Industrial Hemp

Kentucky: Hemp Farming Can Move Ahead Under New DOJ Policy, Ag Commissioner Says

HempHarvest2010

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said on Friday this week's policy change by the U.S. Department of Justice, under which the DOJ agreed to defer any lawsuits against states which legalize recreational marijuana, also clears the way for farmers to begin growing industrial hemp in the Bluegrass State.

The DOJ announced the new policy on Thursday, allowing states to legalize and regulate the cultivation, sales and use of marijuana as long as the changes protect children and prevent cannabis from entering the black market, reports the Courier-Journal.

Comer called the federal policy reversal a "major victory" for Kentucky farmers; he had spearheaded a hemp bill through this year's session of the Legislature. Officials indicated hemp cultivation could begin within a year.

Hemp, like marijuana, is a variety of the cannabis plant, but industrial hemp is grown for the fiber in its stalks and for the nutritional oil in its seeds, which contain a favorable ratio of the essential fatty acids (EFAs), Omega 3-6-9. Federal law, however, treats hemp the same as marijuana.

"It's about time," Comer said. "Two years ago, the Obama administration would not even discuss the legalization of industrial hemp. But through a bipartisan coalition of Kentucky leaders, we forced their hand."

Germany: BMW's New Electric Car Has Interior Made of Hemp

BMW5SeriesHempDoorPanel

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The BMW i3, a new all-electric car which debuted on Monday, weights just 2,700 pounds, 800 pounds less than the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt. BMW achieved this by using a variety of low-weight materials --including plenty of hemp in the interior -- to maximize fuel efficiency and driving range.

Weight is essential, reports TruthonPot.com, because the i3 depends on a 22-kilowatt lithium-ion battery for fuel; the battery is so heavy it contributes about 20 percent of the vehicle's mass. Like many BMWs before it, the i3 features door panels made of hemp; mixed with plastic, hemp helps lower the weight of each panel by about 10 percent.

Hemp fibers, left exposed, also form a design element of the car's interior, reports Bloomberg. Designer Benoit Jacob says the use of natural materials like hemp and kenaf (a plant in the hibiscus family) makes the i3's interior feel like "a small loft on wheels."

BMW has tested and used natural hemp fiber since the 1990s, when government pressure to use recyclables forced European manufacturers to build greener vehicles.

Starting with trunk liners and airbag components, BMW expanded into making door panels from hemp. Hemp panels were used in all of BMW's 5 Series models by 2006; many other European luxury carmakers, including Mercedes Benz and Audi, now also use hemp in one form or another.

Set to launch next year, the BMW i8, an electric hybrid supercar, will also include hemp components.

U.S.: Hemp, Inc. Educates On Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana

HempIncLogo

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Hemp, Inc., which works in the industrial hemp industry as a publicly traded company, is engaged in an effort to educate consumers, shareholders and others on the difference between industrial hemp and marijuana.

"It is important to note that Industrial Hemp products are completely legal for consumers to purchase in the United States," the company stated in a Tuesday press release. "Marijuana, while medically legal in many states and recreationally legal in Colorado and Washington, is deemed illegal on the Federal level, and thus the reason Hemp, Inc., focuses on our various Industrial Hemp products and not marijuana."

Hemp products such as hemp milk, hemp cereal, and hemp oil and purchased by American consumers every day, and, obviously, are legal.

Hemp, Inc., focuses strictly on industrial hemp products, since it is allowed to market in all 50 states and worldwide without any ambivalence between state and federal laws, "giving us a distinct advantage from the limited medical marijuana markets," the press release states. "By getting a foothold ion, what many see as the next American Industrial Revolution, the Industrial Hemp Industry, Hemp, Inc., (the only publicly traded company of its kind in the sector) will continue to be the avant-garde of every category of industrial hemp products."

Cannabis Common Sense: Friday's, 8-9PM Pacific Time (Live Stream)

Presented by Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH).

Cannabis Common Sense Friday's, 8-9PM Pacific Time (Live Stream)

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Colorado: First Hemp Crop In 60 Years Now Growing

(Photo: Marijuana.com)By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Colorado's first industrial hemp crop in almost 60 years is now growing.

Ryan Loftin, a farmer in Springfield, Colorado, on Monday began planting 60 acres of industrial hemp in fields previously used for alfalfa, according to the Denver Post.

He and business partner Chris Thompson are installing a seed press to produce hemp seed oil, reports Patricia Collier of The Associated Press.

Hemp, like marijuana, comes is a form of the cannabis plant. Industrial hemp typically contains little or no THC, the main psychoactive substance in marijuana, but it has dozens of uses in food, fuel, clothing and industrial materials.

(Photo: Marijuana.com)

Petition President Obama: Let American Farmers Grow Hemp

Naturalized Hemp 1975

Our farmers need this valuable crop to be returned as an option for commercial agriculture

By D. Paul Stanford, Hemp News Director

Hemp is the ultimate cash crop, producing more fiber, food and oil than any other plant on the planet. According to the Notre Dame University publication, The Midlands Naturalist, from a 1975 article called, "Feral Hemp in Southern Illinois," about the wild hemp fields that annual efforts from law enforcement eradication teams cannot wipe out, an acre of hemp produces:

1. 8,000 pounds of hemp seed per acre.

* When cold-pressed, the 8,000 pounds of hemp seed yield over 300 gallons of hemp seed oil and a byproduct of
* 6,000 pounds of high protein hemp flour.

These seed oils are both a food and a biodiesel fuel. Currently, the most productive seed oil crops are soybeans, sunflower seeds and rape seed or canola. Each of these three seed oil crops produce between 100 to 120 gallons of oil per acre. Hemp seed produces three times more oil per acre than the next most productive seed oil crops, or over 300 gallons per acre, with a byproduct of 3 tons of food per acre. Hemp seed oil is also far more nutritious and beneficial for our health than any other seed oil crop.

In addition to the food and oil produced, there are several other byproducts and benefits to the cultivation of hemp.

2. Six to ten tons per acre of hemp bast fiber. Bast fiber makes canvas, rope, lace, linen, and ultra-thin specialty papers like cigarette and bible papers.

Kentucky: Hemp Bill Passes In Final Hour

(Photo: Marijuana.com)By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

An amended bill to legalize industrial hemp production by Kentucky farmers -- if the federal government allows it -- was passed by the Kentucky Legislature in the final minutes of this year's regular session.

The Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission remains in the state Department of Agriculture, with only research functions of the bill assigned to the University of Kentucky, according to the terms of the compromise, reports Gregory A. Hall at the Louisville Courier-Journal. The last point of contention had been a try by House Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins (D-Sandy Hook) to put the Hemp Commission under the authority of the University.

That had proven to be a deal breaker for bill sponsor Sen. Paul Hornback (R-Shelbyville) and its chief backer, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer.

In fact, Comer had left the Capitol under the impression the hemp bill was dead. He returned late Tuesday when he learned Adkins wanted to continue the talks.

"We're very satisfied with the bill," Comer said. The next step, according to Comer, will be working with Kentucky's federal lawmakers to get a DEA waiver for a pilot project to grow industrial hemp in the state.

Public pressure to pass the hemp bill helped achieve the last-minute deal, according to Comer.

The bill passed the House as amended, 88-4, with Comer, a former House member, watching from the chamber floor. The Senate approved the compromise 35-1.

U.S.: As More States Legalize Marijuana, Supporters See Big Future For Hemp

There is a truth that must be heard!By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

With a tide of marijuana legalization poised to sweep across the United States, supporters of industrial hemp see a burgeoning market opening up and big profits for American farmers if they are allowed to grow the crop.

Hemp, like marijuana, is a variety of the cannabis plant; even though most industrial hemp contains little or no THC -- the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana -- federal drug laws don't differentiate between the varieties, reports Angela Kocherga at KING 5.

"Although it comes from the same plant, it's like non-alcoholic beer," explained author Doug Fine, whose book Too High To Fail predicts a new "green economy."

"I can't give a rational explanation as to why something as valuable as hemp -- which other countries are making so much money off and importing to us -- why we're not growing this by the millions of acres," Fine said.

Federal law prohibits American farmers from growing the crop; a special permit from the Drug Enforcement Administration, along with lots of security, would theoretically be required. But the DEA has never issued a single industrial hemp license, ever.

United States: Oregon State University to Offer Class on Industrial Hemp, First in the Nation

Hemp Chart

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News

Beginning Spring 2013, Oregon State University will be offering its groundbreaking course on industrial hemp. The online course, WSE 266, is being spearheaded by the College of Forestry’s department of wood science and engineering. The department believes hemp is an extremely useful renewable resource which is worthy of exploration.

Described in the course material as “an introduction to the botany, biology and agronomy of the hemp plant, its origins, historical contexts and implications of contemporary legal and social issues surrounding its use for food, fiber and building products,” the course will be led by hemp consultant Anndrea Hermann, M.Sc, B.Gs, P.Ag, an instructor at the university. Hermann is the President of the Hemp Industries Association (HIA), and has recruited several guest lecturers in order to bring a multi-dimensional view to the curriculum.

Hermann has a wide range of hemp knowledge, from fiber and seed agronomy to building applications. She is also a partner at Hemp-Technologies, a North Carolina based company who produces eco-friendly hemp houses in the region.

“It’s an up and coming crop in the United States and we are going to need professionals coming out of academia who are experts in multiple areas,” according to Hermann. "Oregon can become a recognized leader in the environmentally conscience fiberboard manufacturing of the twenty first century."

New Hampshire: Marijuana Legalization Dies In House; Industrial Hemp Bill Passes

New Hampshire: Marijuana Legalization Dies In House; Industrial Hemp Bill PassesBy Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A bill which would have legalized marijuana in New Hampshire died in the House on Wednesday without any debate. The Democratic-majority House voted 239-112 to kill the bill. On the same day, the House passed a bill to legalize industrial hemp.

It wasn't a party-line vote, reports Ben Leubsdorf of the Concord Monitor. While 135 Democrats and 104 Republicans voted to kill the legalization bill, 61 Democrats and 51 Republicans voted to pass it.

The legislation would have removed all references to marijuana from the state's drug control laws as of January 1, 2014. Marijuana would remain illegal under federal law, but New Hampshire would have followed Colorado and Washington state, where voters in November approved ballot measures to allow the use of marijuana by adults 21 and older.

The Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, on a 12-8 vote, recommended the full House kill the legalization bill. Opponents complained that it would run counter to federal law, while supporters pointed out that cannabis prohibition is not working.

The hemp legalization bill was approved by the full House on a voice vote. Hemp can be used to make rope, fabric, paper, fuel and other products. Like marijuana, it is a variety of the cannabis plant.

United States: Senate committee votes unanimously to support legalized hemp in Kentucky

By Reporter Brittany Pelletz, WKYT

There is a truth that must be heard! FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - The Senate Committee on Agriculture met in Frankfort Monday and unanimously voted to approve Senate Bill 50.

The Bill would license Kentucky farmers to grow hemp if federal restrictions are lifted.

Kentucky State Police Commissioner, Rodney Brewer expressed his concerns with legalizing hemp.

"We've heard that you can't get high off of hemp. You can get high off of hemp," says Brewer.

Brewer says hemp is very similar to marijuana. He believes legalizing it would lead to more crime throughout the commonwealth.

"In Kentucky last year we eradicated $441,000 illegal marijuana plants and arrested 524 people for cultivating marijuana," says Brewer.

Supporters of hemp feel confident the crops will be closely regulated. Many believe allowing it will help put Kentuckians back to work.

"I don't think it's going to replace corn. And I'm not up here saying that next year everybody is going to work for a hemp farm. But why not legalize something that could produce jobs? And probably will," says U.S. Senator Rand Paul.

Washington: State considers potential Hemp curriculum for students

By Conor Devitt, The Daily Evergreen

Washington: State considers potential Hemp curriculum for students A bill is currently in the State Legislature that, if passed, would require WSU to research the possible effectiveness of growing industrial hemp in the state of Washington.

Senate Bill 5222 would require WSU to study the “feasibility and desirability of industrial hemp production.” The goal of the bill is to see whether or not hemp could be a successful agricultural product in Washington state.

“I’ve been thinking about doing a hemp bill for some time,” said Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, one of the bill’s sponsors. “With I-502 passed I thought it would be a good time to work on hemp legislation.”

The university would not be growing hemp but rather studying its effect in other states and countries, said Chris Mulick, director of state relations for WSU.

If the bill passes, researchers at the university will do an agricultural and economic analysis of the effects hemp has had other places and predict what its level of success would be in Washington.

“It’s not just a matter of the merits of this product, but how it would be compared to the rest of the industry,” Mulick said.

According to the bill, industrial hemp includes all parts of the cannabis sativa plant as long as the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content is less than 0.3 percent.

THC is the principle psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

United States: HI legislative committees approve hemp research

By ANITA HOFSCHNEIDER, Associated Press

There is a truth that must be heard!

HONOLULU (AP) — Two Hawaii state Senate committees have given initial approval to allow privately-funded industrial hemp research.

The approvals Monday afternoon come after a House committee passed a measure last week to establish a pilot program using industrial hemp to get rid of toxins in soil.

Sen. Will Espero, a Democrat who authored the Senate bill, says industrial hemp research could help Hawaii grow its economy.

Espero says hemp has the potential to spur a variety of industries ranging from agriculture to fashion.

"You can even build a house out of hemp today," Espero said. "I saw something on YouTube recently."

Law enforcement officials oppose the bill, saying the law would make it harder for them to regulate marijuana.

The Maui Police Department submitted testimony saying that it doesn't have enough resources to deal with monitoring private hemp research facilities.

Espero says the state used to permit industrial hemp research but allowed the law to sunset in part because of the stigma associated with cannabis.

The Hawaii Legislature is also considering a bill to legalize marijuana. The House Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing Friday addressing marijuana legalization and will make a decision about the bill Thursday.

Espero says industrial hemp research is a separate issue.

He says he is optimistic about the industrial hemp research proposal passing the Legislature.

United States: Hemp industry poised to grow in Colorado with new legal status

Hemp industry poised to grow in Colorado with new legal status

By Steve Raabe, The Denver Post

There is a truth that must be heard!Passage of Amendment 64 has given life to a group of zealous enthusiasts who can barely contain their passion for the leafy green substance.

No, not pot. The fanatics get their kicks from buzz-free hemp.

A genetic cousin to marijuana, hemp is a look-alike plant with one key difference. It contains almost no THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that makes users high.

But what hemp lacks in THC, it makes up for by being a remarkable workhorse of industrial utility. From auto bodies to textile fibers to nutrition bars — even as a cleaner of toxic contamination — hemp struts its stuff.

Boosters say hemp is poised to become a big industry in Colorado because Amendment 64 allows its legal cultivation pending legislative authorization.

Lynda Parker's eyes light up, the all-natural way, when she talks about it.

"My friends tell me I'm too evangelical," says the retired Dex saleswoman. "But there's hardly a problem in the world that can't be solved with hemp."

She ticks off an abbreviated list, just a tantalizing hint, of the practical applications.

"Hemp is food, animal feed, fiber, fuel, shelter," she says. "It cleans the air, the water, the soil. Hemp could be enormous for Colorado because we're the first state to legalize it."

United States: Kentucky business group gets behind industrial hemp, but hurdles remain

By Beth Musgrave, Herald-leader.com

There is a truth that must be heard!FRANKFORT — The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce joined a growing chorus of high-profile supporters on Friday who want to let Kentucky farmers grow industrial hemp, but the effort continues to face an uphill battle.

Bills have been filed in the House and Senate that would license farmers to grow the plant — a close cousin to marijuana — if the federal government lifts its ban on the crop. Such proposals have failed to gain traction with lawmakers in previous years, but sponsors of the two bills said they believe the measure has a better chance this year.

The board of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce voted Friday to support the proposal and Republican Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has spent much of the past year aggressively lobbying state and federal leaders to lift the ban on hemp as a way to stimulate rural Kentucky economies.

Half of Kentucky's congressional delegation — Republican U.S. Reps. Thomas Massie and Andy Barr, Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth and Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul — have also supported efforts to legalize growing hemp.

Still, skeptics remain.

Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said Friday that many Democratic and Republican senators remain uneasy with legalizing industrial hemp. Stivers said he did not know if the measure would pass the Republican-controlled Senate.

Virginia: Montgomery Supervisor to Albemarle: VA Should Industrialize Hemp

By NBC29 Staff

There is a truth that must be heard! The debate over whether hemp is the same as marijuana has been contentious for law enforcement and legislatures alike.

But Albemarle County supervisors are open to what could mean an economic boost for the county.

Wednesday's presentation on the topic highlighted many of the positives. It could mean thousands of jobs, and growing hemp is environmentally friendly. But convincing Congress could be a tough sale.

Jim Politis, a Montgomery County supervisor, argued that industrial hemp would be good for the commonwealth, saying the $360 million market could restore manufacturing and tobacco jobs. He's asking supervisors to support a resolution to present to Congress.

Currently, hemp falls under the Controlled Substance Act and to grow or produce it in the United States would mean shifting regulation from the Drug Enforcement Administration to the Department of Agriculture.

Politis says he wants to work with law enforcement.

Kentucky: Ag. commissioner pushes hemp at Lexington Forum

By WKYT Staff

Kentucky: Ag. commissioner pushes hemp at Lexington ForumLEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer spoke to a crowded room at Thursday's Lexington Forum continuing his push for industrial hemp here in Kentucky. He says it's something this year's General Assembly must act on.

Comer says hemp would be a cheap crop for farmers to grow and would create jobs across the state. Comer says other states are working on similar legislation and Kentucky could lose its opportutnity to cash in if others legalize it first. State police are opposed to the idea, saying it's impossible for them to visually distinguish hemp from marijuana. They say they would have to do a chemical analysis on any suspected marijuana plant and that would create a backlog in their system. Comer disagrees.

United States: Advocates of industrial hemp point to Kentucky's past as top producer

By Beverly Fortune, herald-leader.com

There is a truth that must be heard! For advocates of reviving industrial hemp production in Kentucky, the state's past as a leading hemp producer shows the crop's potential.

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul are among those pushing to revive industrial hemp in the state.

It's ironic, Comer said in a recent interview, that until the Civil War, Kentucky led the nation in industrial hemp production.

The earliest settlers westward brought hemp seed in their baggage, James F. Hopkins points out in A History of the Hemp Industry in Kentucky. During the early 1800s, Kentucky hemp fibers were in demand for rope, sailcloth and rough fabrics used to wrap bales of cotton and make pants that were called Kentucky jeans.

Lexington was at the center of that production.

In 1838, there were 18 rope and bagging factories in Lexington that employed 1,000 workers, according to research by Lowell H. Harrison and James C. Klotter.

Lexington's John Wesley Hunt, the first millionaire west of the Alleghenies, made his fortune growing hemp and manufacturing the fibers into rope, said Jamie Millard, former president of the Lexington History Museum.

One of Hunt's factories was in downtown Lexington near North Broadway and West Third Street, Millard said.

Canada: Building Tractor Parts From Flax & Hemp

by Kelvin Heppner, Portage Online

There is a truth that must be heard! Within a few years, farmers could be operating tractors partially made from the crops they grow.

The Composites Innovation Centre in Winnipeg is working with Buhler Industries - the manufacturer of Versatile tractors - to research the use of flax and hemp fibres in tractor hoods, shields and cabs.

Dr. Simon Potter, Sector Manager for Product Innovation at the CIC, explains the project will culminate in about a year with the creation of a prototype made with flax or hemp fibre.

"You'll actually see trial Buhler tractor being tested around the world. They are talking about testing it in places as far flung as Russia," he says.

He says the partnership with Buhler represents the centre's first major foray into composites for agriculture.

"This is kind of what we're doing with the bus industry right now, working with organizations like Motorcoach to increase the renewable content in their vehicles," explains Potter.

He says there are a number of benefits to using renewable fibres from flax and hemp.

"There are benefits in terms of weight savings, so you get fuel efficiency benefits. In the future there will be cost savings as well because agricultural fibres tend to be a lot cheaper than fibreglass. There is also a lot less embodied energy in them. It's a lot cleaner from an environmental perspective to produce bio-composite materials than it is to produce synthetic composite materials," says Potter.

Colorado: Industrial hemp could jump-start economy

By Amy Gillentine, Colorado Springs Business Journal

There is a truth that must be heard! The Declaration of Independence was written on paper made of hemp. During World War II the federal government launched a “Hemp for Victory” campaign urging people to grow the plant to make ropes for the military.

Until the late 1800s, nearly all cloth and virtually all paper were made from hemp. It was so valuable that hemp could be used as money.

But that was then.

Today, industrial hemp isn’t strictly illegal, but farmers must get a permit from the Drug Enforcement Agency to grow it — something that’s proven impossible. Colorado and Washington have joined nine other states in legalizing the crop. But despite the passage of Amendment 64, the DEA still must give permission, even though states issue their own permits.

Colorado farmers could be able to grow industrial hemp as early as next summer, with state permits alone. It’s unclear if the federal government would raid industrial hemp farms operating without DEA permission.
Needless permits

Supporters say that it makes no sense to require federal permits. Hemp is harmless, they say, and can benefit the economy and environment. Hemp can remediate soil damage, be spun into clothing and bracelets, help create soaps and lotions, and even absorb tons of carbon dioxide a year. Currently, U.S. imports of hemp from Canada and China equal around $2 billion annually.

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