans alike would immediately start a recall campaign for this idiot who has never had any business holding this office to start with."

"I think we have grounds to find him unfit for office," Condotta posted. "He has accomplished absolutely nothing in his four years and now has unaccomplished a lot fo hard work because he's emotionally unstable.

"Enough," Condotta posted. The state deserves a competent governor, Democrat or Republican, that has the talent and maturity to lead."

Condotta went on to call Inslee a "The so called governor," and called his fit of pique the "Most outrageous action imaginable."

The representative, no fan of former Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire, even went so far as to post "She was very classy compared to this guy."

Missouri: House Passes Two Bills To Legalize Industrial Hemp

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Two Missouri lawmakers are trying to bring industrial hemp cultivation back. Two bills were passed Wednesday by the Missouri House select committee on agriculture that would allow Missouri farmers to grow industrial hemp.

Missouri Rep. Paul Curtman, R-Union, and Rep. Craig Redmon, R-Canton, are hoping to get the state to join the other 28 states now allowed to grow industrial hemp under the Farm Bill.

Currently, Missouri businesses are allowed to import industrial hemp but not grow it themselves.

"It's important, I believe, for our farmers to be able to grow it in our state so our tax dollars and farming dollars and investment dollars stay in our state," Curtman said.

Curtman said some are concerned that the bill would be a "slippery slope" toward full legalization of marijuana or that industrial hemp could be used for hallucinogenic purposes.

"Nobody uses this plant for recreational purposes because the THC content is so low that you're gonna get a headache if you try to smoke it," Curtman said. "You're certainly not going to get high."

Another concern expressed by the Missouri Farm Bureau Federation is that the bill does not meet the federal Farm Bill requirements, making it illegal under federal law.

New York: Hemp NY City Series of Events Focuses On Hemp Movement

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GenCanna Global Chief Operating Officer and Managing Partner Steve Bevan will join a distinguished panel of hemp industry experts at HEMP NY CITY, a multi-day series of events focusing on the contemporary hemp movement in New York and throughout the nation.

The third event of the series, a panel presentation on Saturday, March 5 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., will cover hemp legislation in New York State; CBD oil production and use; industrial hemp in Colorado; and the opening of a hemp processing plant in Kentucky.

Speakers include New York Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo; Trey Riddle of Sunstrand LLC; Colorado hemp farmer Ryan Loflin; Morris Beegle, owner of the Colorado Hemp Company; and Joel Stanley, CEO of CW Botanicals. The event will take place at the Great Hall in Cooper Union in Manhattan.

“I am excited to be a part of this esteemed panel and to move forward this important dialogue about industrial hemp and its enormous potential for social, economic and environmental good,” said Bevan. “For the past two years, GenCanna has worked primarily in Kentucky to produce a sustainable and reliable supply of specialized industrial hemp of the highest quality.

"Working together with farmers, greenhouse specialists, researchers, scientists, technological innovators, regulators and legislators has been incredibly rewarding and bountiful," Bevan said. "We look forward to empowering our strategic partners in New York State with the lessons we have learned in Kentucky to jumpstart New York’s own industrial hemp revolution.”

Washington: Legislature OKs Industrial Hemp Cultivation; Bill Heads To Governor's Desk

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Washington Legislature on Tuesday passed a bill that would allow licensed farmers to produce industrial hemp in the state as part of a research program.

Senate Bill 6206 unanimously passed the Washington House, 97-0, on Tuesday after passing the state Senate last month, reports the Associated Press. It now heads to Governor Jay Inslee's desk.

The measure would allow Washington State University to conduct a research program on the feasibility of industrial hemp production in the state. WSU would report to the Legislature in January 2017.

Industrial hemp can be made into a number of products such as food, fuel, fiber, clothing, cosmetics and medicines.

The Washington Department of Agriculture would supervise the program and license hemp farmers.

Graphic: Marijuana Venture

South Dakota: House Approves Industrial Hemp, Bill Heads To Senate

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The South Dakota House of Representatives on Thursday approved a bill that would allow the cultivation of industrial hemp.

House lawmakers voted 57-11 to approve the plan, which now heads to the Senate for consideration, reports the Associated Press.

Rep. Mike Verchio (R-Hill City) is the main sponsor of the House version of the bill, which would allow people to apply to the South Dakota Department of Agriculture for a license to grow hemp.

The bill specifically asserts that hemp licenses shall not be subject to federal approval, reports the Tenth Amendment Center: "“A license required by this act is not conditioned on or subject to review or approval by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency.”

President Barack Obama early in 2014 signed a new Farm Bill into law, including a provision which allows states to begin limited research programs on hemp cultivation.

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

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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)

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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.

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

Japan: First Lady Touts Revival Of Hemp Culture

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Japan's First Lady Akie Abe raised eyebrows this month after telling a Japanese magazine that she's considered becoming a hemp farmer to help revive the traditional culture.

Abe, in an interview with Spa!, was quoted as saying she'd become interested in hemp cultivation and considered applying for a permit to grow the plant after studying its history, reports Jun Hungo at The Wall Street Journal.

"Hemp is a plant of which all of its parts can be used effectively," Abe said. "While it is not yet permitted in Japan, I think it can be put into great practical use for medical purposes as well."

Japan maintains a hard line with its marijuana laws. The Cannabis Control Law enacted in 1948 bans the cultivation, purchase, import and export of marijuana. But before that, hemp was widely grown in Japan and used to make fabric and for use in imperial ceremonies.

There are still legal hemp farms in Japan, but they are rare and require special permits.

Abe said she'd like to revive the Japanese tradition of cultivating hemp. "I've even considered myself to apply for a permit to grow hemp," she said.

The article included a photo of the First Lady visiting a hemp farm in western Japan in August and posing for a photo in the middle of the hemp field.

Photo: Akie Abe/Facebook

Oregon: Hemp Farmers Ask For Help From Legislature

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A group of Oregon hemp farmers, along with residents who want to grow hemo next year, on Wednesday asked state regulators at a hearing to clear roadblocks preventing the industry from thriving. Meanwhile, the hemp industry is thriving in other states with less onerous regulations.

But the types of changes they're asking for would require the help of the Oregon Legislature, not just state regulators, reports Taylor W. Anderson at The Bend Bulletin.

That's where the Oregon Industrial Hemp Farmers Association comes in. The group will ask hemp-friendly lawmakers to help fix the issues the state's nine licensed hemp farmers had in their first year of cultivation.

"Right now, the biggest changes to the legislation that we need is regarding greenhouses and propagation freedom," said Courtney Moran, a Portland attorney who is organizing the group. "This is the only crop in Oregon that you cannot grow in a greenhouse or use cuttings or clone."

The Oregon Department of Justice ruled in September that, since the 2009 state law legalizing hemp didn't include the specific word "greenhouse," and because greenhouse isn't included in the dictionary definition of "field," hemp farmers can't grow the plant indoors. Yeah, these guys really need to get out more.

Oregon: Lawmakers Say University, Dept. of Agriculture Resisting Hemp

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Oregon State University and the Oregon Department of Agriculture have screwed up a chance to make the state a leader in the production of industrial hemp, according to Democrats in the state's Congressional delegation.

The Congressional representatives have publicly and privately criticized the university and state agency for their apparent reluctance to embrace the potential of hemp, reports Taylor W. Anderson at The Bulletin.

The lawmakers are trying to learn why, despite a successful effort from Congress to open the doors to hemp cultivation for farmers, Oregon is failing to seize the opportunity to encourage the promising industry.

"It's insane that we're having this conversation today," said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland), who is among the most outspoken supporters of cannabis in Congress.

Blumenauer led the charge for the 2014 Farm Bill, which included a provision making it legal for state departments of agriculture or universities to run pilot research programs on industrial hemp, in preparation for the full legalization of hemp cultivation.

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