Thursday, August 4, 2016

My Grandfather Grew "Hemp for Victory"

Grandpa Don c. 1954

Cannabis would help economy

Letter to the Editor

Governments have been deceiving Americans since the 1930s. The biggest lobbyists against legalizing cannabis, known as pharmaceutical marijuana and hemp, are police unions and pharmaceutical corporations. They have benefited from the $2.2 trillion spent to combat drugs.
Cannabis marijuana was prohibited in 1937 because of Harry J. Anslinger. He was head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, which was running out of money after Prohibition ended. In 1906, the Poisons Act was established. By 1937, most states had put cannabis on it. Pharmaceutical marijuana and industrial hemp were never meant to be listed. In 1915, Wyoming added cannabis to the Poisons Act.
Industrial hemp contains 0.3 percent THC; marijuana contains 5 to 30 percent THC -- as different as day and night.
First, Wyoming robbed itself of billions of dollars and cheated its citizens out of a way to provide for themselves. An estimated 50,000 products can be made from industrial hemp. That requires processing plants, mills, grain elevators, refiners, farmers, bankers, factories, trucking companies, railroads and tens of thousands of workers.
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Next, those against cannabis say it is a gateway drug. It is – it's the drug that patients and doctors turn to so they can break the addiction of prescription drugs.
Third, the Poisons Act was supposed to protect people from addiction. Instead, it caused a new addiction -- to grants and money. It also prompted members of the International Association of Chiefs of Police to lobby against cannabis, in fear they and the state would lose money. Congress is trying to figure out an exit strategy, and when it does, Wyoming will have another nail in the coffin because it tried to take the easy way, like it did with the fossil fuel industry. Wyoming is going through hardship by choice.
The government should have been thinking of options like becoming the banking state or milling and manufacturing capital for cannabis. Unemployment is at 8 percent in Campbell County. Health care programs are on the verge of failing. Wyoming should be on cannabis care.
I wouldn't vote for anyone who thinks cannabis is bad for Wyoming. I hope you don't, either.


By: Leah Maurer 

Tech Thursday: Hemp "Graphene": Changing Our Perception Of Modern Technology

Although industrial hemp is only permitted to be grown in a few areas within the United States, this variety of Cannabis sativa never ceases to amaze. Hemp’s many uses from food to paper to modern technologies such as hempcrete are just astounding. The most ground breaking of these though, is hemp “graphene.”
To explain, regular graphene is comprised of a two-dimensional, hexagonal honeycomb lattice layer of tightly packed carbon atoms, and is one of the strongest, lightest and most conductive compounds ever discovered. It is considered one of the best materials for supercapacitor electrodes. The term was also used in early descriptions of carbon nanotubes, and can be considered a type of nanotechnology. Many of graphene’s uses are in the area of energy storage; some uses that are under development include electronics,biological engineeringfiltration and strong, lightweight composite materials.
However, a scientist by the name of Dr. David Mitlin, from Clarkson University in New York, says he’s found a way to manufacture hemp waste into a material that appears to be better than graphene. Dr. Mitlin and his team were able to recycle leftover hemp-based fiber, cook it down and then dissolve it until carbon nanoseheets that resembled the structure of graphene were left behind. They proceeded to build these nanosheets into powerful energy-storing supercapacitors with high energy density, thus creating a hemp based “graphene.” Essentially, Mitlin’s team discovered a process for converting fibrous hemp waste into a unique graphene-like nanomaterial that many say outperforms graphene.
Creating this graphene-like hemp material costs only a fraction of regular graphene production. Graphene costs as much as $2,000 per gram to manufacture, while the hemp-based nanomaterial can be manufactured for less than $500 per ton. To give proper perspective, there are 907,185 grams in one ton.
Hemp professionals and activists in Oregon and elsewhere are thrilled about this new technology and its potential for energy. Ben Christensen, owner of Oregon Hemp Works in Portland, said, “As a renewable energy major and hemp business owner, I find this very exciting. One of the bigger challenges with renewable energy is storage. I often find hemp being left out of the renewable energy conversation, but I feel you can’t really talk about renewable energy or sustainability unless hemp is being talked about as well. It also seems that when hemp is introduced as a replacement, it is just as good as what it’s replacing and even better in a lot of cases.”
Amy Peradotta, hemp activist and chairwoman of the Portland Women Grow chapter, agreed. She expressed, “Using hemp cellulose to replace graphene in supercapacitor batteries will change how we store energy and how we mass produce electronic products from computers and phones to electric cars. Imagine a future where your electric car battery is made with hemp supercapacitor electrodes, the body of the car is made with nontoxic, lightweight hemp cellulose composite materials and the interior door panels and upholstery are made from hemp fiber. Then, we can also use hemp supercapacitors to store renewable energy for our indoor cannabis grow houses made of hempcrete. Pair that with solar panels and you have a sustainably designed, energy efficient cannabis production facility.”
Most people don’t understand the truly diverse value of hemp. Cultures have relied on this hardy plant for centuries to produce textiles such as clothing, fabric and paper. Today, hemp is also used for food, fuel, medicine, building materials and plastics. Now with the energy storage industry starting to take notice, perhaps more government authorities will take a closer look at this plant.
Joy Beckerman, principal at Seattle-based Hemp Ace International and a 20+ year veteran in the industrial hemp movement said, “As activists and entrepreneurs, we simply did not see this coming 25 years ago. No one was sufficiently intellectual back then to predict the unique and exponential power within micro fibrils from hemp bast fiber or hemp’s ability to completely revolutionize the most critical areas of research and development. Graphite whisker and carbon nanotube are highest in stiffness and strength, but they are severely cost-prohibitive. Hemp cellulose nanocrystals are a considerably low cost nanoparticle, which makes them enormously attractive and competitive when one looks at the larger picture including price, availability, toxicity and sustainability.”
To think that the cannabis plant can supplement modern technology so dramatically is incredible. This only reaffirms why we must continue to defend our plant everywhere and push the federal government to deschedule this plant. It is time that hemp be researched, grown and mass produced for its infinite uses and unexplored technological applications.

The Hemp Controversy

By Kelly Vo

end420shame: the hemp controversy

Never has there been a more controversial crop than hemp. Arguments against agricultural hemp are tenuous to say the least. Fighting about the legalization of hemp is like fighting about the legality of corn. Industrial hemp has more than 5,000 applications in the textile industry, and another 25,000 uses that include dynamite and cellophane. Not one of those uses includes getting high.
The THC levels in industrial hemp are so low (below 1 percent) that no one could get high from smoking it. To be clear, industrial hemp contains cannabinoids such as Tetrahydrocannabinol, CBD and CBN; however, due to man-made limitations, the THC requirements on industrial hemp state that the THC levels be no greater than 0.3 percent.  Furthermore, hemp has such high levels of CBD (cannabinoids) that it actually blocks the psychoactive effects. David P. West, Ph.D. for the North American Industrial Hemp Council, expressed that, “Hemp, it turns out, is not only not marijuana, it could be called ‘antimarijuana.’”
So what’s the controversy all about?

The Hemp Controversy

Hemp is rooted in misinformation, stigma and a confusing history. For medieval Europeans, hemp referred to fiber. In the 1890s, hemp referred only to marijuana-hemp. Then, in the 1930s, the Bureau of Narcotics used hemp to describe all forms of cannabis and it became illegal.
The truth is that just like corn is made up of different varieties, “there are three fairly distinct types of hemp: that grown for fiber, that for birdseed and oil and that for drugs,” Dr. Andrew Wright described in 1918.
While hemp is in fact a subset of the species Cannabis Sativa, hemp is not the same thing as cannabis. They are grown differently and harvested at a different time. You wouldn’t want to grow hemp and cannabis at the same time as the occurrence of cross-pollination can and often will reduce the potency of both plants.
The good news is that more than two-dozen countries and 29 states have defined industrial hemp as distinct from cannabis and removed its barriers to production, but still, the United States and many constituents remain unconvinced.
“We have to get hemp separated from marijuana on the federal level and allow our farmers to grow it across the country,” shared Morris Beegle, Founder and President of the Colorado Hemp Company. “There are tremendous opportunities for a crop that’s been grown for 10,000 years and shunned for the last 75.”
“We have to get hemp separated from marijuana on the federal level and allow our farmers to grow it across the country. There are tremendous opportunities for a crop that’s been grown for 10,000 years and shunned for the last 75.” -Morris Beegle

Uses of Hemp

“Most people who support cannabis would support hemp if they were more familiar and educated about all the different things that it can do,” Beegle admitted. The problem is a lack of information. For example, did you know:
*In the last half of the 19th century, 50 percent of U.S. medicine was made from hemp.
*Hemp is the strongest natural fiber of any source and is resistant to rot and abrasion.
*Hemp fibers are so strong they can be used to make anything from skateboard decks to stealth fighter jet bodies, ship rigging and parachute webbing.
*Hemp concrete is 1/9 the weight of normal concrete, can be used in home building and works as insulation.
“You can make super capacitors, storage devices and plastic out of hemp,” Beegle revealed, “Basically, everything you can make from corn, you can make from hemp, and hemp is a healthier and better crop. All the stuff that’s made from petrochemicals, including oil, can be made with hemp.” Hemp fuel even burns cleaner than other fuels. It only produces energy, water vapor and CO2, which can be absorbed by plants for a sustainable cycle.
But hemp isn’t just great for the economy; it’s good for the environment. It can grow nearly anywhere in the world and in many types of soil. Even better, hemp has a short 120-day harvest cycle, does not require pesticides and purifies the soil where it’s planted. “Our commodities market, agricultural-wise, is really tough,” Beegle shared. “Farmers have a hell of a time making money with corn, wheat and hay. However, when you plant hemp, everything from the stocks, flowers, grain and root can be utilized to make things, so farmers can make far more per acre than they can with traditional crops.”

How Can Readers Get Involved with Hemp?

You can get involved by reaching out to your legislatures, and don’t forget to check out and
As for Beegle, “My number one recommendation is to start buying hemp products. Start allocating some of your monthly income to use on hemp-based products. If you vote with your wallets, that will make a difference.”
You can also help by sending your #End420Shame story into DOPE. We’d love to hear from you. Contact us on social media or send an email to

Colorado Hemp Company started in 2012 and has become a leading organization for the advancement and advocacy of hemp farming, processing, production, innovation, education and legalization. They support all things hemp and, each year, they hold the NoCo Hemp Expo, which brings together 130 exhibitors and 70 speakers dedicated to hemp.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Australian hemp guru makes pilgrimage to Humboldt County

By Marc Vartabedian

Beginning Aug. 12, Australian industrial hemp guru Klara Marosszeky will appear at the Trinidad Rancheria amphitheater for a three-day hemp masonry workshop which will include film screenings with the Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community of the rancheria and surrounding communities.
Hemp masonry has been a focus of Marosszeky’s work.
“Hempcrete, which is the area that I specialize in, is a form of construction where the inner woody core of the hemp plant is combined with lime based binders to create durable, thermally effective housing,” Marosszeky said.
Houses, sunglasses, furniture, bikes, boats, and even cars are some of the items Marosszeky said can be made with industrial hemp. In her Australian homeland, she serves as managing director for Australian Hemp Masonry Company, a hemp construction supplier, and has helped advance the industrial hemp industry throughout the country, where it’s legal to grow.
In speaking about hemp-based construction, Marosszeky cited its various advantages.
“Hemp buildings produce excellent indoor air quality,” she said. “This differentiates it from most traditional masonry construction, such as bricks and concrete which are non-breathable so they encourage mould growth and this in turn is responsible for many of the allergies that have become so commonplace.”
Annalisa Rush, who’s helping to organize the visit, said the events are largely based around the promotion of sustainability.
“Hemp is a great resource crop,” Rush said. “It’s a non-psychoactive fiber crop. It’s an excellent option for construction and a great crop for overall sustainability.”
Marosszeky will make her first stop in Richmond on Friday for a two-day conference titled “International Soil, Not Oil.”
“We’re very excited to have her,” Rush said. “It will be very educational.”
Despite only containing small traces of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in the cannabis sativa plant, hemp production in the U.S. has been banned under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, according to advocacy group CA-Hemp Director Brian Webster.
“The government is still treating hemp like it’s radioactive,” Webster said.
Executive Director of Hemp Industries Association Eric Steenstra said hemp can’t be legally grown on a commercial level in the country and thus all of the hemp in California has been imported from mainly Canada, China and Europe.
Steenstra said this hemp makes its way into the country through an exception in the Controlled Substance Act of 1970 that allows for stalks without leaves, fiber from the stalk, and sterilized seeds — the parts of hemp which are useful on an industrial and food level. “You obviously can’t grow hemp without the other parts,” Steenstra said, explaining why hemp products are available despite the growing ban.
According to Steenstra, California is one of the biggest consumers of hemp products in the country, making the state an attractive educational location for Marosszeky. Steenstra also said a number of states, including California, have launched pilot growing and research programs, a move he said was a step in the right direction.
Marosszeky said she’s excited to spread awareness of industrial hemp in California, touting its long-term benefits for the environment.
“We would be crazy to ignore industrial hemp’s capacity for carbon sequestration at this stage of the game,” she said.

After 60 Years of Prohibition, Hemp in Greece is Making a Comeback

By Enrico Fletzer

Greece is widely seen as a land of white-sand beaches, skewered souvlaki, and seaside nights enhanced by Ouzo, an anise-flavored aperitif. While the local economy is still reeling from the multi-year financial crisis, culture in the sun-kissed Mediterranean country is already coming back to life — as is Greek use of the cannabis plant.
One of the first milestones to date is the return of hemp to Greek fields. Just after the law was enacted, Evia-based hemp cooperative Kannabio immediately sowed hemp on two small plots, and the group is currently preparing a small processing unit. The cooperative wants to introduce new opportunities and build markets in a country still trying to get back on its feet. In April, the central government in Athens legalized the cultivation and processing of hemp, ending 60 years of prohibition of the traditional, non-psychoactive plant. 
Overcoming anti-cannabis hysteria is never easy, but the situation in Greece is finding support both from the top down and the bottom up. 
 Hemp 101: What is Hemp, What's It Used for, and Why is It Illegal?
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Syriza party (Coalition of the Radical Left) hold favorable views of cannabis and have advocated for a pragmatic approach. Their work is being supported on a grassroots level by steady pressure on politicians from Greek cannabis advocates and the Iliosporoi Network, which has organized the country’s Global Marijuana March since 2005. 
As a result of Greece’s climate, soil, and geography, agriculture and farming are major segments of the economy. Kannabio Hemp Social Cooperative aims to produce domestically grown organic hemp products as well as to provide expertise, networking, and promotional opportunities to local partners and farmers. The co-op will oversee the production of organic hemp oil extraction products, nutritional supplements, food and personal hygiene products, and hempcrete for construction.
Kannabio members have been involved in the hemp trade for almost 20 years and have been at the forefront of hemp legalization campaigning in Greece since 2005. Two this year became among the first five farmers to receive permits to cultivate hemp in Greece. They’re growing hemp on just under a hectare as part of a pilot cultivation project in Psachna, Evia, and in Chania, Crete. The group hopes to work with farmers to cultivate 25 hectares by 2017.
 Is Hemp the Best Alternative to Synthetic Materials?
Both farmers had hemp shops that were raided by police in 1998, their products — hemp clothing — were confiscated, and they faced multi-year court proceedings before finally being acquitted. The government never compensated them for the seized goods.
“Greek organic hemp can become an international standard of quality through cooperative cultivation and processing,” said Michalis Theodoropoulos, president of Kannabio and coordinator of GMM: “By the establishment of a healthy and cooperative hemp market in Greece, Kannabio will promote sustainable agricultural practices and social economy approaches to hemp production.”
It’s just attitudes toward hemp that are evolving in Greece. Prime Minister Tsipras also recently established a health ministry committee tasked with drawing up proposals that would legalize medical cannabis.
 German, Italian Lawmakers Debate Bills to Expand Cannabis Access
The Iliosporoi Network called the committee “promising progress that followed our continued input with best practices and legal frameworks regarding medicinal cannabis in Europe.” 
“The movement will make all necessary efforts to ensure patients' rights to self-cultivation and easy-access to organic and low-cost medical cannabis,” the network said.
The group opposes cannabis pharmaceuticals from what it describes as “big multinational companies.”
Greek medical marijuana is still a ways away, but there’s no shortage of plans for the country’s blossoming hemp industry.
Kannabio wants to establish a museum dedicated to Greek hemp and launch a mobile Hemp Caravan Museum that would travel around the country. The goal is to reintroduce hemp to the Greek people and help educate them after 60 years of prohibition. 
 How Bologna Became the Hemp Capital of Europe

Hemp and Heavy Metal Toxicity in Soil

By Kathy Garton

Nature Provides Plants with Purpose


If Mother Nature could talk, she would be criticizing those who mow down mustard plants,Brassica juncea and Brassica carinata. Just as the animal world has scavengers to clean up decay, plants provide the same effective process, only by removing toxins from the soil. The uptake of contaminants in certain plants occurs primarily through the root system, in which the principal mechanisms for preventing contaminant toxicity are found.
Hemp is another such remediate plant and one researcher from Phytotech, Slavik Dushenkova, remarked that “hemp is proving to be one of the best phytoremediative plants we have been able to find.”
Phytotech is part of a group of research companies that tested industrial hemp in the 1990s in an attempt to clean up the radioactive soil that surrounded Chernobyl. Sunflowers were also tested with good results. For the past decade, industrial hemp has been growing around the abandoned Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Pripyat, Ukraine, and has been helping to reduce soil toxicity.
Another study on Chinese hemp strains, conducted in 2011, found that many hemp strains have the ability to absorb and accumulate large quantities of cadmium in soil, without detriment to the plant itself. While this does throw up various implications for selection of sites for cultivating food-safe hemp, it also indicates that cadmium-contaminated sites will particularly benefit from phytoremediation schemes that make primary or exclusive use of hemp. Furthermore, even if hemp used to decontaminate soil is unsafe for consumption, it can still be used in a number of industrial applications, such as for bio-fuel.
The number of countries that are finding toxic soil continues to grow. Japan has also discovered radioactive emissions and toxic metals – including iodine, cesium-137, strontium-90, and plutonium in their soil, plants and animals. There has also been toxic soil found in parts of North America as well. However, the ban on growing industrial hemp has left Japan and the U.S. to find alternative, and less productive, phytoremediative plants.
Mother Nature has provided the product and the Russians have provided the testing to prove that hemp is an effective soil decontamination source for many toxic metals. Restoring areas of toxic contamination is very costly, as well as being able to locate a suitable disposal site. Environmental cleanup can be as simple as using natural resources, such as Indian mustard seed, sunflowers and hemp. It is time to address environmental concerns and to allow hemp to care for the earth, as Mother Nature intended.

Industrial hemp field tour scheduled at ND farm


  • North Dakota agriculture officials are holding an industrial hemp field tour.
  • BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota agriculture officials are holding an industrial hemp field tour.
    The event will feature hemp grown by Adrian farmers Jamie Edwards and his father, Lyle, who are participating in a pilot program.
    They are growing a variety of hemp called Canda.
    North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says the tour is meant to show how industrial hemp fits into the current agriculture landscape and economy.
    Industrial hemp can be used for oil, fiber, textiles, recycling, automotive, furniture, food, paper, construction materials and personal care.
    The tour will also include presentations by Jeff Kostuik, spokesman for Hemp Genetics International, and Keith Watson, agronomist and plant breeder with Parkland Industrial Hemp Growers.
  • Blogger's Note: No date for the tour was mentioned in the original article.