Monday, October 23, 2017

Economics of Industrial Hemp

By David Johnson

Industrial hemp has been grown in the United States since our forefathers founded the country.  The first drafts of the Declaration of Independence were written on paper made from hemp.  Hemp is easy to grow, requires very little maintenance and no harmful chemical treatments, and it can be used for a number of things.
Hemp’s downfall in the United States can be traced back to the 1937 Marihuana Act, which imposed taxes and bureaucratic burdens on farmers. The culprit was the First Federal Bureau of Narcotics commissioner, Harry Anslinger, whose department needed something to focus on when prohibition was repealed and in1970, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) lumped hemp in with marijuana and prohibited cultivation.
The US is the only country in the world that makes it illegal to grow hemp, so all of our hemp products to date have been imported mostly from Canada, France and China. Since hemp is used in the production of everything from paper, plastics, clothing, milk and food products, these imports equal approximately $580 million a year that US consumers are already spending.
On February 7, 2014, President Obama signed the Farm Bill of 2013 into law. Section 7606 of the act, Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research, defines industrial hemp as distinct from marijuana and authorizes institutions of higher education or state’s department of agriculture in states that legalized hemp cultivation to regulate and conduct research and pilot programs.
Hemp production has been legalized in North Carolina, but only as part of the state’s pilot program as allowed under federal law. The N.C. General Assembly passed Senate Bill 313 in 2015, allowing the Industrial Hemp Commission to develop the rules and licensing structure necessary to stay within federal laws. The law was modified in 2016 in House Bill 992. The Industrial Hemp Commission adopted temporary rules for review in February 2017. The Rules Review Commission of the Office of Administrative Hearings voted to approve these rules Feb. 16.
With hemp now a legal crop again in North Carolina, the first farms planted crops late this summer in many counties. There are many more farmers pledged to grow the crop around Randolph County and the state in 2018.  A few of the economic benefits to growing hemp are:
  • Industrial hemp doesn’t require herbicides. Because hemp matures in approximately 120 days, it provides a canopy within 5-6 weeks that most weeds cannot penetrate, meaning no harmful chemical spraying and less cost to the farmer.
  • There are fewer biological pests to industrial hemp. So you don’t have to spend a fortune in insecticides.
  • Hemp can be used to restore depleted soils. Studies have shown that hemp can be used as a “mop” crop on soils that have been heavily damaged by chemical use.
  • Hemp is easy to grow as it is a strong and hardy plant. So that means less work and stress about weather and other factors outside the farmer’s control.
  • You don’t need special machinery to harvest hemp. A simple brush cutter is enough for some crops and farmers probably have easy access to a harvester.
  • You can grow a profitable hemp crop on as little as one acre.
  • Industrial hemp is profitable. The growing demand for hemp based products means a profitable crop, compared to most crops with declining economic returns.
  • Industrial hemp is being recognized by governments around the world as being an ecologically friendly crop.
  • There are professional bodies promoting the growing and use of hemp. This is raising the profile of hemp and making it easier to get government licenses to grow the crop and with a processing plant located right here in Randolph County, it will bring revenue to many local businesses.
In this series of articles, we have talked about the uses for Industrial hemp, the economics and the health benefits.  In the next series of articles, we will explore some of the health benefits that real people are actually seeing from their use of hemp products, and profile a few of the local farmers and how hemp can help their bottom line.

Post-secondary cannabis credentials on offer


A hemp plant in Alberta. Marijuana, hemp's narcotic cousin, is the subject of federal plans for expanded legalization. (Jennifer Blair photo)

Degree and diploma aggies interested in producing commercial cannabis and/or hemp will be able to get college-certified starting next year.
Niagara College announced Tuesday it will launch a graduate certificate program in commercial cannabis production in 2018, a program it bills as Canada’s “first post-secondary credential” in the crop’s production.
Niagara picked up approval this summer from Ontario’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development to offer the one-year post-graduate program, for students who already have either a diploma or degree from an accredited college or university in agribusiness, agricultural sciences, environmental science/resource studies, horticulture or natural sciences, or an “acceptable combination of education and experience.”
“Driven by legislative changes in Canada and abroad, there is a growing labour market need, and education will be a key component of the success of this emerging industry,” Al Unwin, the School of Environmental and Horticulture’s associate dean, said in a release.The program, running through the college’s School of Environment and Horticulture, is expected to prepare graduates to work in licensed production of cannabis, whether to produce licensed marijuana for the therapeutic drug market, hemp plants for fibre or hempseed for hemp oil.
The program, he said, “will produce graduates who are skilled and knowledgeable greenhouse and controlled environment technicians who are also trained in all of the procedures, requirements, regulations and standards for this industry.”
Topics to be covered include plant nutrition, environment, lighting, climate control, pest control, plant pathology and cultivar selection as well as regulations and business software applications.
Niagara College said the program will conform to all regulations and requirements, including a “separate and highly secure learning environment/growing facility.” It’s also expected to include a field placement with a licensed producer in its second semester.
Applicants will have to be at least 19 years old by the start of classes, and will also have to undergo a police check “at minimum” to ensure their eligibility to apply for an Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) license.
The program will run at the college’s Niagara-on-the-Lake campus, where it operates various other agribusiness programs, facilities and research projects.
Roger Ferreira, CEO of Hamilton-based Beleave, Inc., which operates licensed marijuana producer First Access Medical, hailed the college in its release for “having the vision to fill this knowledge gap,” citing “tremendous demand for knowledgeable, skilled workers in this highly technical industry.”
The initial intake for the program is scheduled for this fall. 

A budding cannabis research cluster in Fredericton (New Brunswick, Canada)

By Brian Owens

A new research cluster will soon be sparking to life in Fredericton as the city’s two universities each begin their search for a researcher to fill a new chair in cannabis research, reportedly the first two such chairs in the country.
St. Thomas University’s new chair will focus on the social impact of cannabis, both as a medicinal and recreational drug, while the University of New Brunswick’s chair will tackle the pharmacology and biochemistry of cannabis.
The announcement of the two chairs within months of each other was not a coincidence. Both were the brainchild of Bruno Battistini, chief executive officer and scientific director of the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation, an arm’s-length government-funded body tasked with promoting health research in the province. The development of the cannabis industry is part of the government’s growth plan, and research is an important aspect of that, he says.
“We’re trying to do the science behind the impact of legalization and pharmaceutical development, to make sure we have the proper data and analysis,” Dr. Battistini says. “We want to bring order to where right now there is chaos.”
NBHRF is providing $500,000 over five years for each chair, with two private-sector partners each chipping in another $500,000 – the pharmacy chain Shoppers Drug Mart at St. Thomas and the pharmaceutical company Tetra Bio-Pharma at UNB.
Michael Dawson, associate vice-president, research, at St. Thomas, says the chair plays to the university’s strengths in the social sciences and the humanities, and is a good opportunity for the university to help inform government policy on a complex moral and legal issue. “We’ll focus on what governments ought to be thinking about – and worrying about – given what’s going to happen with legalization,” he says.
Dr. Dawson adds that he is pleased that the societal aspects of cannabis are getting just as much attention as the medical side. “It’s an exciting recognition that the social sciences have a major role to play in an important public policy issue,” he says. “It helps the university make a tangible contribution to the broader community.”
Dr. Dawson says the university expects to have a researcher in place by July 1 of next year, the date set for the legalization of cannabis across the country.
David MaGee, acting vice-president for research at UNB, says the new chair is an opportunity for the university to build on its expertise in health-related research and to support the government’s plans to develop a cannabis industry in New Brunswick. “The government has made it clear that the cannabis industry is something that it is backing, and the university is trying to support that any way we can,” he says.
Although the research focus of the two chairs is quite different, Dr. MaGee sees opportunities for collaboration between the universities, which are both located in the same downtown neighbourhood. “It’s not uncommon for our faculty to collaborate on projects,” he says. “They will have different areas of focus, but perhaps we can both combine our expertise with other players in the industry.”
Another research group at the University of Moncton working on agricultural hemp also provides further opportunities for collaboration, adds Dr. Battistini. “These expertise hubs will bring benefits not just to New Brunswick, but across Canada as well,” he says.

The Evolution of Hemp

By Bethan

The evolution of hemp and the mny uses of it.

How Hemp is Being Used: The Evolution of Hemp from Ancient to Modern Times

Hemp is widely misunderstood. Uneducated people might believe that smoking hemp gets you high but in fact, this controversial crop is typically grown for its seeds and fiber. Hemp contains higher levels of a cannabinoid called cannabidiol (CBD) than it does tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): the compound that gets you stoned.

A variety of the cannabis Sativa plant species, hemp is usually found growing naturally in the northern hemisphere. However, farmers around the globe cultivate their own hemp for a number of reasons, not just in today's modern world but also, in ancient times!

Humanity began growing cannabis crops before my other crop types, with hemp being cultivated by Chinese farmers as many as 6,000 years ago. Since this fast-growing marijuana plant species is so high-yielding and easy to grow, there's no wonder why the roots of ancient hemp use run deep.

Full of anti-inflammatory and heart-healthy benefits, hemp seeds are crammed with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. The body depends on these essential fatty acids for healthy living! TheUniversity of Maryland Medical Center claims that the colorless and refined hemp oil will not have a psychoactive effect. It will, however, enhance nutrition.

But just how much has hemp use changed since the ancient times to the modern world? Let's find out.

What are the benefits of modern and ancient hemp use?

It might be regaining its popularity by the day, but hemp’s potential has long been recognized for its medical potential. An example is cold-pressed hemp oil, which is a fantastic source of vitamin A and C. Furthermore, it is available in refined and unrefined form. According to a study conducted by The Genetic Structure of Marijuana and Hemp, “Analysis of both marijuana and hemp revealed clear genetic structure separating one another.”

So different are the genetics of each type of hemp, that diverse breeds can be cultivated with minimal or no THC production, making hemp useful for making/treating the following things:

Construction Materials
Reducing Acne
Removing Cosmetics
Protein Powder
Health Foods, and many more.

In addition to the above things, modern hemp use and ancient hemp use has been relied on for nutraceuticals and medical treatments. Positive side effects include digestive system improvement and healthier skin. Hemp seed oil's high content of amino acids has even cured cancer patients, as well as genetic mutations, based on a Cannabis Extract Study.

The Origins of Ancient Hemp Use

Before the government put a stop to it, hemp was once considered a billion dollar crop! Hemp industrialization might have occurred as far back as ancient Egypt, although there is solid proof that the Chinese started hemp farming around 5,000 years ago. The first ever Bibles were made from hemp paper and historic canvas paintings were displayed on sheets of natural hemp.

One of the many ancient uses for hemp include enhancing healthy soil, manufacturing biodegradable (environmentally-friendly) plastics, making fuel, preparing construction materials for building purposes and, in many cases, hemp was cultivated for the creation of essential textiles and paper. At one point, 90% of boat parts, including ropes and sails, were constructed using hemp.

Once upon a time, schoolbooks were crafted from flax or hemp paper. The history of hemp use also tells us how the founding fathers of America actually grew hemp (George Washington included).

Get this: Thomas Jefferson even smuggled hemp seeds to France and America from China! Pretty badass, considering the laws were pretty strict back then. This is a stark contrast to the laws that were put into place from 1763-1769, when it was illegal for residents of Virginia not to grow hemp!

A valuable natural material for numerous reasons, hemp was processed inside one of Benjamin Franklin's paper mills and the 1812 War was caused in large part to Napoleon's battle for stopping the exportation of hemp to England from Moscow. Since hemp was utilized to create 80% of bed sheets for just short of a decade after, there's no wonder why it was (and still is) in such high demand.

How does modern hemp use differ?

The modern world has not forgotten about the many ancient hemp uses, but you can expect to use a closed loop extraction system to make high-CBD hemp oils that can be used for tinctures or vaping. The Hemp Business Journal estimates growth in the sales of hemp and CBD products for 2017, with sales exceeding $688 million in 2016.

So popular is hemp nowadays that it is transforming the outlook for industrial hemp farming. Hundreds of thousands of people in the United States alone are actively using hemp oil, whether it is for the treatment of seizures, to inhale the oil using a vaporizer, or by infusing it with their favorite food recipes. The nutty green-colored oil is a miracle crop that today's farmers are taking a keen interest in. Demand for modern hemp use is growing, with hemp-related jobs contributing to the economy as a natural and sustainable option. Numerous well-known companies are also going 'green', by using hemp for the manufacturing of products sold by The Body Shop and Ford to name a few.

Although it remains a controversial drug, modern hemp uses include targeted cancer therapy, migraine treatment and a reduction in the negative effects associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, based on findings published by a scientific study.

Today's Alternatives to Ancient Hemp Tools

Times have changed and the tools on offer for the uses of hemp are evolving at a rapid rate. Should you wish to extract the oil and make your own tinctures, lotions or hemp-infused oil, consider using a seed oil extractor machine, like The BestEquip Manual Oil Press Machine.

Some other types of hemp products that have modernized since the history of hemp use (and are available to buy from Amazon) include:

Nativas Organics Hemp Protein Powder
Populum, Premium Hemp Oil Supplement
VitaScents Hemp Soothing Muscle Jelly
HempCore Relax Anxiety Relief Supplement

Hebrew University organizes Buenos Aires cannabis conference


A cannabis plant was brought to the Knesset on Nov. 24, 2009 for the Labor Welfare and Health Committee, which was addressing the issue of medical marijuana. (Kobi Gideon/Flash 90)
BUENOS AIRES (JTA) — Hebrew University of Jerusalem is organizing Argentina’s first international conference on medicinal cannabis.
The International Conference on Cannabis’ Endocannabinoid and Medicinal System in Argentina´s history will take place October 24-25 at NH Tango PorteƱo Hotel in Buenos Aires.
In August, the Argentine government passed a law on the medicinal use of cannabis and its derivatives after it was sanctioned by Congress in late March.
“This law aims to establish a regulatory framework for medical and scientific research of medical, therapeutic or palliative pain of the plant of cannabis and its derivatives use, guaranteeing and promoting comprehensive health care,” the law states.
Hebrew University explained why it chose Buenos Aires for the international academic conference, titled Latinoamericanna.
“Motivated by Argentina’s privileged potential, thanks to its land’s extension and climatic variations, its prestige in agricultural and technological methods, its undeniable scientific capacity and endowment, that includes two Nobel prizes in medicine and one in chemistry, by the regional and international standing of its universities, and by its leadership in the expansion of its citizens’ rights, interested in and concerned for generating serious discussion, worthy of the principal protagonists on the subject, we, members of  the  Argentinean  Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem together with  LatinoameriCANNA Consultora, muster our best efforts to bring to our continent the principal cannabinoid researchers so that, together with local professionals of recognized accomplishment, we can position Argentina and the region within this fascinating world of scientific progress and economic development,” said a statement on the conference’s website.
Israeli researcher Prof. Raphael Mechoulan will be a featured panelist at the conference. Mechoulan was featured last month on the cover of the THC Magazine, which stands for The Hemp Connoisseur, as “the genius of cannabis,” in an article that recognizes Israeli expertise in the area.


By Gregg A.

Need more evidence on the effectiveness of CBD oil on reducing pain and inflammation? Simply look to anecdotal evidence – most notably, from professional athletes like Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters Bas Rutten and Nate Diaz.
Why MMA?
It’s one of the most physically taxing sports on the planet. Between the intense training and bloody bouts, MMA is also one of the most physically damaging to the body. If you’re unfamiliar with MMA, here’s a rundown:
  • The sport of MMA is brutal: It’s designed to have minimal rules “to determine the most effective martial art for unarmed combat situations.”
  • Opponents have three ways to win: by knockout, submission, or decision.
  • Each non-championship fight has three five-minute rounds, with a one-minute rest between each round.
  • Fighters train and use a variety of disciplines, including boxing, freestyle wrestling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Jeet Kune Do, Muay Thai, Kyokushin Karate, Sansho, and Tae Kwon Do.
What Do MMA Fighters Say About CBD? 
Bas Rutten: 
Bas Rutten is a former MMA world champion who now champions CBD as an anti-inflammatory and healthier alternative to opioids for pain management. At one point in his career, Bas became addicted to opioids for severe, chronic pain. In relating his personal experience with opioids versus CBD, he writes:
“As for my own experience with CBD, it saved me a lot of trouble after I realized that I had a painkiller problem that started after my last fight in 2006. About five weeks before the fight, all my injuries came back with a vengeance. It starts with one pill, then it becomes two, four, seven, ten, and slowly but surely, you are upping the count, and before you know it, you’re taking insane amounts of painkillers.
So, my doctor told me that there is a lot of Tylenol in Vicodin, even some in Norco, and that would be bad for my liver since I take so many. My doctor told me, ‘it’s better you go to oxycontin.’ I did, and boy that stuff is horrible. Sure you feel good, but it doesn’t help with the pain after a while, and you just take it because you are hooked.
Thankfully, I came to that realization pretty quickly and took care of it. It wasn’t as easy as I am communicating to you right now, but that story is for another time. What I want to say is that if there would have been CBD at that time, I might have not become addicted to painkillers. I really hope that all fighters and other athletes will use CBD instead of painkillers.”
Nate Diaz:
Nate Diaz is an MMA fighter and current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) contender who has openly vaped CBD on at a press conference after a match. To the press, he explained that CBD “helps with the healing process and inflammation, stuff like that. So you want to get these for before and after the fights, training. It’ll make your life a better place.”
At the time of the press conference, Nate risked fines and/or a suspension because CBD was technically a banned substance. However, the advocacy efforts borne by Nate and other professional athletes largely pressured the World Anti-Doping Agency to finally remove CBD from the banned substances list. As of January 2018, athletes will finally be able to openly use CBD without risking their careers.
CBD Versus Traditional Painkillers
So what’s the hype about CBD? Unlike traditional painkillers like NSAIDs, acetaminophen, and opioids, CBD has very limited negative side effects. Rather, it’s an anti-oxidant, it’s neuroprotective, and has very low toxicity levels amongst other positive benefits. While some sources report CBD may result in dry mouth, light-headedness, and/or drowsiness, these inconveniences are trivial compared to the side effects that traditional painkillers cause. For instance, acetaminophen, NSAIDs, and opioids have a range of effects that include a higher risk for stomach ulcers and gastro-intestinal bleedingliver damageaddiction, and lowered life expectancy.

Even though the exact mechanisms for how CBD can have such wide-ranging positive effects on the body is largely unknown, anecdotal evidence from real users indicate CBD’s real benefits. While scientific proof is meaningful, it’s the stories and advocacy of real athletes, doctors, and their patients that paved the way for CBD to no longer be a banned substance in the world of professional sports.



WINOOSKI, Vt. – In Vermont, Medical marijuana reforms are turning into reality and beginning to have real impacts on Vermont patients, dispensaries, and caregivers, and the public at large. With the addition of a new dispensary in Bennington and the four new ‘satellite’ dispensary locations being opened by existing license-holders, there are already dozens of new legal medical marijuana jobs being posted and filled, with even more on the way.

Earlier this week, the Champlain Valley Dispensary (CVD) and Southern Vermont Wellness (SVW) website employment section featured over ten diverse job postings in both Burlington, Brattleboro, and the cultivation facility in Milton and presently have listings for two available job openings: a Part-Time Extraction Technician and a full-time Dispensary Manager.

Per the Vermont state regulations, applicants must be at least 21 years old and pass a criminal background check and an FBI finger print background check.

Save the Date: Meet the New England Cannabis Industry leaders May 12-13, 2018 at the Vermont Cannabis & Hemp Convention in Burlington, Vermont

According to management at the Vermont Patients Alliance (VPA)VPA is also expanding it’s operations with a satellite location in Hartford and additional cultivation facilities in central Vermont. Currently, VPA employees twelve full and eight part-time Vermonters, and plans to hire another ten plus — including more senior management positions — in the next year. Most of their employees are between the ages of 25 and 45, receive a competitive benefit package, and incentives to continue their education in Cannabis science and Medicine.

PhytoScience Institute (PSI), the newest dispensary, is expanding it’s operations with plans to open a dispensary in Bennington with cultivation facilities in the Waterbury area. PSI will be hiring ten new employees who will enjoy competitive benefits and wages. PSI is currently looking for employees with experience in the medical field, including individuals with clinical herbal knowledge, to staff their Bennington dispensary.

Heady Vermont estimates there are presently at least 150 cannabis professionals currently employed in Vermont in various capacities, including the four existing medical cannabis dispensaries, testing and extraction businesses, hemp cultivators, hemp product-makers, and ancillary businesses such as security, consulting, and professional services for startups.
Per Vermont Public Radio, the medical marijuana registry has doubled in size every two years since the laws were originally passed ten years ago; however, the hemp sector is growing even faster: since 2014, the number of acres of legal hemp registered for cultivation in Vermont has increased from 17 to 562 total acres.
The increased interest in hemp cultivation and growth of the small number of pioneering hemp businesses already operating in the state is also contributing to the growth and diversity of legal cannabis jobs available in Vermont.

Click here for more information and the free online application
To promote the growth of the legal cannabis industry, Heady Vermont will be hosting the first Cannabiz Pitch Competition on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at Main Street Landing in Burlington from 6-9pm. This ‘Shark Tank’-style pitch competition will feature young startups and new entrepreneurs sharing their business ideas with one taking home a $1,000 cash prize.