Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Catch-422: How The War On Cannabis Ties Us Up In Knots

By John Dvorak
Source: ladybud.com

Catch-422: How The War On Cannabis Ties Us Up In Knots

With a tip of my hempen chapeau to Joseph Heller, I have identified a phenomenon I call “Catch-422.” With the full-throated (and paid for) assistance of the mainstream media for the last 70+ years, our government’s Reefer Madness campaign has demonized cannabis, stigmatized entire classes of society and destroyed countless lives while decimating our communities of color.
They have put up as many roadblocks as possible in an effort to stifle our progress and vilify cannabis hemp, a safe and effective natural herbal remedy and environmentally friendly crop. A Kafkaesque mélange of federal agencies and bloated drug war bureaucracies justify their existence at the expense of the sick and dying, while alcohol saturated, over-pharmaceuticalized sheeple continue to gulp down oxy, boner pills and anything else peddled by their cowed doctors. Thousands die each year overdosing on alcohol, prescribed drugs and over the counter medications, while there is no lethal dose for cannabis: Catch-422.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans are arrested each year merely for possessing marijuana because Reefer Madness has infected Congress and rotted the judicial system to its core. Marijuana’s illegality is justified by calling it a gateway drug that will lead to harder drugs and/or a decaying of a person’s moral fabric: Catch-422. In fact, cannabis is proving to be a gateway AWAY from alcohol, hard drugs and debilitating pharmaceuticals and TOWARDS a safer, healthier and more productive life.
Catch422_6The DEA classifies marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic which, by definition, means there is no currently acceptable medical use. Everyone knows this is total BS, but when researchers ask for cannabis to perform studies, they’re told they can’t have it because, of course, marijuana has no proven medical use, leaving patients burning in a Dante’s Inferno of mock compassion: Catch-422. Their circular logic jerks patients around to no end.
Even states with medical marijuana laws on the books are imposing outrageous restrictions on the ailments that qualify: Catch-422. One of the most egregious examples of this is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which several states refuse to recognize cannabis for despite its obvious benefits. And, the Federal government never misses a chance to pile on by preventing the Veteran’s Administration from providing cannabis to the many vets with PTSD.
A classic Catch-422 is how states delay the implementation of medical marijuana laws, oftentimes parroting the old canard: “think of the children.” New Jersey’s Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act was signed into law in January, 2010. However, bureaucratic foot-dragging by that state’s Gutless Wonder Governor, Chris Christie, delayed the opening of their first dispensary for almost 3 years. How many people have suffered or died because of politicians who are lagging behind public opinion and science?
Catch422_4Consider this: A card-carrying medical marijuana patient working for a big box store had a minor accident, failed a drug test and was subsequently fired. His dismissal was upheld in federal court: Catch-422. And more tragically, a medical marijuana patient who was denied a liver transplant because of his medicinal cannabis use recently passed away: Catch-422. We need to fight for people’s basic right to medicate without discrimination.
During this year’s annual physical exam, I explained to my primary care physician that I use cannabis medicinally and asked him for a recommendation so that I didn’t have to pay another doctor $200 each year for the recommendation. My doctor said he couldn’t give medical marijuana recommendations because he was afraid that the DEA would take away his ability to prescribe medications. This Catch-422 allows my doctor to shirk his responsibility while conveniently blaming the federal government. Fortunately, there are some brave physicians out there who take the Hippocratic Oath seriously enough to risk harassment in order to recommend cannabis for the numerous ailments for which it provides relief.Catch422_7
Another Catch-422 is the “institutionalized hypocrisy” that prevents people from coming out of the “Cannabis Closet.” Despite various state cannabis laws, mere possession of marijuana continues to be a violation of federal law. It is very difficult for someone to promote an illegal activity. You expose yourself to public ridicule or worse. For many, testing positive for cannabis can result in the loss of their job, government benefits, or custody of their children. Students arrested for cannabis can lose their student loans, and others arrested carry the stigma with them throughout the rest of their lives: Catch-422.
Catch422_5We need to borrow a page from the LBGT community who took to the streets to proclaim that they are “here and queer” so you better get used to it. Sunshine is, in fact, the best disinfectant and as more people come out of the Cannabis Closet, the negative stigma associated with cannabis will slowly start to vanish.
Catch22_3In an amazingly sadistic bureaucratic twist, the IRS has ruled that medical marijuana dispensaries cannot deduct business expenses because possessing and distributing cannabis violates federal law: Catch-422. Banks and credit card companies are refusing to do business with dispensaries for the same reason: Catch-422. Imagine trying to start and operate a business where these basic building blocks of capitalism are not at your disposal. And to top it off, in some states, the Department of Justice is threatening landlords of marijuana dispensaries with legal action if they don’t evict their tenants: Catch-422. The irony here is that dispensaries are proving to be economic engines, hiring people and paying taxes in an otherwise depressed economy.
ConflationThe DEA conflates the issue by saying that hemp is the same as marijuana. They have tied a Gordian Knot of hemp rope, claiming that hemp will confuse the police even though this is not an issue in Canada or Europe where it is legal to grow Hemp: Catch-422. United States Department of Agriculture studies call hemp a niche crop without fully investigating its myriad uses: Catch-422. Farmers will not grow hemp unless there is a market for it and you can’t sell products unless you can produce them which means you need farmers growing hemp: Catch-422. This chicken or egg situation is a real paradox. Because of prohibition, the entire hemp industry is being re-invented from the ground up. The sky is the limit (think Trillion Dollar Crop!) but it is going to be a long, hard fight for those willing to join the battle.
Chicken and EggWe need to recognize these illogical absurdities for what they are: blatant and callous efforts to limit our freedoms and impede our progress. Only by identifying and understanding these barriers will we be able to get around or over the obstacles that stand in the way of realizing the full potential of the humble plant scientifically known as Cannabis Sativa.
In the past, supporting cannabis law reform was the third rail of politics, resulting in being labeled “soft on crime.” Fortunately, more politicians, like Maine State Representative Diane Russell, are finding the courage to speak out against prohibition and actively work for its repeal. And, in the privacy of voting booths across the country, people are electing to choose cannabis hemp, giving a collective middle finger to the powers that be. The tide is turning. We are reaching the tipping point of real change. However, the stigma runs deep and it will take years to un-brainwash society and turn Reefer Madness into Reefer Gladness.
Examples of Catch-422 abound, so they next time you see one relating to the war on [some] drugs or the prohibition of cannabis hemp, please let me know so I can add it to the list.

John Dvorak

Hempologist John Dvorak has been researching and writing about cannabis hemp and its prohibition for over 20 years. JD is an Advisory Board Member of the Hemp Industries Association. His website, Hempology.org, contains dozens of articles and images highlighting hemp's rich history. He’s contributed to Hemp History Week by creating a video about Boston’s Hemp History and by organizing Hemposiums. JD created the Cannabis Curriculum to encourage research into the beneficial aspects of cannabis hemp and the devastating effects that its prohibition has on society. He serves as a source of hemp resource for reporters, authors, film-makers, businesses and budding hempologists. He’s brought his unique style of anti-prohibition activism to radio and television programs, high school and university groups, medical marijuana conferences, hemp festivals and legalization rallies. He’s also worked with student activists as they educate others about cannabis hemp and its prohibition. His “C is for Cannabis” presentation is a mnemonic device that highlights many of the key talking points associated with legalizing industrial hemp.

Kentucky asks whether DEA will oppose hemp

By Gregory A. Hall
Source: courier-journal.com

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer. (By James Crisp, Special to the Courier-Journal) Feb. 22, 2012
Agriculture Commissioner James Comer. (By James Crisp, Special to the Courier-Journal) Feb. 22, 2012
Three of Kentucky’s members of Congress and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer sent a letter to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration asking whether the federal agency would oppose Kentucky’s plans to begin growing hemp.
The letter, dated Nov. 25, relies on a Department of Justice policy change issued Aug. 29 that says the federal agency will not oppose laws by individual states to allow production of marijuana, hemp’s potent relative. Hemp has a tiny fraction of the intoxicating chemical in marijuana and is grown largely for the fiber in its stalks.
“It would defy common sense to allow states to move forward with marijuana activity, but ignore states that have passed laws allowing for the production of industrial hemp,” states the letter signed by U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, U.S. representatives John Yarmuth and Thomas Massie, Comer and state Industrial Hemp Commission chairman Brian Furnish.
The letter notes that Colorado also plans to permit hemp production next year following its new law allowing marijuana.
“We expect all states to be treated equally in this process,” the letter said. “If Colorado can produce industrial hemp, so can Kentucky.”
The Kentucky General Assembly passed Senate Bill 50 earlier this year, which allows hemp production if the federal government declassifies it as a controlled substance.
The letter argues that a 2003 DEA rule that exempted hemp from the Controlled Substances Act already does that, but the letter seeks clarification.
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, however, issued an opinion in September agreeing with Kentucky State Police officials who argue the crop is still illegal. Conway’s opinion said proponents still need a waiver from the federal government or a change in federal law to produce hemp..
Comer has said he will have a bill filed next year in the General Assembly to clean up some of the language in Senate Bill 50.

Industrial hemp bill advances

By Matthew Arco
Source: politickernj.com

TRENTON – An Assembly panel released a bill that could clear the way for industrial hemp to be harvested in the Garden State.
Members of the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee released A2415, which establishes an industrial hemp license for planting, growing, harvesting and processing industrial hemp.
The bill, proponents argue, is long overdue as the product is a valuable resource and does not share enough of the same characteristics of marijuana that make it a danger to society.
The bill cleared the committee following nearly unanimous support from lawmakers.
It’s illegal to harvest industrial hemp but legal to import it, according to proponents. They say it’s impossible to create marijuana from hemp seeds and argue there are numerous health benefits from the seed.
Proponents also argued industrial hemp should not be considered akin to marijuana, which they say holds different properties that can’t be extracted from industrial hemp.
The legislation provides requirements for fingerprinting and conducting criminal background checks for license applicants, and would be conditional on Congress taking action to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana as it relates to the Controlled Substance Act.
Assemblyman Ronald Dancer (R-12) voted against releasing the measure from committee.

Faurecia is poised to become the first automotive supplier to mass produce a 100% bio-based plastic

Source: ecocomposites.net

Faurecia is poised to become the first automotive supplier to mass produce a 100% bio-based plastic with hemp-based fibres and a natural-substance matrix to replace injection-moulded polypropylene.

This was just one of a raft of developments the French-headquartered Tier 1 supplier introduced at last week’s LA Auto Show.

Faurecia joined forces with Japan’s Mitsubishi chemicals to optmise PBS (polybutylene succinate) as the basis for its BioMat.

The obstacles which have been overcome by the two companies in the commercialisation of this product have included eliminating potential degradation, ensuring the stability of the matrix when exposed to the environment, reducing its high viscosity, compensating for the unavoidable variability in the hemp fibres and creating a new and viable manufacturing process to make the material.
BioMat will now begin appearing in vehicles as early as 2016, Faurecia says.
Its introduction follows the use of NAFILean for injected parts that consists of both hemp and polypropylene and has reduced the weight of the door panels in the new Peugeot 308 by between 20-25%.
LigoLite, meanwhile, an 85% wood fibre-based injection moulding product, is employed in the door panels of the latest Mercedes S Class vehicles where it reduces weight by around 45%, while a compression technology called Natural Fiber Polypropylene (NFFP) is used to similar effect in the 2013 Volkswagen Golf.
In addition, Faurecia says the future of lightweighting is largely dependent on composites, and in this area, the company is now developing techniques for high volume production and in particular, examining the substitution of thermosets – which are not easily recycled since they can only be broken into pieces – with thermoplastics.
Thermoplastics can be melted and reused, as well as lending themselves to welding rather than having to be glued or screwed into structures, as is the case with thermosets.
The creation of carbon thermoplastics, however, presents a number of challenges, the company says.
The melting point of the thermoplastic is between 150-160°C and will consequently not tolerate the electro-plating processes employed for all mass-produced vehicles.
In addition, the current production for a thermoset component is just a minute and that with a thermoplastics around 20 minutes, so methods for shortening cycle times are being urgently explored.

Romanian hemp maker has increased its business by 85 percent

Source: balkans.com

Romanian maker of hemp products Canah International has increased its business by 85 percent this year to about EUR 4 million, fuelled mainly by growing exports, said Dan Lazarescu, the company’s main shareholder and manager. Lazarescu, who is a former shareholder of private medical supplier Medicover and software company TotalSoft, estimates that the hemp business will grow to some EUR 7 million in about three years.

“2013 has been a very good year. We got close to our production capacity limit sooner than we had thought,” he said. 

The factory – which produces hemp oil, hemp seed flour, hemp seed fibers and other related products, both organic and conventional – could double its capacity in about seven or eight months following an investment of about EUR 700,000-EUR 1 million, he said. 

The company is now looking for ways to raise the money, but Lazarescu has ruled out a bank loan or EU funds. “Financing an industrial business should be treated differently from financing a real estate one. Banks don’t really understand this and they don’t finance industrial projects (…) As for EU funds, from what we’ve learned, the best case scenario would mean waiting at least two and a half years to get the money,” he said. By comparison, it took less than a year to get the factory operational after securing SAPARD funds in 2006.

Let's Focus On Industrial Hemp

Norris McDonald and Roy Patrick, Contributors
Source: jamaica-gleaner.com

Industrial hemp is a 'legal weed' with annual sales in the United States (US) averaging about US$500 million dollars. This is expected to rise because of the push to decriminalise all forms of marijuana (cannabis sativa) especially its non-toxic cousin, the hemp plant. Ganja is merely one of 500 varieties of this hemp plant and there is no reason Jamaica can't begin a pilot study in industrial hemp production.
Industrial hemp is in the spotlight as many countries race to boost production. Governor Jerry Brown, of California, recently signed a law legalising industrial hemp production. America is a large consumer of industrial hemp products but, at present, most of it is bought from overseas.
Canada is the biggest supplier of industrial hemp to America, and it may well be possible for Jamaica to become a big exporter to the US and other markets. The US (Hawaii), Canada, Great Britain, Russia, Germany, China, Japan, France are among the roughly 27 countries worldwide which grow industrial Hemp. Unlike ganja, it has lower levels of drug toxicity, hence its risk for being abused is considerably less.
The University of Kentucky - College of Agriculture is one of many public institutions studying its economic potentials to boost jobs and revenue for investors. The school published a study on January, 2013 titled,Industrial Hemp Production. It reinforced the fact that, "hundreds of products" can be made from hemp fibre and seeds. Products such as carpets, paper, twine, clothing and animal bedding, industrial oil, biofuels, cosmetics, medicine, personal-care products, cooking oil and pasta salad were highlighted as new products that can emerge from taking advantage of the agro-industrial potentials of the hemp plant.
Hemp is used also to make rope, vegetable oil, vitamin products and brain stimulants.
Cannabin is one of the natural ingredients in industrial hemp and, reportedly, promotes 'healthy ageing,' protects our brains and removes free-oxygen radicals from the body that can cause ill-health.
Another major study
Oregon University is another major American institution that did a comprehensive study on economic potentials of industrial hemp. This study was done in 1998 and, though some critics could argue that it is 'dated', its relevance and significance is based on its overall scope. The Oregon study examined industrial hemp's cost-effectiveness, profitability and viability. It looked at "net return per acre at various price and yield levels" for farms engaging in industrial-hemp production. It also examined farming methods, based on low cost, unskilled labour and more highly skilled farming methods.
This detailed study would be of great value to Jamaican agronomists, and our Government of course, who would be able to use it as a basis for more detailed research. Jamaica should use some of this progressive knowledge and create a new industrial hemp industry. This could enable us to earn hundreds of millions of dollars.
Private-sector money could be used on low-yield sugar farm lands to help reorientate the national economy from traditional crops to this non-traditional crop.
The Government can play an urgent role in facilitating a new industrial plan, based on hemp production, by doing three things.
First, by legalising industrial-hemp production and developing our own technical expertise.
Second, it should give tax write-offs, along with zero taxation or tariffs on all exports, or set any such tariffs at the prevailing cross-country comparative rates. The Government could then lock in a low taxation rate of 10-15 per cent on net profits, over the next 25 years for our investors.
Third, the Jamaican Government could pursue rural-agriculture reform to make more land and, low-cost financing available to small farmers who want to go into industrial hemp production. Ganja farmers who have great agricultural skills could shift to producing 'legal weed'.
Jamaican can catch Canada's half-billion-dollar production and easily surpass it. Canada has a three- to four-month growing season and we could grow the crop all year round.
This requires political will, private-sector ingenuity and national support.
Norris McDonald is a journalist. Roy Patrick is a chemist, agronomist and horticulturalist who has worked in both the private and public sectors. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cannabis oil for Utah kids gets warm Capitol Hill reception

By Kirsten Stewart
Source: sltrib.com

Tenor of preliminary talks is positive, as long as “hemp supplements” don’t contain much THC.

Utah families hoping to obtain therapeutic cannabis for their epileptic children got a warm reception Wednesday at the Legislature.
The discussions were preliminary. No bill has been drafted. But the tenor at two committee hearings — Health and Human Services and Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice — was largely positive and welcoming of the idea of allowing "hemp supplements" into the state, provided it can be done safely and legally, and that they contain only trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound in marijuana that gives users a high.
"I was all geared up to fight this medical-marijuana thing," said Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden, a dentist. But after reading up on the therapeutic value of extracts from plants cultivated to be high in cannabidiol (CBD) and low in THC, he said, "I’m ready to ask to be a Senate sponsor."
Said Rep. Edward Redd, R-Logan, an internist, "Treating seizures is extremely difficult and sometimes fraught with failure. If CBD helps and it’s not particularly dangerous, it’s something we ought to consider."
But there is no shortage of devilish details to be worked through.
"Are we just going to let anyone take it who wants to?" asked Redd. Will doctors prescribe it, and, if so, should it be specialists or primary care physicians? he added.
Rep. Michael Kennedy, R-Alpine, a family physician, wondered if doctors could be held liable for prescribing a substance that’s technically federally illegal, especially if 10 or 15 years down the road it proves ineffective or harmful.
"Who controls the distribution and certifies that the substances are what they should be?" he asked.
Rep. Gage Froerer, R-Huntsville, has committed to carry a bill and promised it would be narrowly crafted.
"This is not about the elephant’s nose in the tent. It’s a very surgical procedure that will deal strictly with this type of product," said Froerer, the same lawmaker who years ago sponsored a ban on synthetic cannabis, or spice.
Observational studies and media accounts of CBD’s seizure-controlling effects in children with treatment-resistant epilepsy have given rise to nationwide demand for the "herbal" supplement.
"Since I started exploring this, there’s been six other states — Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Wyoming, to name three — that are headed down the same path," Froerer said. "So the first thing is to create access."
Details are scant. But one idea batted around Wednesday would be to create a research space through which families obtain CBD oil from producers in Colorado. The research would give 35 waiting families access to the treatment while also producing data on its effectiveness and safety, said Froerer.
But researchers must have special, hard-to-obtain licenses to work with Schedule I controlled substances. So lawmakers may have to also consider carving out an exclusion under the law for cannabis products so low in THC that they meet agricultural standards for hemp.
Froerer is consulting state health and agricultural officials and local universities on possible quality-control schemes for testing imported products. The products would be available for purchase by patients of any age — although, possibly with a doctor’s recommendation, he said.
Medical marijuana is legal in 20 states, plus Washington, D.C., and Portland, Maine. But, in Utah, possessing even an ounce of cannabis can land you in jail. To obtain CBD, families living must move to states where it’s available.

Oregon farmers don’t share the enthusiasm for growing hemp

By Eric Mortenson
Source: capitalpress.com

Activists cheer the prospect of Oregon hemp production, but farmers aren't excited.

Activists cheer the prospect of growing industrial hemp in Oregon, pointing out its numerous uses in food, fiber, oils and even building materials. But the state’s farmers like to inspect the bandwagon before jumping on, and it’s unlikely they’ll plant hemp anytime soon.
“I don’t think anyone’s even considering it at this point,” said Russ Karow, chair of the Crop and Soil Science Department at Oregon State University.
There doesn’t appear to be any lingering concern that industrial hemp will be confused with its illegal cousin, marijuana. Instead, Oregon farmers will be looking at the balance sheet, not the rap sheet. With wheat prices decent and grass seed on the rebound, large conventional operators aren’t interested. Other farmers would need answers to questions about irrigation, harvest equipment and market infrastructure.
At this point, the most likely hemp cultivation will be on small farms, perhaps as a high-value specialty crop, Karow said. Some farmers may try it as an experimental rotation with other crops.
Karow recently provided a hemp briefing paper to U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Portland, who is an outspoken advocate of industrial hemp’s legalization and potential uses. Although there is great enthusiasm for hemp among non-farmers, Karow and others point out some potential hurdles.
Karow said there was similar excitement a few years ago about growing flax for fiber or oil, but the market didn’t materialize as expected. Farmers are “going to want some assurance there is absolutely a market there” before growing hemp, he said.
Hemp grown for fiber could do well in the Willamette Valley, but it would need summer irrigation to produce a more valuable seed crop, Karow said. In addition, the valley’s cool nights and clay soils would hinder production. The best places in Oregon to grow hemp would be in the Hermiston and Treasure Valley areas of eastern Oregon, which have warmer growing days, Karow said.
Philip Hamm, director of OSU’s Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Hermiston, said he’s not heard of anyone interested in growing hemp.
“Given that nearly anything can grow in this area, it all comes down to likely a few issues,” Hamm said in an email. “How much profit is involved — can it be grown instead of what they are currently growing for a larger profit — how does it fit their rotation, and maybe if there has been test plots showing yield results.”
A 1998 study by OSU said hemp has never been commercially successful in Oregon. Some was grown in the 1890s, and field trials were done in the 1930s, but the latter did poorly and the program was transfered to Wisconsin in 1937. War Hemp Industries Inc. built fiber mills in the Midwest during World War II, but after the war they faded in favor of cotton.
The Oregon Legislature legalized hemp cultivation in 2009, but the law was never implemented because the U.S. Department of Justice classified hemp the same as marijuana. Industrial hemp is low in THC, the agent that makes pot smokers high.
The current revival of interest in hemp stems from a decision in August by the justice department, which said it will not prosecute cases in states such as Washington and Colorado that have legalized pot. The U.S. attorney for Oregon said that means hemp is legal as well, because it was classified the same as pot.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture is appointing a committee — Karow of OSU is a member — to draw up rules for hemp cultivation. The law passed by the Legislature requires all growers and handlers to get a license from the ag department, and said hemp fields have to be at least 2.5 acres. Ag inspectors would be allowed to take plant samples and test for THC levels. The cropwide average could not exceed .3 percent; pot has THC levels ranging from 5 percent to 20 percent, according to various sources.
On the other hand, hemp has done well in Canada, where growers took advantage of the U.S. drug policy prohibition and supplied makers of foods, lotions, makeup, clothing and other items. Hemp grows well in the prairie provinces of Canada, especially Manitoba. Although farther north than Oregon, the provinces and the upper U.S. Midwest have warmer growing seasons, especially nighttime temperatures.
A Canadian research paper said that nation’s hemp seed exports to the U.S. increased 300 percent from 2006 to 2007, and fiber exports increased 65 percent. Canadian growers are clearly concerned about losing business if the U.S. begins producing industrial hemp.
“Production at any scale could lead to significant potential losses of existing U.S. customers,” the paper concluded.

New book to mark end of flax and hemp project in Beaminster

By Lee Itving
Source: dorsetecho.co.uk

NARRATIVE THREAD: From left, Brian Earl, Colin Bowditch, Duncan Harris, Marcus Chambers and Arnold Shipp and front Jenny Cuthbert and Maureen Stollery
NARRATIVE THREAD: From left, Brian Earl, Colin Bowditch, Duncan Harris, Marcus 
Chambers and Arnold Shipp and front Jenny Cuthbert and Maureen Stollery

A HERITAGE Lottery-funded project about one of the most important former industries in West Dorset is drawing to a close – and will be marked with a new book.
Seven researchers from Beaminster Museum’s Hanging By A Thread project have spent months delving into the flax and hemp industry – a mainstay for the local economy during a 700-year period.
As part of the research, the museum held an open day in October on the ancient craft of processing flax by hand, where members from the project reintroduced the almost forgotten skills such as rippling, breaking, swingling and hackling to turn locally-grown plants into fibre for rope-making.
Now, as the project nears its end, the museum will host another open day to mark the release of a book written by the researchers on the craft, on Saturday, November 30.
The book, called Hanging By A Thread: Our Flax & Hemp Heritage, includes all of the research that the project has collated.
Ross Aitken, chairman of the Coker Rope and Sail Trust, said the book provided a ‘unique window’ into an industry that was incredibly important to the area.
Mr Aitken said: “This is a brilliant and charming book.
“Much more than the history of the flax and hemp industry in West Dorset, it goes into the details of the people involved and their changing fortunes.
“It is of course easier to trace the histories of the great families and houses but the story of the working men, women and children is much more difficult to research. “The research in West Dorset gives us the opportunity to realise how much work, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, has gone into this book to provide a unique window into what was one of the most important industries in this area over hundreds of years.”
At the open day, members of the public will again be shown the original flax-making techniques, the history of flax and hemp in the local area and images of the experimental flax growing trials.
It will be held between 10am and noon on Saturday, November 30. For more information contact the museum on 01308 863577.

Hemp farmer Ryan Loflin heads to the Hill


Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post - David Bronner, right, hemp activist and owner of Dr. Bronners Magic Soaps, and Ryan Loflin, left, the first major American hemp farmer in 60 years, during a hemp convention on Nov., 18, 2013, in Washington, D.C.

The farmer is not a gambling man. He has not heard the voice of God on the wind. But if you build it, he told himself, they will come. So, in June, he planted 60 acres of his family’s alfalfa farm with a crop that is classified alongside heroin as a “Schedule I” controlled substance. Last month, on those raw plains of southeastern Colorado, he and several dozen volunteers hand-harvested the country’s first large-scale hemp crop since the 1950s.
There was no shootout with the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The farmer, in fact, is still very much at large, mostly because no one wants to arrest him. He is here, on Capitol Hill on Monday for the Hemp Industries Association’s annual conference, in a black suit and black lizard-skin cowboy boots, hearing about how he is “brave” and “courageous” and “a pioneer” who is leading the United States out of its long estrangement from the crop that George Washington farmed.
America, your unsung folk hero of this cannabis-related cultural moment — your Johnny Hempseed — is Ryan Loflin, 41, a chapped-lipped, golden-haired, ruddy-skinned father of two who lives in Crested Butte and went to school for welding.
“It was a calculated risk,” Loflin says, with Mountain-Time modesty, of his historic crop, “and the time is right.”
It wasn’t always so. The United States is a big hemp market, but the plant has been conflated with marijuana since “Reefer Madness” in 1936, and domestic industrial production had been nonexistent since Richard Nixon’s launch of the war on drugs. Trying to get high on hemp, activists say, is like trying to stupefy yourself on opium by eating poppy-seed bagels.
But 2013 has been a very good year for marijuana’s nonpsychoactive cousin. Twenty states introduced pro-industrial-hemp legislation. In April, Kentucky legalized industrial-hemp production. California followed in September. Activists talk about hemp like it can save the country. You can bathe with oil from its seeds! You can build a house out of hempcrete! You can reduce carbon emissions! Hemp could be a multibillion-dollar industry! Hemp could be as big as soy!
The farmer is not a latter-day hippie. He’s not on some quest. Nearly 10 years ago, he saw how much Canadian farmers were making with hemp — three times as much per acre as they were making with wheat, he says — and he saw a way to transition out of his business building high-end homes from reclaimed barnwood. He had grown tired of trying to satisfy his wealthy clients, who didn’t understand that the appeal of using hand-hewn wood from the 1840s was because the colors of the slats don’t all match.
“When people can have whatever they want,” he says, “it can be frustrating.”
Now he drinks a sake glass of cloudy green hemp oil every day, hoping, as hemp boosters claim, that it lowers his cholesterol. By next summer, Colorado will have started issuing licenses for industrial-hemp cultivation, and Loflin’s Rocky Mountain Hemp Inc. won’t be the only field of dreams in the state. He’s courting investors so he can build hemp-processing plants in his childhood hometown of Springfield, Colo., where the hemp farm is. He’s building greenhouses so he can grow hemp seedlings over the winter for a second crop that will probably be twice as big as the first.
Loflin has a packet of hemp seeds in his jacket pocket as he roams the Hart Senate Building on Monday with a lobbying entourage that carries sandy-colored briefcases made from organic European hemp. He is a quiet presence in the offices of Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.), where activists and lawyers do most of the talking. The goal is to nudge hemp-friendly senators to publicly support S.B. 359, a bill to amend the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana, to align federal law with changing state laws.
Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) are co-sponsors.
Hemp: Bringing partisans together since, well, 2013.
Loflin makes sure to interject the word “jobs” before each meeting is over.
This is his first time in Washington, but he knows how things work.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Ask the Diet Doctor: The Hemp Seeds Hype

By Dr. Mike Roussell
Source: shape.com

Q: Is hemp as healthy as it seems?
A: Yes, hemp seeds provide a solid nutritional punch akin to flaxseeds. They won't revolutionize your health, but they will provide you key nutritional support, especially if you eat a diet exclusively or primarily from plants.
You can take advantage of the nutritional properties of hemp in three different ways: hemp seeds, hemp oil, and hemp protein.
Hemp seeds: These little seeds give you the complete nutritional power of hemp with their blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fats, high fiber content, and quality amino acid profile. Hemp seeds are also high in magnesium, a mineral that helps with relaxation, blood sugar control, blood pressure, and potentially osteoporosis, and that is generally low in women. Three tablespoons of hulled hemp seeds gives you 10 grams (g) of protein, 14g fat (mostly coming from omega-3 and omega-6 fats), and 2g fiber.
Best uses: Hemp seeds are very versatile and can be sprinkled on salad, mixed in with yogurt, or added to a smoothie. [Tweet this tip!]
Hemp oil: Found in many skin beauty products, hemp oil also can be used in the kitchen. However because its polyunsaturated fats can oxidize at high temperatures, it is not recommended for high-heat cooking. (Its smoke point—the temperature at which the fats start to break down—is above that of flax oil but below that of olive oil.) To further prevent the oxidation of the fats, keep hemp oil in the refrigerator.
Best uses: Hemp oil has a nutty flavor that makes it a great option for salad dressings.
Hemp protein powder: If you do not eat very much or any animal protein, hemp protein is a valuable ally to you. It is almost a complete protein except that it is low in the amino acid lysine. Hemp protein supplements are unlike a traditional whey protein shake, as they contain an appreciable amount of carbohydrates (9g) and fiber (8g), making them more of a base for a meal replacement shake or snack than a pure protein shake. Hemp protein also affords you a lot of the great nutrients found in hemp seeds such as magnesium, iron, and vitamin E.
Best uses: Create this delicious nutrient-packed smoothie: Blend 1/4 cup hemp protein powder, 1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/2 cup blueberries, and 2 to 3 ice cubes until smooth.
Nutritional Negatives
While hemp does contain a lot of nutritional benefits, there are two things that you should keep in the back of your mind when incorporating it in your diet.
1. Calories can add up: When we talk about “superfoods,” we often focus a lot on their nutrient perks but forget that they still do contain calories. Hemp seeds are about 45 percent fat, and two tablespoons contains around 9g fat and 100 calories. If you start adding hemp seeds to your salads, smoothies, and morning Greek yogurt and berries, the unsuspecting calories can add up.
2. It lacks leucine: Leucine is the amino acid that is responsible for signaling our bodies to start up the muscle-building machinery. To build and maintain your lean athletic body, it is important to have leucine flip this cellular switch throughout the day. Research shows you need about 3g leucine in a given meal to do this (maybe less if you are a smaller build). [Tweet this fact!] Despite hemp protein's diverse amino acid profile, it has only 0.6g leucine per 15g protein, so don't rely too heavily on hemp to provide your protein base.

Dr. Oz explains how hemp seed boosts memory with omegas: Vegan granola recipe

By Joanne Eglash
Source: examiner.com

Make your own vegan granola with hemp seeds for boosting your memory.

If you think of hippies when you hear the word "hemp," it's time to get educated about a product posed to become one of the hottest super foods: Hemp seeds.Featured during Dr. Mehmet Oz's November 18 talk show, hemp seeds can ease those memory problems while providing you with multiple health benefits.
What's in hemp seed? It's high in omega 6 and omega 3, which are healthy fatty acids. The benefits range from enhancing your brain's memory and cognitive function to improving your heart health.
And if you're wondering if you can get high on these seeds, the answer is no. What it does contain: More than 10 grams of protein per serving. Protein helps you stay full longer, reducing the number of total calories eaten each day. Read about two new studies showing how protein can boost your weight loss by clicking here.
In addition, you get 48 percent of your daily magnesium needs in a three-tablespoon serving. Magnesium is a powerhouse when it comes to reducing stress while increasing energy, says Dr. Oz.
Where to find: Look in your local health food store or online, such as Nutiva Organic Shelled Hemp Seed or Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts Shelled Hemp Seed
How to use: Try Dr. Oz's recipe below.
Vegan Seeds and Goji Berry Granola Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1/3 cup goji berries
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp hemp hearts or the entire seed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2-3/4 cup pure maple syrup*
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter (sunbutter) (optional)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
Preheat oven to 250°F degrees. Combine all your dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
Add your maple syrup, sunbutter and vanilla. Mix until well coated.
On a greased or ungreased, baking sheet (use two sheets if you like), add your granola, laying it flat and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, stirring the mixture every 10 minutes to ensure even cooking. If using two baking sheets, you may even like to switch their positions in the oven once after stirring. If using a smaller baking dish such as a 9"x9" or 11"x13", bake for up to 1 hour or so, or until golden throughout. Be sure to stir the mixture every 15 minutes or so.
Once done, remove from oven and let cool completely before storing in an airtight container of choice. Will keep up to one month. Add additional syrup per your preference. The more syrup you use the more likely you are to create larger granola chunks throughout.