Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hemp Healing Lip Balm


Allgreens Lip Balm
Allgreens Lip Balm is best described in one tongue twisting phrase: a new natural novelty. The company launched its business last year, with Hemp Seed Oil Lip Balm, a fun and natural healing product. The lip balm sells for $1.50 wholesale per tube, with a suggested retail of $2.99, and a minimum order of one tub containing 120 lip balms in an assortment of flavors. Volume discounts start at 50 tubs. Still caught up on the Hemp Seed Oil? That’s what makes this product a novelty item. Each lip balm is distributed in tubes labeled to look like prescription buds, with six flavors named after popular strains of Hemp. It isn’t medical marijuana, as it is missing the psychoactive THC ingredient, but rather organic Hemp Seed Oil, which contains many essential nutrients beneficial for skin.

Allgreens More Than Novelty, Also Natural

Suitable for all ages, Allgreen Lip Balm comes in the following flavors: OG Kush (original mint), Cali Orange, Watermelon Trainwreck, Bubblegum Kush, Sour Diesel (sour apple), Granddaddy Purp (grape), and original. Jennifer West, founder and CEO of Allgreens, reassures, “For those retailers or customers not interested in the novelty look of prescription marijuana buds, our original balm comes in a white tube with our logo.” For West, the fun novelty item is all about education. After much experience in creating natural skincare products, Allgreens came about because of West’s personal goal to educate on the benefits of using natural products. West says, “People buy Allgreens Lip Balm initially for the novelty of it, but once they use it and realize how well it works, they become loyal customers.”
It’s now more commonly known that what is applied to our bodies, especially our lips, is absorbed directly into our bodies. West advises looking at ingredients of other lip balms on the market, most of them toxic, such as petroleum by-products, salicylic acid, menthol, and artificial sweeteners, among others. Allgreens Lip Balm doesn’t contain any of these ingredients, which have been known to further dry out lips, erode skin cells, as well as cause uncomfortable symptoms in your overall physical well being. Don’t look past the benefits of Hemp Seed Oil, as it is anti-aging, fights skin inflammation, helps heal skin lesions, offers some protection against UV sun exposure, and contains moisture balancing properties. The oil is non-greasy, readily absorbs into the pores, and has rejuvenating and moisturizing properties for the skin.
For more information:
PO Box 9669
Alta Loma, CA 91701
Tel.: 909-945-2930

Ford to ‘Grow’ Its Own Car Parts?

Sustainable materials are being researched at Ford's laboratories to replace petroleum
Coconut fibers, wood, hemp, dandelion root and other materials are being researched as replacements for traditional petroleum auto parts. Photo: Jennifer Berry, Earth911
What do mushrooms, dandelion root, wheat, soy, hemp and corn have in common? They may comprise key components of your car one day.
At the Forward with Ford futuring and trends conference in Dearborn, Mich., sustainable materials guru Deborah Molesky explained to a group of bloggers, journalists and media personalities that the automaker’s goal is to not only manufacture, but grow, its parts in the U.S.
Molesky joked that her group was “not very popular” when they started in 2000 – and oil prices were only $50-$60 per barrel. But the team kept working, and by 2008 when oil prices moved above $100 per barrel, their products like soy-based foam for seats were developed.
“In a way, we were sort of neglected and left alone in the laboratory to develop this [...] Now, I’m proud to say that every vehicle built in North America now has soy foam in the cushions and backs,” she said.
The opportunity to make a significant reduction in a car’s environmental footprint is significant. For example, Molesky’s group worked with wheat straw, a byprodcut of growing wheat, and added the material to plastics to reinforce them. The hybrid materials launched in the 2010 Ford Flex in a bin in the third row. “That wheat straw bin reduces petroleum consumption by about 20,000 pounds and carbon dioxide by about 30,000 pounds per year,” according to Molesky.
Among a number of materials, sugars made from corn, beet and cane are under consideration for biodegradable plastic parts, while engineers are also researching wood technology for interior trim.
Using these products is especially challenging, considering the nature of their application.
“It’s super, super fun to invent and develop materials for such a rigorious environment as in a car,” said Molesky. “It has to last 10, 15 years, and our ultimate goal is to have all these plastic materials composted into the ground and fertilize it to grow more plants for the next cycle.”
Ford is also currently using recycled materials in its cars, such as cotton from recycled jeans in the 2012 Focus as part of the carpet backing and sound absorption material.

Drugs plot raid reveals old woman feeding rabbits with cannabis

Police in Brandenburg who discovered a large plot of cannabis called on the neighbouring house only to find an 84-year-old woman who had been feeding her rabbits with the plants.

“The rabbits really like it,” the woman told officers who called on her in the village of Golzow near Belzig, according to Saturday’s Tagesspiegel.

A police officer had seen the healthy, metre-high plants from the road while on his way to work and told his colleagues, who visited the plot’s owner – the elderly woman.

She told them that she had not grown the plants herself, but that they had simply started growing there, and had proven to be excellent rabbit food. Not only did the rabbits love eating the plants, they grew back very quickly after she cut them down, she told the investigating officers.

A spokesman for the Brandenburg police said her explanation had sounded plausible, but the officers could not leave her with the plants, rather cut them all down and took them to the forensics laboratory for testing.

The three large plastic sacks of weed will now be tested to determine the level of THC – the psycho-active ingredient in cannabis - they contain. There was no official comment on what the elderly woman was expected to feed her rabbits with now.

The Local/hc

P.S. Blogger's note: The image above did NOT accompany the original article. 
But maybe should have. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Environmentally friendly hemp

by La Vergne Lehmann

Following on from the topic of bamboo last week I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at another - perhaps slightly more controversial potentially environmentally friendly crop. 

Environmental Benefits of Hemp – some food for thought!
Industrial hemp has been getting quite a bit of attention around the world for its amazing versatility and environmental benefits. Some companies are turning to hemp in order to make their products more sustainable and eco-friendly in general.
However widespread acceptance of hemp still has a long way to go. Many people are oblivious to the great benefits of hemp. Some (incorrectly) assume that it’s a drug (because of its close association with marijuana). A bit of guilt by association. 
Hemp cultivation can provide many benefits for the environment. Also, hemp products can provide further environmental benefits when comparing them to products made from other fibers. So knowing little about hemp as a crop and not much more about the products that can be  made from it – I thought it might be a good idea to check it out. 
Here are some of the environmental claims relating to growing hemp:
●   Fast and robust growth: Hemp grows extremely fast and can be grown in any climate, in any agronomic system
●   Little or no herbicides/pesticides required: Hemp can be grown with no (or little) herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, or other biocides.
●   Suppresses weeds: Hemp is a natural weed suppressor due to the fast growth of the canopy. Actually, hemp is a weed. Because it grows so fast and densely, it blocks out sunlight to other weeds that are trying to grow.
●   Improves soil structure: Due to its long roots, hemp replenishes soil with nutrients and nitrogen and helps control erosion of topsoil. Also, once harvested, any residue can act as an eco-friendly manure.
●   Hemp produces lots of oxygen: Hemp produces the same amount of oxygen while it’s growing that it would use in carbon dioxide if burned as a fuel. Also, due to it’s leaf/root ratio (this can often be 10% roots vs 30% leaves), hemp can produce between 20% - 40% more oxygen than will be polluted.
●   Cleans up pollution: Hemp can actually clean up toxins from the ground. This process is called phytoremediation. A good example of this is when hemp was used to help clean up the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site to remove radioactive elements from the ground.
Hemp Products
Naturally, products made from hemp are 100% biodegradable, recyclable, and reusable. Also, the speed at which hemp grows can provide benefits regarding the resource requirements of the end product.
Here are some examples of how hemp products could benefit our environment and our health:
●   Switching to hemp paper could reduce deforestation significantly. For every 4 acres of trees that are required annually to make paper, only an acre of hemp would be required. Furthermore, because hemp paper can be recycled so many times (up to 7 or 8 times), much less is needed. In comparison, paper from wood pulp can only be recycled around 3 times. This means even more trees are required.
●   Clothing and textiles made from hemp have no residual chemicals that could affect our health (as many other fabrics do).
●   Hemp based fabrics block the sun’s UV rays more effectively than other fabrics. This is true, even if it’s only a 50% blend with another fabric.
●   Hemp oil is the richest known source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids (the “good” fats)
It’s widely known that hemp can be used in so many ways as an eco-friendly alternative to current methods. Given that so many of today’s products are produced from toxic materials, by switching to hemp based products, the benefits for the environment (and ourselves) could be quite considerable 

Whack and Stack: 2010 Marijuana Cultivation Eradication In America

By Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director

[Editor's note: Call it a terrible waste of police time, an unnecessary risk to law enforcement personnel's lives, a loud and destructive invasion of one's curtilage, the proverbial taxpayer-funded pursuit of a needle in a haystack, an unintended government-provided price support for an illegal and untaxed commercial market, or a bizarre police ruse where a valuable agricultural product---industrial hemp; which is even subsidized by the European Union to cultivate as an industrial fiber crop---is paraded out in front of unknowing (or not...) media who dutifully snap photos, capture video and write about any one law enforcement project involved in regional domestic cannabis eradication as being 'successful'.

Call it what ever you choose, but it is that time of year again to see where and inwhat quantities the DEA claims it whacks and stacks outdoor and indoor cannabis eradicated within America's borders, even though, as noted below, the DEA stopped honestly reporting the ratio of World War II-era feral hemp eradicated to actual cultivated cannabis plants (for recreational or medical uses) in 2006.]

by Matthew Donigian, NORML legal intern, University of Illinois — College of Law
In the most recent DEA Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program Statistical Report, the DEA indicated that over 10 million marijuana plants throughout the United States were destroyed by the agency. According to this report, most of the eradicated plants were found in California, followed by West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Washington State. The states with the least eradicated plants were Rhode Island, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Delaware.

The report also detailed the number of eradicated plants that were being cultivated indoors. The states with the highest number of eradicated indoor plants were California, Florida, Washington, Michigan, and Ohio. California is the obvious leader here, since its highly successful medical marijuana market has been the primary target of DEA operations. However, proponents of merciless penalties for cultivation of marijuana in Florida may be surprised to see the state in the number two spot, ahead of both Michigan and Washington State, two of the largest medical marijuana jurisdictions.  It seems that the policy touted by supporters as the silver bullet to large-scale marijuana production in the state has failed.

This should not come as a surprise to those familiar with the rhetoric supporting the failed War on Drugs. For the past 40 years, the federal government has promised decreased crime, overdose deaths, and addiction rates as a result of the punitive and prohibitive approach of the war and drugs, but has failed to deliver these results. In 2009, Florida drastically increased its penalties for cultivation of marijuana, which punish the cultivation of 25 or more marijuana plants with up to 15 years of imprisonment. Much like federal marijuana prohibition, increasing penalties in Florida in order to decrease cultivation has been an abject failure. In the most recent DEA eradication report, Florida ranked second in eradicated indoor marijuana plants, with 51,366 plants eradicated in 2010, only 1265 fewer plants than were eradicated per year from 1998-2008 (on average).  In addition there were nearly 500 more arrests associated with marijuana eradication in 2010 than there were on average between the years of 1998-2008.

In addition, since 2006, the report excludes statistics on the number of “ditchweed” or non-cultivated feral marijuana plants, eradicated each year. According to the DEA, eradication of ditchweed is still taking place but the agency refrains from reporting the number of eradicated plants, making it difficult to estimate the resources spent on this practice. The federal government seems to have misinterpreted criticism that the practice was a waste of resources; critics were not upset with the governments reporting of “ditchweed”, but rather the practice of seeking out and burning non-smokeable and non-cultivated cannabis plants. The last published eradication data for “ditchweed” indicated that over 200 million or 98 percent of all plants eradicated were feral marijuana. The current practice of non-reporting provides the American people with little information on where DEA resources are being utilized, and effectively hides the amount of money spent on an unintelligible practice.  

Increasing penalties against marijuana crimes and eradicating marijuana plants does nothing to prevent the use of marijuana. Since the war on drugs beganthe potency of marijuana has increasedas has the amount of marijuana grown. Similarly, the war on drugs has not even been effective at reducing teenage use. According to the National Institute on Drug abuse 41.7% of 12th graders had tried marijuana in 1995. By 2008 this number rose to 42.6%.
Marijuana prohibition has clearly failed. Hiding eradication statistics and putting responsible people in jail will not change that.

Steady Growth in Hemp Food and Body Care Sales and Increased Acreage in Canada Shows Strength and Viability of U.S. Hemp Industry

Hemp Industries Association Reports Final Estimates of $419 Million in U.S. Retail Hemp Sales for 2010
WASHINGTONJune 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Hemp Industries Association (HIA), a non-profit trade association consisting of hundreds of hemp businesses has released final estimates of the size of the U.S. retail market for hemp food and body care products in 2010. Data supporting the estimates shows that retail sales of hemp food and body care products in the U.S. continued to set records in 2010 reaching $40.5 million. Sales of popular hemp items like non-dairy milk, shelled hemp seed, soaps and lotions have occurred against the backdrop of increasing grassroots pressure to allow hemp to be grown here once again for U.S. manufacturers. Sales in conventional retailers in particular are estimated to have grown by 19% in 2010.
The sales data, collected by the market research firm SPINS, was obtained from natural and conventional food retailers, excluding Whole Foods Market and other establishments, which do not provide sales data – and thus underestimate actual sales by a factor of at least three. According to the SPINS data, combined hemp grocery and body care sales grew in the sampled stores by 10.1% or $3.94 million, over the previous year ending December 26, 2010, to a total of $40.5 million.
Due to significant sales excluded from the SPINS data, such as The Body Shop, Whole Foods Market and restaurants, as well as the fact that many unreported leading mass-market brands of suntan lotion and sunscreen products include hemp oil, the HIA estimates the total retail value of North American hemp food, vitamin and body care product sales to be in the range of $121-142 million for 2010.
"The HIA is confident that the total North American hemp food and body care market over the last year accounted for at least$121 million in retail sales," says David Bronner, the President of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps who uses hemp oil in their top-selling products. "According to data released by the Canadian government earlier this year hemp production in Canada almost doubled in 2010 with total acreage growing to 26,815 acres", says Eric Steenstra, HIA Executive Director. "The HIA estimates the total retail value of hemp products in the U.S. at around $419 Million, when including clothing, auto parts, building materials and other non-food or body care products. This number combined with the increased acreage in Canadian hemp fields further validates U.S. farmers' concern that they are being shut out of the lucrative hemp market that Canadian farmers have cashed in on for over a decade now," continues Steenstra.
Rep. Ron Paul has re-introduced legislation in Congress to bring back hemp farming. H.R. 1831, "The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011," introduced by Representatives Barney Frank (D-MA) and Ron Paul (R-TX), was cosponsored by 23 other U.S. House members from both sides of the aisle. More information on the bill and other lobby efforts can be found at:
the market research firm SPINS has adjusted their original estimate of 2009 sales of hemp products from natural and conventional food retailers to $36.6 million.
The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) represents the interests of the hemp industry and encourages the research and development of new hemp products. More information about hemp's many uses and hemp advocacy may be found and DVD Video News Release featuring footage of hemp farming in other countries is available upon request by contacting Ryan Fletcher at 202-641-0277.
Ryan Fletcher 202-641-0277
Tom Murphy 207-542-4998
SOURCE Hemp Industries Association

Hemp House Becomes South Africa's Most Sustainable Building

Blogger's note: I am posting the following article in spite of the usual, lame-ass 'puns' in the copy. Does every lazy reporter have to insert one or two pot smoking references in every article about industrial hemp?

by Flora Pereira

The Hemp House: the most sustainable home in South Africa. (Photo: Inhabitat)
South Africa has tapped into the eco-mine of sustainable building material: hemp.
Tony Budden, an avid hemp advocate in South Africa, has been on the hemp soapbox for years—the versatile superplant can be converted into countless materials, including paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, and fuel.
Budden paired up with Dutch architect Erwin van der Weerd from Perfect Places to construct South Africa’s first hemp house in Noordhoek. Construction was completed this month.
This house is no unassuming, down-to-earth cannabis shack. The luxurious seven-room abode is considered South Africa’s most sustainable home.
The purpose of the house, reports Inhabitat, is to convince the South African government to remove legal obstacles for the commercial development of hemp. The country's authorities do not currently distinguish between hemp and the “dagga” plant, or marijuana.
The overarching goal for Tony Budden and architectural firm Perfect Places was to ensure the house had the smallest possible carbon footprint. Unfortunately, explains Inhabitat, most of the materials for the Hemp House had to be imported since hemp is not available locally in South Africa.
Hemp appears in the structure of the home's walls in two different forms: as Hempcrete and as an insulating cushion in the walls made of reclaimed wood, states a project description onPerfect Places’ website. Hempcrete is a breathable building material made of hemp, lime, and water.
Sunny and green inside South Africa's Hemp House. (Photo: Inhabitat)

Because the U.S. Green Building Council reports that buildings account for roughly 38% of all carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in America, developing and incorporating more sustainable building materials and methods is therefore a worthwhile ambition.
Tradical, a developer of sustainable building materials, claims that hemp can be a helpful ally in the struggle to combat climate change. Hemp stores carbon during its growth period and, in turn, releases oxygen. Captured carbon is stored within the fabric of Hempcrete walls.
85% of the home's furniture and cabinets are also made from hemp, reports Inhabitat.
Other eco-features: The home is passively cooled and heated, uses solar energy, and all of the grey and black water is recycled.
If all goes according to plan, this green monster of sustainability will convince South African authorities to lighten up when it comes to hemp.

Construction Tech: Hemp As Building Material

More details on Tony Budden's new hemp house in South Africa from YouTube.

My favorite comment from the YouTube video:

@HappilyDayzed Notice the description and the narrative? Notice how they use the word 'High'? This kind of reporting makes me sick!

I fully agree with HappilyDayzed. Can't we move past the lame pot smoking jokes and get serious about hemp? 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hemp House: South Africa’s Most Sustainable Home Made From An “Illegal Narcotic”

Blogger's Note: A big thumbs up and congratulations to Tony Budden on the completion of his first hemp house in South Africa. I know Tony has been working for years to advance the cause of industrial hemp and is a true pioneer in the re-legalization effort. One of my favorite quotes from him is his claim that the cannabis plant has a special energy about it because so many people around the world are fighting for its freedom.

by Tafline Laylin

Because South African authorities do not distinguish between hemp and the euphoric THC-laden "dagga" plant, its benefits as a super-sustainable building material have largely gone untapped. Until now - a tireless hemp advocate, Tony Budden joined forces with Dutch architect Erwin van der Weerd from Perfect Places to build South Africa's first seven-roomed hemp house in Noordhoek. The home is designed to showcase hemp's incredible potential as a building material and convince the government to remove obstacles for widespread commercial development of one of the most resilient, versatile, and fast-growing carbon sinks on earth.

The home is completely biodegradable and features one of the most sustainable building materials on earth: hemp!

The staircase is made from laser-cut steel and locally-sourced ash (FSC certified, of course.)

The flooring is made from cork while 85% of the cabinetry and furniture is made from hemp.

With superior insulation, north/south orientation, solar paneling, rainwater harvesting, and advanced wastewater treatment systems on-site, this incredible showcase building is so much more than just the "Hemp House."
Hemp continues to sequester carbon - making it a great combatant against greenhouse gas emissions.

Although it is illegal to grown hemp in South Africa, Tony Budden's efforts (combined with others) may well pave the way to establishing a local industry that would have widespread benefits for South Africa's people.

Since this is South Africa's very first modular hemp home, the building process entailed a steep learning curve. But the home came out beautifully in the end.

Tony Budden and his partner Duncan Parker aimed to give the Hemp House the lightest carbon footprint possible, but had to import most of the materials since South Africa lacks a domestic supply of hemp products. The internal modular walls are comprised of hemp insulation and sealed with magnesium oxide boards, while the external walls are made from a lime-based hempcrete that is considerably less energy intensive to produce and less dense than traditional cement. But what makes the building South Africa’s most sustainable?

It is passively cooled, heated, and ventilated, incredibly well insulated, and partly powered by solar energy. The floors are made from sustainably-sourced cork, 85% of the furniture and cabinetry is made from hempboard, and all of the grey and black water will be treated and recycled. Also included are LED lamps to reduce energy use, eco-paints to prevent harmful off-gassing, and reclaimed stone.

Not only is the Hemp House an impressive achievement in sustainable building, but Budden’s determination to overcome misguided regulatory roadblocks to illustrate the huge environmental and social advantages of growing hemp locally puts this groundbreaking home on par with Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu peace efforts. Already government officials are reconsidering their formerly-held bias against what is actually an excellent antidote to water and chemical-happy fibers such as cotton.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Natural Hemp Case Cover Stand for Apple iPad 2


Multi-View Stasis Series: Natural Hemp case cover Stand for Apple iPad 2 - 'Chocolate' Brown

Quick Overview

  • Natural case handmade in high grade hemp in 'Chocolate' brown
  • Integrated Multi-View™ stand: 5 viewing angles: 30 - 75 degrees in landscape
  • "Stasis" feature to automatically put your iPad 2 to sleep, when shut.
  • Secure Tuff-Flap to ensure your iPad 2 stays put. Safe and sound!
  • Compatible with iPad 2 only, and available in a range of colours (Brown, Green & Sand) - Search Tuff-Luv Hemp iPad 2
  • This Tuff-Luv product qualifies for our lifetime guarantee against faulty workmanship / materials – conditions apply
  • Registered design number: 4015380

Product Description

For the 2nd year running, the Tuff-Luv iPad Case has been nominated by Macuser for their yearly awards (2010 for iPad & 2011 for iPad 2) in the category as "Best iPad Accessory". This 'Chocolate' brown colour case is made from 100% natural materials, guaranteed animal free. Soft and tactile but hard wearing and tough too, to protect your tech from of lifes little accidents. The design includes discreet embroidered patterns which flow along the surface of this innovative, yet sustainable and custom-made case, giving your iPad 2 a pleasant book-like cover.

Inside we've added a sturdy harness for your tablet, ensuring that it won't move, when you least expect it, but at the same time allowing total access to all ports and functions. For those 'old school' moments you'll also find a place for document storage and business cards. Hearty and sturdy, this case offers superior protection for the delicate screen of your device, a professional feel, with a home-grown aesthetic.

This great new case also includes Tuff-Luv's latest "Stasis" feature to automatically put your iPad 2 to sleep (when shut), making sure you conserve your battery power when you're on the move.

If the basic offering of an official "Magnetic Screen protector iPad 2 case" is not for you, then the Tuff-Luv Multi-View design is a must-have for your iPad 2! Whether in your lap, on your desk, or on a coffee table, make the most of your iPad 2's media capabilities with the revolutionary designed Multi-View case from Tuff-Luv. Anywhere you set it, the versatile snap-stand allows you to pick the most comfortable viewing angle. Don't slouch over your device for hours, or tire out your wrists. Simply flip around the cover and snap the stand into a comfortable, stress-free viewing position.

This Tuff-Luv product qualifies for our lifetime guarantee against faulty workmanship / materials.

Friday, June 24, 2011

UPDATE: Staff praise firefighters after Halesworth factory blaze

by Donna Louise Bishop, Reporter

Suffolk firefighters attend a small fire at Hemp Technology  Limited, Halesworth.
Suffolk firefighters attend a small fire at Hemp Technology Limited, Halesworth.

STAFF from a Halesworth factory have been paying tribute to the brave firefighters who helped tackle a blaze after a fire broke out at one of the world’s largest industrial hemp processors.

Firefighters were called out at 4.24pm on Monday afternoon after a report of an incident at the factory on Norwich Road, previously called Hemcore.
Mike Duckett, managing director at Hemp Technology Ltd, said the fire-fighting team was “fantastic”.
“I just think they responded brilliantly,” he added. Fire engines 
from Halesworth, Bungay, Saxmundham, Southwold and Harleston were called out to the incident and a command support vehicle and water carrier from Leiston also attended.
Incident commander Steve Mableston said: “We had a fire in a hemp baling machine connected from inside the factory via ducting to an external filtering hopper.
“At this stage it appears that something inside the machinery caused sparking.
“The building was evacuated and all combustible material within the vicinity was removed.”
Although Mr Mableston said 
staff had to be evacuated, Mr 
Duckett added: “It was not a big deal.”
No one was injured but firefighters spent two hours damping down the internal structures of machinery.
One crew remained at the incident to finish off removing excess hemp from hoppers and ducting, which had been checked using thermal image cameras.
Staff returned the same day and Mr Duckett said business remained normal and their profits had not been affected.
Hemp Technology’s website says it is the world’s largest processor of industrial hemp and supplier of hemp products, including animal bedding.
It was founded in 1993.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Medical Marijuana And The War On Drugs: A Timeline

by David Fiedler

5000 BC: Unknown human stumbles across a burning cannabis bush, inhales, and thinks he’s talking to God.
2700 BC: Shaman is buried with cannabis in the Gobi Desert. Earliest positive proof of humans using cannabis for psychoactive purposes.
1500 BC: Cannabis is used medically in Egypt.
600 BC: Zoroaster, the Persian prophet, lists 10,000 medicinal plants in his book Zend-Avesta, but cannabis is #1.
70 CE: Romans begin using cannabis for medicinal purposes.
170 CE: Romans are now making edibles from cannabis seeds and getting high from them.
800: Arabs begin using cannabis.
1000: Muslims develop hashish.
1484: Pope Innocent VIII bans cannabis use.
1619: First law in America concerning Indian hemp (Cannabis indica). Growing cannabis becomes mandatory in Virginia.
1776: The Declaration of Independence is drafted…on paper made from hemp.
1841: Scottish doctor William O’Shaunghnessy writes about medical use of cannabis after learning about it in India.
1870: The U.S. Pharmacopoeia, the official list of medicines, lists cannnabis.
1883: Hashish smoking parlors become popular in every major U.S. city.
1906: U.S Pure Food and Drug Act, among other things, requires medicine containing cannabis to list it on the label.
1937: Marihuana Tax Act effectively outlaws both hemp and cannabis, which has suddenly gained the name “marijuana”.
1941: Cannabis is dropped from the U.S. Pharmacopoeia list.
1943: The U.S. Government encourages farmers to grow hemp again, because the fibers are important for the war effort.
1944: New York Mayor LaGuardia doesn’t believe the U.S. Government line and convenes his own commission on marijuana, which comes to the conclusion that it’s mostly harmless but may have useful medicinal properties.
1963: President John F. Kennedy decides to make marijuana legal in his second term, but is assassinated.
1964: Bob Dylan turns the Beatles on to marijuana and the Sixties officially begin.
1971: President Richard Nixon declares the War On Drugs.
1972: President Richard Nixon convenes his own commission on marijuana. The Shafer Commission comes to the conclusion that it’s mostly harmless and should be legalized again. Nixon ignores his own commission and attempts to cover up its report. Consumer Reports magazine comes out for legalization of marijuana.
1973: Creation of the DEA.
1974: A Medical College of Virgina study finds that THC slows the growth of cancer cells. DEA covers up results.
1976: The Federal Investigational New Drug Compassionate Access Program begins supplying marijuana cigarettes to about a dozen patients (a program which continues to this day) for medical reasons.
1990: THC receptors are discovered in the brain.
1996: Californians pass Proposition 215, allowing the legal use of marijuana for medical purposes.
2003: The U.S. Government awards itself a patent on the medical use of cannabinoids.
2005: The U.S. Supreme Court decides that the Federal government can ban marijuana even when it does not enter interstate commerce.
2011: Congressmen Barney Frank (D-MA) and Ron Paul (R-TX) introduce theEnding Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011. A total of 16 states, plus Washington D.C., have legalized medical marijuana.

Ask the Ecologist: cotton, hemp and bamboo - which is the green choice?

by Ruth Styles

The impact of fashion and its relentless demand for raw materials has long been a topic of intense debate among greenies. For some, the answer is second-hand, while others wax lyrical about the benefits of hemp. While, to answer your question, hemp is undoubtedly the greenest material for fabric available; there’s a problem. Currently, it’s hard to produce a decent cloth from it. What’s more, it has a serious image problem among the wider public, with many regarding it as an accoutrement to hair-shirted hippydom. So what’s being done to make it more palatable? Blending is the answer, with ‘hemp silk’ – usually 60 per cent hemp to 40 per cent silk – now widely available along with hemp versions of traditional fabrics such as corduroy, although cotton still makes up around 40 per cent of the blend. But while the hemp element is emerald green, the silk and cotton parts aren’t always as eco-friendly as they could be.

The environmental catastrophe that is conventional cotton production is widely known, with issues such as extensive agrochemical use, monocropping and immense water requirements topping the list of eco-unfriendly growing practices. While organic cotton doesn’t make use of the cocktail of pesticides and fertilisers routinely sprayed on the conventional version, it’s still a thirsty plant with around 256.6 gallons of water required to grow enough to make a single t-shirt. Bamboo is a similarly thirsty but is faster growing and hardy, so doesn’t really benefit from additional fertilisers. As a textile, it has similar properties to cotton but isn’t as widely grown, which makes it harder to get hold of.

In terms of water alone, hemp is by far and away the best choice, although the unappealing cloth it tends to produce is an issue. Organic cotton and bamboo come next with conventionally produced cotton lagging well behind the others. While that has answered your question, it hasn’t totally solved the problem of what’s good and what’s bad in textile terms. As previously mentioned, many believe that second hand is the way forward, although I’d argue that this is equally unsustainable given the large number of people dependent on textile production for their livelihoods. In terms of what to buy, the key things to take into account are avoiding fabrics created using by-products of the petroleum industry – nylon and acrylic for example – and making what you do buy last longer. Look for renewable materials including wool, silk and (organic) cotton, although its worth bearing in mind that silk production usually results in the death of the silkworm which many consumers could find unpleasant. Peace silk is an alternative more expensive but it does allow the moth to leave its cocoon naturally (and alive) before the fibres are harvested, so is probably a much better bet all round. Also worth looking into is Lyocell, - Tencel as it’s more commonly known - which is made from wood pulp. The textile result is long-wearing and comfortable but like organic cotton, it isn’t without its downsides, which include concerns over the amount of chemicals needed to turn the pulp into a viable fabric.

Clearly, textiles are a bit of an ecological minefield and until someone works out how to turn hemp into comfortably wearable cloth, it’s a problem that isn’t going away. For now, choosing upcycled and recycled pieces is a good idea although the expense involved puts them out of reach for many. Pieces made from hemp blends such as Nudie’s fabulous hemp/cotton blend jeans are similarly costly. On the high street aim for organic cotton, Tencel and wool (which has the benefit of being both renewable and locally produced), while sports fans should take a closer look at Nike’s Considered Design range which turns landfill-bound plastic bottles into polyester fabric. Don’t ignore vintage either, as there’s plenty of mileage in the best pieces, most of which are unique to boot. Personally, I like to mix it up, with vintage, upcycled and organic pieces all in my wardrobe. While not everyone will agree with my solution to the textile problem; until I find hemp that doesn’t feel like sacking and doesn’t look dowdy, it’s the one that works the best for me.