Thursday, August 28, 2014

Gone Hemp: Onno Textiles offers Earth-friendly T-shirts (review)


Boulder-based hemp T-shirt company notes the many environmental problems with traditional cotton.

hemp t-shirt
55% hemp, 45% organic cotton. Trust us: this shirt is soft, 
and it will get softer with continued washing. Great fit. 
Blocks UV rays, wicks moisture, and is antimicrobial. Y
ou’ll like this shirt.

It turns out that “The Fabric of Our Lives” carries some disconcerting environmental baggage.
Cotton, according to WWF International, represents about half of all the fabric used worldwide for clothes and other textiles. But the crop also zaps water sources, pollutes land and air with chemical pesticides, and furthers genetic engineering.
Boulder’s Onno Textiles, makers of sturdy T-shirts from sustainable materials — there’s a hemp/organic cotton blend and a bamboo viscose/organic cotton blend — is a direct response to the global toll from traditional cotton farming. Consider this statement from the Onno Textiles online store: “We like a soft cotton shirt too. But growing conventional cotton is particularly rough on the environment.”
The company manufactures and sells T-shirts for socially-conscious consumers — both men and women — for about $30 each, and boasts a respectable color and style selection.
This is yet another example of a hemp company that puts its money where its mouth is: Onno’shemp T-shirt purchasing page includes a lengthy article about the upsides of hemp with details about its farming benefits, its natural pesticide and oxygen-producing properties, its super-strong fibers, its myriad practical applications and its historic significance as the contemporary outlaw of American manufacturing: “Between 1993 and 1997, over a half billion cannabis plants were found and destroyed by U.S. drug agents. … Only 14 million of those were marijuana plants. The rest were hemp.” (This detail quoted at is tough to verify, but reiterated across the Internet. So it must be true, right?)
But, will hemp shoppers like the Onno Textiles tee? That depends. T-shirt people who prefer a loose, comfortable fit will enjoy the cut of this particular tee. The same is true for people who like their T-shirts to hang below the belt instead of awkwardly floating above the waist or midriff like a roller disco halter top.
If warmth is the goal, Onno Textiles gets a thumbs-up because its 55 percent hemp, 45 percent cotton tee has a heavier weave than the average undershirt, making this a great go-to option for that essential of cold-weather dressing strategies: layering.
T-shirt devotees who like a shorter, more snug fit, on the other hand, might feel like they’re swimming in the roomy Onno Textiles tee.
Onno hemp T-shirts are $28 at

Industrial hemp facility gets OK

By Callie Jones

Will employ between 15 and 25 people

STERLING — The Logan County Commissioners gave approval for an industrial hemp research and development processing facility during a business meeting Tuesday.
Jerry Bornhoft submitted an application for the building and operation of the research and development processing facility, as well as a two-acre greenhouse, for commercial use, to be located at 18091 County Road 35.
During the meeting, Rob Quint, of the Planning and Zoning Department, noted the Planning Commission recommended approval of the project at their Aug. 19 meeting. As part of their recommendation, the board gave conditions that there must be continued compliance with the Colorado Industrial Hemp Act and in the event the facility converts to expanded production the special use permit will need to be amended.
Jason Lauve, of Broomfield, who was key in drafting Colorado's Industrial Hemp Bill in 2013 and the Phytoremediation Bill in 2012, spoke about the project.
"The hemp project to me is really important, because it's going to start to give us the ability to demonstrate that we can utilize industrial hemp for specific purposes such as building, textile purposes, adhesives," he said.
According to Lauve, this will be the first hemp greenhouse in Colorado. Over 100 applications have been submitted to the Department of Agriculture for various research and development and commercial sites. Sterling's facility would be the state's second largest facility; the largest operation is in Springfield.
They anticipate employing between 15 and 25 people at the facility, depending on what stage of the process they're in.
"We have a unique opportunity. Part of the reason that we have interest in doing this in Logan (County), Sterling area is the fact that we truly believe that we have an opportunity to impact economics at a pretty local scale," Lauve told the commissioners.
He went on to call hemp an "innovation that could put American farms back into high productivity and provide a lot of materials, we can start manufacturing car parts with, a number of other opportunities here in the United States."
The Logan County facility will be used to study existing cultivars, as well as try to breed a Colorado heritage seed.
"The ultimate goal of the project is to really create a seed stock and product that are both commercially viable, that are really under that .3 percent THC level and in an ideal world we'd be down to zero percent THC, that's where we want to end up," said Mark Spoone, of Castle Rock, one of Bornhoft's partners.
"We're looking for a seed stock that will create essentially three key things: food, fiber and fuel," he explained, adding that the project will also "allow us the ability to develop technologies and processes for growing stuff, understand how we lower those THC levels, how we can increase the other components."
The facility will use a process known as decortication, "that's the process of taking raw hemp from the field, bailing it up, it goes into the cutter, the decorticator separates the fiber, the dirt and the bark and then the dust, if you will," Lauve said.
He spoke about the difference between hemp and medical or recreational marijuana, noting the two are like cousins, because they are essentially the same plant, but because of the growing process, "it's essentially akin to having an apple that you might be able to eat, versus a bitter apple that would be uneatable."
Commissioner Rocky Samber asked about the protocol for making sure there aren't plants with THC levels that are very high. Lauve said the state will test part of their field, plus they will have private testing done to monitor THC levels and he said the operation will be transparent about what is found in those tests.
"That's one of my personal objectives in everything that I've been doing with industrial hemp is an open records, open resource for data. We need to learn as much as we can and we need to be as transparent as possible," he said.
Samber asked what the protocol is if the plants that are raised have higher levels of THC. Those with .3 to 1 percent levels can't be sold, but they can be used for research and anything with above one percent has to be destroyed.
"I think the key to all of this is to keep everybody in the loop. It's a new project, it's a new plant for not only the state, but the country," Lauve said.
Commissioner Dave Donaldson asked where their initial seed source is coming from and if that's in compliance with federal restrictions. The seeds will come from existing cultivars in Colorado and other states, as well as seeds that Nolan Kane, an assistant professor at University of Colorado — Boulder who is leading a Cannabis Research Genomics Initiative, has access to from other countries.
"We're doing everything we can to stay in federal compliance, to stay within state compliance. We're doing everything we can to provide full disclosure, full transparency to both the state and federal level," Spoone added, noting Kane does have legal access to the international seeds he's getting, so he is in compliance.
Tom McClain, from Broomfield, whose great-grandfather planted hemp, stressed the "incredible importance I think Sterling plays in helping re-establish hemp as an agricultural product in this region of the United States," adding that he believes hemp will provide the ability to "improve our soil, reduce our water dependence."
"You guys have the opportunity to help demonstrate to Nebraska, Kansas, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Texas, the viability of this product," he said.
In other business, the commissioners approved an intergovernmental agreement between the Logan County Clerk and Recorder and Logan County, which provides for a coordinated election to be held on Nov. 4, concerning a proposal to increase the county sales and use tax to provide funding for a cemetery district. The actual verbiage of the ballot question will be decided at a later date.
Also, due to the Planning and Zoning Department not receiving all the necessary signatures, the commissioners postponed definitely until Sept. 2 the approval of a resolution and application on behalf of Max and Ruby Yvonne Gafford to create a two-lot minor subdivision in part of Lot 4 in Section 7, T6N, R53W of the 6th P.M., north of the Farmer's Pawnee Canal.

No need for pot: Bolton duo offer hemp seeds for Brits to scatter across forests in bid to free the weed

By Liam Geraghty

 A Bolton business duo are trying to show the world there is more to the hemp seed than its cannabis roots suggest.

The pair behind The Hemporium are offering to ship a handful of hemp seeds to anyone who wants one – for free.
They are asking those who receive their free handful to scatter the seeds in forests and woodland across Greater Manchester – saying there's no need for a pot. 
The wacky (without the backy) scheme hopes to help hemp start growing wild across the UK.
Claiming that the crop is more than just the centre of a joint, Marc Greaves has launched an online shop selling clothes, food and other products made from alternative products like hemp and bamboo.
“A lot of people tar us with the cannabis brush and we are not doing that – we are promoting the other side of the coin,” said the 34-year-old.
“We are looking at the industrial side of it and raising awareness of the tens and thousands of other uses for the seed.
“The moment you go out there with cannabis, people just turn their backs.”

GOING GREEN: Bolton duo hope to show other side of cannabis plant
To tackle the negative perception of hemp, former film maker Marc – who believes the ‘credit crunch’ and subsequent recession has cost him around £250,000 – is encouraging people to join his Handful of Hemp campaign.
Marc is offering to send a handful of hemp, which can only be cultivated in the UK with a licence, to anyone and encouraging people to spread the seeds with the view to it becoming a wildplant in the UK.
“It’s not an easy thing we are doing and it is quite an uphill battle,” said Marc.
“We’re not trying to encourage breaking the law. We’re just asking people to throw some seeds around.”
Marc insists that spreading the seeds is not against the law – only cultivating the seed into a cannabis plant is likely to attract the interest of authorities.
The Hemporium is a growing business and, in only eight weeks of trading since the e-shop was launched on July 5, orders have been received from as far afield as the US, Canada and the US.
The website has also notched 5,000 hits in its short life-span as Marc admitted ‘it’s gone global’.
Selling a natural lifestyle, by swapping chemicals and plastics for sustainable, bio-degradeable products, Marc and business partner Tom Wainhouse, 23, sell various oils and foods made from hemp seeds as well as clothes from bamboo.
With demand starting to outstrip supply, the pair are seeking £2,000 on Crowdfunder to ensure they can making ends meet while they pursue their real ambition of demonstrating the numerous uses of the hemp seed.
And Marc who insists that hemp can be used to be a handy alternative to plastic and that he has even seen a ‘fully-functioning car’ made from the commodity.
The crop forms the cornerstone of the business, which aims to put the spotlight on how nature often has the answer when innovation is required.
“There are so many answers out there when we just look for them,” said Marc.
“But we take to science labs like ducks to water. We have forgotten our roots in nature.”
The entrepreneur insists that the plant, which contains low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) rendering it ‘harmless’ as a drug, can be the answer to many environmental concerns and could even become a core manufacturing material in its own right.
“It’s taking away an entire industry from us,” he said.
“We want to see a whole new industry made out of hemp.”
The Crowdfunder campaign is available here.
Images courtesy of Magalie Labbe and Marc Fuya, with thanks.

Rolling Hills couple use first permitted hempcrete in L.A. County

By Megan Barnes

Bern Galvin presses a load of hempcrete into a form at his home in Rolling Hills, CA on Wednesday, August 20, 2014. The walls, which aren't structural, are made with hemp shiv, lime and water and are pressed into forms. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze)
Bern Galvin presses a load of hempcrete into a form at his home in 
Rolling Hills, CA on Wednesday, August 20, 2014. The walls, which 
aren't structural, are made with hemp shiv, lime and water and are 
pressed into forms. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze)

Under a hot sun amid the sounds of a concrete mixer, Beate Kirmse and her husband, Bern Galvin, lined up in the backyard of their Rolling Hills home to lend a hand in the construction of their future living room.
But it wasn’t concrete coming out of the mixer. Wood chip-like shreds of hemp shiv — the core of hemp stems — were mixed with water and a lime-based binder to produce a sustainable building material called hempcrete. Layer by layer, Kirmse, Galvin and a handful of volunteers poured buckets of the dry mixture into wooden forms within wall frames. In a few days, they will reveal what is believed to be the first permitted use of hempcrete in the state.
A crowd of industrial hemp advocates came from throughout the state to watch the construction supervised by Ryan Hayes of Northern California-based TerraBuilt Construction. Also among the crowd was Brett Boag, who came from Alberta, Canada, where he runs hemp-processing company Cylab International.

Walls made of hemp masonry known as hempcrete are mixed before going up at a home in Rolling Hills, CA on Wednesday, August 20, 2014. The walls, which aren't structural, are made with hemp shiv, lime and water and are pressed into forms. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze)
Walls made of hemp masonry known as hempcrete are mixed before 
going up at a home in Rolling Hills, CA on Wednesday, August 20, 2014. 
The walls, which aren't structural, are made with hemp shiv, lime and 
water and are pressed into forms. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze)

Kirmse and Galvin waited six months for approval from Los Angeles County’s Building and Safety Division because the county and other building agencies had never researched the use of hempcrete.
Plan checker Michael Dorta was willing to work with the couple to find out if and how the material could work with county building codes. Although hempcrete is resistant to water, fire and mold, Dorta suggested adding a layer of building paper as a safety precaution. The paper is separated from the hempcrete by a small air channel per Kirmse and Galvin’s request.
“The trick was to do that but also still get the benefit of the breathability of the wall,” said Kirmse, a native of Germany who runs an eco-friendly online gift shop. “We were told that once this is permitted once in California, it will be a lot easier for the next project.”
But Building and Safety Division spokesman Bob Spencer said it should be noted that the hempcrete was permitted in this case as an insulator, not as a structural material.
“We determined that the material meets all required county building codes for this type of in-fill and approved the use in this case,” he said.
Although a handful of hempcrete buildings exist in the United States, it was illegal to grow hemp until six months ago because it comes from the same plant species as marijuana. Now the plant is federally legal to grow for research purposes.
The hemp making up Kirmse and Galvin’s insulation came from a U.K.-based company called Lime Technology, adding $837 in shipping costs, about 15 percent of the costs of the materials, to a project they say would have cost about the same as a traditional one otherwise.
Chicago-based American Lime Technology, which is part of the U.K. company, estimates hempcrete construction costs 10 to 20 percent more than similar conventional projects, but that the difference is largely due to the shipping costs, which could be avoided if hemp were allowed to be grown locally.
Kirmse and Galvin ordered 52 bales of hemp shiv and 78 bags of lime binder to make about 265 cubic feet of hempcrete through American Lime Technology, which also has supplied the material to projects in Wisconsin, Idaho and Florida. Sales and Marketing Director Matt Engelmann said Kirmse and Galvin’s extension is the company’s first project not only in California, but on the West Coast.
“We have a number of architects, builders and building owners in California who are very interested in working with the material, but I think people are hesitant to be the first one to do it,” Engelmann said.
Two years ago, another company — North Carolina-based Hemp Technologies — was involved with plans to build a hempcrete structure at the ruins of Knapp’s Castle in Santa Barbara County, but the project never happened. Engelmann said while the technology has been used in Europe, it is being “re-proved” for use as a building material in the new U.S. market.
Homeowner Beate Kirmse dumps a load of hempcrete into a form at home in Rolling Hills, CA on Wednesday, August 20, 2014. The walls, which aren't structural, are made with hemp shiv, lime and water and are pressed into forms. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze)
Homeowner Beate Kirmse dumps a load of hempcrete into a form at 
home in Rolling Hills, CA on Wednesday, August 20, 2014. The walls, 
which aren't structural, are made with hemp shiv, lime and water and 
are pressed into forms. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze)

Engelmann said the company does run into something known in the industry as the “chuckle factor” — or stigma due to hemp’s association with marijuana.
“Yeah, we run into a bit of that,” he said. “At trade shows, the first two questions we get are, ‘What is it?’ and ‘Can we smoke it?’ ”
But Engelmann and others in the industry believe that more completed hempcrete projects and the recent law change can only lead to more homeowners considering using it.
“Hemp only takes three months to grow, it’s very healthy, there are no chemicals and it’s breathable, which means you need very little heating or cooling,” said Kirmse, who became interested in hemp several years ago when she had shirts for an exhibit at her former San Pedro art gallery printed on hemp fabric. She and Galvin became so interested they took a weeklong trip to Manitoba, Canada, where they visited hemp farms and processing and research facilities, and saw the first hemp house built in Canada.
They had already been thinking about extending their solarium and decided that when the time came, they wanted to use hempcrete.
Galvin, an Australia native who works in venture capital, believes hemp’s fiber and core applications will see a boom in the next decade. Industrial hemp made more than $581 million in sales in the U.S. last year, according to the nonprofit Hemp Industries Association.
Galvin and Kirmse have been getting calls from architects interested in seeing the extension, which should be completed by mid-September.
“I really hope that as a result of this, someone in California will want to build a hemp house,” Kirmse said. “This is only the beginning.”

Hemp Industries Association Presents 21st Annual Conference and Hemp Lobby Day in Washington, DC


Hemp Industry Leaders, Experts and Entrepreneurs Gather for Two-Day Event to Discuss Progress and New Goals for U.S. Hemp Industry

WASHINGTONAug. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 21st annual conference of the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) will be held Sunday, September 21 – Monday, September 22, 2014, at the Phoenix Park Hotel inWashington, DC. Business leaders and farmers in the hemp industry in North America and from abroad will meet during the two-day event to discuss strategies and plans to legalize industrial hemp and return hemp to the American agrarian landscape once again. The conference will include expert speakers, hemp exhibits and sales, luncheon, silent auction, networking dinner, presentations, panel discussion and updates on industry developments and expanding markets for hemp products. Speakers from the hemp industry and movement will present at the conference including Doug Fine, author of Hemp BoundJohn Roulac, President of Nutiva, Steve Allin, featured speaker and author of Building with HempChristina Volgyesi, Marketing Director of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, and other leaders in the hemp industry.

Conference Schedule:
Sunday, September 21
Monday, September 22
8:00am: Registration begins
8:00am-5:00pm: Hemp Lobby Day on Capitol Hill
9:00am-6:00pm: Conference events
5:00pm-6:30pm: Congressional Hemp Reception
7:30pm: Dinner

The 21st conference occurs at a significant moment in hemp history, as the first legal hemp harvests in the U.S. in decades will be taking place inColoradoKentucky and Vermont this fall. Exceeding $581 million in 2013 annual sales according to SPINS market data and HIA estimates, hemp is among the fastest growing categories for food and consumer products in the U.S. In addition to presentations on hemp manufacturing, agronomy, and other industry issues, a special panel discussion focusing on new cannabidiol (CBD) research and its market potential will take place on Sunday.

"The annual Hemp Industries Association conference is an opportunity for leaders in the hemp industry and hemp legalization movement to come together, to discuss new developments in the industry, share insights and knowledge about the production and processing of hemp, and create strategy for the hemp legalization movement in the U.S.," said Eric Steenstra, Executive Director of Hemp Industries Association. "The harvests taking place in Kentucky and Colorado this fall have created a great deal of momentum and inspiration on the issue—and we're confident word of these successful harvests and the growth in the hemp industry will be welcome news to legislators in Congress yet considering supporting The Industrial Hemp Farming Act."

For more information about presentations, speakers, HIA conference schedule, attendance details and updates for this event, please visit the HIA website:

The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) represents the interests of the hemp industry and encourages the research and development of new hemp products.  More information about hemp's many uses and hemp advocacy may be found at
SOURCE Hemp Industries Association

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

China police say 'giant marijuana plantation' spotted by satellite may be legal hemp farm

Stephen Chen and Patrick Boehler

China police say 'giant marijuana plantation' spotted by satellite may be legal hemp farm

Chinese authorities have retracted a statement they made on Thursday pointing to record-sized marijuana plantations in northern China.
The nation’s space authorities said last week that police had discovered the biggest illegal marijuana plantation in recent Chinese history using a new, advanced satellite.
On Monday, however, the China National Space Administration deleted the report from its website without further explanation.
The marijuana plantations could be fields of industrial hemp, a spokesman for the Ministry of Public Security’s Narcotics Control Bureau told the Beijing Times in an article published on Tuesday. The spokesman, who was not identified by name, reportedly said that the bureau had not been cooperating with the space administration to identify drug farms.
Industrial hemp is a variety of the cannabis plant containing only negligible amounts of psychoactive substances and farmed for its seeds, oil and fibre.
China’s southeastern Yunnan province allowed the plantation of industrial hemp with provisional regulations starting in 2003. In 2010, it was the first province to release formal regulations on the plant’s cultivation.
Hemp is spread all over China, with authorities tolerating plantations as far north as Heilongjiang province, according to a person familiar with the industry there. It was unclear whether agricultural administrators in Inner Mongolia regulated or tolerated the plantation of industrial hemp.
Neither the ministry nor the space administration responded to questions from the South China Morning Post.
The Ministry of Public Security found the plantation straddling Jilin province and Inner Mongolia by analysing images taken by Gaofen 1, a high-definition earth observation satellite launched last year that carries some of China’s best sensors, the China National Space Administration had said in its now deleted report.
The size of the plantation was not revealed, but it was said to be the biggest known marijuana farm spotted since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.
Chinese authorities seized 4.5 tonnes of marijuana in 2013, 7.1 per cent more than a year earlier, according to annual reports by the China National Narcotics Control Commission.
Those figures were dwarfed however by confiscations of synthetic drugs, as ketamine seizures rose 106.2 per cent to 9.7 tonnes and seizures of crystal methamphetamine grew 20.5 per cent to 19.5 tonnes.
Data from the Gaofen 1 satellite also revealed other illegal activities, including plantations of opium poppies in Heilongjiang, Inner Mongolia and Hebei; more than 10 secret passageways used to cross China’s borders illegally to and from North Korea and also in the Xinjiang region; and a large warehouse for offshore oil smuggling in Fujian.
The high-definition satellite images had provided "important information support" to departments at the ministry during their law enforcement duties, said the space authority.
The brief statement, released on the space administration’s website last Thursday and picked up by many mainland media, could no longer be accessed on Monday evening.
China has rarely, if ever, revealed the use of satellites in sensitive areas such as defence and national security.
A Chinese space scientist said the statement, although rare, would not be surprising.
"It is impressive that they have made so many discoveries in less than a year," he said, declining to be named because of the subject’s sensitive nature. "They must have been aided by some powerful graphical analysis software, and the satellite’s performance has to be good, too.
"However, China is doing what other countries, such as the United States, are doing. Using satellites at home and on a wider basis is a [common] practice by almost every government in the world."
The space administration’s statement did not reveal the precise locations of the illegal border crossings. Xinjiang shares borders with eight countries, including Afghanistan, Russia and Pakistan.
Jiang Zhaoyong, a Beijing-based expert on ethnic affairs, said identifying these passageways may alleviate pressure on border patrol forces. Jiang noted that some people may have used such routes to leave the country and receive terrorism training abroad, but given that Xinjiang’s border measures about 5,600km, "it’s wrong to think that will spell the end of terrorism around Xinjiang".
The Gaofen 1 satellite can identify objects as short as two metres wide. It is part of a seven-satellite network that will be fully operational by 2016 and provide global coverage.
Last Tuesday, China launched Gaofen 2, which will be able to provide even higher resolution images and identify objects that are no longer than one metre in length.
One Gaofen satellite can provide images of the entire planet in about four hours.
When all seven satellites are operating in orbit together, China will have the ability to quickly obtain high-definition images of almost every spot on earth.
However, the Gaofen satellites do not match the capabilities of the best spy satellites launched by other countries, such as the US, which are able to identify objects as small as a few square centimetres in size.
There are also technological gaps between critical components used by China’s satellites and those of developed countries, such as optical sensors, some space experts have reported.
China has been deploying other advanced technology, including drones and a large data centre, as part of measures to improve national security.
Additional reporting by Adrian Wan

Meatless Monday: How to make hemp seed pesto


Happy Nut-Free Pesto with pasta and cherry tomatoes.
Happy Nut-Free Pesto with pasta and cherry tomatoes.

Note: This is the first in a three-part Meatless Monday series on recipes that incorporate hemp seeds.
Last summer, I wrote a story for The Star’s food section about the rising popularity of hemp seeds.
While working on the story, I learned to like the seeds, which have a creamy texture and nutty taste similar to sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
Hemp seeds are small — they’re similar in size to sesame seeds — but they pack a big nutritional punch. They are high in protein and fiber and contain an almost ideal balance of essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which support heart and brain health.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, hemp seeds won’t get you high or make you fail a drug test. Like marijuana, hemp is a variety of cannabis, but it contains super-low levels of THC.
Consuming the recommended 3-tablespoon serving over the course of one day is relatively easy: Just blend the seeds into smoothies or sprinkle on cereal, yogurt, salads and grilled fish.
I typically buy Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts, sold by natural grocers and chains such as Whole Foods, Costco and Kroger. I like the seeds sprinkled on oatmeal with raisins, walnuts and a drizzle of real maple syrup, but I also use them to bump up the protein in basil pesto.

Read more here:
The following recipe is from Tara Miko, founder of an Austin, Texas-based line of hemp seed products called Happy Hemp. It substitutes low-allergen hemp seeds for pine nuts, so it’s great for those with nut allergies.
Happy Nut-Free Pesto
Makes 1 cup pesto
2 cups basil
1 cup parsley
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Combine the basil, parsley, garlic, lemon and hemp seeds in a food processor. Pulse a few times. Turn the food processor to low and slowly add olive oil.
Scrape the sides of the food processor, then add salt and pepper to taste.
Per 2-tablespoon serving: 122 calories (79 percent from fat), 10 gramstotal fat (1 gram saturated), no cholesterol, 4 grams carbohydrates, 2grams protein, 14 milligrams sodium, 3 grams dietary fiber.

Read more here:

Read more here:

Independents push to legalise industrial hemp for consumption in Australia

By James Jooste

Industrial hemp a solution for healthier bread
PHOTO: Australian retailers are frustrated by the wait to legalise industrial hemp for consumption (James Jooste)

A bakery in central Victoria has reignited debate over illegal hemp consumption, saying it wants to put hemp seeds in its bread.
Foods Standards Australia and New Zealand says it's safe to include hemp in food, but legislation currently bans it.  
Mr Bertalli says hemp is too good a product to be left on parliamentary shelves.
Andrew Bertalli is managing director of Alpine Breads, at Benalla, which supplies major supermarkets and health food stores with 'healthy choice' bread.
“It’s a brilliant seed and grain.
Hemp’s got a bit of a dirty name but once you look into it and realise there is industrial hemp out there with very, very low TCH’s, it’s a brilliant seed and grain.
Managing Director Alpine Breads, Andrew Bertalli
“It's high protein, it’s high in omega 3, 6 and 9, which is perfectly designed for the human body.”
Industrial hemp also contains low levels of THC, the psychoactive property also found in the illegal drug marijuana.
Mr Bertalli says people don’t understand the health benefits of industrial hemp because of the confusion caused with the illicit drug.
“Hemp’s got a bit of a dirty name, but once you look into it and realise there is industrial hemp out there with very, very low TCHs, it’s a brilliant seed and grain.”
Federal independents Andrew Wilkie and Cathy McGowan are trying to overturn the current ban.
Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, says laws around edible hemp products are out of touch with public opinion and global food standards.
“Currently you are not able to use it (hemp) for food in Australia and New Zealand and we’re the only two developed companies where this is not the case.
“To me, it’s very much a bureaucratic issue. It’s got stuck in the system and we just need it shaken around and moved through.”
Mr Bertalli says industrial hemp has enormous potential as an agricultural crop, but frustrated farmers are losing interest.
“If we can’t get the Australian market going, we run the risk of losing some of those producers overseas, because most of their business is export.
"So it makes sense for them to put their manufacturing business where their exports are.”  
Southern councils believe the medicinal cannabis could help drive an economic recovery.

DEA Backs Down in Hemp Litigation with Kentucky Agriculture Department

By Josh Long

WASHINGTON—Editor’s Note:This story is the sixth part in a series of articles and video documentaries that surveys the state of the legal marijuana and hemp industries.To read the previous article on hemp research in Kentucky, go here.
Ken Anderson had managed to transport 286 pounds of hemp seeds to Lexington, Kentucky from Italy. That’s when the Drug Enforcement Agency seized them at a UPS air terminal in Lexington, Kentucky, riling agricultural officials, farmers and politicians in a state that is still searching for a crop to replace the maligned tobacco leaf.

Kentucky agricultural officials were awaiting the seeds in anticipation of commencing hemp research projects in collaboration with universities and private growers under federal legislation signed in February by President Obama: Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill.

Although federal law classifies hemp as a Schedule I controlled substance, the Farm Bill carved out an exception—authorizing institutions of higher education or state agriculture departments to study the growth, cultivation or marketing of industrial hemp in states where such activity is permitted.

“It amazes me that the DEA spent resources to intercept my seed going into the Kentucky Department of Agriculture," said Anderson, founder and CEO of Original Green Distribution, which is providing seed and infrastructure to support American hemp. “They spent a ton of money confiscating seed going to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture when they didn’t have a single agent in front of a recreational [marijuana] dispensary in Colorado. That blows my mind. What a waste of resources."

The feds could have seized the Italian hemp seeds before they had cleared the interior of the United States. But U.S. Border Patrol dropped the ball—it should have never let in the seeds without the proper federal licensing and import certification, a DEA executive assistant told Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance President Russ Crawford, according to a May 5 email he sent Anderson. Crawford had wanted to know if DEA would let into the United States seeds from Canada.
On May 13, the DEA offered to release the Italian seeds to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA), provided the state agency applied to register as an importer of controlled substances. But a DEA official, Joseph Rannazzisi, declared the Farm Bill did not authorize any activity by private growers and suggested the state provide the names of the institutions of higher education to which it planned to distribute seeds.

The very next day, KDA responded to DEA by filing a lawsuit against the agency, which is a part of the U.S. Justice Department.

“Defendant DEA/and or other Defendants are violating the provisions of the Farm Bill by engrafting upon it additional regulatory and bureaucratic requirements that were not contemplated or enacted by the U.S. Congress," according to the lawsuit, which argued the Farm Bill excluded hemp seeds from the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act. “There is no provision in the Farm Bill or in any regulation in furtherance of the Farm Bill allowing Defendant DEA and/or other Defendants to impose additional requirements, restrictions, or prohibitions upon an institution of higher education or a state department of agriculture that is engaged in industrial hemp cultivation as contemplated by the Farm Bill."

Following a hearing before the U.S. District Court in Louisville, Kentucky, DEA issued a registration and import permit to KDA, allowing the state agency to possess the seeds, according to court records. Anderson said the Italian seeds were released on May 23.

According to KDA records, seven growing sites received the impounded seeds, including Kentucky State University, Murray State University and Western Kentucky University.

Threats of Criminal Prosecution
But DEA still made it clear in a letter on May 22 that it had plans “to criminally prosecute and seize, under the federal Controlled Substances Act … hemp plants grown by the private farmers who have entered written contracts with KDA to carry out the pilot projects," several Kentucky farmers disclosed in a request to intervene in the case and enjoin DEA from prosecuting—or destroying plants grown by—them.

The proposed interveners included Brian Furnish, a farmer who had expected to receive seed to begin a pilot project in conjunction with the University of Kentucky, and seven other farmers who had entered memoranda of understanding with KDA.
The Farm Bill “clearly shows Congress’ assumption and intent that private farmers be utilized by state agriculture departments to carry out the pilot projects," lawyers for the farmers stated in June 12 court papers. “To read the law as requiring the officials and employees of a small state agency like KDA, who are not themselves active farmers, to leave their offices in Frankfort and cultivate the hemp seed would be absurd and would completely frustrate the intent of Congress."

A senior federal judge, John Heyburn, later denied the motion to intervene and for the preliminary injunction, explaining the request for the injunction was moot for reasons that were stated on the record during a hearing.

DEA never filed a formal answer to KDA’s complaint. Ellen Canale, a spokeswoman with the Justice Department, a named defendant in KDA’s lawsuit, didn’t return numerous phone calls and emails seeking comment on the case.
DEA agreed “that as long as the farmers were, under contract (Memorandum of Understanding) with the KDA or universities to engage in the pilot crop program, that they would be considered agents of the KDA or universities under the 2014 Farm Act and exempt from the provisions of the Controlled Substance Act (i.e. not subjected to criminal investigation or prosecution)," said Richard Plymale, a veteran lawyer in Kentucky who represented the farmers, in an email.

DEA also agreed to quickly issue import permits for hemp oil seeds that were being held in Canada, he said. According to KDA records, the Canadian seeds were released on July 2.

Plymale, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney with the Justice Department who currently practices law with Frost Brown Todd LLC, said he appeared in Heyburn’s chambers on June 18 and read a portion of the DEA’s threatening letter to the farmers, to which the judge responded, “I thought we had settled this."

When Heyburn asked Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Schecter who appeared for the hearing by phone if the matter had been resolved, he answered in the affirmative, Plymale said.

Last week, KDA moved to dismiss the entire lawsuit.

“This dismissal is based upon the Defendant, Drug Enforcement Agency’s (“DEA") continuing agreement to assist the KDA with the KDA’s implementation and supervision of programs involved with the growth, cultivation, and marketing of industrial hemp," Daniel Morgan of the law firm McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland, PLLC wrote on behalf of KDA. “The KDA acknowledges that the DEA has been cooperating with the KDA and the DEA has manifested its expressed desire to assist the KDA with industrial hemp projects."

Searching for New Cash Crop
Industrial hemp contains little THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky) last year introduced a bill that would exempt hemp from the Controlled Substances Act. Katie Moyer, an appointed member of the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission, said the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013 has bipartisan support with 49 cosponsors. Moyer said the bill only needs a few more sponsors in order to schedule a hearing on the House floor.

“Tobacco is demonized. It’s taxed into oblivion," she said in a phone interview.  “They [farmers] are struggling here in Kentucky. They are trying to find a replacement to tobacco, something they can grow as a cash crop."

Private growers who have been working with KDA haven’t encountered any issues with DEA since the lawsuit was resolved, Moyer said. After the seeds were released to the KDA, farmers underwent background checks and entered agreements with the state agency, she said.

“KDA was very careful. Under the contract with the farmers … they give GPS coordinates to the fields and the farmers are required to make reports when crops are harvested, removed," Plymale said. “There is a nice gentleman’s agreement about what to do."

The agricultural community is actually hosting an event on Aug. 25 for local law-enforcement to tour the hemp fields.

“We want law enforcement to be involved with the process," Moyer said. “We try to be reasonable and consider all the issues they’ve got with it."

She said KDA has been taking samples of the hemp fields and noted most industrial hemp contains well under 0.3 percent THC, the limit specified in the Farm Bill.

According to Moyer, a hemp field in north Christian County, Kentucky is thriving with some plants likely soaring to more than 11 feet. Another field planted by Rachel McCubbin, a staff member to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), hasn’t fared as well. After the hemp was planted, the field was drenched with 4.5 inches of rain, then suffered a drought for two months, Moyer said.

“That field needless to say is not doing well," she said. “It’s not a miracle crop. It’s not going to perform miracles."