Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Unraveling Hemp: The Road to Legalization Part Three

By Keleigh Gibbs

Industrial hemp is most commonly confused with marijuana. The biggest difference is industrial hemp does not have the psychoactive component of the marijuana that creates a "high". 

After being made illegal almost a century ago, legislation is now moving through the state capitol that would once again make the crop legal to grow in Pennsylvania. Geoff Whaling is an industrial hemp activist. He says he's seeing widespread support from local political leaders, as well as law enforcement officials, to reintroduce the crop to Pennsylvania. "I've told them they could smoke it, as I told them they could smoke Sycamore leaves or Maple leaves," Whaling said. "There is no psychoactive element in the industrial hemp crop." 

Once there is an understanding of that difference, Whaling says he doesn't typically meet any additional opposition to once again legalizing the crop in Pennsylvania. We made our own calls to political leaders and law enforcement officials in the Lehigh Valley and beyond, and also did not receive any opposition to the proposed legislation to reintroduce the crop to the state. 

"We are the only importing nation in the world, largest importing nation in the world, that does not grow the crop," Whaling said. It is for that reason, Whaling also says he believes the potential for hemp is enormous in Pennsylvania, especially since the state has a history of leading the nation in hemp production before it was made illegal. 

Industrial hemp is currently being used in multiple forms with over $600 million dollars worth of the crop flooding into the United States primarily from Canada and China. The uses range from hemp fibers used to make twine, cordage, textiles, and caulking to hemp hurds that can be made into paper as well as plastic composites for items like skate boards and auto bodies. 

Oil extracted from the plant used in printing, lubrication, and paints. In addition, the seed is considered a super food that contains protein, potassium, calcium and essential fatty acids, good for strengthening the immune system. 

"Most people don't know that the fiber from the industrial hemp crop has the same properties as copper," Whaling said. "Although they are not yet there, it can carry the same sort of digital messaging that they are doing in fiber optics." Whaling says these examples and others make legalizing hemp an exciting prospect for the state and for our area in particular. 

"I think we can quickly ramp up industry here in the Lehigh Valley," Whaling said. Whaling says, in order to do that, infrastructure in the state needs to be created to accelerate the return of the industrial hemp. 

"We will be looking to have a regionally located processing facility that will be within 60 miles of all of the contracted farmers that will be growing industrial hemp," Whaling said. "I am keenly interested in the Heinz-Kraft facility; it is one million square feet." 

But first the crop needs to be legalized in the state. Right now, that is Whaling's number one priority. Currently, he is leading that charge on the Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council, a group looking to accelerate the return of the crop to Pennsylvania. 

"Our goal is to have a crop in the ground by this spring," Whaling said. Thursday at 6p.m. part four of our series Industrial Hemp: The Road to Legalization, will take an in-depth look at the status of legislation now moving though the state capitol.

Unraveling Hemp: The Road to Legalization Part Two

By Keleigh Gibbs

Pennsylvania was a leader among states processing and growing industrial hemp in early America. Two centuries ago there were over 100 water-powered mills for processing hemp fiber in Lancaster County alone, with more throughout the state. 

Industrial hemp dominated Pennsylvania's agricultural landscape so much so that Hempfield Township was named after the crop. 

Les Stark is the author of Hempstone Heritage 1, a book that studies the early American Hemp Industry. Stark also sits on the board of the Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council, a nonprofit group that is working to legalize industrial hemp in Pennsylvania. 

"Hemp was an important fiber crop that was used for everything from coarse cloth to fine linen and everything in between," Stark said. Oil extracted from the crop was used in paints, varnishes, lubricants, soaps, lamp oil and printers ink. 

The seedcake was fed to the livestock. "Evidence suggests every farmer had from about an 1/8 of an acre to a 1/4 of an acre or a half acre, that was virtually widespread on virtually every farm," Stark said. 

But that all changed in 1933, when Pennsylvania passed a law banning marijuana. At the time, industrial hemp got caught in the confusion. "Back then they didn't have the scientific method to differentiate marijuana from hemp, as in they didn't know what THC was, and THC being the psychoactive component that gets you high," Erica McBride, of the Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council said. 

McBride also says while historically hemp was used more for animal consumption, modern day the crop has the potential to be used more for human consumption. 

Businesses in Pennsylvania are already importing millions dollars of the crop from outside of the state for various uses. 

Wednesday night at 6 p.m. WFMZ's Keleigh Gibbs will take a look at some of the modern day uses of industrial hemp, as well as speak with an advocate who is working to promote legislation that would legalize the crop in Pennsylvania. 

That will be part three in the 69 News series Unraveling Hemp: The Road to Legalization.

Television star Tim Gunn wants to legalize industrial hemp in Massachusetts

By Gintautas Dumcius

Tim Gunn Promotes Hemp Legalization In Massachusetts

Television star Tim Gunn was at the Mass. State House to help push a bill legalizing the growth and production of hemp in Massachusetts.
Some Massachusetts lawmakers are hoping to legalize the growth and production of industrial hemp in the Bay State, saying it'll be an economic boon to a region of the state with high unemployment.
While they've displayed reluctance to approach legalizing marijuana for recreational use as an independent group has a question on track for the November ballot to do just that, hemp is another matter that has some legislators' support.
Lawmakers argue that hemp is a whole other crop, too. On Tuesday they hosted television star Tim Gunn in an effort to push for a bill (H 773) that would "establish policy and procedures for growing industrial hemp" in order to help the state's agricultural industry.
The bill is sponsored by state Rep. Chris Walsh, D-Framingham.
Supporters of the Massachusetts bill say Fall River was once a leading supplier of hemp rope before hemp production was banned at the federal level.
"We're intent on getting this back and getting it back to Massachusetts," said Gunn, who has appeared on "Project Runway" and "How I Met Your Mother."
Gunn said his interest in textiles drew him to industrial hemp, which aside from some "marginal threads of connective tissue" has "nothing to do with marijuana." A person cannot get high from smoking hemp, he said.
"Please do your Google research and you'll be as inspired as I am," he said. "We could so easily harvest this and make it real."
Kathryn Hilderbrand, founder and CEO of the Good Clothing Company in Mashpee, said she wants to "bring my industry back" and start producing hemp-based at a textile mill.
Hilderbrand, whose company has imported hemp textiles, which is allowed, said the hemp crop doesn't damage the land, and it cannot be grown in the same field as marijuana.
Hemp-based products are also biodegradable, she added.
The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is behind the potential November ballot question legalizing marijuana, and the proposal has a provision legalizing industrial hemp.
Hilderbrand, who said Gunn is a friend she asked to join her at the State House to help push the industrial hemp bill, argued hemp and marijuana shouldn't be bundled together. "They're entirely independent," she said, while acknowledging a "tiny little relation" between the two.
State Rep. Alan Silvia, D-Fall River, said he backs the industrial hemp bill because his area has a 9 percent unemployment rate, almost double the statewide rate.
"This is a crop that we need to grow in Massachusetts," Walsh, the bill sponsor, said at a gathering that included Gunn and lawmakers like state Sen. Michael Rodrigues, D-Westport and state Reps. Patricia Haddad, D-Somerset; Denise Provost, D-Somerville; Alan Silvia, D-Fall River; Jennifer Benson, D-Lunenberg; and Paul Schmid, D-Westport.
"If only Capitol Hill looked as good as this room," Gunn quipped before the event wrapped up, and lawmakers and their aides formed a line out the door to pose for pictures with him.

Why Are People So Obsessed With Hemp Milk?

By Korin Miller


If you follow health food bloggers on Instagram, you may have noticed uptick in hemp milk hashtags and photos recently. People have been posting photos of everything from hemp milk lattes to actual bottles of the stuff.
Healthy living fan Hilaria Baldwin even said in a recent interview that she gives her family hemp milk, which she calls the "richest" kind of milk that "doesn't have a lot of junk in it."
But why are so many people into hemp milk? And is it really better than cow's milk and the other milk alternatives out there?
First, the basics: Hemp milk is made from hulled hemp seeds, water, and (usually) a sweetener. "Its claim to fame is the high amount of omega-3 fatty acids—one cup can provide close to an entire day's recommend intake," says registered dietitian Alissa Rumsey, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to decrease bodily inflammation and protect against heart disease and certain cancers, so that's a big plus for hemp milk.
"Hemp is also one of the few vegetable foods that supplies complete protein, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids that our bodies require but can't make on their own," says registered dietitian-nutritionist Karen Ansel, co-author of The Calendar Diet: A Month by Month Guide to Losing Weight While Living Your Life. Our bodies use these essential amino acids to synthesize proteins, which we use to build muscle, cells, and antibodies, she explains.
Hemp milk can also be a good calcium source if you choose one that's calcium-fortified, Ansel adds. (It should say on the label).
But Ansel points out that hemp milk isn't a huge protein source overall since it only gives you about three grams per cup vs. eight grams for a cup of dairy milk. It can also be high in sugar. "Hemp milk contains more sugar than milk, so if you're trying to cut down sugar it might not be the best choice," says Ansel.
However, certified dietitian-nutritionist Lisa Moskovitz, R.D., CEO of NY Nutrition Group, says hemp may be one of the best non-dairy milk options out there. "Soy can still cause potential digestion issues and allergic reactions, and most brands of rice milk do not contain nearly the same amount of protein, fiber, or other nutrients as hemp milk," she says. But, she adds, almond, coconut, and cashew milk are also good alternatives.
Experts agree that there's nothing wrong with cow's milk for people who don't have a dairy intolerance. But, if you're looking for a nondairy alternative and could use a boost in your omega-3 intake, it's probably worth giving hemp milk a try.

Decorative Hemp Collar and Leash Line


Earthdog’s Decorative Hemp Collar and Leash Line includes quick-release collars, martingale collars and 2-ft., 4-ft. and 6-ft. leads in several decorative styles. 

All products are manufactured in the USA using 100 percent hemp canvas construction along with high-quality hardware. They are hypoallergenic and machine washable, and 10 percent of all profits from these products goes to Kody’s Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit funding spay and neuter programs.

Hemp, Cannabis and Marijuana: What’s the Difference?

By D. Paul Stanford


Cannabis, hemp or marijuana is our oldest crop, sown for over 12,000 years (1), and may have been domesticated over 30,000 years ago. It produces more fuel, fiber, food and medicine than any other plant (2). The seeds of cannabis produce the most productive and nutritious vegetable oil and protein (3). Hemp produces more fiber, from its stems and stalks, than any other plant (4), and hemp fiber can be used to make paper, canvas, rope, lace, linen, building materials and more. Cannabis flowers and leaves also produce over 100 unique compounds known as cannabinoids that have many physical and psychological effects. (5)
There is a lot of confusion about the difference between hemp, cannabis and marijuana. Hemp, cannabis or marijuana all are scientifically denoted by the Latin term, Cannabis Sativa; hemp, cannabis or marijuana are all the same plant species, Cannabis Sativa. Varieties known as Cannabis Indica are just different varieties of the same species that were originally bred in India. Cannabis is not a genus, it is a species. Today, almost all varieties of cannabis used for medicine and social use are cross-breeds of both indica and sativa varieties. There are other varieties that have been denoted as well, such as Cannabis Ruderalis, and the modern pharmaceutical companies of Eli Lilly and Parke Davis produced many cannabis-based medicines, including some from a variety that they named Cannabis Americana.
Humans have co-evolved with cannabis for at least 12,000 years too. We have changed cannabis and cannabis has changed us. Our ancestors have bred cannabis for hundreds of generations. Today, hemp seeds’ protein profile and essential fatty acid profile perfectly match humans’ nutritional requirements. The cannabinoid profile of hemp has been bred to suit many demands, from medicine to social use. The origins of agriculture and civilization itself are linked to cannabis, and all archaeologists agree that cannabis was grown by our first ancestors to begin farming in Asia.
For instance, there are many different types of dogs that have been bred diversely from their original wolf ancestors. The original ancestor of the dog is known as Canis Lupus, and all modern dogs are known scientifically by their Latin name, Canis Lupus Familiaris. From the little Chihuahua to the huge Irish Wolfhound, these different varieties of canines are the results of human directed breeding.
The same with cannabis. In fact, the Latin word for cannabis and canine are from the same etymological root. Cannabis does have a profound physical effect on dogs, which might explain that.
Under US law, the definitions are clear. Different parts of the same cannabis plant are defined as hemp and other parts as cannabis or marijuana, and the seed may be defined as either, depending upon its viability. According to US law, hemp is the stalks, stems and sterilized seeds of cannabis sativa, and marijuana is the leaves, flowers and viable seeds of cannabis sativa. Male or female cannabis has no differentiation by law or science, beyond gender. Of course, you can’t get any cannabis or hemp seeds except via female flowers fertilized by male pollen. Just as there are different varieties of corn, there are different varieties of cannabis. The varieties of cannabis that are over-regulated but legal in Canada & Europe are those that produce less than 0.3 percent THC. Since most THC is in the flowers, these low THC varieties are specifically bred to have very few flowering sites, thus little THC. Unfortunately, these ‘low THC but legal in Canada & Europe’ varieties, which I call dwarf hemp, produces very little seed and half the fiber compared to varieties of cannabis with more THC.
It’s time to restore hemp, the oldest & most productive crop. Cannabis & hemp were renamed marijuana in the early part of the 20th Century in a misinformation campaign designed by and to benefit the petrochemical pharmaceutical military industrial transnational crony corporate elite ruling class (6). The reason hemp, or marijuana, was prohibited in the 20th century was to suppress hemp fuel and fiber production. Cannabis prohibition has always been about money, power and the centralization of economic and political control. Hemp fuel and fiber are inexpensive to make and naturally decentralized. Small groups of people created the marijuana myth so they could profit from the expensive, capital intensive petrochemical alternatives that dominate our political process and economy today. Hemp will decentralize our economic system and return wealth and control to the majority.
Hemp, by every measure, makes more fuel, fiber, food and medicine than any other plant. An acre of hemp, on an annual basis, produces 300 gallons of seed oil (for fuel, plastics and food), 3 tons of high protein hempseed meal, 10 tons of bast fiber for canvas, rope lace and linen, 25 tons of hurd fiber for paper and building materials, and, from its leaves and biomass, ethanol for fuel too.
Hemp produces more fiber than any other plant. There are two types of fiber in a marijuana stalk or stem, the bast fiber, which is the outer bark, and the hurd fiber, or the inner woody core. According to the US Department of Agriculture’s Bulletin 404, a waste product from making canvas, rope,lace and linen from hemp bast fiber, this hemp hurd fiber alone, makes over 4 times more paper than trees. Hemp paper is acid free, for a long shelf life, and produced without toxic chemicals. According to Washington State University’s Wood Sciences Lab, hemp fiber board is stronger than steel. When we start using hemp instead of wood fiber for paper and building materials, deforestation may well cease.
Hemp seed oil is biodiesel fuel. Hemp biomass makes ethanol. Hemp fuel is completely nontoxic, whereas petroleum production is extremely toxic, poisoning everything it touches. Hemp makes more biofuel than any other plant. Hemp fuels are carbon neutral and its wide-scale adoption will help restore balance in many ways. When we allow farmers to grow hemp for its best fuel attributes, regardless of THC content, we will realign our whole economic system by replacing fossil fuel with biofuel.
Plastics made with hempseed oil are much cheaper and nontoxic too. Hemp plastics are biodegradable, unlike petrochemical-produced plastics.
Hemp seeds produce more oil and protein than any other plant per land area cultivated. Hemp protein and oil are rich in the essential fatty acids (EFAs) that our brain and cardiovascular system need, Omega 3 & 6, in the perfect ratio for optimal human health. Hemp protein has all 8 amino acids, again, in just the right balance to meet humans’ nutritional needs.
Per acre, according to a study published in the Notre Dame University journal, The American Midland Naturalist, wild hemp here in the USA produces 8,000 pounds of seed per acre. This study is called: An Ecological Study of Naturalized Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) in East-Central Illinois, by Alan Haney and Benjamin B. Kutscheid at the University of Indiana at Urbana, Department of Biology.
After you press the 8,000 pounds of hemp seeds, you get over 300 gallons of oil and 6,000 pounds of high protein hemp meal. That is over 7 barrels of oil (42 US gallons) produced per acre, which is extremely healthy while fresh, and 3 tons of food per acre. This oil production rate is three times more productive than the next most productive seed oil crops: soybeans, canola and sunflower seeds, which each produce 100 to 115 gallons of oil per acre. Hempseed oil will be the most productive source of biodiesel fuel when legalized, and, as noted above, it is also a nontoxic resource for plastics and other products.
It is difficult to fathom how one plant can produce more fuel, fiber, food and medicine than any other plant, and that this plant is the oldest crop sown. How we can all be relatively ignorant of these facts? And that this plant is illegal across the world. But cannabis prohibition was sold based upon lies to benefit the petrochemical robber barons and their proxy successor corporate oligarchs who rule the world today. Again, cannabis prohibition was implemented based upon lies to benefit the petrochemical, pharmaceutical, military industrial, transnational, corporate elite, crony capitalist ruling class. Ending cannabis prohibition is the solution for many economic, environmental and social issues. Drugs are a smokescreen. This is the subversion of the natural cycle to the synthetic cycle. We don’t need to fight wars for oil because our farmers can produce a superior product. Hemp is the premier source for energy, and the byproducts of cannabis fuel production can feed humanity and save the precious remnants of our biosphere and life for future generations.
I believe that, with the convergence of genetic science, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence now underway, restoring cannabis for all its uses is critically important for the future of freedom for humanity. Legal rulings, such as the US Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of Citizens United, now hold that corporations are artificial individuals that have even more rights than natural, flesh-and-blood individuals, people. If we can continue to prohibit the oldest and most productive crop based upon lies, then I fear that it becomes more likely that humanity itself may be subverted by our newly created artificial intelligence in the not-so-distant future. Cannabis is a critical bellwether for freedom of thought and consciousness.
It is really an issue of economic and social justice. Please work for and support global cannabis freedom. Restore hemp!
1 Ernest L. Abel; Marijuana – The First Twelve Thousand Years;1980
2 Alan Haney and Benjamin B. Kutscheid (U. of Illinois at Urbana, Dept. of Biology); The American Midland Naturalist; January 1975 (periodical, U. of Notre Dame)
3 Urdo Erasmus; Fats That Heal- Fats That Kill; 1993 (book)
4 United States Department of Agriculture, Bulletin No. 404; Lyster H. Dewey, Botanist in Charge of Fiber-Plant Investigations, and Jason L. Merrill, Paper-Plant Chemist
5 Aizpurua-Olaizola, Oier; Soydaner, Umut; Öztürk, Ekin; Schibano, Daniele; Simsir, Yilmaz; Navarro, Patricia; Etxebarria, Nestor; Usobiaga, Aresatz (2016-02-02). “Evolution of the Cannabinoid and Terpene Content during the Growth of Cannabis sativa; Plants from Different Chemotypes”; Journal of Natural Products
6 Gatewood Galbraith, The Last Free Man in America: Meets the Synthetic Subversion; 2004
D. Paul Stanford is the founder of The Hemp & Cannabis Foundation, THCF Medical Clinics, and the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Judge lifts decade-old injunction against hemp farmer

By Dave Kolpack

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - A federal judge on Monday lifted a decade-old injunction prohibiting a South Dakota tribal member from producing industrial hemp, although other issues need to be resolved before he can grow it on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Viken of South Dakota said there has been a “shifting legal landscape” since the 2004 order was filed against Alex White Plume, an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. That includes a change in hemp laws in the 2014 farm bill and legalization of marijuana in some states.

"We will survive. We have always survived. We're Lakota. We will survive this as well." --Alex White Plume

Congratulations Alex!

Unraveling Hemp: The Road to Legalization Part One

By Keleigh Gibbs

Joshua Leidhecker farms the land in Williamsport Pennsylvania. He uses the oil he makes in his mill as fuel to power his machinery. "I was on a canoe trip with a friend of mine, and he asked me if we could cook a turkey in the fuel that I made for my tractor," Leidhecker said. 

And they did. Joshua is now hoping to work with Adam Thompson, a small business owner in Pennsylvania, who is already processing a sunflower and hemp oil blend. Adam connected with Joshua to substitute the hemp oil he is buying from Canada with hemp oil grown and processed locally by Joshua. "It will help our bottom line dramatically, it will at least cut our costs in half," Thompson said. 

Joshua has one of the only mills in the state with presses small enough to efficiently process hemp seeds, that's because his mill was already making canola oil, processing roughly the same size seed. "In typical industry oil processing there is usually a crush plant that only crushes, they do not refine," Leidhecker said. But Joshua has the capability to refine. 

He also says he sees incredible opportunity with hemp, a crop rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. "We have a ready made market, ready made processor, ready made ground, ready made product," Leidhecker said. "We just switch it from buying it from Canada to making it ourselves." 

Almost a century ago, Pennsylvania was leading the nation in industrial hemp production. Pennsylvania is now one of the largest importers of hemp from Canada in the U.S., after the crop was made illegal nearly a century ago. 

The Hemp Industry Association reports that total retail value of hemp products nationwide now is estimated at over $600 Million in 2014, with uses that range from food to body care products to clothing, auto parts, building materials and various other products. While the crop is not yet legal to grow in Pennsylvania, legislation has been proposed that would authorize farmers like Joshua to grow hemp under a pilot program focusing on research of the crop. 

Under the national Farm Bill signed into law in 2014, industrial hemp is defined as distinct from marijuana, opening the door for states to authorize research under higher education institutions. Even if the state legislation to allow hemp to be grown in Pennsylvania is passed, the Federal Farm bill would require a lag period before the crop could be sold commercially, it also limits the amount of hemp that can be grown. 

But legalizing hemp in the Pennsylvania would inch the state closer to one day becoming a commercial supplier. "Our dollars are leaving to go to Canada I think we have a ready made market for those products," Leidhecker said. "We need to lift prohibition on a crop that really doesn't need to be illegal." 

Tuesday night at 6 p.m. we will take an in-depth look at the history of the industrial hemp crop in Pennsylvania.

5 Reasons Why Hemp Milk is Becoming the New Drink of Choice



Hemp milk is made from the hearts, or seeds, of the hemp plant. Vegans have been using this drink for years, but only recently have others begun to understand why.
1. Contains Lots of Protein and Vitamins
Essential omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, plus 10 essential amino acids are found in hemp hearts. This equals high protein in every serving. 46% of the RDA of Calcium is contained in an 8-ounce glass of hemp milk in addition to the following vitamins:
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorous
  • Riboflavin
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamins A, B12, D, E
2. It’s Lactose Free
Hemp milk is a great substitute for those that are lactose intolerant. Approximately 25% of the American population will lose their tolerance for dairy products as they mature. Since this is a genetically influenced condition, a healthy alternative is good news.
3. Contains No Nut Allergens
When we think of nuts and the allergies that some people have, using the nuts, or seeds, of the hemp plant may cause concern. However, hemp nuts are different than tree nuts and do not pose the same threat.
4. It’s Legal To Buy
There is no (or very little) THC delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive component of marijuana, contained in the seeds of the hemp plant. This makes hemp seeds perfectly safe and legal to purchase in the US.
5. It Tastes Great
Many users compare the taste of hemp seeds to that of sunflower seeds. They have a sweet, nutty flavor that is not overpowering and the flavor is easily adjusted by adding natural sweeteners of your choice.
In addition to all of these assets, hemp milk can be made in your own kitchen. Blend one part of seeds to 5 parts of water. Add fruit or honey to perfect the taste and strain.
Although it may be difficult to find hemp milk on the grocery store shelves, more and more manufacturers are popping up to meet the growing demand. Whole Foods Marketcurrently stocks hemp milk at many of their locations. You can also check with local organic grocery stores in your area.

The Greatest Hemp-Centric Expo on the Earth

By Dave Carpenter

Hemp Cannabis Now Magazine

Anyone interested in helping to jumpstart the U.S. economy and reduce the planet’s greenhouse gases should get to Loveland, Colorado April 1-2. The annual NoCo Hemp Expo is celebrating its third year there increasing awareness around the rapidly expanding industrial hemp industry in North America and around the world.
The popular hemp event, north of Denver held at The Ranch Events Complex, is a show designed for businesses and the general public to gather, learn and network, and help expand the budding hemp industry.
Industrial hemp, the non-psychoactive cousin to marijuana, was for millennia (before the 20th century’s War on Drugs debacle) grown for a host of products ranging from paper to rope to protein-rich foodstuff. Currently, hemp is now also used worldwide for nutraceuticals, building materials, textiles, plastics, composites, nanomaterials, bio-fuel, soil remediation and more.
NoCo Expo’s founder Morris Beegle – who has been working as a pro-hemp advocate for over two decades in an effort to familiarize people with hemp’s remarkable mass of applications – says this year’s show will experience a near doubling of vendors from 2015.
“We’ve got over 130 exhibitors this year, which I think we had about 74 last year,” says Beegle. “The interest from the industry side this year has been impressive. Hopefully that interest carries beyond the choir and to the general public, who are the ones we really want to show up and learn about hemp and all that it can do.”
The festive NoCo weekend comes at a time when hemp’s legalization is seeing a resurgence of interest alongside the backdrop of recent legalization in 13 U.S. states – including California, Colorado, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia.
Beegle says the primary goal of NoCo’s upcoming event is to “increase awareness of industrial and nutritional hemp products, technology, innovation, legislation and politics that impact the advancement of hemp re-entering the mainstream with common-sense regulations.”
Speakers will include an assortment of thought leaders from the national and global hemp industry, including Congressman Jared Polis, Dr. Bob Melamede, Allan Dronkers, Barbara Filappone and author and renown hemp expert Doug Fine.
“NoCo is an absolute weathervane for the worldwide hemp industry,” says Fine, author of “Hemp Bound” and “First Legal Harvest,” who has been a guest speaker at all three NoCo expos. “Someone just forwarded me a link to my words at the first NoCo, and it’s astounding how far we’ve come. [This time] I’ll be talking about nano applications and business ethics in an expanding market.”
Beegle expects 2,500 to 3,000 attendees this year enjoying products, food and beverages made from hemp and a host of thought-provoking exhibits, including a “Let’s Talk Hemp” theater room featuring a Ted Talks-style atmosphere and a “Hemp Tomorrow” stage with a Good Morning America feel.
The event will also feature a variety of demonstrations, including cooking and juicing with hemp, building with hemp, brewing beer with hemp, artisan papermaking with hemp and nanoparticle delivery of CBD. NoCo will also produce a “hemp-printed pocket U.S. Constitution” for folks to brush up on the history of our country and the freedoms we are entitled to – including the unhindered production of said plant.
“We’ve got some really good programming for both days that will cater to both the industry side and the general public side,” says Beegle. “Couple that with all the exhibitors, products, hemp food and beverages, and we have the makings for a one of a kind hemp-centric event.”
For details and ticket information on NoCo, visit

How-to book on hemp available


hemp crop

The national acreage of industrial hemp has grown about 25 per cent annually since 2009 and now Alberta Agriculture has released a handbook Industrial Hemp Enterprise on what’s involved in growing hemp.
“If you’re new to hemp and interested in growing it, the publication walks you through the steps you need to know such as how to grow it, where to grow it, where to access seeds, what are the markets like and pretty much anything one needs to know,” said Connie Kehler, program manager of the Good Agriculture and Collection Practices program.

By James McClure

Yes, Henry Ford Built A Hemp Car

Ever wonder if there was a way to make a more environmentally friendly car? Henry Ford once did, and he looked to marijuana's non-psychoactive cousin hemp as a partial solution to the auto industry's dependence on forestry and mining.
"Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the fields?" Ford once said.
And he put his dreams of an organic car in motion by launching a research project that resulted in the prototype known as the "hemp car" (a.k.a. the "soybean car"). The demo was unveiled in 1941 in Dearborn, Michigan. Later that year, appeared at the Michigan State Fair.
The vehicle was built primarily of bioplastics. Although the exact recipe for the plastic isn't known, the Ford Museum says that ingredients might have included soybeans, wheat, hemp, flax and ramie. Ford's goal was to make a vehicle that not only blended agriculture with industry but was also more durable. Ford claimed that plastic cars could roll over without being crushed.
Unfortunately, the experiment was derailed when America's entry into World War II halted auto production. After the war, Ford didn't revive the project, and the prototype was allegedly destroyed by E.T. Gregorie - one of the inventors.
But video footage of it survives...kinda. There's a famous clip of Ford demonstrating the durability of the plastic by striking it with an axe. But it's not the hemp car, according the Ford Museum. They says that Ford outfitted his own car with a plastic deck in the rear so that he could show off the durability of the material. But the material itself does contain hemp.
h/t USA Today

Get Ready! Protein-Packed Hemp Seed Veggie Burgers Hitting Shelves


It seems like there is no shortage of veggie burger options these days! Between the pulses, vegetables, and grains, we asked ourselves: what else can we possibly put in patty form? Well, this past week, Tofurky answered that very question for us and the answer is hemp!
The company’s newest product, the “Hearty Hemp Burger” is such a game-changer, we’re shocked we didn’t think of it ourselves! These patties are primarily composed of organic long-grain brown rice, onions, mushrooms, whole grain oats, and hulled hemp seed! With just one patty containing seven grams of protein, four grams of fiber, and less than five grams of fat, this patty is a meal you can feel good about!
Tofurky’s decision to branch from the conventional veggie patty ingredients to include hemp seed reveals of a larger trend in the industry towards cleaner protein. And what is as nutritious as hemp? The “superseed” has an impressive list of benefits! Some of the most notable health benefits include the fact that a mere 1.5-tablespoon serving of hemp seeds contains five grams of protein, 86 milligrams of magnesium, and 10 percent daily value of iron, hemp seeds contain all ten of the essential amino acids, and hemp is extremely digestible. No bloating feeling after this burger!
These new burgers are a great option for people who don’t necessarily want to recreate the taste of hamburgers but really want a hearty vegetable burger. These burgers provide ample sustenance and  have a mild flavor profile. Mellow brown-rice taste, with hints of garlic and rosemary, make it a versatile patty that you can adorn in a number of ways! Vegan pesto aioli, chunky mango salsa, or a giant dollop of guacamole would all taste great on this burger. You probably don’t need any help in that department, though!

Hemp boosters play long game in face of regulatory uncertainty

By David M. Nichols

One measure of the enthusiasm engendered by the revival of industrial hemp in Kentucky is the forward thinking on display, even in the face of regulatory and technical headwinds.
There is no more conspicuous an example of this resilience and determination than in the push for organic hemp, a subset of the fledgling industry that was buoyed by a commitment from John Roulac, CEO of California- based “superfoods” purveyor Nutiva, to eventually buy organic hemp produced in the commonwealth.
“For [Roulac] to come to Kentucky to speak in our building, to our potential growers about organic hemp is a very big deal,” said Andy Graves, CEO of local processors and promoters Atalo Holdings Inc. “The learning curve on the organic side is very steep. John knows that. … For him to come, it’s a huge deal. And for him to commit to buy our crop is a very big deal.”
But not all the news was good. On the eve of the recent “GoOrganic!” seminar at the Hemp Research Campus in Winchester, the U.S. Department of Agriculture pumped the brakes on the whole enterprise.
“Organic certification of industrial hemp production at this time is premature and could be misleading to certified organic operations, given that the legality of the various uses of this product has not yet been determined,” reads a USDA edict issued Feb. 16 clarifying its policy. “Until USDA guidance regarding industrial hemp production under the Farm Bill is completed, (National Organic Program)-accredited certifying agents may not certify the domestic production of industrial hemp.”
But any disappointment voiced by seminar leaders at the agency’s cautious move was tempered by confidence in the industry’s momentum, if not inevitability.
“They just dropped this kind of bomb on us the past couple weeks but I think hopefully I’m optimistic next year the USDA will be certifying organic hemp,” said Roulac, who was the seminar’s keynote speaker. “This is a crop that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew and it has a rich history in Kentucky.”
The event was organized by Atalo Holdings and the nonprofit Kentucky Hemp Research Foundation. Dozens of prospective hemp farmers and entrepreneurs heard from experts who explained the processes and costs — both in the fields and in regulatory red tape — that go into organic certification.
Carrie Stilwell, a specialist with the certification agency California Certified Organic Farmers who is based in Asheville, North Carolina, spoke to the costs and time involved getting certification. Despite the pause in certifying hemp, she said, farmers still can prepare for the day that is lifted or changes.
“And that doesn’t mean you can’t get your farm certified,” she said, noting that certification of farms is related but differs from certifying a crop.
Perhaps most important, the seminar was sponsored by viable companies that use organic hemp in their products, including Nutiva and Dr. Bronner’s. Nutiva’s Roulac noted that organic commands a premium that is about double the cost of non-organic, making the cost of certification worth it to growers who can manage the details. He said a domestic crop would help his company and U.S. farmers.

Comment from the original posting:
This constant ducking and weaving so Big Pharma can line up its lethal weapons is disgusting to say the least. The stupid stoner stereotypes are patronising and rude directed at the medicinal cannabis front. People are in pain and dying! we don't need more time wasting fascist dictatorship b.s. Get on with it. Over 2000 domestic industrial and medicinal uses !!! There is absolutely no reason a group of plants this powerful should remain in the Big Pharmas camp. Organic please! Give us back the plant.
LikeReply1Mar 26, 2016 9:24pm

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Nike Brings Back Hemp Sneaker for 4/20

By Jen Hobbs

As American farmers battle the DEA for the right to grow hemp, Nike plans to release a sneaker made from the banned plant. 
In 2004, Nike introduced SB Dunk Low made out of hemp. Here's the "Red Hemp," which some collectors have deemed as one of the top 100 NB shoes designs Nike has manufactured. Just about every feature on this shoe was made from hemp. 
This year, just in time for 4/20, Nike will be introducing an all new SB Dunk Low sneaker called the "Hemp" Dunk Low -- 
The shoe features an all-textile upper (presumably hemp) in a natural shade of light tan. 
This product comes at a unique time in our nation's history. You see, industrial hemp is currently being grown in over 30 countries, but the United States is one of few industrialized countries that has outlawed hemp cultivation entirely...but all that could change relatively soon.  
Currently, millions of dollars worth of hemp are imported every year for American industries. Companies like Nike use hemp fibers in sneakers; our automobile industry uses hemp fibers to produce plastic and car door panelling. In 2014, we spent an estimated $500 - $620 million dollars on imported hemp.
The funny thing is, most of our hemp is coming from our closest neighbor to the north— Canada — where the country's 15 year hemp industry banks millions per year in revenue. 
According to The Toronto Star
In the first four months of 2015, Canada exported $34 million worth of hemp seeds and oil.
If hemp is such a valuable commodity, why can't American farmers grow it? Why must American industries pay to import something that could be grown and cultivated state-side? We're looking to the 2016 presidential hopefuls to find new ways to improve the economy and generate jobs, so why isn't an entirely new industry like industrial hemp (an industry that makes other countries millions of dollars) on the table?
To this day, hemp is classified as a schedule 1 narcotic - right up there with heroin. That means according to the DEA, hemp is just as deadly and dangerous as heroin, even though there is no humanly possible way to get high off of it. Hemp contains less than .3% of THC, and hemp can be cross-bread to eliminate nearly all traces of THC (this has actually been done in Ukraine, the world's fourth largest provider of hemp seeds).
Interestingly enough, at a time when American consumers and industries are turning toward hemp products (and American farms are getting smaller and smaller nationwide), our officials have found a way around the DEA by passing the 2014 Federal Farm Bill. Section 7606 of the Farm Bill allows each state to research industrial hemp and determine whether commercial production of hemp would be beneficial for American farmers and businesses. This means that American farmers are now allowed to grow hemp under "agricultural pilot programs." 
This program came just in time for Kentucky farmers, who were looking for another crop to replace tobacco. As less and less Americans smoke tobacco, the crop has become less and less profitable. Kentucky farmland is actually ideal for hemp cultivation, so the crop is a natural fit and solution.   
You can learn more about Kentucky's recent shift from tobacco (at one time a billion dollar industry) to industrial hemp in this video:
The 2014 Farm Bill is allowing Kentucky to go back to hemp production, something farmers had done in World War II to produce ship rigging, parachute chords, uniforms, and many other wartime necessities. 
Today, there are 33 states (as well as Puerto Rico) utilizing the 2014 Farm Bill to pass pro-hemp legislation, but the DEA has repeatedly tried to hinder industrial hemp progress. Since the 2014 Farm Bill passed, the agency has confiscated hemp seed going to farmers in Kentucky and Colorado. The DEA did this even though the farmers in both states were already approved to receive the seed through their state's department of agriculture (which is in accordance with the 2014 Farm Bill's guidelines). Kentucky's Department of Agriculture had to go so far as to sue the DEA to get the seed back. 
Kentucky Republican Representative Thomas Massie was appalled by the DEA's actions and saidthis at the time:  “You can buy a granola bar — in whichever city you’re in — with hemp seeds on it. Everything made of hemp is legal to bring into this country.” Yet, here was the DEA confiscating hemp seeds!
In an effort to stop the DEA from interfering with the 2014 Farm Bill (a piece of Federallegislation), the Industrial Hemp Farming Act was introduced in the House and Senate in January 2015 (H.R. 525 and S. 134). 
If the Industrial Hemp Farming Act is passed, then hemp would no longer be classified as a schedule 1 narcotic. Instead, it would be classified as an agricultural crop and all current restrictions on the cultivation of industrial hemp would be removed. The DEA would finally step aside to allow America's farmers to fulfill America's demand for industrial hemp. 
Today, Americans can purchase nutritious hulled hemp seeds and hemp milk online and in health food stores; they can purchase lotion and beauty products made with hemp. If the Industrial Hemp Farming Act is passed, then those products could be made in America from American industrial hemp - instead of with hemp from Canada, China, France, Ukraine, Russia, or the many other countries we currently rely on for hemp products. If the act is passed, industrial hemp could become a stable part of the American economy, and American corporations - such as Nike - could rely on American farmers to provide materials sometime in the near future.