Industrial Hemp

California: Secretary of State Clears Cannabis Hemp Initiative 2016 For Collecting Signatures

CaliforniaCannabisHempInitiativeCCHI2016

Grassroots Organization Mobilizes Volunteers and Fundraising Efforts to Collect Donations and Signatures

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla this week announced that the organizers of the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative (CCHI) 2016 can begin collecting signatures to qualify the initiative for the November 8, 2016 California state election.

The grassroots organization has 180 days to circulate petitions and collect 365,880 registered voters' signatures, which must be submitted to county elections officials by April 25, 2016. The CCHI 2016 plan allows for the legalization of cannabis in the state of California by citizens 21 years or older.

To raise the funds for this effort, the CCHI 2016 is launching a pledge drive to solicit funding from businesses and individuals to help fund the Initiative that legalizes cannabis in the state of California. The campaign has set a goal of $900,000 in pledges that needs to be raised to fund professional petition gathers across the state. Every dollar raised will go to hire the professional petitioners.

North Carolina: Industrial Hemp Poised To Become Newest Legal Crop

NorthCarolinaHemp[TheCharlotteObserver]

By Steve Elliott

North Carolina farmers will wake up Saturday morning with a new option for crops. Industrial hemp production is expected to become legal at midnight.

Lawmakers passed the hemp legalization bill in September, in the final days of the session, reports Colin Campbell at The Charlotte Observer. The bill has been on the desk of Gov. Pat McCrory for weeks, and unless he vetoes it on Friday, it will become law without his signature at midnight.

"Hemp really gives us a crop during the summertime that is a viable cash crop to us," said Lee Edwards of Sugar Hill Farms in Kinston, who hopes to add industrial hemp to his fields. "We're in a perfect geographical location for the production of hemp with our climate.

Even the North Carolina Sheriff's Association supports the bill, because industrial hemp farmers would need a permit, administered by the new North Carolina Industrial Hemp Commission under federal rules.

“Getting a permit would make it easy for law enforcement to know where the legitimate growers were,” association director Eddie Caldwell said. “If you don’t have a permit, then the assumption is going to be it’s the smoking kind.”

North Carolina is also home to one of the country’s only decortication plants, a facility that processes hemp to sell to textile manufacturers and other users. The multimillion-dollar facility is set to start production soon at a huge warehouse outside the small Nash County town of Spring Hope.

Oregon: Scant Hemp Harvest For Medicine Despite Wide Interest

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Michael Hughes could legally grow marijuana in his back yard in Bend, Oregon, if he wanted to. But he can't grow hemp there.

Hughes bought a license to grow hemp, but due to a number of factors, it's still more legally difficult to grow hemp than marijuana and other crops in Oregon, reports Taylor W. Anderson at The Bend Bulletin.

The Legislature authorized hemp cultivation in 2009, despite it being considered marijuana and thus a Schedule I controlled substance federally. The law put the Oregon Department of Agriculture in charge of writing rules and licensing growers.

After taking five years(!) to finish the rules, the agency was finally ready this year for what turned out to be a largely unsuccessful growing season in which just nine licensed hemp farmers got crops into the ground. Those who braved the regulatory environment had to deal with months of uncertainty in a state that last November voted to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older.

Timidity by the Department of Agriculture to embrace hemp has combined with federal law to cripple Oregon's hemp market, despite commercial interest in creating an industry that could lead the nation, according to farmers, businesses, lawmakers and the agencies overseeing hemp in Oregon and other states.

Wisconsin: Menominee Tribe's Hemp Crop Destroyed By DEA Agents

WisconsinMenomineeHempRaid[WBAY]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Federal agents on Friday destroyed an industrial hemp crop on the lands of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin.

The tribe in May had legalized low THC, non-psychoactive industrial hemp by tribal licenses on its own land, reports Christie Green of CBS 58.

Congress last year passed a Farm Bill which creates an exemption to the Controlled Substances Act to allow for the cultivation and study of industrial hemp under some circumstances. The hemp crop was intended to be a legal crop allowed by the Farm Bill, according to the tribe.

"I am deeply disappointed that the Obama administration has made the decision to utilize the full force of the DEA to raid our Tribe," said Chairman Gary Besaw. "We were attempting to grow industrial hemp for research purposes in accordance with the farm bill.

"We offered to take any differences in the interpretation of the farm bill to federal court," Besaw said. "Instead, the Obama administration sent agents to destroy our crop while allowing recreational marijuana in Colorado.

"I just wish the President would explain to tribes why we can't grow industrial hemp like states, and even more importantly, why we don't deserve an opportunity to make our argument to a federal judge rather than having our community raided by the DEA?" Besaw said.

Canada: Demand For Hemp Exceeds Supply

HempField[ManitobaHarvest]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Demand for hemp has grown to the point that it is exceeding the supply in Canada, according to one industry expert.

"You talk about about canola being the miracle crop? Well, hemp has even more uses," said Kim Shukla of the Manitoba-based Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance, reports Dave Simns at CNS Canada.

According to Shukla, most of the demand comes from the United States. Smoothies, cereals, hempseed milk, salad dressing aand biodiesel fuel are a few of the most popular uses for industrial hemp.

Protein powder is another common hemp product, Shukla said, and it's now catching on with the general public rather than being limited to its previous niche int eh bodybuilding community.

"That's where we're seeing it," Shukla said, "in the smoothie market for people's breakfasts."

Canada's 2015 hemp crop is estimated at about 100,000 acres, roughly the same size as last year's. The crop looks to offer a typical yield, despite some periods of drought in Alberta according to Shukla.

Yields between 750 and 1,000 pounds an acre are generally considered "decent," according to Shukla. Those numbers were reached last year, and she believes they'll hit them again this year.

"We're expecting decent yields based on the reports back," she said.

An estimated 90 percent of the yield has already been contracted to five key hemp processors across Canada, according to Shukla.

North Carolina: Governor Expected To Sign Hemp Bill

KentuckyHempChadOliphantMikeLewis[ChadOliphant]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Farmers in North Carolina may soon be able to enter the booming worldwide industrial hemp market, if and when Gov. Pat McCrory signs Senate Bill 313, which would legalize is cultivation in the state.

SB 313 originally had to do with license plates and registers of deeds -- that is, until an addition from sponsor Sen. Jeff Collins (R-Nash County), who added industrial hemp, reports Kat McReynolds at the Mountain Xpress. Gov. McCrory's signature is the last thing needed after overwhelming approval of the bill in both the North Carolina House (101-7) and Senate 42-2).

"From all indications, the governor is going to sign it," said hemp advocate Blake Butler, organizer of Asheville's recent HempX festival. "He's in support of it."

If McCrory signs the bill, an industrial hemp commission will be in charge of managing a statewide pilot program involving commercial growers and researchers. Industrial hemp is used to make thousands of products, from hempseed oil, to rope, to clothing, paper, plastics, and building materials.

The 2014 U.S. Farm Bill allows states to enact their own regulatory systems on industrial hemp cultivation. Twenty states have now adopted Farm Bill-compliant laws to accommodate hemp cultivation under various conditions. North Carolina law had remained silent on the subject until now.

Tennessee: Hemp Harvest Leaves Farmers Disappointed

TennesseeHempPlant[JohnsonCityPress]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Bureaucratic regulations and a late start hampered hemp farmers in Tennessee this year. The underwhelming return on the first legal hemp crop in 70 years has left them reconsidering their involvement in the state's pilot hemp project.

Legal red tape delayed delivery of the seeds, and then restricted what they can do with the seeds they harvested this year, leaving both Wayne Smith and Randall Ledford feeling like they paid for Tennessee's industrial hemp experiment, reports Nathan Baker at the Johnson City Press.

Smith, after finally receiving his seeds in June, planted three pounds. He harvested 10 pounds of seeds this month, but said he'd likely have had a much bigger yield if he'd gotten the seeds in April, when crops are normally planted.

Smith paid the state $254 for the permit to grow hemp. A buyer he contacted offered 70 cents a pound for the seeds -- a total of $7.

"I'm still pretty floored," he said. "I'm going to use the harvested seed to make oil and maybe sell it as a novelty item."

Ledford said he planted all 27.5 pounds of seeds he got from the state. He harvested 42 pounds of seeds, and said he believes one of his plants, at 7.5 feet tall, was the tallest in the state.

"Everybody's so depressed," he said. "Unless something drastic happens, there's no way I'll do it again next year. There are just too many regulations, too much B.S."

Oregon Stops Issuing Industrial Hemp Licenses

HempFieldManitoba[KATU]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Oregon has "temporarily" halted issuance of state licenses for industrial hemp cultivation, pointing to policy issues that emerged during the inaugural year of the program.

The decision doesn't impact those currently licensed to grow hemp in the state, Oregon Department of Agriculture officials said on Tuesday, reports Noelle Crombie of The Oregonian. The decision is effective immediately, coming at the end of the current growing season.

The problems will be resolved in time for next year's growing season -- or at least, officials hope so, according to Lindsay Eng, who oversees the state's hemp program.

The decision to stop issuing licenses isn't tied to concerns raised by marijuana growers who don't want hemp planted near their crops, according to Eng. Marijuana farmers say hemp production near their cops poses a risk for cross pollination and threatens the quality of their cannabis crop.

Eng said the Department of Agriculture needs to address a new law reducing from three years to one the licenses for hemp production. The change takes effect on January 1, 2016.

"We just didn't feel it was prudent to continue issuing new three-year licenses when so much might change," she said. Eng said the 2009 hemp law is "very short and general" and doesn't address the growing practices of farmers currently licensed to cultivate the crop.

U.S.: Hemp Industries Association Presenting 22nd Annual Conference Sept. 27-29

HempIndustriesAssociation(HIA)

Hemp Industries Association (HIA), a non-profit trade association consisting of hundreds of hemp businesses and farmers, has announced will host its annual conference Sunday, September 27 through Tuesday, September 29, at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Lexington, Kentucky.

The three-day conference will feature keynote speaker James Comer, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner, and expert speakers David Mitlin, professor at Clarkson University, David Williams, agronomist at University of Kentucky, Mike Fata, CEO of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods, Ethan Russo, MD, medical director at Phytecs, John Roulac, CEO of Nutiva, plus many others.

Focusing on the expansion of the hemp industry and market in North America, the conference will also feature hemp exhibits, networking opportunities, and a hemp farm tour.

WHAT: Hemp Industries Association 22nd Annual Conference

WHEN: Sunday, September 27 – Tuesday, September 29, 2015

WHERE: Hilton Hotel, Downtown Lexington
369 West Vine Street
Lexington, KY 40507

Held for the first time in Kentucky, the 22nd annual conference occurs at a bright moment in hemp history, as hemp is cultivated in numerous research projects and farms throughout the state.

Exceeding $620 million in retail sales, according to SPINS data and HIA estimates, hemp products are demonstrating significant market growth; with 21.2 percent year over year growth for the category of hemp foods and body care products alone.

Oregon: Federal Lawmakers Urge State To Speed Up Industrial Hemp Program

HempOregon[HealthyEatingMadePossible.com]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

U.S. Congress members from Oregon on Monday urged state agriculture officials to speed up a pilot project allowing farmers to begin cultivating industrial hemp crops in time for next year's growing season.

The federal lawmakers said in a letter that the program missed the 2015 growing season because of concerns in the Oregon Legislature over how hemp would coexist with the marijuana industry, which became legal for recreational use by adults in Oregon on July 1, reports Shelby Sebens at Reuters.

Industrial hemp cultivation faces a number of complications, including the fact that all forms of cannabis are federally illegal. Prosecutors have cautiously allowed state hemp experiments to inch forward.

In the letter, sent to Oregon Department of Agriculture Director Katy Coba and Oregon State University Director of the College of Agricultural Sciences Daniel Arp, lawmakers said provisions in last year's Farm Bill allow states and universities to research potential benefits of commercial hemp cultivation.

"The potential for industrial hemp production represents a great opportunity for Oregon agriculture," the lawmakers wrote.

Oregon, which has issued 13 hemp licenses to farmers since adopting rules for the program in January, is reviewing the letter, according to Agriculture Department spokesman Bruce Pokarney. The agency is reviewing the letter, Pokarney saikd.

Oregon: Lawmakers Urge Oregon Department of Agriculture to Speed Up Industrial Hemp Program

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By Michael Bachara, Hemp News

On Monday, Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley along with Representatives Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader, Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici asked the Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon State University to expedite the pilot project allowing farmers to begin planting industrial hemp in time for next year's growing season.

The program missed this year's growing season because of concerns in the state legislature over how hemp would coexist with the cannabis industry, which became legal for adult social use on July 1.

“The potential for industrial hemp production represents a great opportunity for Oregon agriculture,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter. “Many Oregon farmers have expressed interest in participating in this pilot program and some have already obtained permits to grow hemp from the Oregon Department of Agriculture.”

"Without ODA’s active participation in the pilot program and the cooperation of OSU, Oregon farmers could lose out on the chance to make Oregon a leader in the hemp industry,” according to the lawmakers.

To date, Oregon has issued 13 licenses to farmers since adopting rules to implement the hemp program in January, but not all of the farmers have planted yet, according to Department of Agriculture spokesman Bruce Pokarney.

"I don't think there's any indication that we're not moving forward," Pokarney concluded.

Currently officials are visiting approved farms to make sure they are in compliance with hemp growing regulations within the state.

Canada: World's First Hemp Plane Could Take Flight As Early As This Fall

HempearthAirplane[Hempearth]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

If things go according to plan, the world's very first hemp airplane could make its maiden flight as early as this fall.

The plane, composed of 75 percent hemp, will take off from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, chosen for its symbolic value as the site of the first flight by the Wright Brothers. The project is part of Canadian Derek Kesek's plan to help get industrial hemp use noticed, reports Deb Hopewell at Outside.

"There are many advantages to using hemp," said Kesek, who founded Hempearth, a Waterloo, Ontario-based company focused on developing hemp products for mass use. "This plane project is just our first experiment with industrial hemp, and we plan to explore many uses.

"Once we establish structural testing and information from the hemp project, we will take that and work on the next best implication," Kesek, a former organic-restaurant owner in Burlington, Ontario, said. "The sky may not be the limit."

Kesek believes hemp can be used to replace the fiberglass currently used to build airplanes. This is important because hemp is carbon neutral, whereas the fiberglass manufacture creates air pollution, releasing styrene into the atmosphere.

“Our experts have tested the strength and durability of woven hemp material compared to fiberglass, the traditional material for aircrafts, and determined that in most cases hemp is as strong, or stronger, than fibreglass,” according to Hempearth.

U.S.: Entrepreneurs Increasingly Using Hemp For Home Construction

HempField[GreenBuilt.com]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Wall Street analyst James Savage thought there must be a better way. Growing disturbed about the conditions he saw on TV after events like Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti, he started looking for a better building material -- and the material he found, through a simple Internet search, was industrial hemp.

"There has to be something better we can do than this," he recalled thinking, reports Matt A.V. Chaban at The New York Times. "Who knew hemp would be the answer to what we were looking for?"

Savage started a company, Green Built, to create building materials derived from cannabis. His first project has been his own 1850s farmhouse, but he said he believes hemp-based building materials can transform both agriculture and construction.

Hemp has had a long history as a fiber used in ropes, sails, and paper products, with Presidents Washington and Jefferson famously cultivating it. Savage is among a small but growing number of entrepreneurs who have turned to hempcrete, which is made using the woody interior of the cannabis stalk combined with lime and water.

Hempcrete provides natural insulation, and is flexible, non-toxic, impervious to mold and pests, and practically fireproof.

U.S.: Mary's Nutritionals CBD Products Available For Nationwide Shipping

MarysJournal[MarysNutritionals]

CBD Sourced from High-Quality, Colorado-Grown Organic Hemp Flowers

Mary's Nutritionals on Tuesday announced that its Elite CBD™ products, including gels, compounds, Muscle Freeze and Remedy Oil, are now available for nationwide online purchase and shipping via marysnutritionals.com.

Mary's Elite CBD™ is derived from Elite Botanicals' Colorado-grown, 100 percent organic and natural industrial hemp cannabis plants.

"Mary's is committed to providing products made from plants selected for their optimal cannabinoid content so we can provide the best value to our customers," said Nicole Smith, Mary's Nutritionals CEO. "Plants with a higher concentration of quality CBD deliver more bang for the buck."

Elite Botanicals is a family-run organic hemp farm that produces Elite CBD plants in full compliance with Colorado Department of Agriculture, the 2014 Farm Bill and the pending Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015.

"We receive calls and emails every day from individuals across the country looking for high-quality CBD options," said Smith. "With Elite Botanicals' unique industrial hemp, we are now able to create new products with the benefits of whole plant-derived CBD that can be distributed to everyone in need—regardless of where they live."

Product Details

• Mary's Elite CBD™ Gel Pen is the perfect resource for quick, discreet delivery of CBD. Mary's proprietary dispenser pen contains 50-2mg doses of CBD Gel. Users apply it to the wrist, ankle, temples, or any other veinous area. Contains 100mg CBD.

California: Sipp Industries Forms New Business Unit For Bulk Hemp Distribution

SippIndustries(logo)

Sipp Industries, Inc., a diversified conglomerate corporation specializing in technology and distribution of consumer products, on Tuesday announced the formation of a new business unit dedicated to serving the growing hemp industry.

The new Sipp Industries Hemp unit will have large-volume hemp ingredients available including: Toasted Hemp Seeds, Hulled Hemp Seeds, Hemp Protein Powder, Cold-Pressed Hemp Oil, and Purely Refined Hemp Oil, according to the company. Each ingredient will be available in both Organic and Natural.

"These Hemp ingredients can be used in various applications from packaged Hemp products, nutritional bars, smoothies, salad dressings, body creams and moisturizers," Sipp Industries' prepared statement reads.

"Hemp is in high demand especially in market segments such as Food and Beverage and Nutritional Supplements," said CEO Syman Vong. "We have witnessed many new hemp infused products coming to market such as hemp-infused energy drinks, hemp meal replacements and hemp body creams. We anticipate this trend to continue and intend be the one-stop shop for U.S.-based high-volume commercial consumers and manufacturers of hemp products."

Current estimates of retail hemp sales in the U.S. exceeds $300 million per year and growing. As of today and for the foreseeable future, due to federal restrictions, there is little current commercial production of hemp in the U.S. and the market is dependent upon imports.

U.S.: Compass Diversified Holdings Acquires Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods

ManitobaHarvestHempFoods[logo]

Compass Diversified Holdings, a Westport, Connecticut-based owner of middle market businesses, on Monday announced that on June 4, it entered into an agreement to acquire Fresh Hemp Foods Ltd. ("Manitoba Harvest"). The acquisition is expected to close in the next 45 days, subject to customary closing conditions.

Headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Manitoba Harvest is a pioneer and global leader in branded, hemp-based foods. The company's products are the fastest growing in the hemp food market and among the fastest growing in the natural foods industry.

Manitoba Harvest's award-winning products are currently carried in about 7,000 retail stores across the U.S. and Canada. For the year ended November 30, 2014, Manitoba Harvest reported net revenue of approximately C$37.9 million, an increase of 23.9 percent year-over-year. The company continued its rapid growth in the first half of its current fiscal year, generating net revenue of approximately C$27.6 million for the six months ended May 31, 2015.

The purchase price for Manitoba Harvest is based on a total enterprise value of C$132.5 million and will also include working capital and certain other adjustments upon closing. Manitoba Harvest generated net revenues of approximately C$44.9 million and Adjusted EBITDA of approximately C$6.4 million for the last twelve months ending May 31, 2015, representing year-over-year growth of 28.5 percent and 59.4 percent, respectively. The company generated Adjusted EBITDA for the six months ended May 31, 2015 of approximately C$5.0 million.

U.S.: Hemp History Week Launches Nationwide With Plantings, Courses, and Events

HempHistoryWeek2015

The 6th annual Hemp History Week campaign began on Monday, bringing more than 1,400 events including documentary film screenings, cooking demonstrations, retail promotions, educational outreach, spring hemp plantings and hemp home building courses to the public—all aimed to catalyze movement on the issue of lifting the federal ban on industrial hemp farming in the United States.

Organized by Hemp Industries Association (HIA) and Vote Hemp, Hemp History Week will be held June 1-7, with events occurring in all 50 states. Encouraged by federal support in Congress, with the Industrial Hemp Farming Act introduced in both the House and Senate in January 2015, the campaign's theme Sow the Seed highlights spring plantings in states that have passed legislation legalizing industrial hemp farming, and encourages consumers to participate in the call for support among legislators to support industrial hemp farming and the growth of the hemp industry nationwide.

To learn more about Hemp History Week, visit: www.HempHistoryWeek.com.

Spring Hemp Plantings

HIA and Vote Hemp have partnered with University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture, to coordinate a hemp planting demonstration, to occur June 2, on the site of the university's hemp pilot program fields. Throughout the country, farmers in states that have legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp will begin to plant this spring, and Hemp History Week is coordinating events to celebrate the return of hemp to the American agrarian landscape.

US Hemp Wholesale Is Now Selling Wholesale CBD Oil On Their Website

USHempWholesale(logo)

Industrial hemp products specialists USHempWholesale.com on Thursday announced they are now selling wholesale CBD oil on their website.

As a company spokesperson for US Hemp Wholesale explained, cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a chemical compound from the cannabis genus. The compound is non-psychoactive, and it may have anti-anxiety properties. For people who wish to purchase CBD oil wholesale, US Hemp Wholesale says it is a one-stop CBD shop.

Even though the wholesale CBD oil was only just launched, it is already getting a lot of positive attention from customers, according to US Hemp Wholesale. For example, the High CBD Hemp Oil is already selling briskly.

As the company spokesperson noted, the Gold Version of the oil is the most potent type of CBD hemp oil supplement that is available. The oil is shipped in oral syringes with concentrations ranging from 12 to 30 percent CBD.

The non-psychoactive dietary supplement is naturally rich in CBD while being very low in THC.

A Blue Version of the CBD hemp oil is also available; this dark and paste-like substance will become soft when the syringe is placed into warm water. A Raw Version has also been added to the inventory at USHempWholesale.com; it's similar in consistency to the Blue Version but contains both CBD and CBD-a.

Kentucky: Hemp Industry Growing, Attracting Processors, Investment

HempHistoryInKentucky

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Kentucky's industrial hemp crop is growing and bringing new investors to the state, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer announced at a Tuesday news conference in Lexington.

According to Comer, 121 participants have been selected to grow hemp this year, including seven universities across the state, reports Janet Patton at the Herald-Leader. Thirty-six groups and projects will grow 1,742 acres of hemp this year, he said.

Last year, the first in decades that a legal hemp crop was grown in Kentucky, saw 20 farmers growing just over 33 acres.

The re-emerging industry has attracted 24 licensed hemp processors who are investing in the state, according to Comer.

"With their investment, jobs have been created, jobs are going to be created, and they've signed contracts with family farmers," Comer said. "Hemp equals jobs and true economic growth, which is what we predicted when we launched Senate Bill 50 two years ago."

Among the investors are Colorado's Stanley Brothers, who said on Tuesday they plan to grow hemp in Kentucky for their Charlotte's Web CBD oil, used to treat seizures in children. Joel Stanley, CEO of Stanley Brothers Social Enterprises, said they plan to invest at least $500,000 this year.

Indiana: First Church of Cannabis Approved After 'Religious Freedom' Law Passed

FirstChurchOfCannabisEstablishedMarch26,2015

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Turning around a new law originally intended as a tool of intolerance against gays, the First Church of Cannabis Inc. has been approved by Indiana's secretary of state after the state's "religious freedom" legislation came into effect last week.

Church founder Bill Levin said he filed the paperwork in direct response to Gov. Mike Pence's signing of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law last Thursday, reports Sarah Pulliam Bailey of The Washington Post. Secretary of State Connie Lawson approved the church as a religious corporation with the stated intent "to start a church based on love and understanding with compassion for all."

Cannabis is listed as a sacrament in the church's doctrine, according to Levin, who set he was setting up a church hierarchy. Levin wrote out the new "Diety Dozen," a list of suggestions for better living comparable to the 10 Commandments.

The church will grow hemp, he said, though it will not buy or sell marijuana.

"If someone is smoking in our church, God bless them," Levin said. "This is a church to show a proper way of life, a loving way to live life. We are called 'Cannataerians.'"

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