Friday, November 30, 2012

Hemp: Could the US rekindle its love affair?

By Jon Kelly
BBC News Magazine, Washington DC

Hand holding hemp seeds
Hemp, once a major US crop, has been banned for years because of its close association 
with cannabis. But several states now want to resume hemp farming, and two states 
voted this month in favour of legalisation of cannabis. Could change be in the air?

There's an all-American plant that weaves its way throughout the nation's history.
The sails of Columbus' ships were made from it. So was the first US flag. It was used in the paper on which the Declaration of Independence was printed.
Today, however, industrial hemp is effectively banned by the federal government, damned by association with cannabis, its intoxicating cousin.
While hemp cannot be grown in the US, it can be imported and used to manufacture paper, textiles, rope, fuel, food and plastics.
Its advocates say it is a hugely versatile crop which is already popular with US consumers - a 2012 report by the Congressional Research Service estimated that the annual US retail hemp market could exceed $300m (£188m) in value.

Made from hemp

Hemp products for sale
  • Food (flour, oil, roasted seeds, salad dressing, wine, beer, cheese, biscuits)
  • Paper (books, envelopes, newspapers, magazines)
  • Furnishings (blankets, carpets, napkins, rugs)
  • Cosmetics (hair conditioner, lip balm, shampoos, soaps)
  • Textiles (clothes, bags etc)
Hemp's problem is that, like marijuana, it contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive chemical, albeit in much smaller doses than its better-known relative.
While the US federal Drugs Enforcement Administration (DEA) adopts a zero-tolerance policy towards THC, hemp advocates say one would have to smoke a telegraph pole-sized joint of hemp to get high from it.
But advocates of its legal cultivation believe the winds of change are blowing.
States such as Oregon, North Dakota, Vermont, Montana and West Virginia have backed its legal cultivation.
In Congress, an unlikely coalition of lawmakers ranging from right-wing Republicans to liberal Democrats are pushing for reform.
And votes in Colorado and Washington state to legalise, regulate and tax marijuana could, supporters believe, open the door of the drug's less potent relative.
After all, within living memory, fields of hemp abounded in Kentucky and the Midwest.
Hemp field, 1942, Fayette County, central KentuckyHemp crop in Fayette County, central Kentucky, 1942
"If you go back to the 1940s, the US was a very large hemp producer," says Isaac Campos, an expert on the drug trade at the University of Cincinnati. "It was more profitable than corn and soya beans."
As far back as 1607, the crop was produced in Virginia. From 1619, all planters in the colony were required by law to grow it.

Marijuana in the polls

In ballots held on 6 November, residents of Colorado and Washington voted to legalise the possession and sale of marijuana for recreational use.
Measures to approve the medicinal use of marijuana were on the ballot in three states, including Massachusetts, which passed the proposal.
However, cannabis remains an illegal drug under federal law. This clash could set the DEA and the states against each other in the courts.
Founding fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both cultivated hemp on their land. The cord around the US Constitution was reputedly made from hemp.
It was seen as an important crop relatively recently, too.
During World War II, it was so crucial to the military that farmers who grew it and their sons were exempted from military service. It was celebrated in a 1942 public information film,Hemp For Victory, which has since gone on to achieve cult popularity among latter-day generations of stoners.
In 1941, that most iconic of American industrialists, Henry Ford, produced a car whose plastic frame was partially made of hemp and whose engine could be powered by hemp fuel.
Ford car 1941Henry Ford, right, with a car made of farm products such as soy, hemp and flax
"A lot of this was written out of history," says Eric Steenstra, president of the Hemp Industries Association. "But this was a historically significant crop."

Why I want to grow hemp

Wayne Hauge
Wayne Hauge, 54, who farms 2,400 acres of arable land in North Dakota, campaigns for the legalisation of industrial hemp.
I've been a farmer for over 30 years. Both of my great-grandfathers were farmers. I don't exactly fit the stereotype of a pot-smoking dude. I don't want anything to do with smoking cannabis. I've never touched the stuff.
I just think industrial hemp would be profitable to grow. It's an easy crop to cultivate - practically a weed. With all crops, you need rotation. Industrial hemp merely provides another option.
I'm 50 miles from Canada. There are people not far north of here growing hemp. It seems logical to conclude it would work down here too.
At state level industrial hemp is widely supported. But when politicians get to federal level it seems their priorities change.
Around the turn of the 20th Century, hemp faced two obstacles, however.
One was the decline of the shipping industry, which meant demand for hemp ropes and sails fell.
The other was guilt by association with a substance which became the focus of an American moral anxiety.
"In Mexico by the 1890s, marijuana was believed to cause madness and violence," says Campos. "By the 1910s that idea was quite established in the US.
"There was just so much enthusiasm among the prohibitors to ban cannabis and hemp was caught up in that."
The Marihuana (sic) Tax Act of 1937 effectively banned all varieties of the plant cannabis sativa, although farmers were temporarily exempted from this while they were encouraged to grow hemp during wartime. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 explicitly outlawed cannabinoids.
Advocates for the crop never entirely went away, however. Because hemp requires much less irrigation, and around half as much land as cotton to produce the same amount of textile, supporters of legalisation say it is much more environmentally friendly. Hemp seed and its oil, too, are championed by health food enthusiasts.
Canada's decision in 1998 to legalise the growth of hemp under licence appears to have spurred on legislators south of the border.
Since 2005, the libertarian Texas Republican Ron Paul has introduced four bills to the House of Representatives aimed at making hemp farming lawful. The most recent of these, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011, attracted 22 co-sponsors.
In August 2012, Mr Paul's son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, co-sponsored a bill with Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden in the upper chamber which would exempt Hemp from the Controlled Substances Act.
Farmer Wilfried Arndt meassures the length of his hemp plants, Thursday, July 18, 1996 on his field near Uetz, about 30 kilometers north of BerlinIndustrial hemp is grown in Europe, but China is the biggest producer
Some 17 states have passed hemp-related legislation and 10 (Colorado, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont and West Virginia) have approved bills to remove barriers to its production.
The obstacle remains the federal authorities. Hemp cannot be grown without a DEA permit and it remains opposed to its cultivation.
"'Hemp' is simply a term used by some to create the false impression that so-called 'hemp' is not the same as marijuana," a DEA spokesman says. "In fact, under federal law, all cannabis plants (that is, all plants of the genus cannabis) are marijuana."
Opponents of legalisation say it would be extremely difficult for the authorities to tell whether illicit varieties of cannabis sativa were being surreptitiously grown amid fields of the industrial hemp crop.
However, according to Randy Fortenbery of Washington State University, who has studied the economic viability of hemp production, the voter initiatives in Washington and Colorado may make this a moot point.
"A lot of the resistance was about not being able to tell the difference between commercial hemp and crops grown for marijuana," he says.
"But if marijuana becomes more acceptable then this isn't an issue any more."

Massie signs on as co-sponsor of hemp legislation


U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie is co-sponsoring legislation that would require the federal government to honor state laws allowing production of industrial hemp.
The proposed Industrial Hemp Farming Act would exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana. A similar bill is being co-sponsored in the U.S. Senate by Kentucky Republican Rand Paul.
Massie said industrial hemp, a cousin to marijuana, could be an important agricultural product for Kentucky farmers if the feds would allow it to be grown in the U.S.
Kentucky was once a leading producer of industrial hemp that's used in hundreds of products from cosmetics to clothing to canvas.
Massie said it also can be used in bio-fuels more efficiently than corn or switch grass. Federal and state law enforcement agencies oppose loosening restrictions on industrial hemp.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

An Argument for Hemp Manufacturing


Currently, it’s illegal to grow industrial HempMarijuana’s close cousin, in the U.S.–despite the fact that it’s a non-psychoactive home building materialthat’s saved one homeowner from Asheville, NC 75% on heating and cooling costs.
The Hemp house is featured in the documentary Bringing It Home, which is about the battle for industrial hemp, the history of hemp, and how it could drastically cut the energy and money spent heating and cooling homes.

Hemp sown to start eco-house business


tdn hemp stand
Greg Flavall with a Hempcrete Wall Sample which will 
be used to build New Zealand's first hemp house.

History is soon to be made in Taranaki after the first hemp crops have been planted to build New Zealand's first eco-friendly hempcrete house.
Just under half a hectare has already been planted at Douglas in eastern Taranaki and another 3.7ha were planted at Urenui on Saturday.
Once milled the fast-growing crops will be sufficient to build three hemp homes, builder and entrepreneur Greg Flavall, the co-founder of Hemp Technologies, says.
The first harvest is expected as soon as January and building of New Zealand's first hemp house, near Bell Block, will start by early next year. The New Plymouth District Council had already approved the structural engineering, said Mr Flavall, who was born in Taranaki.
He is a strong advocate for the age-old plant after building some of the first hemp-lime homes in Canada and the United States earlier this century.
"You can call me a hempster," he says.
Mr Flavall has returned from the United States to look into developing hemp-cropping in New Zealand to export to the US, has seen the potential, and is now keen to stay. His aim is to see 1200 acres (485ha) planted in Taranaki.
To make the building product, the internal part of the hemp stem is mixed with a lime-based binder. It continues to harden or petrify over time and lasts hundreds of years.
The result is a cheap, breathable, non-toxic product which is non-combustible, power-saving, soundproof - and has a negative carbon footprint, he says.
"It's a breathable wall yet air doesn't pass through."
One of the oldest crops known to man, hemp was used in the Great Wall of China, Roman viaducts and by Henry Ford in his first car.
Hemp is fast coming in from the cold and much of the Western World is in a comeback phase after many countries banned the plant because of fears it could be used as the drug marijuana.
There was also competition with petrochemical-based products.
The US will still not allow hemp to be grown there but because it does allow its use in buildings, it has to be imported.
Southern France, Canada (where there are 60,000ha in use), Japan and China all have large tracts of land planted in hemp.
The crop has never taken hold in a big way in New Zealand but is starting to spread after agricultural hemp cultivation was legalised about 12 years ago.
Growers must be licensed and the plants, a variety of cannabis sativa, tested to ensure they contain very low levels of the psychoactive property THC.
Mr Flavall believes the Taranaki cultivation licences are the first issued since 1940.
More information at

Cultivation of industrial hemp likely will be OK'd


Amendment 64’s legalization of marijuana drew the nation’s eyes to Colorado on Election Day. In the ensuing media frenzy, another portion of the ballot measure got lost — Colorado will likely legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp.

Tons of industrial hemp is imported into Colorado and other states annually from Canada, China and other countries, and hemp products are manufactured and sold throughout the country. But it remains illegal to grow hemp in the United States under federal law.

Hemp proponents say cultivating the plant would create an industry and could be a boon to the economies of Colorado and the nation.

Hemp has long been a stigmatized plant since it’s linked to marijuana because of its ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol, aka THC, the psychoactive substance in pot.
Industrial hemp contains three-tenths of 1 percent of THC, while marijuana typically contains 10 percent or higher.

Amendment 64 will separate hemp from the definition of “marijuana” in the Colorado state Constitution, and it will require the Legislature to set up regulations for hemp farmers and sellers by July 1, 2014. 

The amendment also makes it legal to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and to grow up to six marijuana plants, and allows for marijuana stores to begin setting up shop in January 2014.

“We’re looking at a huge market that our farmers could really capture,” said Brian Vicente, executive director of Sensible Colorado, which headed the Amendment 64 campaign.

Hemp is used for clothing, paper, fuel, car parts, makeup, cooking oil, meat substitutes, and even ice cream. Diaper Change, a Colorado Springs business, sells hemp diaper inserts, which are said to be more absorbent and durable than cloth diapers. And hemp hot dogs are on the way, said Colorado School of Mines student Erik Hunter, who testified at the Legislature this year on behalf of a hemp-growing pilot program.

“It’s almost like taco meat,” said Hunter of hemp meat substitutes.

Amendment 64 didn’t specify that industrial hemp will be legal to grow, but Vicente said that is expected to happen once marijuana is legalized in January 2013 and retail stores licensed in January 2014.

According to the national advocacy group Vote Hemp, Amendment 64’s industrial hemp clause mirrors measures that have passed in 17 other states with pro-hemp legislation. Nine states aside from Colorado have also removed legal obstacles to growing and researching hemp.
Colorado’s multiyear hemp pilot program, established by HB12-1099, will test the plant’s supposed power to detoxify soil and water.

In 2010, the Legislature unanimously passed a resolution urging the federal government to relax laws against industrial hemp. The resolution, sponsored by Republicans and Democrats, said the plant “should not be confused” with marijuana, and listed more than a dozen reasons to support industrial hemp.

The resolution called industrial hemp a “high-value, low-input crop” that can grow without irrigation. The resolution echoed Vicente’s argument that industrial hemp could energize Colorado’s economy and create jobs, and said that at least 24 small businesses in Colorado deal in industrial hemp products.

At least two pieces of bipartisan federal legislation have been introduced in recent years to remove hemp from the definition of marijuana.

The first was by Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and the second by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon. Paul’s measure had 35 co-sponsors, including Colorado’s Democratic Rep. Jared Polis. Wyden’s measure was co-sponsored by Paul’s son, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky.

Both bills have stalled in committee.

Hemp Seeds Sown in New zealand

Press Release

Midlands Seed Ltd has recently completed the planting of this seasons hemp crops, which they grow under contract with farmer suppliers in the South Island. It’s an exciting time for the Ashburton based company and its subsidiary company Oil Seed Extractions Limited (OSE) who Cold Press the resultant seed to produce Hemp seed oil. FSANZ have recommended an amendment to food regulation laws allowing the sale of hemp foods in New Zealand and Australia, which if approved should mean more hemp crops grown in New Zealand in the future.
Hemp is an annual plant, with a 120 day growth cycle. Hemp crops are grown for fibre or alternatively for seed, which can be processed to oil and other nutritious foods. Whilst Hemp has a reputation as an easy plant to grow with a host of benefits, Hemp seed production brings with it numerous challenges. However the well established world leading agricultural infrastructure on New Zealand’s Canterbury plans, from planting all the way through to harvest, drying and seed cleaning ensures a high quality product is harvested. Furthermore both Midlands and OSE operate a HACCP certified Food Safety programme that is independently audited, which further ensures a high quality hemp seed oil is produced as a final finished product.
All hemp crops are produced on forward contract with local farmer suppliers, and all crops produced are licensed with the Ministry of Health. Both Midlands and OSE are pioneers of the Industrial Hemp industry in New Zealand, and were amongst the first companies to be issued licences for the production of hemp in the 2001/2002 growing season. The list of related pioneering hemp milestones is extensive, and includes being the first to grow and process hemp seed to oil for retail sale in New Zealand under this very first licence over a decade ago, as well as the first to produce hemp seed protein in this country earlier this year.
OSE is a bulk wholesaler of its range of specialty seed oils and related oilseed products, and also supplies this hemp seed oil wholesale in bulk quantities. In addition OSE also has its own finished product brand new hemisphere, which is a clever twist of the words "hemp is here". For further detail please visit the following link
While products such as hemp seed oil, hemp seed flour, hemp seed protein and hulled hemp seed can be found in retail stores in other developed countries such as Canada, USA, United Kingdom and throughout Europe, currently the sale of these hemp foods for human consumption in New Zealand is prohibited, with the exception of hemp seed oil. Due to these regulations hemp protein currently produced by OSE is destined for export. For more information about the current hemp food laws in New Zealand please visit the following link
The laws related to hemp foods are however currently under review, with the political council that will decide the future fate of hemp foods due to cast their vote on the 7th December.
And there is no shortage of reasons (listed below) for the forum to accept the FSANZ recommendation, relating to what's good for you, what's good for New Zealand, and what's good for the global environment.
• Currently it is only possible to sell hemp seed oil in New Zealand, which represents only 20% of the seed value, with the balance (meal) being sold as an animal feed. The ability to sell 100% of the seed value, will increase the value of hemp seed produced in New Zealand, with a subsequent increase in farm gate returns.
• Global demand for hemp foods is increasing, and a more competitive cost structure as a result of the ability to sell 100% of the seed value will, in addition to domestic sales, allow the further development of export markets for hemp seed oil and hemp foods produced in New Zealand.
• The proposed amendment to the hemp food laws will result in an increase in recognition for hemp seed oil, which is one of the richest sources of the Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) Linoleic Acid (Omega 6, LA) and Alpha Linolenic Acid (Omega 3, ALA) as well as smaller amounts of Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), and Stearidonic Acid (SDA), and a sustainable alternative to fish oil.
• Hemp seed protein is a GMO/GE free alternative to other sources of protein such as Soy and Whey. The unique amino acid profile of hemp protein has seen it touted as a superfood, and it has become popular and sort after as a dietary supplement worldwide.
• Likewise hulled hemp seed is also a nutritional super food, offering a source of digestible protein (10 essential amino acids), Carbohydrates, dietary fibre as well as a variety of vitamins and minerals. Furthermore its oil component is an excellent source of the Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) Linoleic Acid (Omega 6, LA) and Alpha Linolenic Acid (Omega 3, ALA) as well as smaller amounts of Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), and Stearidonic Acid (SDA), as mentioned above.
• Hemp seed flour and hemp seed bran, offer a nutritionally dense alternative to other common flours, with high levels of dietary fibre both soluble and insoluble, and the added benefits of its amino acid and essential fatty acid component.
• Hemp seed foods produced with the Midlands-OSE business model offer a sustainable crop production option with low food miles, grown and processed within a 100 kilometre radius(from paddock to processing facility)
• Hemp seed foods produced within the Midlands-OSE business model are gluten free, nut free, low in carbohydrates and GI, suitable for vegetarians and vegans, and are produced in a GMO/GE free production process.
• Clearly the New Zealand Consumers health and wellness will benefit with these hemp food products becoming available in the marketplace.
• Numerous downstream benefits for employment and additional industry will result from this amendment to the hemp food laws. Due to the existing infrastructure for seed production and food processing in New Zealand, and our temperate climate and ideal soils, New Zealand is well positioned to capture the added value and economic benefits that this opportunity presents.
• Furthermore, in other production regions such as Canada, a complimentary hemp fibre industry has been developed alongside the hemp food industry, which has created further employment opportunities and economic benefits. It is reasonable to expect that the same should occur in New Zealand and/or Australia if the proposed hemp food law amendment is approved.

If the "Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation" does vote in favour, we could see hemp foods on the shelves in New Zealand (and Australia) late in 2012 or early in 2013. Here’s hoping that “Hemp is here”!

Background Notes; Midlands Seed Ltd

Midlands Seed Ltd was established in 1990 as a privately owned company, and the foundation share holders remain actively involved in the business. This innovative business is now established as one of the leading grain and seed companies in New Zealand, and is well regarded globally for servicing counter season productions. Midlands have lead the development of the vegetable seed industry in Canterbury and now produce and export large volumes of brassica to the Asian vegetable seed trade and hybrid carrot, beet and radish to the European seed industry.
Midlands Seed Ltd are producers and marketers of:
Vegetable Seed: with an emphasis on high value hybrids which are produced for leading international seed companies.
Forage: notably temperate climate grass and clover species for international markets.
Grain: produced for the domestic feed and flour trade.
Pulses: notably marrowfats peas produced for export to the Asian snack food trade.
Oil Seeds: consisting predominantly of borage, linseed and hemp which are produced both for export, and for subsidiary company Oil Seed Extractions Ltd (OSE).
Garden Peas: where Midlands have their own in-house research programme, culminating in the production of popular varieties for export.
In addition to traditional seed re-multiplication Midlands also produce an extensive range of Arable Food products for human consumption. Examples include Whole and Split Peas, Pea Flour, Lentils and Buckwheat. Furthermore the company is also involved in Organic Seed production.
Further information about Midlands Seed Limited is available at

Background Notes; Oil Seed Extractions Ltd (OSE)
Oil Seed Extractions Ltd (OSE) produce and supply natural nutritional oils and food ingredients rich in essential fatty acids such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA or Omega 3) and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA or Omega 6). All products are developed with the intent to benefit and promote health and well-being in today's lifestyles.
Our product range comprises of an extensive list of oils and oilseed products, with a focus on bulk nutritional oils. A wide range of cold pressed oils are produced from our purpose-built premises in Ashburton.
The focus is on quality, and locally produced seed creates some of the world’s best seed oils. In addition to our oils we also produce EFA rich oil powders, specialty concentrates, seed extracts, flours, & associated functional food ingredients.
OSE is dedicated to providing healthy and nutritious products from natural sources to our customers. We closely integrate contract growing, product development, oil processing and distribution to ensure that the highest product quality and service are always delivered efficiently to our customers.
Further information about OSE is available at
Background Notes; New Hemisphere
new hemisphere™ is based in Canterbury where all our products are locally grown and manufactured. new hemisphere™ Hemp Seed Oil is an extra virgin, cold-pressed oil extracted locally from THC Free Hemp Seed grown without the use of agri-chemicals, and is produced in a GMO/GE free production process. This unique oil is a sustainable alternative to fish oil, and is one of natures richest sources of the Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) Linoleic Acid (Omega 6, LA) and Alpha Linolenic Acid (Omega 3, ALA) as well as smaller amounts of Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), and Stearidonic Acid (SDA). These EFAs include Omega 6 & Omega 3 in a naturally occurring 3:1 ratio, which is considered an essential part of a balanced diet.
To find out more about the amazing nutritional properties of hemp seed oil including Omega 3, 6, and GLA, and how it can easily be incorporated into your diet, simply visit the recipes page on our website
Available from all good Pharmacies, Fitness Centres, Delis, Specialty Stores and Health Food Stores Nationwide. For a stockist near you please visit the new hemisphere™ website call our customer hotline 0800 HEMPOIL (436 764)
Further information about new hemisphere™ is available at

Hemp for health, not a high

By Zahra Gordon
Source: (Trinidad and Tobago)

Nneka Daniel Braveboy, head chef and owner of bakery and 
restaurant Nick & 2Js puts bread into her dirt oven at the 
restaurant’s opening on November 16. PHOTOS: KEARRA GOPEE

So what’s in your oven? If your name is Nneka Daniel Braveboy, owner and executive chef at the newly opened restaurant and bakery Nick & 2Js then on any given day your oven could have chocolate bread flavoured with coconut or mango cranberry walnut bread or hops dinner rolls—all made with hemp. 
And the word hemp is no typo. In an  at the opening of Nick & 2Js last Friday that she is T&T’s only licenced importer and distributor of hemp—the non-psychoactive variant of the cannabis plant. Almost every item on the Nick & 2Js menu has a touch of hemp seeds, flour or oil. 
Braveboy began using hemp while managing her catering business Food Supporters Plus for more than a decade. Opening a restaurant has been a dream of hers for more than 20 years, however. 
She’s been in the business of cooking and selling food since she was nine. Braveboy uses her knowledge of food chemistry, human ecology and creativity to enhance her culinary skills. 
Braveboy says hemp has many health benefits. Many of her catering clients had health or allergy concerns and hemp became one way to address them. “The protein in hemp is very similar to the protein in our blood and hemp is more digestible than soy,” she said. As a caterer, Braveboy garnered rave reviews and she opened a small space for Nick & 2Js’ at the Crobar Club on Ariapita Avenue where she was open only for about six months. When she was finally able to open a space of her own, Braveboy moved to closer to her native St Augustine and branched out to include a bakery. 
The taste of her hemp-drizzled dishes are enhanced by the use a food theatre located outside the restaurant. The main attraction in the theatre is the dirt oven which Braveboy built herself along with the help of Cristo Adonis. The theatre also includes a fireside, roasting box and Doubles stand (Doubles at Nick & 2Js come with a delicious coconut chutney). 
According to Braveboy, the slow process used to bake bread and cakes and cook food magnifies the flavour. And when Braveboy says slow process she means it; wood in the dirt oven has to be burnt for three hours before any items can be put in. 
Some of the complicated items are made using a conventional stove, however, like the honey ginger chili crab served with chive buns, the lobster corn soup or the hempouries (pholourie made using hemp flour). When it’s time to serve the tamarind lamb grazed with cilantro on the other hand, the roasting box is fired up. 
The food theatre, Braveboy said, was an expression of patriotism. “I developed it (food theatre) for many reasons. One, is absolute personal boredom and a combination of pride in our culture and I’ve always enjoyed showing people that they can look at food in a different light.” 
All hemp products are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)-free and therefore do not alter the mind. In addition to containing nine essential amino acids, hemp has three times the Vitamin E and twice the iron and magnesium. Whole hemp seeds contain 25 per cent protein, 31 per cent fat and 34 per cent carbohydrates. 
Nick & 2Js is located on the corner of Agostini Street and Eastern Main Road. Business hours: Wednesday through Saturday 6am - 6pm (bread baked from 3pm), Sunday 6am - 1pm (bread baked from 6am). You can also visit them on Facebook (Nick & 2J’s) or contact them via phone at 221-2102. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Astronauts scoop up hemp cereal 

NASA deal is big deal 
for food company

Hempsters hope for sustainable future

By Katy Rushlau

Visitors used hemp-based twine to make bracelets.

Soap, ice cream, and bracelets don’t usually go together, but this past Thursday they were connected by one key ingredient: hemp.
 Earth Emerson and Emerson Reform teamed up to host Hemposium, an educational event to spread awareness and appreciation for hemp.
The environmentally friendly product, according to Earth Emerson Co-President, Erin Moriarty, is a variety of the cannabis plant and is grown for the fiber and the seeds. These components are valuable because they grow quickly — as opposed to trees — and can be used in the manufacturing of rope, clothing, paper, oils, plastic, and building materials.
“Hemp is a very real and very exciting alternative for the unsustainable lifestyle we are currently facing,” said Moriarty. “There is so much information out there in its favor.  It can reshape everything from the food we eat to the houses we live in to the way we take responsibility for the planet.”
The gathering took place in the Bill Bordy Theater and featured a screening of Hempsters: Plant the Seed, a documentary following seven hemp activists fighting for industrialization of the good.
Margo Gomes, a senior political communication major and vice president of Emerson Reform, a group that advocates  for change in U.S. drug policy, explained that a common misunderstanding about hemp is its association with marijuana.
“Hemp is illegal to grow in the U.S. under federal law, which I feel like most people don’t realize,” said Gomes. “And this is because of its relation with marijuana. Hemp is such a wonderful organic resource and it actually has a lot to offer.”
The approximately 40 attendees also enjoyed free hemp-based samples, including Dr. Bronner’s soap and J.P. Licks pistachio ice cream. The hemp seeds or “nuts,” according to, are ground and used to make oils and milk that can be used in cosmetics and as a dairy substitute.
Moriarty explained that industrial hemp and marijuana are not the same thing. She said it is important to note that hemp cannot be used for smoking, and the plant parts produce different levels of the harmful chemical, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. According to Science Daily, marijuana contains up to 25 percent THC, whereas hemp contains less than 0.3 percent.
“I’m not sure if there is a large portion of people who think you can smoke hemp twine or something,” said Moriarty. “But there is this misconception, so we just can’t have hemp grown for its true purpose.”
After the screening, the hosts passed out hemp twine. The group twisted and tied hemp bracelets and hair wraps and discussed their opinions and views about the product. 
Lia Brouillard, a freshman marketing communication major, said she thinks students should be aware that marijuana is not the only use for hemp.
“I think students should know that hemp is not the bud of the marijuana plant. It’s just its fibers,” said Brouillard. “[There are so many] benefits of using hemp products, and so much can be created with such a small environmental impact.”
Junior journalism major Kaela Holmes, co-president of Earth Emerson, said she hopes events like this will better educate people about these sustainable commodities.
“We hope that with the more education we can spread about hemp, that we can make it more socially acceptable,” said Holmes. “[It would be wonderful] to not have to rely on importing hemp from other countries or states that allow hemp for commercial production.”
With the recent decriminalization of marijuana in Massachusetts, Moriarty said she thinks this is a step in the right direction for understanding and utilizing the many components of the crop.
“Once pot is accepted, then perhaps we can start thinking seriously about industrial hemp, which would revolutionize the way we produce and consume,” said Moriarty.
Gomes also explained that the goal of Hemposium and other environmental events is to educate students about environmental, economic, and political issues, as well as to teach students to make environmentally savvy decisions.
Moriarty said both Earth Emerson and Emerson Reform hope to host similar programs in the future, including environmental campaigns next semester. She explained that there has recently been collaboration and discussion about the possibility of an alliance between the progressive groups on campus.
“That is still in its very rudimentary stages, but it is exciting to imagine a large coalition of social and environmental groups here at Emerson,” said Moriarty. “There are so many brilliant and determined activists at our school demonstrating their care and their hope. It’s really encouraging.”

Marijuana measures strengthen hemp efforts in Kentucky


Efforts to legalize industrial hemp in Kentucky are getting help from votes in Washington and Colorado to legalize marijuana, according to Kentucky agriculture secretary James Comer.
WFPL-FM reports that law-enforcement officials are opposed to legalizing hemp, saying farmers would be able to hide marijuana in their fields.
But Comer said law enforcement concerns are not valid because if hemp and marijuana cross-pollinated, the marijuana would be ruined, according to the report.
Comer, who is chairman of the state's hemp commission, said a new bill to legalize hemp will be presented to state lawmakers in 2013, according to the report.

A side-by-side comparison: hemp on the left vs. marijuana on the right
Industrial Hemp on the Left, Marijuana (Pot) on the Right


LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Some think it's basically the same as marijuana. Others think pot growers would hide their plants in fields of hemp if they could.
But Kentucky's Agriculture Commissioner wants everyone to know those are misconceptions, and he's making legalizing hemp his number one priority in 2013.
"Because of the internet and social media, I think most people understand now there's a huge difference between industrial hemp and marijuana," said Ag Commissioner James Comer.
While Comer works for approval on the state level, Senator Rand Paul will push for the federal government to allow farmers to grow hemp as they can in Canada.
Paul is excited about the possibility of using hemp to make paper. "Think about it," he said. "Trees take fifteen years to grow; hemp takes one season to grow."
Hemp was prominently grown in Jefferson and Shelby Counties in the 1800s and early 1900s for everything from paper and fuel, to rope and feed products.

Hemp supporters blame oil and timber interests in the 1930s for tying hemp to marijuana in a national campaign that led to hemp being made illegal.
If it's made legal again, Commissioner Comer says it would be grown on strictly regulated and monitored farms and that it could have an impact of hundreds of millions of dollars once manufacturing businesses pop up to use the hemp.
The hemp plant actually contains almost no THC, the mind-altering drug in marijuana. The plant looks different as well, with a thicker, taller stalk to produce the desired fiber.
If someone tried to plant marijuana in a hemp field, it wouldn't work. The plants would cross pollinate, negating the potency of the marijuana plant.
Some hemp products, including diaper inserts, are sold in Louisville stores now. Hemp is known for its absorbency. It also makes extremely durable clothing and can produce a fiber board like sheet rock for homes that has very high insulation values. 

Environmentalists like hemp because it grows on marginal lands and requires little if any pesticides and herbicides. But even its supporters admit, it's not a high priority item on Capitol Hill.

Hemp makes it a ‘great time to be a farmer’


EDMONTON — Hemp has earned a permanent place in Chris Butkiewicz’s crop rotation.

“Hemp is one of our better money makers,” Butkiewicz of Tilley, Alta., said during the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance convention.

“It’s not our easiest crop to grow, but it is one of our highest returning crops. We enjoy a challenge.”

Butkiewicz started growing hemp six years ago with a trial 60 acres. After trials and successes, his 260 acres of hemp are now the same as other high value crops such as confectionary sunflowers and timothy.

“I just look at the long range,” he said. “Hemp has been very steady in price. It seems to be consistent yields, and prices have been consistent. I like to grow non-traditional crops. They don’t fluctuate in price as much as conventional crops.”

Butkiewicz estimates hemp earns 30 to 50 percent more than some of his other crops, including canola.

He said a consistently strong price and no sign of lowering demand makes it easier to put up with the harvest hassles. 

“There seems to be tons of market. Right now there’s demand for everything. It’s a great time to be a farmer.”

Markus Schmulgen, president of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance, said there is a positive feel to the industry. The group is predicting Canadian farmers will grow 100,000 acres of hemp by 2015, up from 25,000 acres today.

“This industry will grow leaps and bounds. I believe there will be more producers, more processors and more consumers,” said Schmulgen.

Hemp first became legal to grow in Canada in 1998. In those days, the amount of hemp grown exceeded demand.

Manitoba farmers grew the most acres at first, but that is now spread more evenly between the three prairie provinces, especially with prices that make hemp a competitive alternative to other crops.

Hemp plays a major role on Dalyce Brewin’s organic farm near Taber, Alta.

“It fits in great with rotation. It helps take care of different weed control,” said Brewin, who operates Rowland Seeds.

Brewin increases the value of his crop by cleaning seed on the farm before sending it on for further processing. Seed markets are good, but he hopes researchers will soon help develop a good market for fibre as well. Bales of hemp now sit in stacks waiting for future markets.

“We would really like to see the fibre industry grow. That’s one of our big focuses now. Now only the seed is utilized.”

Will Van Roussel has grown hemp for three years under irrigation. He started with two small fields at his farm near Bow Island, Alta., and hemp now accounts for one-fifth of his acreage.“I was impressed with how the crop grows,” said Van Roussel, who also grows hemp for sale as pedigreed seed.

“There are no real harvest issues or horror stories I heard from other growers. This isn’t too bad to grow.”

Unlike other hemp crops, which are two metres tall, the variety grown under irrigation is the same height as wheat, which makes harvest easy. 

The crop is swathed and combined dry, simplifying storage.

Irrigated hemp produces an average 1,500 pounds per acre. At an average 65 cents per lb., a reasonable hemp crop should gross $1,000 an acre.

“That’s what we’re targeting,” Van Roussel said. “It doesn’t compete with hybrid canola, but puts it in the same category as edible beans or irrigated canola.”

He said his neighbours are also starting to look seriously at growing hemp.

“The first year or two it’s a curiosity thing. As they see I keep growing it, they think I must be making money and they start asking questions.”

He expects four neighbours to grow hemp under irrigation next spring.

Schmulgen said farmer success stories will help expand the industry, which helps fill the growing demand for hemp seed. 

The association’s job is to help develop new varieties, give farmers production advice and help processors meet the growing demand for product.

“The processors are literally busting at the seams,” he said.

“They don’t know where to get the next processing capacity from, and producers are coming back into the fold. There was a backlash, but we are maturing as an industry.”