Kentucky

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Kentucky: Hemp Grown In Commonwealth Used As Insulation In Lexington Housing Project

Kentucky Hemp Insulation

Kentucky's first hemp crop was grown in 1775, and Kentucky went on to become the nation's leading hemp-producing state in the mid-19th century with peak production of 40,000 tons in 1850

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

This weekend, to commemorate Hemp History Week, a two day "Building with Hemp" workshop brought community members together in Lexington, Kentucky to begin insulating a house with Kentucky-grown hemp. Kris Nonn, a construction director at North Limestone Community Development Corporation who organized the workshop, believes it is important to understand “how something that grows really well here can be used for construction.”

Kentucky: Industrial Hemp Processing Plant Expands In Louisville

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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.

Kentucky: Officials Burn Commercial Hemp With Too Much THC

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Kentucky agriculture officials say the hemp destroyed Thursday for containing too much of the psychoactive compound THC was a fraction of the hemp crop being grown in the state.

The state agriculture department says the THC level exceeded 0.3 percent, which is more than the legal limit set by Congress.

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the compound that gives marijuana users a high.

Hemp and marijuana are the same species, but hemp usually has a very small amount of THC.

Lyndsey Todd grew the hemp in greenhouses in Pulaski County. Todd cultivated most of the hemp so it could be turned into medicine. Todd says her product is not psychoactive and that the 0.3 percent THC limit is an "unrealistic number."

Brent Burchett, director of plant marketing for the state agriculture department, says the state was bound by law to destroy the 100 pounds (45 kilograms) in question because four separate tests concluded its THC level exceeded 0.3 percent, the limit set by Congress and followed by the state.

North Carolina: N.C. Hemp Commission Considers Joining Lawsuit Against DEA

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The N.C. Industrial Hemp Commission is considering joining a lawsuit against the U.S. Drug Enforcement Association.

The commission announced its support of the lawsuit verbally last week and plans to announce Thursday whether it will become a party to it.

The lawsuit would be filed by Founder’s Hemp of Asheboro – the first company to register in North Carolina as an industrial hemp producer. Founder's Hemp said that it intends to sue the DEA over its ruling that products made with CBD or cannabidiol hemp, which are in the same cannabis family as marijuana, are illegal and cannot be transported across state lines.

“We cannot let this stand as an industry,” Bob Crumley, president of Founder’s Hemp, said during a meeting of the Industrial Hemp Commission last week. “If we let what the DEA is currently doing stand, we need to fold our tents and give everybody their money back.”

Through the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill, Congress allowed universities and state departments of agriculture to grow industrial hemp for research, and more than 30 states, including North Carolina, have passed laws allowing hemp research and pilot programs.

However, the DEA has maintained that the transportation of hemp seeds across state lines is illegal, and that it is illegal for farmers to sell their finished hemp products in other states within the U.S.

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.

Kentucky: U.S. Attorney General Admits Marijuana Is Not A Gateway Drug

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch appeared at a recent town hall meeting in Richmond, Kentucky where she admitted that cannabis is not a gateway drug, probably the most prominent argument made in opposition to legalizing marijuana.

During the town hall meeting, Lynch was asked by a Madison Central High School student whether she believes that the use of cannabis among students will lead to opioid abuse.

“There a lot of discussion about marijuana these days”, Lynch stated. “Some states are making it legal, people are looking into medical uses for it, and I understand that it still is as common as almost anything. When we talk about heroin addiction, we unusually, as we have mentioned, are talking about individuals that started out with a prescription drug problem, and then because they need more and more, they turn to heroin. It isn’t so much that marijuana is the step right before using prescription drugs or opioids.”

Lynch followed up this statement by being a bit more specific; “It’s not as though we are seeing that marijuana is a specific gateway”.

The National Institute of Health published the results of a study in July which agree with Lynch's statement, saying that cannabis use is not directly associated with an increased use of other drugs.

Kentucky: Agriculture Commissioner Objects To USDA Rules On Industrial Hemp

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Kentucky's Agriculture Commissioner is asking the United States Department of Agriculture to reconsider its latest set of rules regarding industrial hemp.

A provision in the 2014 Farm Bill allowed states to grow hemp for research purposes, but did not remove the marijuana-related plant from the controlled substances list, giving federal agencies authority over restrictions.

Ryan Quarles said last month that he would be reviewing the USDA's 'Statement of Principles' to see how it relates to Kentucky's own pilot hemp research program.

Quarles sent a letter yesterday to the USDA, saying he now has several objections in that several aspects of the principles contradict Congress' original intent and "could hinder industrial hemp's economic potential" in Kentucky.

Quarles says the new rules name the only economically viable parts of the hemp plant as the "fiber and seed" to only be used for industrial applications. Quarles says that over half of Kentucky's hemp acreage harvests cannabidiol - a hemp oil that comes from neither the fiber or seed, and that the 'industrial application' provision would also mean hemp could not be used in a drug, as a food ingredient or for artistic purposes.

He also takes issue with the USDA’s declaration that hemp seeds and plants may not be transported across state lines.

Australia: Ecofibre Sends 6 Tons Of Hemp Seed To USA

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Ecofibre announced Thursday that 6 tons of certified Australian hemp seeds were safely shipped to the United States. The seeds have been distributed to selected farmers in Kentucky and Tennessee to enable the cultivation of 530 acres of commercial hemp production under the 2014 Federal farms Bill, section 7606.

Ecofibre is an Australian company that maintains one of the world's largest and most diverse seed banks of cannabis sativa germplasm.

Ecofibre Chairman Phil Warner said: "This is the third year we have sent certified seeds into Kentucky, scaling from 100 acres last year, and we are impressed with our crop performance so far. We have been researching and working on this opportunity for over 15 years and the USA has always been our target. Given the similarity in latitude and climates to Kentucky and Tennessee, our proprietary Australian cultivars are likely to continue to outperform European and Canadian varieties."

Once the contracted farmers from Kentucky and Tennessee harvest and process the hemp crops, Ecofibre will bring a range of high quality hemp-derived products to the consumer markets via its US subsidiary, United Life Science.

Kentucky: LMPD Seizes 100 Pounds Of Marijuana From Residence

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A Louisville, Kentucky man faces drug trafficking charges after police seized 100 pounds of marijuana from his home.

Court records show police also found cultivation equipment, while serving a search warrant in the 4100 block of Landside Dr., according to an arrest citation released Thursday.

In addition to the 100 pounds of pot and the cultivation equipment, officers found 87 pot plants, drug paraphernalia, and currency in the basement, according to the citation.

Jason Tornay, 36, owner of the home, was arrested and charged with cultivation of marijuana (five plants or more), traffic in marijuana (more than five pounds), and buying or possessing drug paraphernalia, court records show.

Tornay was scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday, court records show.

Photo Metro Corrections

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.

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.

Kentucky: Press Conference To Push Senator McConnell To Schedule Criminal Justice Bill

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Over 30,000 Signatories Demand a Vote on Criminal Justice Reform

On the afternoon of March 29, Kentucky advocates, including faith leaders and students, will hold a press conference outside the Lexington office of Sen. Mitch McConnell, to demand that he bring an important criminal justice reform bill to the Senate floor for a vote.

The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, spearheaded by Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), would reduce mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, expand the federal "safety valve” (which allows judges to use their discretion to sentence people below statutory mandatory minimums), and expand reentry programming and early release, among other things.

The bill has broad bipartisan support, with 29 Republican and Democratic Senators currently sponsoring. The bill was passed by the Senate’s Judiciary Committee last October, and is now awaiting a vote on the floor. House Speaker Paul Ryan recently promised to bring criminal justice reform legislation up for a vote, but Mitch McConnell has not made the same commitment.

Advocates will deliver a petition that was organized by Drug Policy Alliance, Change.org, #cut 50, and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. The petition was signed by over 30,000 people, and calls for McConnell to schedule a vote on the bill.

Who:
Rev. Dean W. Bucalos, Program Coordinator, Mission Behind Bars and Beyond.
Reverend D. Anthony Everett, Pastor, Wesley United Methodist Church (Lexington, KY), Commissioner At Large, Kentucky Commission on Human Rights

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.

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.”

Kentucky: TV Meteorologist, Husband Facing Marijuana Charges

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

From time to time a report comes from the heartland which reminds us that in much of the United States, getting caught with marijuana can still wreck your life.

Such is the case in Kentucky, where last week a local meteorologist at a Paducah television station was, along with her husband, arrested after state police found marijuana and weapons inside their home, reports WKYT.

Victoria Shaw Smoyer, 32, and Tyler Smoyer, 35, were charged with cultivating marijuana (a felony), and the following misdemeanors: enhanced firearms possession, possession of marijuana and possession of "drug paraphernalia."

"Tori Shaw," her TV name, is listed as a weekend meteorologist on the website for WPSD-TV in Paducah.

The Kentucky State Police said the arrests were made after troopers got an "anonymous tip" via text message of an indoor marijuana garden on Ridgeland Drive in Mayfield, reports WPSD reports.

Troopers said they performed a "knock and talk" at the home, then later got a search warrant for the raid.

Troopers claimed they found five marijuana plans, six long guns, eight boxes of ammo, a tactical vest and marijuana cultivation equipment inside the home. Also discovered were two more marijuana plants discarded in a trash can behind the home.

Kentucky: State Senator Proposes Bill To Legalize Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Recreational marijuana use would become legal in the Bluegrass State in 2016 under if a new bill in the Legislature becomes law.

The Cannabis Freedom Act is being sponsored by state Senator Perry Clark (D-Louisville), and it would legalize cannabis use for those 21 and older, decriminalize growing, distribution, and public consumption, and place an excise tax on weed, reports Jackson French at the Bowling Green Daily News.

"Originally what inspired me was a group of retired Teamsters," said Clark. The union members knew that using cannabis was a cheaper and healthier alternative to costly pharmaceutical prescription painkillers, he said.

"They didn't want to be criminalized for something that shouldn't have been criminalized in the first place," Clark said.

His bill is heavily based on Colorado's Amendment 64, which legalized marijuana there in 2012, when it was approved by 55 percent of the state's voters. Colorado raised $100 million in taxes during the 2014-2015 fiscal year on recreational marijuana sales.

In addition, Colorado's marijuana arrests and citations have dropped 80 percent, and the state's tourism has increased by 10 percent, according to Clark.

"Since they legalized cannabis, everything's gotten better," he said.

Kentucky: Cannabis Freedom Act Filed To Legalize Marijuana

PerryClarkKentuckyStateSenator[Lex18.com]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

State Senator Perry B. Clark of Louisville on Friday said he has pre-filed the Cannabis Freedom Act, which would legalize and regulate the use of marijuana in Kentucky similarly to alcohol.

The bill would repeal the Commonwealth's current prohibition on cannabis cultivation, possession and sales, according to a press release from Senator Clark, reports Lex18.com.

Clark said the bill would replace prohibition with a framework that would "promote public safety and responsible cannabis consumption by persons over 21 years of age."

"No one has adequately answered the question as to why cannabis is illegal," Sen. Clark said. "We were sold a bill of goods. We were bamboozled.

"It is abundantly clear to me that cannabis, while being much less harmful, should be treated the same as alcohol," said Sen. Clark. "The Cannabis Freedom Act is an outline on how to tax and regulate the sale of marijuana to adults 21 and older in Kentucky. It is time for this discussion in our Commonwealth."

"Few believe that anyone should be incarcerated where the cannabis plant is involved," Clark said. "Most of my life we have expended tax dollars pursuing a ban on a plant. Wasted dollars they were.

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

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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.

Kentucky: Sheriff's Office Asks Drug Dealers To Turn In Their Rivals

AttentionDrugDealers[FranklinCountySheriffsOffice]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Is it the American way? A sheriff's office in Kentucky is encouraging drug dealers to turn in their rivals, counting on old-fashioned greed to help them make arrests.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office on August 3 posted a flyer on its Facebook page, reports the Associated Press. "Attention Drug Dealers," the flyer, which features a marijuana leaf, reads. "Is your Drug Dealing Competition Costing You Money?"

"We offer a free service to help you eliminate your drug competition!" the flyer reads. "Report your Competition to Us!

Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton claimed the post was funny, but the sheriff's department isn't joking.

At the bottom, people are asked to fill out information about the drug dealer they are reporting, including the dealer's name and vehicle.

"It is a great idea and hopefully spurs some more action on our tip line," posted the Franklin County Sheriff Facebook account.

The post had gotten 941 Facebook "Likes" and 3,079 shares as of Friday afternoon.

Sheriff Melton claimed he got the idea from the McIntosh County Sheriff's Office in Georgia.

U.S.: Federal Medical Marijuana Bill Stalls Despite Increased Support

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Support for a federal medical marijuana bill is building. The momentum is almost palpable from one day to the next, and the wave perhaps hasn't crested -- but the bill still isn't getting the Republican support it needs in the U.S. Senate.

Two more influential Democratic senators, Charles E. Schumer of New York and Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland (both states recently legalized medicinal cannabis) announced their support for the bill that would reschedule marijuana and let states set their own medical marijuana policies. But the bill needs more Republicans, reports Matthew Fleming at Roll Call.

The bill has just two Republican cosponsors, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, an original cosponsor, and Dean Heller of Nevada. Getting any more has been difficult.

"It's a slow process and we're trying," Paul said last week, adding there are "several" other Republicans considered possibilities -- but none are officially onboard yet.

Sixteen senators support the bill, including Democrats Cory Booker of New Jersey, the original sponsor, and Kirsten Gillebrand of New York an original cosponsor. Booker referred questions about Republican outreach to his office, which didn't respond to requests for comment.

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