Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hemp seeds expected to arrive in Kentucky in coming days

By Tamara Evans

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer says it's been a long road to bring back industrial hemp.

Kentucky lawmakers passed a bill in 2013 to allow the reintroduction of industrial hemp if the federal government lifted its ban.

Then, a federal farm bill agreement allowed pilot growing programs. Comer says Kentucky helped lead the way.

“Here we are, we passed it in Kentucky. Now other states are saying 'Yeah, we want to do that too'. Indiana's following suit. Tennessee's followed suit passing legislation,” Comer said.

However, the big challenge has been getting the hemp seeds into the country, since it has been illegal to import them into the U.S.

The federal government banned hemp several decades ago when it classified the crop as a controlled substance related to marijuana.

“Even though legislation passed in the Farm Bill to legalize it, the customs agents and border patrol and all the different federal bureaucracies didn't know about that, so we've had to educate all the federal bureaucracies,”Comer said.

In the next few days, the seeds will finally arrive to Kentucky. 

They're coming in from Europe, Canada, and possibly even China. The seeds are first arriving to a port in Chicago.

Comer says six Kentucky universities will do pilot projects on industrial hemp, including the University of Louisville.

They are hoping the projects will answer many questions.

“Like what is the cost of production per acre, what is the yield per acre, what types of invasive species may come in and harm the crop, what types of farm equipment can we harvest this crop with, which variety of seeds grow best in which types of soil,” Comer said.

Comer says they must also determine how marketable some of the hemp will be.

Gone Hemp: Daily Greens Hemp Milk a nutrient-packed concoction (review)


This algae- and hemp seed-infused health drink nets mixed results

The story behind the  Daily Greens Hemp Milk company founder is hard to resist.
Shauna Martin was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 33. As part of Martin’s holistic approach to healing and recovery, this Texas mom turned to “green juice,” or the nutrient-rich, fruit- and vegetable-based smoothies touted for myriad health benefits.
Today Martin is cancer free and runs Daily Greens. Her company produces a selection of produce-packed juices as well as cold-pressed, refrigerated hemp seed milk that also contains blue-green algae, coconut nectar and guava. The businesswoman maintains that juicing is a “life-enriching habit and (she aspires to) spread the good word about drinking your vegetables,” according to the Daily Greens website.
But right away, Martin concedes that green juice – and by extension hemp milk – can be a tough sell for the uninitiated in part because, it is green. While Daily Greens Enlighten hemp milk smells much like other dairy alternatives such as soy milk, the flavor is less reminiscent of milk’s creamy come-across and more like what it is: liquefied produce.
One of the first things newcomers may notice about a bottle of Daily Greens Hemp Milk on the shelf is that the concoction separates into a Rothko-esque stack with a thick, solid-looking layer of ingredients on the bottom and a khaki liquid in the center topped by a foamy residue. One friend plucked an unshaken bottle of Daily Greens Hemp Milk from the refrigerator, slammed back a gulp, and was stopped in his tracks by the drink’s thick texture: “Uh. Yeah. I’m not sure what I think of that!”
Alternately, a second tester, a woman on a very restricted diet, shook up the bottle and drank the whole thing for breakfast. “Great drink,” she reported. “I felt energized all day!”
Regular “juicers” will appreciate the layered fruit and vanilla notes in this hemp milk. Juicing newcomers, on the other hand, may struggle with its color, flavor and texture to spite its vitamin- and protein-rich mix.
Daily Greens Enlighten hemp milk will be coming soon to Colorado, available this July for $8.99 exclusively at Whole Foods Market; Daily Greens Indulge chocolate hemp milk will be available in June at Vitamin Cottage Natural Grocers for $5.99-$6.99. Shop online at

Discovery Provides Supplemental Bio-Fuel Information

Press Release

RENO, Nev., April 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Discovery Minerals LTD. (otc pink:DSCR) (pinksheets:DSCR) is pleased to provide shareholders with additional information regarding the Joint Venture (JV) with Syngar Technologies.   As announced yesterday, the newly formed JV is being extended an exclusive North American license with Cellunol Inc. Cellunol Inc. is a joint venture formed between ANW Inc. of South Africa and Syngar Technologies. 
Cellunol's proprietary technology will be deployed through a pilot project set up with one of Discovery's Industrial Hemp growing partners. An inventory of existing industrial hemp is being secured for the purposes of the pilot project. The objectives are to determine the overall cost reductions and increases in ethanol production, resulting from the technology. A typical 600 acre hemp parcel can potentially expect to generate $1,686,000 in revenue and $1,129,000 in profit, not including the possibility of applying for available carbon tax credits.
The following findings are based on a 2011 Manitoba dual-purpose crop report incorporated with a Western Manitoba farmer's report. The conclusions and yield calculations are as follows:
Hemp producing farmland yields approximately 189,000 plants per acre which produces 700 lbs of grain (seed) and 1.5 tons of stalk. Approximately 70% of the 1.5 tons of stalk is the inner hurd core with the remainder being the coveted rope-like fiber or bast. Half the stalk is reclaimed as the dried dead male plants along with any premature stalk material pass through the processing unit. A typical field size of 600 acres should yield about 315 tons of cellulose hurd and 135 tons of the more valuable four foot long green ribbon bast fiber. This estimated yield should generate approximately $1.686 million dollars offset by input costs of $557,000.
Once conclusive data is collected from the pilot project additional research data will be reported.
About ANW Inc.:
ANW is a private South African based company that has developed and owns a proprietary cellulose pre treatment technology and fermentation tank designs that can rapidly pre-treat cellulose materials into a slurry product suitable for fermentation by yeasts into ethanol. Their Oxy-hydro technologies can rapidly breakdown plant material without the use of stream, pressure, or dangerous acids.
About Syngar and PLUSWave:
The Company is a private Canadian company based in Edmonton, Alberta. Syngar licensed a technology, which we call "Pulsed Low Ultra Sound Wave" (PLUSWave) Technology. The PLUS Wave™ license is a worldwide and exclusive for application in biofuels. The PLUSWave Technology uses specific and proprietary ultrasound frequencies, at specific power levels, over set time intervals to stimulate the fermentation growth of algae, bacteria, fungus or yeast microorganisms by upwards of 30 - 50%.
About Discovery Minerals LTD.:
Discovery Minerals Ltd., DSCR -16.00% is a production stage company formed to acquire and develop natural resource properties. Activities include gold, precious metals and petroleum minerals, including rare earth minerals production and sales. The Company initiated a new program to evaluate undervalued assets, including clean tech and alternative energy investments, for potential addition to its portfolio.
Safe Harbor:  This release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 27E of the Securities Act of 1934. Statements contained in this release that are not historical facts may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain. Actual performance and results may differ materially from that projected or suggested herein due to certain risks and uncertainties including, without limitation, ability to obtain financing and regulatory and shareholder approval for anticipated actions.
Contact Person:
Bill McNerney
SOURCE Discovery Minerals LTD.

Global Hemp Group Inc. Announces New Farming Contracts in Alberta, Canada

Press Release

SURREY, BRITISH COLUMBIA, Apr 30, 2014 (Marketwired via COMTEX) -- GLOBAL HEMP GROUP INC. ("Global Hemp Group", "GHG", or the "Company") (pinksheets:GBHPF)(cse:GHG)(franfurt:GHG)
Global Hemp Group Inc. announces the signing of contractual arrangements with farmers in the southern region of Alberta, Canada that will secure raw material output for the company from 1,500 acres of industrial hemp this fall.
The harvest of seven traditional family farms that comprise the 1,500 acres will be delivered exclusively to GHG this Autumn 2014. Furthermore, the output of the three different varieties of hemp grown by the GHG farm group in Alberta is expected to yield as much as 1,500,000 lbs. of hemp seed.
Many of the traditional family farms making up the GHG farm group in Alberta are over 100 years old, and the group has over 17 years of hemp-specific cultivation experience, including the use of a sustainable "no-till" technique. CEO Charles Larsen said today, "The Alberta farm group's experience with use of the special equipment and quality control processes that are specific to hemp farming make the engagement a very solid investment for Global Hemp Group, especially in light of the sustainable practices they utilize."
The entire GHG farm group in Alberta employs the "no-till" technique, which not only has a much lower environmental impact than conventional farming practices, but is more efficient from a bottom-line perspective. According to recent studies, less tillage of the soil reduces labor, fuel and machinery costs. No-till farming techniques can also increase yield because of higher water infiltration, higher storage capacity and less erosion.
On behalf of the Board of Directors
Charles Larsen, Chairman & CEO
To view Global Hemp Group, Inc. on the Canadian Securities Exchange under symbol GHG click HERE.
To view Global Hemp Group, Inc. on the Boerse-Frankfurt Exchange/XETRA exchange under symbol GHG click HERE.
To view Global Hemp Group, Inc. on the OTC Markets in the United States under symbol GBHPF click HERE.
Forward Looking Statements - Certain information set forth in this news release may contain forward-looking statements that involve substantial known and unknown risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, certain of which are beyond the control of Global Hemp Group Inc., including, but not limited to the impact of general economic conditions, industry conditions, volatility of commodity prices, currency fluctuations, dependence upon regulatory approvals, the availability of future financing and exploration risk. Readers are cautioned that the assumptions used in the preparation of such information, although considered reasonable at the time of preparation, may prove to be imprecise and, as such, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements.
The CNSX has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Abercrombie to sign industrial hemp bill


Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie plans to sign a bill to establish an industrial hemp research program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Officials in the governor's office said that Abercrombie planned a signing ceremony at the Legislature on Wednesday afternoon.

The bill approves a two-year program to study industrial hemp remediation and biofuel research.
Rep. Cynthia Thielen said in a statement that the law's passing could lead to Hawaii becoming a national and global player in the market for an environmentally-friendly crop. She estimates the U.S. industrial hemp market at $500 million per year.

Hawaii would be the 23rd state to pass industrial hemp legislation once Abercrombie signs the law.

Comer: First hemp crop in decades set for planting



 — Kentucky's first industrial hemp crop in decades will start going into the ground next month now that the pipeline for shipping seeds into the state is opening up to allow the experimental plantings, state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said Tuesday.
Comer said he expects the first batches of hemp seeds to arrive in coming days at the state Agriculture Department at Frankfort.
"We're rapidly approaching a crucial time for the seeds to be put in the ground," he said by phone. 
So far, eight pilot projects are planned statewide as part of a small-scale reintroduction to gauge the versatile crop's potential in the marketplace and as a money maker for farmers. The first planting is scheduled for May 16 in Rockcastle County, said Comer's chief of staff, Holly Harris VonLuehrte.
"Hopefully we can get enough seeds to have credible research data gathered by this fall," Comer said. "And next year, hopefully we'll have enough seeds to have several processors in the state and several farmers under contract growing it."
Hemp production was banned decades ago when the federal government classified the crop as a controlled substance related to marijuana. Hemp and marijuana are the same species, Cannabis sativa. Hemp has a negligible amount of THC, the psychoactive compound that gives marijuana users a high.
The crop's comeback gained a foothold with passage of the new federal farm bill. It allows state agriculture departments to designate hemp pilot projects for research in states that already allow the growing of hemp.
Kentucky lawmakers passed legislation last year that allowed hemp to be reintroduced, if the federal government allows its production.
Once the farm bill allowed the experimental plantings, the next challenge was getting hemp seed into the state.
Comer said Tuesday his staff has "gone through every level of federal bureaucracy you can go through to get those seeds in."
U.S. Border Patrol officials have been cooperative as Comer's office worked to develop a supply route to bring in hemp seeds, VonLuehrte said. The initial seeds are coming from Canada and Italy, Comer said.
State agriculture officials have helped match farmers with researchers for the pilot hemp projects. Some hemp grown will be sold for commercial uses after the fall harvest to help determine the crop's marketability, VonLuehrte said. Some hemp will be grown purely for research, she said.
One pilot project in Fayette County will focus on hemp's potential in medicine, she said. Gov. Steve Beshear recently signed into law a bill that allows doctors at two Kentucky research hospitals to prescribe cannabidiol to treat patients.
Several universities are participating in the hemp projects, also aimed at answering basic production questions for a crop that once thrived in Kentucky.
"It's going to answer every question that a prospective farmer ... would want to know," Comer said. "What's the optimum date to plant? Which variety of seeds grows best on which soil? What type of farm equipment does it take to harvest this hemp?"
Comer sees hemp as a way to boost Kentucky's economy, especially in rural areas, through crop production, processing and manufacturing. Hemp was historically used for rope but has many other uses: clothing and mulch from the fiber; hemp milk and cooking oil from the seeds, and soap and lotions.
The next goal will be to win congressional approval to deregulate hemp, he said.
"We're hopeful that after a year or two, that it can be deregulated and treated like any other agricultural crop," Comer said.

Read more here:

Tuesday, April 29, 2014



VANS Sk8 Hi Era Hemp Pack 01 VANS Sk8 Hi + Era Hemp Pack

New arrivals are making way into retailers, and VANS are certainly gearing up for a busy season. Even though 420 is officially over, VANS is ending this month on a high note, dropping the Hemp Pack that is made up of two classic sneaker silhouettes, Sk8-Hi and Era. 
Furthermore, each style is offered in two colorways, tonal black and monument grey, which are low key yet easy to coordinate. Hemp material covers the majority of the uppers, accented by tone-on-tone suede panels and white shoelaces. Crisp white soles complete these sneakers, and these are currently in stock at VANS DQM General in New York City, and select outlets around the world.
The VANS DQM General New York
93 Grand Street | Map
New York, NY 10013
TEL #: 212-226-7776

The Next Big ‘Green’ Car Could Be Made from Hemp?



Hey man, hemp is, like, really useful and stuff. Ok, outside of the advocate at your local head shop, there have been many reports on the uses of hemp. They include rope, and it is even used as a powder for protein shakes, but this is one use we have not heard yet– a car made completely from hemp.
In an effort to be the halo car of the stoner world, Calgary-based Motive Industries INC has created the Kestrel; an electric car made from hemp. The Canadian government is supporting the hemp industry and encouraging new uses for the substance, in addition to the more than 50,000 uses that already exist.
The battery is supposedly good for 100 miles on one charge, and is said to reach 90 km/h 56 mph. Though the trail on this car has gone mostly quiet, hopefully Canada’s support of the hemp industry, combined with our need for alternative, sustainable methods of production will breathe life back into the Kestrel!

Hawaii to Evaluate Hemp for Biofuel

By Anna Simet

Talk of hemp, or Cannabis sativa, as an energy crop has come and gone in waves for many years with little traction.
Though a high-yielding, low-input crop that is perfectly suitable for use in a variety of products including durable clothing, nutritional products and plastic and composite materials, it is still illegal to grow in some countries. That includes the U.S., according to federal law, as well as the United Kingdom, because of marijuana-yielding breeds and drug laws. Some U.S. states have made the cultivation of industrial hemp legal, but none have any activity yet.
That is, besides Colorado, of course. And just this week, Hawaii legislators approved a bill that will focus on the study of hemp as a biofuel feedstock and phytoremediation resource.
By definition, phytoremediation is the environmentally-friendly science of using plants and trees to remove toxins in the soil, such as metals, pesticides, solvents, explosives and crude oil.  The toxins are be reduced by planting specific plants and trees in polluted areas, plants that draw in the toxins, and can later be harvested and disposed of.
As far as the biofuel component of the bill goes, it says that preexisting biodiesel plants in Hawaii are capable of meeting eight percent of the state's biodiesel needs for ground transportation, and that plants could potentially increase efficiency by utilizing industrial hemp as a feedstock, thus reducing the state's reliance on imported fuel.
For those two reasons, the bill authorizes the dean of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawaii-Manoa to establish a two-year industrial hemp remediation and biofuel crop research program. It does have quite a few strict stipulations to prevent undesired consequences. From the bill itself:
*The department of agriculture shall certify that the seed stock to be used in the research program is for growing industrial hemp.  If the seed stock cannot be verified by the department of agriculture as industrial hemp seed stock, the dean shall not commence the growing or cultivation of industrial hemp for the research program.
*The research program shall use only one test site to grow and cultivate industrial hemp.
*Industrial hemp is definted as Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry-weight basis. 
*No person shall be subject to any civil or criminal sanctions in this state for growing or possessing industrial hemp, provided that the person's growing or possession of industrial hemp is part of the person's participation in the two-year industrial hemp remediation and biofuel crop research program and the person's participation is in full compliance with the requirements of the program.
*The department of agriculture shall test and monitor the plants growing on the test site to ensure that no marijuana is grown on the site.  If marijuana is found to be growing or being cultivated on the test site, then the research project shall cease immediately.
The project begins in July, and runs through July 2016. I’m sure it will yield some interesting results, and hopefully help Hawaii—at least to some degree—in its quest to reduce its reliance on imported fossil fuels.

Hemp for health


Energy bars containing hemp. Photo: Raymond Johnston

Legal hemp products are pushing into the mainstream

Czech and European laws on hemp are fairly relaxed, as long as products are made of “industrial hemp” that contains only a trace amount of THC, the chemical that causes intoxication. This has led to a growing industry in products ranging from lollipops to skin ointments.

Movements to fully legalize marijuana are growing across Europe and in the United States, which is also generating more interest in spin-off products. Hemp is growing into the center of a lifestyle, as its advocates say it can be used for almost anything and is eco-friendly. It is also gaining acceptance among people interested in organic food and nature-based medicine.
Some hemp product vendors still have a 1960s-style counterculture vibe, with marijuana-leaf designs prominently featured, while others are much more serious and businesslike. All vendors emphasize that their products are legal, and most claim that there are health benefits from using hemp.

The lack of THC doesn’t deter customers. “THC is just one out of 150 good things in hemp. It is full of stuff that is really good for your health,” said Vítězslav, who declined to give his last name. He was selling products for České Budějovice–based Hemp Point at Festival Evolution, a recent fair for organic food, alternative medicine and similar products. “It is a good source of protein,” he said, indicating food products and snacks that his company sold.

“Seeds sell the best,” he added. People use them for cooking, such as making cookies and cakes, or roasting them with honey. They are also for growing, and these hemp seeds also result in plants that have less than 0.3 percent THC, the legal limit in the Czech Republic. 

People can grow the plants in limited quantities, he said. The law is a bit complicated. Farmers who grow hemp as a crop on more that 100 square meters are required to file some additional paperwork that is not required for other crops. Even if you are under that limit, it is a good idea to keep records concerning the source of the seeds, advocates warn.

Hemp Point had the widest array of products, including lollipops, energy bars, herb-flavored salt, pasta, cookies, oil and flour, as well as hemp-flavored liquor, cosmetics and textile products from both local and imported sources.

Another vendor, Zelená země concentrated more on food and cosmetics. Hemp beer was one of their most popular items. “It is better than regular beer; you get a more relaxed feeling,” their salesperson Kateřina Hanačiková said. “Hemp tea also sells well,” she said, adding that seeds were also popular. Arabian coffee flavored with hemp seeds was a new product and had not been catching on yet. “It’s new. People have just seen it,” she added. Cannabissimo Coffee, imported from Italy, may be a tough sell, as most true coffee aficionados seldom go for added flavors. Tea drinkers, however, seem more willing to embrace new herbal blends.

She touted the benefits of hemp oil, which is high in Omega 3, an essential fatty acid, and has a good balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6. Some nutritionists claim that a 3:1 ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 is most beneficial for human health, and hemp comes very close to this. 

Supporters of the idea of using hemp oil in place of olive oil for cooking and salads also point out that hemp is lower in saturated fat.

While both Omega 3 and Omega 6 are necessary in a balanced diet, many of the health claims surrounding them remain unproven.

She also said that the cosmetics were popular, especially for people with sensitive skin, as the oils were beneficial.

A Czech firm that takes the medical power of hemp very seriously is Olomouc-based Annabis, which has a laboratory in Prague. Unlike the other companies, the image of the hemp leaf is rather small in advertisements. The logo uses a medical-style cross on a green background. They try to avoid the hippy-era appeal and instead adopt a highly professional look.

“Our clients are interested in nature-based lifestyle,” salesman Libor Janů said. Annabis uses only organic hemp sourced from the Czech Republic for its range of ointments, lotions and new line shampoos. The company has been around for six years and exports to much of the EU, Switzerland and Japan.

The firm does use the phrase “medical cannabis” in its English-language brochure and website,, but this shouldn’t be confused with the American term “medical marijuana.” Like all legal hemp products, it contains virtually no THC.

A cream for joint pain is the most popular item, Janů said, followed by a skin cream and lip balm. It was too early to judge the popularity of the shampoos, he added. The firm’s literature touted many of the claims that the other vendors had made about essential oils and proteins, and added hemp cultivation had a relatively low impact in the environment compared to other plants.

The products often blend hemp with other natural oils to make them useful for specific problems, according to Janů.

A similar line of products is offered by Cannaderm, a Czech firm that also exports throughout the EU. Its products are certified as either bio (organic) or natural, and each product lists the amount of hemp in the product. The firm also claims the products free of mineral oils such as Vaseline, and synthetic dyes and fragrances. The products are also not tested on animals. In addition to skin ointments, lotions and shampoos, they offer sun block and soap.

Having started operations in 2002, they claim to be the first firm in the Czech Republic to offer hemp-based skin care products. They also point out that hemp oil was included in the Czech list of pharmaceutical ingredients in 2010. According to Cannaderm, studies concluded that hemp oil had a measurable moisturizing effect on skin, and when combined with other oils it had a soothing effect.

Most firms that carry hemp products seem to do so exclusively, with few if any non-hemp items in their array. But that is also changing. Aromatherapy and natural cosmetics firm Saloos ( recently introduced a handful of hemp products including bath oil, shower oil and balm among their wide range of herbal products that otherwise includes products with oils from jasmine, clove, bergamot, lavender and eucalyptus, among other popular fragrances. Sales clerks said that more people had been asking about the hemp products than buying them, since they were new. So far, there have been no negative reactions to the idea of hemp side-by-side with jasmine.

Most vendors note that the food and healthcare products shouldn’t interfere with passing a drug test for people who are subject to random testing. Many of the health benefits do remain unproven, so as always, one should consult with a doctor or healthcare professional before starting any treatment. 

There’s a reason why Alberta 
is Canada’s hemp leader

The ‘dope’ on industrial hemp is that it’s good news for Alberta producers looking for a new crop for their rotation

Man tending to a hemp field.
These photos of Jan Slaski in his Vegreville hemp plots were taken five 
days apart in July 2004, and show how quickly hemp can grow.

Farming Smarter – There was a time in Canada’s history when homesteaders received free hemp seeds because the plant products served so many purposes. Hemp seed is a source of food and its stalks provide fibre.
Jan Slaski — Alberta’s hemp expert — provided this tidbit of information when he spoke at the Farming Smarter AGM in February. His research in Vegreville now spans more than a decade, and his efforts to make hemp a viable, profitable crop had led to Alberta becoming Canada’s leading hemp-growing province over the past five years.
I never thought about why hemp fell out of grace as a rope-manufacturing material. (Yes, I thought that was its only use.)  However, many years ago, I lived in a southern Ontario farm community where hemp still grew wild in the ditches, decades after its days as a field crop were over. 
So did asparagus, but that wasn’t nearly as amusing — no one ever stopped and tried to smoke the asparagus. But that is why hemp fell out of favour after being one of the world’s longest-standing and most widely grown crops. See, industrial hemp has one of those relatives you wish would stop showing up at family gatherings. So Canada banned it in the late 1930s and the UN banned it in 1961.
Slaski also told us the fascinating fact that hemp grows ridiculously fast. He had flanking photos dated about five days apart. The hemp plants had grown about two feet over that time and towered over him.
It occurs to me that hemp could easily replace corn mazes as a tourist attraction. In the centre of the hemp maze, you could have Lazy-Boy chairs, a big-screen TV, a beer fridge and a snack vending machine. You would make MILLIONS! Except, of course, industrial hemp can’t give the vacant-head feeling its cousin does.
I like the idea of growing more hemp for cloth. I have difficulty wearing synthetics, so I’m always looking for natural-fibre clothes and they are hard to find. Hemp fibre clothes are as varied as cotton in texture and weight. Maybe that’s because hemp provides two lengths of fibre as Slaski explained. The outside of the stalk yields longer strands than the inside — two fibres for the price of one!
Rope and clothes seem obvious, but Slaski had a photo of a truck canopy made of hemp fibre. It looked just like fibreglass. Hempcrete is an insulating wall material and hemp is used in erosion control mats. Calgary Olympic Park uses the latter and Motive Industries Inc. in Calgary uses hemp for car bodies. They call the car the Kestrel.
Alberta has some hemp advantages. Hemp is a short-day plant, which means the long days of northern summers delay the flowering and cause hemp to grow notably larger. It means Alberta farmers have excellent fibre-growing conditions and can still get the grain crop. 
Now I will admit that I had never thought of hemp as a grain crop even though a hippie-dippy buddy of mine introduced me to hemp heart granola decades ago. Anywho, hemp grain also provides hemp oil, hemp hearts and hemp milk… and hippie-dippy granola. 
Someone named Dr. Bronner uses hemp oil in cosmetics. Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap leads me to another attention grabber about hemp. You see Dr. Bronner is American and imports his hemp oil from Canada because Americans still can’t grow hemp legally. Heh, heh… you knew that crazy cousin was good for something eh? We can tie up all the markets before our neighbours even think about it! Perhaps that’s why there is a new processing plant coming for Alberta.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Bill proposes industrial hemp cultivation in NY

By Scott Waldman

ALBANY—New York would become one of the first states to legalize industrial hemp cultivation under a proposed new bill.
The bill would allow state colleges and universities, as well as the state agriculture department, to grow industrial hemp as part of a pilot program, said co-sponsor Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo of Binghamton.
Hemp is variant of the cannabis plant that also produces marijuana, but has a far lower concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol, which gets users high. Lupardo said her effort was not tied to medical marijuana bills proposed earlier this year. She said commercial grade hemp has been unfairly associated with recreational marijuana.
“It has suffered from the stigma of the connection to marijuana, it has no recreational value whatsoever,” she said.
Lupardo said industrial hemp plants don't get users high and are strictly an agricultural product with multiple uses, including as fiber, building material and as a food supplement. Hemp has a long history of industrial use and was purportedly grown by both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. She said the law would require industrial hemp cultivation on state land.
Industrial hemp production is legal in more than 30 countries, including Canada, Germany, England and France, Lupardo said. It is illegal to cultivate industrial hemp in the United States without a permit from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
She said researchers at Cornell University and the State University of New York Environmental Science and Forestry have already expressed interest in growing the hemp.
The bill is co-sponsored in the Senate by Republican Thomas O'Mara of Elmira.
She said the pilot program is possible under the new federal farm bill, and will help the state prepare for a larger commercial operation if federal restriction on hemp farming are lifted.
“This another potential lucrative option for our family farms,” she said.

Hemp Unbound: The Crop that Could Save Us from Environmental Collapse

Reviewed by Gar Smith

"Hemp Bound," by Doug Fine (Chelsea Green, 2014)

What if there was a completely natural and affordable alternative to fossil fuels? A healthy and nutritious substitute for packaged foods? A replacement for energy-intensive steel and plastic parts? An alternative to chemical-based (and occasionally toxic) medications and pharmaceuticals? 
There is, says "comedic investigative journalist" Doug Fine, and that multifaceted industrial feedstock is a miracle product called . . . hemp. The tasty details are all rolled up in Fine's new book, Hemp Bound: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution (Chelsea Green 2014). 
We've all heard the stories about hemp's history as crop that provided canvas for the sails of the USS Constitution. It was hemp that was pressed into the parchment Tom Jefferson used to inscribe the Declaration of Independence and was spun into the cloth Betsy Ross used to stitch the first US flag. Hemp's powerful fibers were so essential to the US Army that the Pentagon commissioned a black-and-white documentary celebrating "Hemp for Victory." 
Thanks to the stubborn, stoner persistence of the Sixties counter-culture, hemp today has grown into a crop that is once again providing Americans with a range of new-again products ranging from clothing to medicines to breakfast cereals. 
What Doug's fine book does is take the story of hemp to the next higher level, providing a look inside a burgeoning new industry that is generating a buzz for innovators, entrepreneurs and customers alike. 
Across the US, new business start-ups are discovering amazing new ways to reinvent the old manufacturing paradigms that have ravaged and polluted the planet. Hemp is re-emerging as a legal and leading American crop at the same time Colorado and other states are striking down laws against the medicinal (and recreational) use of cannabis. Fine sees the trend as an irreversible return to a human-plant relationship that dates back more that 8,000 years. Ten states now allow the commercial cultivation of industrial hemp. 
Fine calls cannabis prohibition "America's worst law since segregation." And just as popular pressure reformed and refuted America's race laws, the 77-year-old war against hemp/cannabis/marijuana is now coming to an end. And the post-war era promises to bring growing profits to heartland farmers (whose profits have been tied to genetically modified and federally subsidized corn and soy) and an expanding legion of domestic companies who, to date, have had to rely on costly shipments of imported hemp. 
Fine takes his readers on a gallivanting, trippy trek to the frontlines of a Brave Renewable World—"from Canada to Hawaii, Germany to Colorado"—to meet the "hempreneurs" whose new businesses will be creating the new products and new jobs for a sustainable future. (If the contamination and ravages of the Old Oil/Chemical/Nuclear Economy doesn't do us in first.) 
Meet the 'Hempreneurs' 
One of Fine's first stops is in Richmond, California where John Roulac presides over Nutiva, a $77 million-dollar hemp seed oil company that has been growing like gong-busters. "Our company has doubled in size each of the past two years, has been growing 41 percent per year since 2006," Roulac beams. 
Also on board is Dr. David West, a former Big Ag scientist who is now a leading hemp researcher/advocate; Ray Loflin, a Colorado farmer currently cultivating 60 acres of legal hemp; Simon Potter, a Canadian biologist who's working on "hemp insulation, hemp tractors and hemp energy"; Francis Clark, an Ontario inventor who has found a better way to harvest hemp fibers from the plant's tough outer husk; Colleen Dyck, a young woman who churns out hemp-infused GORP Clean Energy Bars in her basement; Barbara Filippone, whose $15 million company, EnviroTextiles, is positioned to topple the global cotton industry. "The federal government knows hemp is an alternative to cotton that's drought-resistant," Filippone says. "Cotton's done. China knows it too." 
One of Fine's revealing visits takes him to a lab in Winnipeg where Composites Innovation Center is creating hemp-based products for the $80 billion biocomposits market. CIC's lab nerds proudly show off auto parts (hoods, fenders and the like) made from hemp. Because vehicles made from biocomposits are 30 percent lighter, they will be more fuel-efficient. The manufacturing process produces less carbon and hemp-bodied roadsters fueled by tanks of hemp oil will produce 78 percent less carbon per mile driven. 
Unlimited POTential 
Long story short: Hempsteading is not only good for the economy, it's great for the ecology. On a planet threatened by climate change, polluted seas and depleted resources, Fine demonstrates, "hemp hands us a ninth-inning comeback opportunity" that can heal the soil, expand local food production, produce sustainable energy along with plant-based plastics and paper that will enable us to stop burning oil, polluting the planet and clear-cutting our forests. 
Hemp Bound is a breezy read, filled with snappy banter and visionary-on-the-point-of-happening head-trips galore. 
Fossil fuels, chemicals and nuclear energy have brought us to the brink of global environmental ruin but hemp—more than ever before—looks like the Plant that Could Save the Planet. 
Here's looking forward to the second edition of Hemp Bound—and hoping that it come to us published on renewable, tree-free plant paper.

Have an interest in hemp?

By Tobie Baker

The Dolores County Development Corp. has partnered with a local advocacy group to help educate area farmers about industrial hemp opportunities.
Members of the development corporation board voted unanimously Monday to secure the licensing rights to screen “Bringing It Home,” a hemp documentary. The 52-minute film explores why a crop with widespread benefits has been illegal to farm in the United States, examines hemp’s history and current industries and reveals views from opponents and proponents of legalizing industrial hemp farming.
A date has yet to be finalized, but “Bringing It Home” will be screened sometime in June at the Dolores County Courthouse.
“It’s exciting to partner with other organizations,” Sharon Stewart said.
Last fall, Stewart led efforts to establish Hemp Talks/Western Slope Colorado, a local organization aimed to inform farmers and others about industrial hemp. On Monday, she addressed Dolores County Development Corp. board members, owners of the now-defunct San Juan Bioenergy plant in Dove Creek.
“We’ve had some lively discussions in our monthly meetings, and people are really excited about the potential for hemp production in the area,” Stewart told board members.
The conversation that continues to surface among Hemp Talks members is the former Dove Creek processing plant. Stewart said that if industrial hemp were ever to be produced in Southwest Colorado, then farmers would need a local processing facility. She said that converting hemp seed into biodiesel was the easiest production method available.
During the near hour-long discussion, Dolores County Development Corp. board members indicated that they offered small loans of $500 to $5,000 to residents interested in launching a local business, and they invited the Hemp Talks organization to tour the Dove Creek plant.
“We’re fully supportive of your efforts, and we’re willing to work with you in the future,” Dolores County Development Corp. Chairman Bryce Capron told Stewart.
Board member Dan Fernandez was excited to learn that farmers could profit $600 per acre from growing drought-resistant industrial hemp. He said the biodiesel plant, which opened as a local-processing house for sunflowers and safflowers, could easily be converted for hemp oil.
“This is very interesting,” Fernandez said. “This could be a huge, long-term benefit for Dolores County.”
Stewart agreed, saying she was ecstatic to know that Hemp Talks now has a viable partner.
“I think the potential is huge,” she said. “This has been a good first step.”
The Dove Creek oil production plant was announced with great fanfare in the fall of 2007. Four years later, the plant was shuttered and $4.3 million in debt after operating for only 18 months. The facility is capable of producing 1.5 million gallons of oil annually.
Stewart informed Dolores County Development Corp. board members that obtaining seed was the most immediate hurdle to growing industrial hemp. She said many area farmers have also expressed legitimate banking, legal and federal farm subsidy concerns.
Officials legalized hemp production in Colorado earlier this year, and a May 1 deadline exists for farmers to apply with the Colorado Department of Agriculture.
The Senate Local Government Committee voted 6-0 last week to pass Senate Bill 184, which makes it easier for farmers to get a license to grow hemp in Colorado. The bill also allows people to sell products made from Colorado-grown hemp, and it sets up a grant program to fund university research on hemp.