Monday, August 26, 2013

Sen. Frank Niceley drafting bill to legalize hemp farming in Tennessee


STRAWBERRY PLAINS (WATE) - A bill that would make hemp farming legal in Tennessee could soon be on the table in the state legislature, and one East Tennessee senator is behind the big push.
Republican Senator Frank Niceley of Strawberry Plains tells 6 News he's drafting the hemp bill on the heels of the recent passage of a similar measure in Kentucky.

Hemp farming is currently illegal in Tennessee. Growing the plant is also prohibited by federal law.
Hemp farming is currently illegal in Tennessee. Growing the plant is also prohibited by federal law.
Hemp farming is currently illegal in Tennessee. Growing the plant is also prohibited by federal law.
But in recent years, a number of states have passed measures legalizing the farming of the plant, including Kentucky.
Niceley wants Tennessee to do follow suit.
"Why not give the farmers a chance to raise it?" said Tenn. Sen. Frank Niceley.
"Why not give the farmers a chance to raise it?" said Tenn. Sen. Frank Niceley.
"Why not give the farmers a chance to raise it?" said Niceley.
He says there's a common misconception that hemp is marijuana.
"It's not marijuana. It's a cousin. You can't get high off smoking industrial hemp," said Niceley.
He's working on a bill right now that would approve hemp farming in the state.
He says considering that hemp itself is legal, growing it should be too.
"Hemp is legal. You can import it. You can export it. You can buy it. You can sell it. It's only illegal for a farmer to raise it. I want to change that," said Niceley.
Niceley believes hemp could become a viable crop for Tennessee farmers to grow and sell.
The plant's fibers can be turned into everything from rope to clothing.
"You can make paper out of it. There are thousands of things you can make out of hemp," said Niceley.
But it's not just about making a change in Tennessee.
Niceley hopes approval of hemp farming in the state could help pressure the federal government to repeal it's prohibition on growing the plant.
"That's just another example of farmers being discriminated against. I don't know of any other crop that's illegal to raise, but it's not illegal to buy it, sell it, import it or export it," said Niceley.
East Tennessee residents say they're in favor of Niceley's idea, especially if it means more money in farmer's pockets.
"I don't see a problem with it. I know a lot of people who have farms out here so any kind of cash crop like that would be good for them," said Brent Byrum of Strawberry Plains.
"I don't see a problem with it. I know a lot of people who have farms out here so any kind of cash crop like that would be good for them," said Brent Byrum of Strawberry Plains.
"I don't see a problem with it. I know a lot of people who have farms out here so any kind of cash crop like that would be good for them," said Brent Byrum of Strawberry Plains. "If people aren't getting high off of it, I don't see why people shouldn't be able to grow it and make money off of it."
Niceley says he's already received a lot of support from other state legislators, including bi-partisan support.
He plans to present the bill in next year's legislative session, which begins in January.

Kansas For Change, Inc. Presents Governor Brownback With Science Supporting Medical Cannabis For Healthier Kansans and Hemp Crops For A Healthier Kansas Economy

News Release

Kansas For Change, Inc. Presents Governor Brownback With Science Supporting Medical Cannabis For Healthier Kansans and Hemp Crops For A Healthier Kansas Economy
On August,19 Governor Sam Brownback was in Augusta, Kansas to give an award to the Lakepoint Assisted Living staff.  Esau Freeman, President of Kansas For Change, presented Governor Brownback with evidence supporting medical cannabis and industrial hemp.
Freeman presented Governor Brownback with a three ring binder which included two presentations on DVD. The presentations were, “What if Cannabis Cured Cancer,” and the Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (L.E.A.P) DVD.  The L.E.A.P. DVD featured judges, district attorneys and various law enforcement officers speaking out against cannabis prohibition and features Jack Cole, a co-founder of L.E.A.P. and former under cover narcotics officer. Freeman also issued an invitation for the governor to attend the Jack Cole speaking engagement, September 24th, at 7:00 pm on the Friends University Campus.
Governor Brownback was also presented with copies of the current bills before the Kansas Legislature, HB2198 and SB9, also known as The Cannabis Compassion And Care Act. He also received four studies on the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis, including the Center for Medical Cannabis Research study conducted by the University of California.
Brownback was also given a copy of Kansas For Change board member Mike Morton’s letter to the editor of The Winfield Courier from October 13, 2011 detailing his arrest as a medical cannabis patient, treating for cancer and CNN Dr. Guptas’ formal, written apology to medical cannabis patients for his former role in opposing the re-legalization of medical cannabis.
Governor Brownback also received data on the beneficial impact of the re-legalization of industrial hemp on Kansas farmers, environment and industry.

Tennessee lawmakers drafting hemp bill


KNOXVILLE — Two state lawmakers in Tennessee are pointing to Kentucky’s recent approval of hemp farming as they push for a similar measure.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reports Republican Sen. Frank Niceley of Strawberry Plains is drafting a bill with Republican Rep. Andy Holt of Dresden, and they plan to introduce the measure in next year’s legislative session.
Nicely said Kentucky and six other states have passed measures legalizing hemp even though federal law prohibits it. Nicely said there also is support for changing federal laws, notably from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Rand Paul, both from Kentucky.
“The utilization of hemp to produce everything from clothing to paper is real, and if there is a capacity to center a new domestic industry in Kentucky that will create jobs in these difficult economic times, that sounds like a good thing to me,” McConnell said in a statement earlier this year.
Hemp is controversial because the fiber is derived from the same plant as marijuana. Although varieties of the plant eliminate all or most of the drug component, authorities are concerned that marijuana cultivators might hide drug plants among a crop of fiber plants.
Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker of Tennessee did not take a position on the issue, but said it should be discussed.
“While we have not spent a great deal of time on the issue, we think it should be fully vetted and debated at the appropriate time,” Laura Herzog, spokeswoman for Corker, wrote in an e-mail.
A spokesman for Alexander offered similar comments.
“This is a very interesting proposal that has a good economic argument behind it. Unfortunately, an amendment by Sen. Paul to allow industrial hemp to be grown and processed was not considered during the farm bill debate, but Sen. Alexander will carefully consider this issue going forward,” Alexander’s spokesman, Jim Jeffries, said in an e-mail.
Niceley, a farmer, said introducing the measure in the Tennessee legislature would “put pressure on Congress” to repeal its prohibition on growing the plant, which has a long history in the nation.
“Betsy Ross’s first American flag was made of hemp. Cowboys used to have jeans made of hemp. The cover on covered wagons headed west was made of hemp,” he said.
“You can import it. You can process it for thousands of uses. You can own it. Why is it illegal to raise it?”

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Despite Federal Ban, Vermont Legalizes Hemp — Effective Immediately

Lawmakers in Vermont, have pushed for the nullification of the federal ban on marijuana’s cannabis cousin: hemp.


A grow house with hemp plant cultivation. Vermont has become the most recent state to take a stand against the federal government and nullify the federal ban on hemp cultivation.(Photo/Coleen Whitfield via Flickr)
A grow house with hemp plant cultivation. Vermont has become the most recent state to take a stand against the federal government and nullify the federal ban on hemp cultivation.(Photo/Coleen Whitfield via Flickr)

While much of the country has focused on the issue of whether to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use, lawmakers in some states, such as Vermont, have pushed for the nullification of the federal ban on marijuana’s cannabis cousin: hemp.
Though smoking an entire garbage bag of hemp would not produce an altered state of consciousness, the 1970 Controlled Substances Act banned the production of industrial hemp after labeling hemp a dangerous threat.  This was part of a propaganda campaign used by large corporations whose profits were being reduced because of the usefulness of hemp. They did this by associating hemp with marijuana.
Before the ban and classification of hemp as a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substance Act of 1970, hemp was the most important cash crop in the U.S. economy — more valuable than corn and wheat combined, since it was both a versatile and adaptable crop.
The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) estimated that the retail value of North American hemp food, vitamin and body care products was in the range of $121 to $142 million in 2010. When clothing, auto parts, building materials and other non-food or body care products are included, the HIA estimates that the total retail value of U.S. hemp products is about $419 million.
Nine states thus far have lifted a ban on hemp, and 20 states introduced legislation during the 2013 session to allow hemp cultivation so farmers and other businesses can take advantage of the hemp market, since hemp can be used to produce thousands of items including paper, clothing, construction materials, automobile parts, foods and could even be used as a biofuel.
But no state has pushed as hard for hemp reform as Vermont, and lawmakers in the state say they are not waiting for the federal government’s approval like other states have historically done before they begin to produce hemp.
In June, Vermont’s democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin signed S.157 into law, which modified the requirements for hemp production in the state, by defining hemp as “an agricultural product which may be grown as a crop, produced, possessed, and commercially traded in Vermont.”
Shumlin said he signed the bill because he said “I believe the growing of hemp should be legal. Hemp, a different variety of the same plant that produces marijuana, is not a drug but instead a crop with many constructive uses.”
Though Shumlin signed the legislation into law, making the production of hemp legal under Vermont law, he cautioned that the crop was still subject to federal anti-drug statutes. “That means that farmers who choose to grow hemp do so at their own risk and need to be aware of the possible consequences,” he said.
Because hemp has been classified as a Schedule 1 drug, farmers have to obtain a permit from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) before they can legally grow and cultivate the plant, which some have called a nearly impossible feat.
“The reason we want to push for a change is that hemp is potentially a valuable crop,” Rep. Caroline Partridge, chairwoman of the Vermont House Committee on Agriculture and Forest Products said. “People want to grow it. Hemp oil is a valuable product, and there’s so much of the hemp plant that can be used for very, very productive purposes.”
Unlike corn, hemp doesn’t require farmers to use large equipment, which makes it a crop that is manageable for even small farmers, like Vermont farmer John Vitko, who says he wants to grow a small hemp crop to feed his chickens.
When asked if he was concerned about the DEA raiding his farm and enforcing the federal hemp ban, Vitko said “I’m going to be a little farmer that’s growing hemp, they’ve got bigger problems than me.”

Vermont: Hemp is the way of the future

Mike Maharrey is the national communications director for the Tenth Amendment Center. He saidhe thinks hemp is valuable and says hemp opponents’ argument that a market for hemp doesn’t exist in the U.S. is moot.
“How can you say there isn’t a market when you have never allowed one to exist,” he said, adding, “If we are importing half of another country’s entire production there is obviously a market. If not let’s lift the ban, and if the market isn’t there then it will simply vanish.”
Discussing Vermont’s bill, Maharrey called it more aggressive than other hemp legalization bills and said the legislation would allow “farmers to go straight ahead regardless of the federal law.
“This is a straight nullification bill. It gives them the green light as soon as they receive the license from the state. I think this development is extremely important for the states because you will see markets develop and flourish. If more states begin to follow this path then the federal government may be forced to lift the ban,” he said.
“The U.S. is the only industrialized nation that doesn’t allow cultivation of hemp. We have to import all of it,” Maharrey said. “In fact, the U.S. imports half of all Canada’s hemp. We have thousands of manufacturing companies and stores importing raw hemp and hemp products.
“Vermont and Colorado show the way forward. There is no question that the feds have no authority to ban a plant within a state’s borders. Doubt me? Ask yourself why it took a constitutional amendment to prohibit alcohol production.
“If enough states legalize hemp and farmers simply start producing it, the feds won’t be able to do a thing about it. Especially when markets begin developing and people see the incredible economic potential of this crop. Washington will either relent and repeal its ridiculous ban, or the so-called law will just wither on the vine like the federal prohibition of medical marijuana is doing now.”
Joey Pendleton is a hemp advocate and former Kentucky state senator. He reiterated Maharrey’s belief that a hemp market already exists in the U.S., but instead of growing the plant here in the U.S., it’s imported from China and Canada.
“There’s something wrong here, it’s crazy. Why are we the only industrialized country where you can’t grow it legally? Hell, we need to get in the 21st century,” he said.
According to Ray Hanson, with the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, “The combined retail value of hemp food and body care products sold in the United States in 2010 was $40.5 million, up more than 10 percent from 2009, according to the market research firm SPINS. (The same firm estimated that 2009 sales of hemp products reached $36.6 million.)”

Historical use

As Mint Press News previously reported, hemp isn’t marijuana and politicians are aware of this. A report from the Congressional Research Service says that “although marijuana is also a variety of cannabis, it is genetically distinct from industrial hemp and is further distinguished by its use and chemical makeup.”
Used since the 1600s, former Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson noted they grew hemp on their land. Betsy Ross used hemp to create the first American flag and a draft of the Declaration of Independence was written on paper made from hemp.
If anything, the ban on the use of industrial hemp only proves how much power corporations have in Washington. Hemp was a major competitor of the paper industry, along with lumber, fossil fuels, steel, plastics, alcohol and food. Henry Ford constructed an early version of the Model-T almost exclusively from the hemp plant, even running the car on ethanol made from hemp.
The car was reportedly so strong, Ford could hit the car with an ax and not leave a dent, as hemp is supposedly 10 times stronger than steel, yet one-third the weight.
Because processed hemp creates such strong fibers, the material was also used to build homes, ships, planes and trains. Since its ban, corporations in sectors that oppose the legalization of the plant have seen profits increase.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Historic Bridge and Flaxmill remains proposed for registration


Group at the opening of the Opiki suspension bridge 1918

The suspension bridge was built over the Manawatu River at Rangitane (now Opiki) in 1917-1918, by the Tane Hemp Co. Ltd. It was known as the Opiki Toll Bridge for many years and was closed in 1969. Parts of it can still be seen today. 

People identified as (from left): Unknown; Mr Joseph Dawson, bridge designer holding Mavis Henderson daughter of Elsie and Ernest Henderson; Unknown; Mr A W Hogg; Elsie Henderson holding her 4mth old son Lewis; Unknown; Mrs Whitewick, cook at Tane flax mill; Mr Whitewick, cook at Tane flax mill; Unknown; Miss Taylor; Unknown; Ernest Henderson holding rod, who fashioned most of the ironwork on the suspension bridge.

The last remains of a once thriving flax industry in the Manawatu and Horowhenua areas have been proposed for registration as a Category 1 historic place by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT).
The concrete remains of the Tane Hemp Company Limited Suspension Bridge and Flaxmill are a prominent landmark on the Manawatu River at Opiki. Completed in 1917-18, the bridge and flaxmill were part of New Zealand’s largest commercial flax industry.
NZHPT Historian Karen Astwood says flax fibre, one of New Zealand’s earliest export products, made a key contribution to the national economy.
"There were many flax growing regions in New Zealand, but the Manawatu and Horowhenua were notable. In particular, the Makerua Swamp stretching between Linton and Shannon was an important centre, and its production peaked during World War One."
Members of prominent local flax industry families, the Seiferts and Akers, combined forces with other investors in 1915 to form the Tane Hemp Company Limited. Access to the local railway station was problematic, so roads through the swamp and means of crossing the Manawatu River were soon devised. This included the company’s significant investment in a suspension bridge, constructed in reinforced concrete, an early use in bridges.
Designed by well-known bridge builder Joseph Dawson, it was one of the longest main span bridges ever constructed in New Zealand.
A devastating flax disease compounded a post-World War One slump in demand for flax fibre and by the early 1920s the Tane Hemp mill had closed like the majority of its local counterparts. The mills were demolished and the swamp drained to create farmland, with the suspension bridge passing into sole Akers family ownership.
After the collapse of the flax industry, the bridge gained distinction as the only privately owned toll bridge in this country’s highway network. In 1969, a replacement state highway bridge was constructed and the decking of the suspension bridge was removed.
"The suspension bridge and the flaxmill remains are landmark structures. They are the only significant traces of a formerly defining regional industry," says Ms Astwood.
The registration proposal report is available to view online at with the public invited to make written submissions to the NZHPT by 3 September 2013.

Jefferson State Music Festival and Hemp Expo


This weekend, the State of Jefferson Band will park its fourth annual Jefferson State Music Festival and Hemp Expo at a new location on a 32-acre field in the boonies of Grants Pass.
The event will feature a roster of more than 30 bands, in addition to educational hemp forums and art and food vendors. Campsites also are available so you won't miss a thing.

The State of Jefferson Band hosted its first music festival 11 years ago. Its original intent was to provide local bands with another outlet, but over the years, its motives changed. Now, its July music festival and food drive garners enough food to feed several hundred families for a year, and its August music festival and hemp expo, established four years ago, raises awareness for the practical uses of cannabis.
Everything takes place between 10 a.m. and midnight Friday through Sunday, Aug. 23-25, at 14390 Highway 238 (next to the Provolt Store), Grants Pass.
"Hemp can save the planet," says Erik Vestnys, the band's keyboardist. "It's one of the most versatile plants on Earth. Anything you can make with petroleum, you can make with hemp; and one acre of hemp equals 10 acres of trees. That's my activist pitch.
"All the bands that play the Hemp Expo support the hemp movement. They bring out their fans and supporters, and together we all raise awareness."
This year — thanks to an impressive music lineup that includes Les Claypool's Duo de Twang, Curtis Salgado and Floater — Vestnys estimates that 3,000 people will attend the festival each day.
The diverse music program will include everything from a jazz group with vibraphones to a full-blown reggae band, each performing 45-minute sets.
The much-anticipated Duo de Twang features Claypool, who Rolling Stone calls "one of the all-time best slap bass players," and guitarist Bryan Kehoe of M.I.R.V. The duo, which formed last fall, will perform stripped-down versions of songs from Claypool's lengthy career.
On Friday, Floater, a Portland-based, Grammy-nominated trio, will present a modern mix of rock, psychedelia, reggae, pop and jazz, and on Saturday, bluesman Curtis Salgado will deliver a set of his original R&B, funk and blues.
In May, the harmonica player won three Blues Music Awards: Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year, Soul Blues Album of the Year and B.B. King Entertainer of the Year.
His festival performance will include songs from his 2012 album, "Soul Shot," a collection of originals and '60s and '70s R&B, including songs by Johnny Watson, George Clinton, Otis Redding and Bobby Womack.
Also look for local favorites such as 100 Watt Mind, Michelle Bellamy, the Turner Moore Band, Frankie Hernandez, Stereotyped and, of course, the State of Jefferson Band, which will play an eclectic mix of improvisational, jam-based Americana.
Each day between 2 and 6 p.m. in the Earth Dome, cannabis advocates will present on the medicinal, industrial, agricultural, economic, religious and environmental uses for the plant. Speakers include Anthony Taylor of Compassionate Oregon, Dave Seber of Hemp Shield and others.
Beer and wine, courtesy of All We Create Productions, will be available for purchase.

Tickets cost $20 per person per day and are available at Operation Pipe Dreams in Medford, Dragon's Lair Glass and the Provolt Store in Grants Pass, the Williams General Store and Camping passes cost $75 and include admission to the festival. Children 11 and younger, accompanied by an adult, get in free.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hemp industry hampered by federal drug laws

A regulated hemp industry is slated to start taking shape next year, but like with marijuana, federal law continues to cast a shadow.

By Robert Allen

Dog collars made from hemp grown outside the United States but now available from Loveland-based Colorado Hemp Company.
Dog collars made from hemp grown outside the United States but now available from 
Loveland-based Colorado Hemp Company. / Courtesy of Morris Beegle

A leafy-green plant that doesn’t bear intoxicating buds but is banned under federal drug laws is poised to take root in Colorado agriculture as early as next year.
State voters approved industrial hemp in November when they legalized marijuana with Amendment 64 in Colorado, and the state legislature last session passed a bill to have rules in place by March 2014 to create a registration program.
But the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration could still step in with federal enforcement. Like with marijuana, the mind-altering cousin of hemp, there hasn’t been a substantial response from the U.S. Attorney General’s office regarding whether it would interfere.
Clothing and other materials made from hemp are legal for sales in the United States, and advocates say there’s a $400 million U.S. market for industrial hemp fiber and seeds. But all that money now goes to farmers and processors outside the country because hemp materials can only be imported from other countries, according to the 2012 Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.
Morris Beegle, 46, of Loveland says demand will be high once Colorado-grown hemp gets rolling. It has about 25,000 uses, from hats to insulation. His website for Colorado Hemp Company is the second item that pops up when “Colorado hemp” is Googled. The business is in its infancy, offering wholesale products, but someday he hopes to open a store to sell grown-in-Colorado hemp hats, shoes, cereal, oil and more.
“Hemp is an extremely nutritious plant, and as environmentally and health-conscious as Colorado tends to be with the non-(genetically-modified organism) fight that’s going on and GMO labeling, anti-fracking and the outdoor lifestyle,” hemp fits right in, Beegle said.
U.S. Rep Jared Polis, who represents Fort Collins in Congress, has advocated for hemp and proposed legislation this year that would help secure future production in Colorado. He also worked to get a flag made of industrial hemp flown over the U.S. Capitol on the Fourth of July this year.
Morris Beegle
Morris Beegle 
In a letter earlier this year, he pressed the Colorado State University System Board of Governors to use Amendment 64 to take the lead in developing a U.S. hemp industry. The university responded that it could lose federal funding by getting involved with the illegal practice. Polis responded that he is certain this wouldn’t happen, and he urged he the university to seek a waiver from the DEA.
But CSU Board of Governors Chairwoman Dorothy Horrell said in a letter that CSU’s institutions remain prohibited from any research involving hemp, and the the board doesn’t intervene with its institutions’ research decisions.
The Coloradoan asked CSU about prospects for hemp research and received an e-mailed response from its general counsel Jason Johnson explaining that there would be no hemp research so long as it’s federally illegal, despite recognizing “that there are numerous research opportunities for production and use of hemp.”
It cites the Federal Controlled Substances Act and Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 as reasons for keeping hemp off campus.
“The law is clear on this matter, and we do not want to do anything that would unintentionally result in personal criminal liability for CSU employees or that would disqualify the institution from obtaining future government funding,” Johnson said in the e-mail.
A spokesperson with the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on hemp in Colorado.

Authors of CA 2014 Cannabis Initiative: Most Comprehensive Effort Yet


shutterstock 121570756 Authors of CA 2014 Cannabis Initiative: Most Comprehensive Effort Yet

The 2014 California Cannabis Hemp Initiative hopes to address the shortcomings that have made previous attempts to legalize marijuana unsuccessful.
Previous coverage outlined some of the ways the wording of the bill seeks to do this. However, that is not the extent of the challenges the CCHI will face, as insufficient funding and signature gathering kept the 2012 version of the initiative off the ballot.
In an interview, the two men who submitted the 2014 initiative, Michael Jolson and Berton Duzy, explain the challenges they face, as well as the logic behind the proposal.
What differentiates this proposal from those that have not passed in California?
Many of the other initiatives address some of the same issues addressed in CCHI. None of them addressed them all, so in that respect CCHI is the most comprehensive initiative ever released.
Many of the initiatives legalize industrial hemp, but most of them fall into what I call the “Monsanto trap.” Defining hemp with respect to psychoactive cannabis using THC limits and onerous regulation defeats the purpose of legalization.
For industrial hemp to reach its full potential, it must be allowed to flourish without the handcuffs currently practiced worldwide. These only serve to increase the cost of farming hemp to the point that it will never be profitable enough to do everything that it is capable of doing.
Just like medical marijuana has thousands of strains specifically grown for indicated purposes, Hemp can and should be grown the same way. Setting an arbitrary limit on THC content reduces the ability to develop strains in that manner.
Along those same lines, allowing Monsanto and other GE firms to patent strains and enforce the patents on unsuspecting farmers whose crops may be contaminated by GMO pollen would be disastrous to a hemp industry. GMO hemp remains illegal in California under CCHI and growing it would still be a felony under Sec. H&S 11358.
What challenges did you face with the 2012 initiative that lead to your inability to receive the signatures needed to qualify for the ballot?
Every activist seemed to have their own vision of what would work and offered their support only if we would modify CCHI to reflect more closely their visions.
Since these visions varied widely and often conflicted with each other, it was obvious that we were on our own. Since we didn’t have funding, we started recruiting volunteers to do a grassroots initiative.
The other camps grouped together according to their visions and we ended up with 6 different approaches to legalization all competing with each other.
How do you plan to overcome those obstacles?
For 2014 we have taken a two pronged approach to legalization. We still would like to get the funding since that is the easiest way to qualify, but in case we don’t, we are building on our statewide volunteer effort to proceed in any event.
Does the inclusion of use as a “euphoric product” create unique legalization challenges not faced by the industrial, medicinal and nutritional uses? If so why do you find the inclusion of that stipulation central to the initiative?
We have created a unique legalization situation for recreational ‘euphoric’ marijuana. We don’t think it’s fair that medicinal patients should be taxed, we don’t think food or industrial cannabis should be treated any different than any other crop, and finally, we don’t think that non-users should foot the bill for pot regulation and enforcement.
That leaves that recreational pot users, which is where most of the extra cost to the government will be incurred, should pay their way.
We expect that the revenue will far exceed the cost though, especially if California becomes a mecca for pot tourists like Amsterdam, and so we designated that half the proceeds go to kick start a California hemp industry and to expedite the study of medicinal cannabis.
Jolson and Duzy are confident in the text of the initiative, as the CCHI is the result of over two decades of work, originating in the 1990s. The CCHI is also known as the Jack Herer Initiative in honor of the late and revered marijuana activist who wrote and advocated the original.
Their hope is that the initiative addresses the concerns of those skeptical about marijuana legalization. Not only those who are patently against the drug, but also those who are in favor of using the plant, but fear the implications of legalization.
Jolson and Duzy believe the initiative provides the proper tax and legalization stipulations to prevent small marijuana farmers from being swallowed by larger farming corporations. They have also addressed concerns about drug testing and intoxicated driving.
CCHI does not have money akin to the amount Richard Lee used for the unsuccessful Proposition 19 in 2010. Gaining the funding to run a successful signature campaign will be the initiatives biggest challenge.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Seeds sown for world's first hemp industrial base


Greg Flavall.
Fairfax NZ

HEMPING IT UP: New Zealand hemp advocate Greg Flavall stands in a field of hemp overseas showing how tall the plant can grow.

Hemp Technologies' Gregory Flavall, based in Taranaki, would like to see the world's first hemp industrial village located in his home province.
Originally from Stratford, Flavall has brought his knowledge and expertise of the hemp industry to Taranaki from the United States and the United Kingdom where he learned first-hand about processing hemp for a variety of uses.
With the tag line of ''Food, Fuel, Shelter, Jobs – Hemp is Now!,'' Flavall said Hemp Technologies would like to help farmers in Taranaki realise better income and employ people to process hemp.
''Maize growers are looking for alternatives because maize beats the crap out of the earth while hemp does not. Hemp is a replenishing plant for the earth, like lucerne or alfalfa as we call it. It re-nitrogenises the soil after harvest, and it's good at aerating soil, and is a break crop for other crops.''
During the 2012-2013 growing season in Taranaki, there were a few farmers in Taranaki who grew 4.45 hectares of hemp and he would like to see more farmers growing hemp in the 2013-2014 season.
''Last year, we grew 11 acres (4.45ha) and this year we will grow 100 acres (40.46ha) from the seed we grew last year.''
Flavall would like to just as quickly leap forward to growing almost 81ha ntsG hectares nte to substantiate the building of a processing facility.
''I am pre-emptive,'' he said. ''We're going to be releasing shortly the first development of its kind in the world — the Taranaki Hemp Industrial Village.
''It's a self-sustaining and self-generating industrial village for everything relating to hemp — everything will be results and sales driven. It will run on the co-operative business model.''
The plan would see a facility, costing $500,000 to build, that could produce pressed oil, protein and flour. It would produce fibre insulation, along with material for animal bedding, garden mulch and fibre for paper making.
''Hemp is the only plant in the world that will feed, provide fuel, house and shelter. We will create something close to 1000 new jobs here,'' Mr Flavall said.
''My plan is to grow this from 100 acres (40.46ha) to 250 acres (101ha) as 250 acres will then justify two shifts working in the processing facility,'' he said.
A hemp straw decorticator will do 2.5 tonnes per hour and it would be in the facility that the raw straw is processed into fibre, bio-mass and building material.
While in the beginning there will not be textile fibre produced, Flavall said the company would need to breed ''proper'' seeds over the next few years.
''No country is producing anything near the textile quality that China can. But they are fast running out of fibre and they are trying to get some processing off the ground in Canada where they are growing 65,000 acres (26,304ha) of hemp this year because they want the raw fibre to process into textiles and sell to the United States.
''They are screaming out for it, and if we can come anywhere's close to that then we will have a good export market,'' he said.
Over the past 18 months, Mr Flavall said he had witnessed the willingness of people to help with not only the growing of hemp on their properties, like John Earney of Avonstour Organic Rare Breeds Farm, but also those in other businesses — from seed cleaners to engineers.
Mr Earney told Fairfax Media, ''Greg is the driving force behind this''.
''I grew one acre of hemp last year and we're putting the whole of the seeds produced into 15 acres this year,'' Mr Earney said.
The plants during last summer's growing season ntsG and no rain during the drought nte reached nearly eight feet (2.44m) tall, Mr Earney said.
The license that he has applied for and obtained will cover his entire farm and Earney has already planned where he will be planting and growing hemp on his farm this year.
He liked that the plants are not heavy on the earth and replenish the soil. Flavall said it had only been five years since he was introduced to hemp through a friend who wrote a thesis on the plant. He got excited after reading the thesis and decided to find out as much about hemp as he could.
''Two weeks later I was on a plane to England and hooked up with a company over there that was building with hemp.''
From there, he went back to the United States and then he travelled back to Taranaki two years ago, ''because in New Zealand it is legal to grow hemp''.
- © Fairfax NZ News

Five Hemp Essentials


Five Hemp Essentials

PHOTO: “Hemp For Victory” a United States government campaign aimed at getting American farmers to plant more hemp during World War II.
Hemp is the misunderstood sister of marijuana. While both plants are scientifically classified as Cannabis, hemp does not produce psychoactive flowers, or buds, which you can smoke. Hemp has been used throughout history for a variety of utilities; fibers, foods and soaps or other hygiene/beauty products.
Here are five of our favorite hemp products for everyday use. They are all sustainably produced and natural.
Nature's Path Sunny Hemp Granola Parks, 36 bars for $25 Click to buy!
Nature’s Path Sunny Hemp Granola Parks, 36 bars for $25
Click to buy!
Hemp is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, and is high in protein. It is also extremely easy digest. These hemp granola bars are great to keep in your car or your purse for when you need to eat on the go. They are safe for vegans, vegetarians and most gluten-free eaters (people with Celiac’s should proceed with caution, they are not certified gluten-free although there are no ingredients that contain gluten.)
They are all natural and organic, and they only contain ingredients you can pronounce. They also taste really good, they pack just enough sweetness to satisfy a craving but aren’t saccharine-sweet like other granola bars.
They are also incredibly affordable, six packs of six retail for just $25, pay it forward and keep a box or two in your car to hand to homeless and hungry people around town.
Hemp Organics by Colorganics Lipsticks, $16/stick Click to buy!
Hemp Organics by Colorganics Lipsticks, $16/stick
Click to buy!
Who said natural beauty can’t be chic and edgy? Hemp Organics tinted lip balms and lipsticks come in a range of gorgeous, unique and earth-inspired shades that nourish and last on the lips better than any other commercial lip color.
The colors really pop, and they easily survive tea sipping, wine drinking, eating or smoking.
Hemp Organics is a division of Colorganics, whose motto is “consciously connecting the world and beauty.” We really dig that everything is produced ethically in San Francisco and made with ingredients we can not only pronounce, but we already know are safe.
Favorite shades? Lipstick: Sienna and Sepia. Tinted Lip Balm: Earth
Hemp Chico Bags, Set of 3, $17 Click to buy!
Hemp Chico Bags, Set of 3, $17
Click to buy!
Many municipalities are passing laws banning single-use plastic bags, but besides removing all that waste from landfills, these bags are just practical to have on you.
Chico Bags collapse into themselves and store conveniently in any purse and clip to keys. Chico designed this line of hemp bags to easily reuse while grocery shopping. They are particularly great at a farmer’s market. You can throw them in the wash if you soil them in any way.
They are incredible sturdy as well– you can pack basically as much as you can physically carry in them, but the hemp fabric allows fresh fruits and veggies to breath in the same way a paper bag would.
Chico Bags has a larger mission of helping completely eliminate all the single-use bag waste one bag at a time. They are in the process of becoming aGreen America Certified Business.
Tempt Hemp Protein Powder by Living Harvest, 16oz., $16 Click to buy!
Tempt Hemp Protein Powder by Living Harvest, 16oz., $16
Click to buy!
Living Harvest makes a whole line of hemp-derived dairy alternatives, including milks (original, unsweetened original, chocolate, vanilla), ice creams and protein powder.
The protein powder is a great addition to a morning smoothie, or even as a stir in to plain oatmeal (or chia!).
Up to 60% of adults have trouble digesting lactose and have sought dairy-milk alternatives– and there are a lot of them; almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, oatmilk… you name it.
Unlike the other non-dairy milks it doesn’t have a funky aftertaste and you don’t have to worry about consuming too much estrogen, like you would if you are using soy as a replacement for everything.
Why not use a dairy alternative that is high in protein, contains vitamin E (which makes it a great digestive aid) and comes from a company dedicated to bringing hemp back to the mainstream?
How can you make a list about hemp essentials without Dr. Bronner’s? You can use these great soaps for anything which makes them truly essential.
“If you still haven’t heard of this soap, around since 1948, it’s time to tune in. These Castile soaps are made from hemp, extra virgin coconut, olive, jojoba and essential oils, are not only organic and vegan friendly, but also fair-trade.
In addition, you can be assured the ingredients are kept simple and pure, meaning you don’t have to worry about any chemicals in your soap. A wide variety of essential oil scents are available—peppermint leaves a fresh gentle tingle, while the lavender soothes and the citrus invigorates. With other options such as eucalyptus, almond, rose, baby mild and tea tree, there are as many options of scent as there are of cleaning.”- REVIEW: Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soapsby Rae Lland.
Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, $17 Click to buy!
Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, $17
Click to buy!