hempseed

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.

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.

Oregon Stops Issuing Industrial Hemp Licenses

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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.

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

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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.

Kentucky: First Legal Hemp Crop In 70 Years Harvested

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The first legal hemp harvest in Kentucky in 70 years has begun at the University of Kentucky. Researchers on Tuesday cut their test plot, which will now remain in the field for two weeks.

The 10-foot stalks will remain on the ground at Spindletop Farm for "retting," the process through which they break apart, said David Williams, an agronomist at the UK College of Agriculture, reports Janet Patton at the Herald-Leader.

"Microbes break down the tissues of the stem," Williams said. "The outside tissues form the bast fibers and the inside form the hurd fibers."

Thirteen varieties of hemp were sown this spring at the University; each will be evaluated for fiber and seed production. More test plots are at other universities in the state, including Murray State.

"It was a good growing season for many crops, not just hemp," Williams said. "Precipitation was excellent this year and more than adequate for growth.

"The only downside to the growing season was that we planted a little bit late, but I don't think that had much effect on the crop," he said.

The seeds had been held up for two weeks in Louisville by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which blocked them because the Kentucky Department of Agriculture didn't have a controlled substance import permit.

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