Agencies clarify requirements for providing financial services to hemp-related businesses

24818176-marijuana-laws-marijuana-plants-jpg

From Board of Governors Federal Reserve System

Agencies clarify requirements for providing financial services to hemp-related businesses

December 3, 2019 

WASHINGTON-Four federal agencies in conjunction with the state bank regulators today issued a statement clarifying the legal status of hemp growth and production and the relevant requirements under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) for banks providing services to hemp-related businesses.

The statement emphasizes that banks are no longer required to file suspicious activity reports (SAR) for customers solely because they are engaged in the growth or cultivation of hemp in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. For hemp-related customers, banks are expected to follow standard SAR procedures, and file a SAR if indicia of suspicious activity warrants.

This statement provides banks with background information on the legal status of hemp, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) interim final rule on the production of hemp, and the BSA considerations when providing banking services to hemp-related businesses.

This statement also indicates that the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) will issue additional guidance after further reviewing and evaluating the USDA interim final rule.

The statement was issued by the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, FinCEN, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors. Banks can contact the USDA, state departments of agriculture, and tribal governments with further questions regarding the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) and its implementing regulations.

Joint Guidance on Providing Financial Services to Customers Engaged in Hemp-Related Businesses (PDF)

For Federal Reserve Board media inquiries please contact Darren Gersh at 202-452-2955.

Source Link

On Tuesday, November 5th, WE Must Be The Change In Kentucky! Vote HICKS/CORMICAN! This Is Why…

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting, table and indoor

On Tuesday, November 5th, the most important election in Kentucky in many years is about to happen!

I am not here to argue with anyone.  I am here to present the facts and my opinion as I see it.

Therefore,

First of all, you must vote to see change!  If you are eligible to Vote and are registered to do so – You must VOTE!  It is your Civic Duty.  And if you are eligible to vote but did not register, shame on you!

IF you want a change in your Government, you have to vote for the people who will CHANGE the way things are being done in           Kentucky!

You CANNOT vote for a Democrat or Republican and expect anything to change – only to get worse!  So if that is what you want, then go for it!

Otherwise, BE THE CHANGE that Kentucky must have in order to succeed!  John Hicks and Ann Cormican – Libertarian are running for the most important office in the State.  That is where we must start!  At the top!

On November 1st, Rep. Jason Nemes prefiled this years “medical marijuana bill” for Kentucky.  It will become House Bill 136 when the Session opens in January, and if it passes we will once again become Slaves to the system!  A few points on the Bill as written are:

*  Department for Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control to implement and regulate the medicinal marijuana program in Kentucky;

*  establish the Division of Medicinal Marijuana within the Department of Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control;

establish restrictions on the possession of medicinal marijuana by qualifying patients, visiting patients, and designated caregivers;

*  establish certain protections for cardholders;

*  establish professional protections for practitioners; to provide for the authorizing of practitioners by state licensing boards to issue written certifications for the use medicinal marijuana;

*  establish professional protections for attorneys;

* prohibit the possession and use of medicinal marijuana while operating a motor vehicle;

to prohibit smoking of medicinal marijuana;

* to permit an employer to restrict the possession and use of medicinal marijuana by an employee;

*  to require the department to implement and operate a registry identification card program; to establish requirements for registry identification cards; to establish registry identification card fees; to require the department to operate a provisional licensure receipt system; to establish the application requirements for a registry identification card; to establish when the department may deny an application for a registry identification card;

*  establish certain responsibilities for cardholders; to establish when a registry identification card may be revoked;

*  establish various cannabis business licensure categories; to establish tiering of cannabis business licenses; to require certain information be included in an application for a cannabis business license; to establish when the department may deny an application for a cannabis business license;

*  to establish rules for local sales, including establishing the process by which a local legislative body may prohibit the operation of cannabis businesses within its territory and the process for local ordinances and ballot initiatives;

*  establish technical requirements for cannabis businesses;

to establish limits on the THC content of medicinal marijuana that can be produced or sold in the state;

*  to establish requirements for cannabis cultivators, including cultivation square footage limits; to establish requirements for cannabis dispensaries; to establish requirements for safety compliance facilities; to establish requirements for cannabis processors; to establish procedures for the department to inspect cannabis businesses;

to exempt certain records and information from the disclosure under the Kentucky Open Records Act;

*  to establish that nothing in the bill requires government programs or private insurers to reimburse for the cost of use; to establish the medicinal marijuana trust fund; to establish the local medicinal marijuana trust fund; and to establish procedures for the distribution of local cannabis trust fund moneys;

*  create a new section of KRS Chapter 138 to establish an excise tax of 12% for cultivators and processors for selling to dispensaries; to require that 80% of the revenue from the excise taxes be deposited into the medicinal marijuana trust fund; to require that 20% of the revenue from the excise taxes be deposited into the local medicinal marijuana trust fund; amend KRS 342.815 to establish that the Employer’s Mutual Insurance Authority shall not be required to provide coverage to an employer if doing so would subject the authority to a violation of state or federal law;

Is this what you want?

The above is not all inclusive of the regulations, and they will no doubt change again when it is introduced in January.  Read the Bill!

Image may contain: text

Please note that there are NO provisions for “smokable cannabis”, and NO mention of Children’s rights either.  There are NO provisions for growing your own plants, and this BILL in my opinion is being promoted for the Corporate/Pharmaceutical industry. 

Out of all the Bills previously submitted for “medical” or “adult use” Cannabis in Kentucky this is the worst one yet!  Do not fall for the legal lies which they are feeding you because they are preying on your fears for your Children’s needs, mostly.  The fact is, what M.D., is going to give you permission or a written statement that will give you the right to medicate your child with Cannabis?  The answer to that is virtually none, and if there was even one that WOULD do it there is no guarantee that you will be able to access that Physician!

The bill would prohibit the smoking of marijuana for medical purposes, but would allow other forms of consumption, such as edibles, oils and pills.  A 12% excise tax is proposed for cultivators and processors for selling to dispensaries.  LINK

I have consulted with several other Senior Activists in Kentucky over this issue and we all surmised basically the same opinions on the matter!  This is in NO way a repeal of prohibition of Cannabis and in no way will it ascertain our rights to this plant – medically or otherwise.  It is however, worth some $$$ to Corporate Ventures and Kentucky Government as it now stands!

In my opinion, for those parents who have seriously ill children in need of this medicine they need to consider moving to a honest medical cannabis State such as Colorado or elsewhere.  For those who are unable to do this due to financial situations we must set up a fund to enable them to do so.  I can honestly say that if it were my child that is exactly what I would do!  Not because I want to leave my home in Kentucky, but because my Childs life is more important and I would be compelled to do so, IF John Hicks and Ann Cormican are not elected. 

The “Undergreen Railroad” is one such organization.  I will look into this organization further, especially if Hicks/Cormican are not elected, because you all are going to need it!

Finally, we come to the third candidate in the governor’s race. Libertarian John Hicks. John is a Vietnam Era Army veteran, a former school teacher, and currently an IT consultant. He has a BA Degree in Political Science and History. He has never held political office, but ran previously for State Representative (District 43) in 2018. John is pro-life and believes government should stay out of personal issues.
John supports the legalization of marijuana, expanded gaming, and the development of hemp as sources of additional state revenue (better than raising taxes!). He also believes that the best way to compensate for budget shortfalls is to reduce the size of government and streamlining operations. Additionally, John Hicks supports election reform; specifically by introducing run-offs, using ranked choice voting, proportional representation, multi member districts which would end partisan gerrymandering.
   LINK

41313794_10217056915675593_6264305987008593920_n(1)

Manages Kentucky Open Source Society

John Hicks IS qualified for the position of Governor, as he IS ONE OF US!  He will bring us liberty and fight for OUR rights as Kentucky Citizens!

We need to show the entire Country what Kentucky can do when faced with such a dire situation – It’s not just about Cannabis – It is about Liberty and  Justice for All!

Please make the right choice for our State, our Families, our Children, and our Country!

Do not condemn Our State once again!

God Bless You All

smkrider

11/3/2019

https://www.facebook.com/HicksForKentucky/

https://www.facebook.com/hicksforkygov/

https://www.facebook.com/jason.nemes.1/posts/3321913687848659

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3321910424515652&set=a.170767459629980&type=3&theater

https://legislature.ky.gov/Legislators/Pages/Legislator-Profile.aspx?DistrictNumber=33

https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/20rs/prefiled/BR366.html?fbclid=IwAR1A_cH3LEwMDixbcMN1o5u5XrRB-gFQZM4qmAaZXrIZa9aYUjEjmeA4vgE

https://www.facebook.com/johnrhicks?__tn__=%2Cd-]-h-R&eid=ARANzRCvypZKWWjzlKWQixSeBkF7a97sNZINNMIU-dY8JZZgHxFfuPbr1urQ6ro5Ui9nfNGocWfFP88Z

http://www.anotheropinionblog.com/2019/11/the-2019-kentucky-election-main-event.html?fbclid=IwAR2vzCm-4QDieeyVDP2XKDUtgvSHkcivekuOVKzOCd2JiYaFJEGca1AFr7o

https://www.wlky.com/article/kentucky-lawmaker-prefiles-bill-to-legalize-medical-marijuana/29669383?fbclid=IwAR2a8kMPicpnBgioaeKcHaEoYxiuBNGC3bzvwhGsb10DS7DoVeHIMu3wBD0#

http://www.ladybud.com/2014/01/14/the-undergreen-railroad-helping-patients-relocate-for-cannabis-access/

Wayward Bill is at Seattle Hempfest 2019

American flag and pot plant

This weedend (pun intended), “Where’s Wayward Bill” was attending the Washington State, Seattle Hempfest, now in it’s 28th year, originally began in 1991!

Wayward has attended a number of these events in the past and has always made a great showing for the USMjParty.

The USMjParty in coming up on it’s 17th Anniversary on November 25, 2019,  and this was a great event to attend to mark the occasion.  I only wish I could have had the same experience, in that I’ve never been able to make the trip, however, it will remain on my “bucket-list” to be fulfilled at some point, (I hope)!

Getting back to the task at hand, the following are some links to posts originally made on Facebook that marked the occasion.

Image may contain: 1 person

First of all, it’s technically not a cannabis festival. “It’s a protest festival,” McPeak explained. “The Constitution of the United States says we have the right to peacefully assemble and air disagreements with the government.” That’s how the fest started, back in the summer of 1991 — as an offshoot of the 1990-91 Gulf War protests and peace actions McPeak helped organize. The purpose wasn’t to light up a joint, but to express public outrage over the fact that lighting up a joint could lead to prison.

Seattle Hempfest 2019 Wayward Bill

Hempfest1

Hempfest3

Hempfest4

Hempfest5

Above:  My FAVORITE VIDEO!

Last but not least…

Hempfest6

Please visit the above links and enjoy the Hempfest experience!!

The Origin of the Word ‘Marijuana’

Anna Wilcox

The word “marijuana” plays a controversial role in cannabis culture. Many well-known organizations such as Oakland’s Harborside Heath Center have publicly denounced “the M word” in favor of our favorite plant’s Latinate name, cannabis. Even Salon Magazine, a major press outlet outside of the cannabis industry, published an article titled “Is the word ‘Marijuana’ racist?” last year.

As mainstream culture becomes a little more herb-friendly, the terminology used by the industry is coming to center stage. But, why exactly does the term “marijuana” cause so much debate? Even worse, why has the word gained publicity as a racist term?

To save you from reading those lengthy history books or some boring academic articles, we’ve created this brief timeline to give you the low-down on “marijuana”’s rise to popularity in the United States. Here’s what you need to know:

The Mexican Revolution

1840-1900:

Prior to 1910, “marijuana” didn’t exist as a word in American culture. Rather, “cannabis” was used, most often in reference to medicines and remedies for common household ailments. In the early 1900s, what have now become pharmaceutical giants—Bristol-Meyer’s Squib and Eli Lilly—used to include cannabis and cannabis extracts in their medicines.

During this time, Americans (particularly elite Americans) were going through a hashish trend. Glamorized by literary celebrities such as Alexander Dumas, experimenting with cannabis products became a fad among those wealthy enough to afford imported goods.

1910:

Between the years of 1910 and 1920, over 890,000 Mexicans legally immigrated into the United States seeking refuge from the wreckage of civil war. Though cannabis had been a part of U.S. history since the country’s beginnings, the idea of smoking the plant recreationally was not as common as other forms of consumption. The idea of smoking cannabis entered mainstream American consciousness after the arrival of immigrants who brought the smoking habit with them.

1913:

The first bill criminalizing the cultivation of “locoweed” was passed in California. The bill was a major push from the Board of Pharmacy as a way to regulate opiates and psychoactive pharmaceuticals, and seemingly did not stem from the “reefer madness” or racialized understanding of “marijuana” that paved the way to full-on prohibition in the 1930s.

The Aftermath

1930s:

The Great Depression had just hit the United States, and Americans were searching for someone to blame. Due to the influx of immigrants (particularly in the South) and the rise of suggestive jazz music, many white Americans began to treat cannabis (and, arguably, the Blacks and Mexican immigrants who consumed it) as a foreign substance used to corrupt the minds and bodies of low-class individuals.

In the time just before the federal criminalization of the plant, 29 states independently banned the herb that came to be known as “marijuana.”

Harry Anslinger:

It would not be an overstatement to say that Harry Anslinger was one of the primary individuals responsible for creating the stigma surrounding cannabis. Hired as the first director of the recently created Federal Bureau of Narcotics in 1930, Anslinger launched a vigilant campaign against cannabis that would hold steady for the three decades he remained in office.

A very outspoken man, Anslinger used the recent development of the movie theater to spread messages that racialized the plant for white audiences. In one documented incident, Anslinger testified before Congress, explaining:

“Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind… Most marijuana smokers are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage.”

In another statement, Anslinger articulated: “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men…the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.”

In retrospect, Anslinger’s efforts with the Bureau of Narcotics were the reason “marijuana” became a word known by Americans all over the country. When making public appearances and crafting propaganda films such as Reefer Madness, Anslinger specifically used the term “marijuana” when campaigning against the plant, adding to the development of the herb’s new “foreign” identity.

Cannabis was no longer the plant substance found in medicines and consumed unanimously by American’s all over the country.

1937:

The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was the culmination of Anslinger’s work and the first step to all-out prohibition. The bill federally criminalized the cannabis plant in every U.S. state. In order to discourage the production of cannabis use, the Tax Act of 1937 placed a one dollar tax on anyone who sold or cultivated the cannabis plant.

On top of the tax itself, the bill mandated that all individuals comply with certain enforcement provisions. Violation of the provisions would result in imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $2,000.

Though the word “marijuana” is the most common name for cannabis in the United States today, its history is deeply steeped in race, politics, and a complicated cultural revolution. Some argue that using the word ignores a history of oppression against Mexican immigrants and African Americans, while others insist that the term has now lost its prejudiced bite. Regardless of whether or not you decide to use the word yourself, it’s impossible to deny the magnitude and racial implications of its introduction to the American lexicon.

CONTINUE READING…

ORGANIC HEMP IS IN DEMAND BUT CURRENTLY IT CANNOT BE CERTIFIED IN THE U.S.

 

ORGANIC HEMP IS IN DEMAND

BUT CURRENTLY IT CANNOT BE
CERTIFIED IN THE U.S.

HELP US CHANGE THIS!
See “Take Action” Section Below to Act Now.

Your participation in this call-to-action is crucial to our collective progress regarding organic certification of domestic hemp production.

Currently, hemp cultivated in the U.S. per Sec. 7606 Farm Bill regulations cannot be certified organic by the USDA, due to misinterpretation by the National Organic Program that aligns industrial hemp with other forms of cannabis.

We are asking all our supporters to register public comments for the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Spring 2017 Meeting, which is being held in Denver, Colorado, this April 19-21.

Background

Congressionally mandated by the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA) and governed by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the NOSB considers and makes recommendations to the USDA National Organic Program (USDA-NOP) on a wide range of issues involving the production, handling, and processing of organic products.

Out of any rule-making process left functioning at the federal level, the NOSB is the most openly democratic in that any citizen is able to contribute to the process through written and oral public comment. It is because of this process that we have such robust standards where if international production is under equivalency and certified compliant under USDA-NOP standards, it may carry the USDA Organic Seal.

The USDA-NOP is currently basing approval of organic certifications for domestically-produced industrial hemp on a misinterpreted definition articulated on the “Statement of Principles on Industrial Hemp,” which is in contravention of the Sec. 7606 definition and is confusing certifiers, producers, consumers, State Departments of Agriculture and law enforcement in the implementation of legal hemp pilot programs.

Take Action! Here’s What We Need YOU to Do:

The official NOSB-USDA-NOP Docket for the meeting can be found here. All written comments must be registered through this site by 11:59pm ET, Thursday, March 30, to be considered.

We are collectively recommending the main points in our registered written comments to the NOSB,

feel free to copy & paste the following points into the NOSB-USDA-NOP Docket page:

  1. We highly-value the congressionally-mandated NOSB process and the integrity of the USDA Organic Certification. 
  2. Like many other common crops, hemp is bioaccumulative in that it has the potential to uptake toxins in whatever medium it is growing. It is important for hemp products consumed by humans and animals to be distinguished as organic if they are grown as such, for consumers with these food safety considerations in mind.
  3. We ask that the NOSB make a strong recommendation to the USDA-NOP to immediately clarify the instruction “Organic Certification of Industrial Hemp Production” to allow organic certifications of Industrial Hemp adhering to the congressional intent of the Sect. 7606 definition, and removing the language “as articulated in the Statement of Principles on Industrial Hemp” from the instruction.

Please consider adding your own comments on how this issue affects you and your involvement in the hemp industry.

We encourage you to share this action so that others may join in solidarity.

Thank you for all you do!

SOURCE LINK

“Your ad wasn’t approved because the body/title text used in the ad promotes the use or sale of illegal drugs,”

Why Did Facebook Block Our Reporting On Hemp?

By Jeff Young 18 hours ago

 

 

Hey, Mark Zuckerberg, can we talk about hemp? No, really, I’m asking: can we? Because a recent experience with Facebook left the impression that reporting on the plant used in products from soap to rope is taboo. Verboten. The leaf that dare not speak its name.

This bit of anti-social media behavior came after ReSource reporter Nicole Erwin profiled Kentucky farmers participating in a state-run research program on hemp, once a commodity in Kentucky. Growers hope to revive the crop but face frustrating limitations because hemp is still lumped in — unfairly, proponents argue — with drugs such as marijuana.

A bill pending in Congress would ease these restrictions but for now the farmers are stuck in legal limbo, unable to adequately grow or process hemp in the U.S. while a multimillion dollar market goes to imports.

When ReSource partner station WKMS in Murray, Kentucky, sought to promote Erwin’s story on Facebook we discovered yet another obstacle: Even talking about the issue can trigger a ban. WKMS News Director Matt Markgraf tried to “boost” a Facebook post on the story and learned that his ad was not allowed.

“Your ad wasn’t approved because the body/title text used in the ad promotes the use or sale of illegal drugs,” read a message from Facebook.

Puzzled, Markgraf wrote a patient appeal, explaining that the ad did not promote anything other than a piece of journalism “about the misconception of illegality regarding hemp v. marijuana.”  

But Facebook was having none of it.

“Such ads violate local laws,” came the reply. “We have zero tolerance towards such ads…This decision is final.”

Markgraf noted the irony at work here: A story questioning hemp’s uncertain legal status was blocked because of…hemp’s uncertain legal status. He also found instant empathy with the hemp grower’s dilemma.

“This clearly underscores the challenges that the emerging industry faces in overcoming the plant’s stigma,” Markgraf said.

It’s hard to see how Erwin’s story could be construed as a sales pitch for a drug. Hemp products include cooking oils, cosmetics, and clothing but lack any significant amount of the intoxicating substance found in marijuana. Proponents say a smoker would need a hemp joint the size of a telephone pole to catch a buzz.

We wondered if anyone at Facebook even reads the appeals. Was Markgraf actually communicating with a person or just arguing with an algorithm?

“If they had actually read the first couple of sentences in the story, I think they would have reconsidered the decision,” Markgraf said.

The company did not respond to requests for comment (beyond the comments included in response to Markgraf’s appeal).

In the past few months Facebook has come under fire for alleged political bias, prompting a meeting with conservative lawmakers this spring. And the platform has become such an important means of connecting with an audience that any barrier to sharing stories can cause heartburn for news outlets. A 2015 Pew Research Center study found that about 60 percent of Facebook users get their news there. A recent company announcement of changes in the algorithm that determines what content users see was enough to send shudders through the publishing industry.  

That’s why our little experience with the hemp story seems like the seed of something that could grow problematic. If Facebook is blithely blocking attempts to distribute news stories on topics it deems off-limits, this could have implications far beyond the farm.

CONTINUE READING…

Declaration on Seed Freedom

  1. Seed is the source of life, it is the self urge of life to express itself, to renew itself, to multiply, to evolve in perpetuity in freedom.
  2. Seed is the embodiment of bio cultural diversity. It contains millions of years of biological and cultural evolution of the past, and the potential of millennia of a future unfolding.
  3. Seed Freedom is the birth right of every form of life and is the basis for the protection of biodiversity.
  4. Seed Freedom is the birth right of every farmer and food producer. Farmers rights to save, exchange, evolve, breed, sell seed is at the heart of Seed Freedom. When this freedom is taken away farmers get trapped in debt and in extreme cases commit suicide.
  5. Seed Freedom is the basis of Food Freedom, since seed is the first link in the food chain.
  6. Seed Freedom is threatened by patents on seed, which create seed monopolies and make it illegal for farmers to save and exchange seed. Patents on seed are ethically and ecologically unjustified because patents are exclusive rights granted for an invention. Seed is not an invention. Life is not an invention.
  7. Seed Freedom of diverse cultures is threatened by Biopiracy and the patenting of indigenous knowledge and biodiversity. Biopiracy is not innovation – it is theft.
  8. Seed Freedom is threatened by genetically engineered seeds, which are contaminating our farms, thus closing the option for GMO-free food for all. Seed Freedom of farmers is threatened when after contaminating our crops, corporations sue farmer for “stealing their property”.
  9. Seed Freedom is threatened by the deliberate transformation of the seed from a renewable self generative resource to a non renewable patented commodity. The most extreme case of non renewable seed is the “Terminator Technology” developed with aim to create sterile seed.
  10. We commit ourselves to defending seed freedom as the freedom of diverse species to evolve; as the freedom of human communities to reclaim open source seed as a commons.

To this end, we will save seed, we will create community seed banks and seed libraries, we will not recognize any law that illegitimately makes seed the private property of corporations. We will stop the patents on seed.


Click here to sign the declaration

Click here to download a PDF

CONTINUE TO SOURCE…

Legalizing Weed: 4 Agricultural Benefits of Industrial Hemp Cultivation

By Andrea Miller   |   Tuesday, 01 Dec 2015 06:56 PM

As legalizing weed becomes more and more prevalent among U.S. states, industrial hemp cultivation is one such change that has the potential to benefit the farming industry.
For agriculture to continue to be a viable industry in the U.S., profound change is needed in order to bolster economic opportunity for farmers. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there were 6.8 million farms in the nation in 1935. Today, there are just 2.2 million farms even as the population has increased, and many principal farm owners and/or operators are older than age 60.
Urgent: Should Marijuana Be Legalized in All States?
Here are four agricultural benefits of industrial hemp cultivation:
1. Hemp can serve as an alternative to tobacco. As more Americans quit smoking and fewer young people start, tobacco is no longer a viable product for many farmers. One study conducted by the University of Kentucky, reported by the North American Industrial Hemp Council, found that industrial hemp has the potential to become the most profitable crops for the state second only to tobacco, and may be able to serve as an alternative crop for tobacco farmers whose product is no longer in demand.
2. There are production advantages for farmers who grow hemp. This hardy plant is less susceptible to fluctuations in weather and other environmental conditions than other plants, such as cotton. This means that farmers are more likely to profit from their investment in an industrial hemp crop, and are able to grow a substantial amount of hemp in a relatively small acreage. Experts also note that an industrial hemp crop requires minimal maintenance compared to output.
3. Industrial hemp crops help to enrich the soil. A boon for any farmer, the growth pattern of this plant naturally creates more nutrient-rich soil. Because the dense leaves block sunlight, few weeds grow among industrial hemp crops. The deep roots of the plants provide nitrogen and other minerals to the earth, while reducing the salinity of the groundwater and minimizing topsoil erosion. In addition, this crop is ideal for composting to grow other plants, such as wheat or soy.
Vote Now: How Do You Feel About Marijuana Legalization?
4. Industrial hemp is a profitable rotation crop. While the rotation crop system is often necessary for sustainable agriculture, few of these crops are truly profitable. However, industrial hemp not only makes an excellent rotation crop because of the features listed in the previous item, but because of the huge U.S. market for the plant, farmers may be able to keep businesses running that would have not otherwise survived.

Related Stories:

Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/FastFeatures/legalizing-weed-hemp-agricultural/2015/12/01/id/704145/#ixzz3tCshkCYs
Urgent: Rate Obama on His Job Performance. Vote Here Now!

Stars, Stripes, and Hemp Fly over Capitol

  • By Tim Marema
  • November 11, 2015

    Photo by Donnie Hedden 2015

    A plant the federal law says is a Schedule I controlled substance was used to make the U.S. flag that will fly over the Capitol on Veterans Day. Industrial hemp could be a boon for small farmers, say proponents, including the U.S. veteran who grew the hemp used to make the flag.

    An American flag made of industrial hemp grown in Kentucky by U.S. military veterans will be flown over the U.S. Capitol for the first time on Veterans Day, according to a press release from organizers of the event.

    The event is in support of federal legislation that would restore the industrial hemp industry in America.

    The 2014 farm bill granted states limited permission to allow cultivation of industrial hemp for agricultural research or pilot projects. Kentucky Senator and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was among the legislators who supported the measure.

    “Hemp was a crop that built our nation,” said Mike Lewis, a U.S. veteran and Kentucky hemp farmer who directs the Growing Warriors Project. The project grew the hemp used to make the flag.

    “Betsy Ross’ first American flag was made of hemp. We have flags made in China now. That’s almost sacrilegious,” Lewis said. He served in the “Commander in Chiefs Guard” of the 3rd U.S. Infantry from 1992 to 1995.

    Twenty-seven U.S. states have enacted or are considering laws to allow industrial hemp cultivation or are petitioning the federal government to declassify industrial hemp as a drug.  The proposed federal legislation would remove industrial hemp from the controlled substance list.

    Joe Schroeder with Freedom of Seed and Feed said industrial hemp could be a big help to America’s small farmers.  “If a hemp industry is to thrive in America again and provide the stability for so many communities that tobacco once did, it has to start with the stability of the small farmer,” Schroeder said.

    Hemp advocates say the fibrous plant can be used as raw material in clothing, carpet, beauty products, paper, and even as building material, insulation, and clutch linings.

    About 30 countries allow cultivation of industrial hemp, according to a 2015 Congressional Research Service report. These nations produced about 380 million tons of hemp in 2011. The U.S. imported $37 million in hemp products in 2014, according to the report.

    Al Jazeera America reports that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s last record of a hemp crop was in the 1950s. The plant was grown to make rope during World War II. Its production peaked in 1943 when 150 million pounds were harvested from 146,200 acres.

    Hemp is related to the plant that produces marijuana but contains negligible amounts of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Political observers say the effort to change U.S. law on hemp is part of a larger rethinking of cannabis laws.

    An opponent of marijuana legalization told Al Jazeera last year he doubted that a change in the U.S. industrial hemp laws would have much impact on the marijuana debate.

    “On the one hand, I think it’s part of a larger agenda to normalize marijuana by a few,” said Kevin Sabet, director of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a national alliance that opposes pot legalization. “On the other hand, will it have any difference at the end of the day? I would be highly skeptical of that.”

    CONTINUE READING…

  • Historic Partnership Offers 566 Native American Tribes and Sovereign Nations Sustainable Cannabis-Based Economic Solutions

    Source: CannaNative
    October 12, 2015 09:00 ET

    CannaNative: Historic Partnership Offers 566 Native American Tribes and Sovereign Nations Sustainable Cannabis-Based Economic Solutions

    Native American-Focused Company Brings Experience to Pave the Way for Indigenous Tribes to Restore Cannabis Cultivation, Use, Research, Commerce and Banking on Tribal Lands

    SAN DIEGO, Oct. 12, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, Native American tribes are positioned to benefit from the official launch of CannaNative, LLC.  CannaNative™ is the premiere majority Native American-owned and operated company to assist tribal nations – more than 560 tribes in the U.S. – with utilizing the rapidly emerging cannabis industry to gain true sovereignty: restored self-sufficiency with complete economic and environmental sustainability.

    Photos accompanying this announcement are available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/da498128-198e-4bd0-ae15-b0d33cd5cd99

    http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/01e02670-b92e-4cd1-aab6-ec40e69eb13d

    http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/a320c632-18bd-47a8-85be-ec6d15b8e7bc

    http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/f02683b6-eee4-47f4-9b90-d3af15119968

    In addition to a booming marijuana industry, current U.S. imports of hemp products are valued at $620 million annually. CannaNative™ will usher a new age for sovereign nations, as Native American tribes have unique rights that allow for cannabis (marijuana and industrial hemp) cultivation, manufacturing, marketing, sales, use, distribution, medical research and even banking institutions for the rapidly growing cash-and-carry industry.

    CannaNative™ was recently featured in a Bloomberg issued report titled Where to Stash Cannabis Cash?  Tribal Nations Make Bid to Bank It introducing the Native American economic development and advisory group. The report answers the question that Bloomberg recently posed, “Does Anybody Want $3 Billion in Cash From Pot Sales? Big Banks Say No, Thanks”.

    The vision for CannaNative™ began with former tribal Chairman, Anthony Rivera, Jr., who evaluated the emerging cannabis industry and viable business partnerships in late 2014.  By early 2015, Rivera established a majority partnership with General Hemp, LLC, and launched the unprecedented venture CannaNative, LLC.  CannaNative™ plans to bring back improved health, wellness and prosperity to all tribal nations – with cannabis.

    “We are honored to take part in this historic venture between Native Americans and our group that has developed the largest hemp CBD pipeline,” states Stuart W. Titus, PhD and President of General Hemp, LLC.  “Native Americans generally have a good amount of agricultural land that can be used to grow a robust hemp crop.  I’m also very excited about the potential for medical marijuana to be grown and researched on native lands; that opens up a great amount of possibilities for tribes and the industry.“

    Rivera states, “To move forward, one must first take a look back at our ancient heritage.”

    According to hemp history, carbon tests have suggested that the use of wild hemp dates as far back as 8000 B.C.  The Columbia History of the World (1996) states that weaving of hemp fiber began over 10,000 years ago.  Native American natural remedies and farming heritage and culture dates back centuries.

    Hemp was grown at Mount Vernon, and George Washington became interested in the crop by 1765 to serve as one of the staple crops to replace the cultivation of tobacco. Washington is quoted as saying, “The Hemp may be sown anywhere.”

    In 17th Century America, farmers in Virginia, Massachusetts and Connecticut were ordered by law to grow “Indian hemp”. By the early 18th century, a person could be sentenced to jail if they weren’t growing hemp on their land; hemp was considered to be legal tender. For over 200 years in colonial America, hemp was currency that one could use to pay their taxes with.

    The reason, Rivera states, “Cannabis benefits Mother Earth and mankind.”

    There are more than 25,000 known uses for industrial hemp including: pulp, paper, insulation, biocomposites, construction materials, food, feed and pharmaceuticals. Hemp is used today for soil remediation in polluted areas; planting cannabis naturally eliminates toxins and restores balance.  With no need for herbicides or pesticides, cannabis is a proven eco-friendly resource.

    The crop flourished until negative propaganda created stigma of its use in the late 1930s.  By the early 1940s, the botanical was removed from the U.S. economy and pharmacopeia.  Its demonization and elimination was extended to tribal nations through Federal law.

    Today with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Wilkinson and Cole memorandums, that has all changed.  Functioning as an educational and advisory group on the cannabis industry, CannaNative™ has traveled to numerous leaders on reservations.  Meetings focus on building their nations with sustainable cannabis-based solutions, as well as protecting tribal sovereignty through strict regulations and collaboration with legal authorities.

    Rivera continues, “The response has been 100% positive.  Helping tribes create and implement proprietary solutions in the cannabis industry will take them to true sovereignty. Cannabis restoration by sovereign nations represents a unique advantage that is larger than the multi-billion dollar Native American gaming industry.”

    Titus adds, “Native Americans have done a lot to get the gaming industry ‘banked’ so to speak; the Native American gaming industry represents a proven banking model in a cash-based industry. Another thing we are interested in is developing banking solutions for the cannabis industry. Through the development of CannaNative, we are very excited about the numerous opportunities before us.”

    Rivera concludes, “In the gaming industry, location is key and not all tribes are benefitting. However, the cannabis industry is limited to only land and imagination.  The gaming industry is a great stepping stone proving that native tribes already have a blueprint for success in a cash-driven industry.  Becoming involved in the cannabis industry levels the playing field for all tribes.  We are here to help tribes grow with CannaNative.”

    About CannaNative’s Leadership Team:

    Anthony Rivera, Jr. leads CannaNative, LLC, an innovative company working with Native American Sovereign Nations to establish a self-sustaining Cannabis and Industrial Hemp economy on sovereign lands.  He is Harvard University trained and governed his Indian Tribe as Tribal Chairman.   He has also earned earned his wings with over twenty years of experience in management and business development, academic and government assignments and financial services.  He has served various businesses and tribal organizations as an Executive Leader, Elected Official, Project Manager, Lead Negotiator, Business Diplomat, Financial Specialist, Academic Instructor, Security Operator, and Cultural Specialist. In his role as Tribal Chairman of the Acjachemen Nation in southern California, Anthony was instrumental in leading the tribe’s economic and political efforts in both California and in Washington D.C.  He is the Owner and Founder of 7 Green Feathers and has demonstrated his trustworthiness throughout Indian Country.

    Dr. Cedric Black Eagle, Co-Founder of CannaNative, served as Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Crow Tribe of Montana and has a background in business administration and Indian Law.  Dr. Black Eagle was instrumental in negotiating the Crow Nation Indian Water Rights Settlement and continues to serve as a consultant to Indian tribes on Indian economic development projects, Indian water rights, and Indian energy projects.  Dr. Black Eagle formed Black Eagle Enterprise International, serving as the company’s president.

    Andy Nakai, Co-Founder of CannaNative, is a member of the Navajo Nation whose passion is to create and develop economies on reservations all across the country.  A graduate of the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, Nakai studied finance at the graduate school at the University of Utah.  He began working with tribal economics and finance issues in 1995, and has represented more than thirty tribes and tribal enterprises to date.  A former Vice President in the banking industry, Nakai served as a Board Member for the Navajo Partnership for Housing and American Indian.  Currently, he is Vice Chairman for the Board of Directors for Navajo CDFI, which is poised to be the largest Native CDFI for Indian Country.

    For more information on CannaNative, visit the Company’s website at www.CannaNative.com

    About CannaNative LLC.

    CannaNative’s goal is to help tribes to develop hemp and cannabis-based economies on Native American lands throughout the United States.  We believe that every tribe should have the opportunity to establish and grow a responsible, cannabis-based economy to sustain all future generations. For more information on CannaNative, visit the Company’s website at www.CannaNative.com

    FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (FDA) DISCLOSURE
    These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.

    FORWARD-LOOKING DISCLAIMER
    This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements and information, as defined within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and is subject to the Safe Harbor created by those sections.This material contains statements about expected future events and/or financial results that are forward-looking in nature and subject to risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements by definition involve risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Medical Marijuana Inc. to be materially different from the statements made herein.

    LEGAL DISCLOSURE
    Medical Marijuana Inc. does not sell or distribute any products that are in violation of the United States Controlled Substances Act (US.CSA). The Company does grow, sell, and distribute hemp-based products and is involved with the federally legal distribution of medical marijuana-based products within certain international markets. Cannabidiol is a natural constituent of hemp oil.

    The final photo is also available at Newscom, www.newscom.com, and via AP PhotoExpress.

    For further information, please contact:
    
    Media Contact:
    
    Andrew Hard
    Chief Executive Officer
    CMW Media
    P. 858-380-5478
    [email protected]
    www.cmwmedia.com
    
    Corporate Contact:
    CannaNative, LLC.
    550 West "C" Street, Ste. 2040
    San Diego, CA 92101
    877.989.6420
    www.CannaNative.com

    Attachments:

    • Anthony Rivera, Jr., Co-Founder of CannaNative, LLC, signs historic majority partnership agreement with General Hemp, LLC.

    • Dr. Cedric Black Eagle, Co-Founder of CannaNative, LLC, signs historic majority partnership agreement with General Hemp, LLC.

    • Industrial hemp provides more than 25,000 known uses. Source: Congressional Research Service

    • Andy Nakai, Anthony Rivera, Jr., Stuart W. Titus, PhD, and Dr. Cedric Black Eagle represent the founders of CannaNative, LLC.

    Retrieved from "http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2015/10/12/775319/0/en/CannaNative-Historic-Partnership-Offers-566-Native-American-Tribes-and-Sovereign-Nations-Sustainable-Cannabis-Based-Economic-Solutions.html"

    The Industrial Hemp Farming Act, S.134, only has nine (9) cosponsors and "VOTE HEMP" needs signatures now!

    VH Report header

     

     

    The Industrial Hemp Farming Act, S.134, only has nine (9) cosponsors. The most recent cosponsors are Senator Bennett (D-CO), Senator Tester (D-MT) and Senator Baldwin (D-WI). We are grateful for their support but we need many more.

    This important legislation would greatly benefit opportunities in terms of jobs and economic development in legal hemp states by removing industrial hemp from the Controlled Substances Act.

    Together we can pass this legislation, but we need your support today. Add your name to show the Senate the overwhelming grassroots support behind the Industrial Hemp Farming Act.

     

     

    Sign the Petition Today!

    As always, thank you for your continued support of this effort to restore industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity. Please share this with friends, family and any network that is willing to help with our cause.

    About Vote Hemp

    Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue, non-profit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and a free market for industrial hemp, low-THC oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis, and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers to once again grow the crop.

    Web Site: http://www.VoteHemp.com

    Support Vote Hemp

    Vote Hemp depends entirely on donations to support our work. Please consider making a donation today.

    Contribute Here: http://www.VoteHemp.com/contribute

    Vote Hemp, Inc.

    Colleen (Sauvé) Keahey

    National Outreach Coordinator
    email: [email protected]

    Join Our Mailing List

     

    Privacy Policy.

    Vote Hemp, Inc. | P.O. Box 1571 | Brattleboro | VT | 05302

    *This post for "Vote Hemp" is a free service from Sheree Krider.

    GROWING JOBS IN COLORADO

    There’s more to cannabis and Colorado than the crowd that’s smoking it. La Junta, CO is expanding production for another variety of cannabis that’s highly profitable: industrial hemp, used to make rope, canvas and paper products.  There’s more to cannabis and Colorado than the crowd that’s smoking it. La Junta, CO is expanding production for another variety of cannabis that’s highly profitable: industrial hemp, used to make rope, canvas and paper products. (Photo: rockymountainhempassociation.org.)

    Cannabis and Colorado tend to go hand in hand but for many it is because of the association with marijuana. There is, however, another variety of cannabis that hasn’t received the same amount of press, industrial hemp. Hemp is a cousin to marijuana but without all of marijuana’s psychoactive and addictive properties. Prior to the 1940s, hemp was used to make rope, paper and canvas among other goods. The Declaration of Independence and many Bibles were once printed on hemp paper. Today, one Colorado community is betting that industrial hemp can revitalize its town.

    In April, the Whole Hemp Company announced that it is expanding its industrial hemp growing, processing and extraction facility to La Junta, CO. The project will take a long-vacant, big box retail location and repurpose it into a facility that will house up to 200 employees. After the announcement, Kashif Shan, CEO of Whole Hemp Company, said, “Whole Hemp Company is really excited to be in La Junta and has been overwhelmed by the support that the local community has already given.” Whole Hemp Company focuses on extracting cannabinoid (CBD) from hemp plants by using critical CO2 extraction. The CBD is then formulated and packaged for the nutraceutical and supplement industries. The potential of this compound could eventually lead to pharmaceutical applications and already has been approved by Brazil’s FDA equivalent Anvisa as a treatment to epilepsy.

    After the extraction of CBD oil is complete, the company is then left with a fiber byproduct that can be refined into other raw materials. Once a region can produce 5,000 or more acres of industrial hemp, the doors are open for a bio-refinery. These bio-refineries can take the hemp fibers and create plastics, fuels, chemicals, pulp, packaging and textiles to name a few. Currently Whole Hemp Company plans to plant 250 acres in 2015 with plans to plant 3,500 to 5,000 acres in 2016.

    2016 and beyond look to be exciting times for La Junta as they continue to rebuild the industrial hemp industry from the ground up. “As an economic developer, I am always looking for ways to improve the multiplier (number of times money circulates in the economy), and if we follow the value chain, the hemp industry has the potential to greatly increase the economic outlook for the Arkansas Valley,” explained Ryan Stevens, Director of La Junta Economic Development.

    “La Junta and the surrounding communities are receiving direct jobs from the Whole Hemp Company and farmers are going to gain revenue from outdoor grow operations. The companies that follow Whole Hemp Company to extract the oils and refine the byproducts into other raw materials will create additional jobs,” Stevens added. “It is possible we will see additional manufacturers locate here in La Junta to be closer to their raw material sources. And then there are the indirect jobs that will come from all of these extra people having paychecks. Ultimately the community is able to capitalize on Colorado’s cannabis laws without opening our doors to marijuana.”

    Whole Hemp Co. is a Colorado Limited Liability Company that is committed to producing CBD oil that is 100 percent U.S. grown and processed and 100 percent caustic solvent free.

    La Junta Economic Development is committed to expanding the employment base in La Junta, CO by attracting new businesses and retaining and expanding existing businesses. For more information on La Junta Economic Development, please visit www.LaJuntaEconomicDevelopment.com, or contact Ryan Stevens at (719) 671-9499.

    CONTINUE READING…

    Wyden presses to lift federal ban on industrial hemp

    Talks on Senate floor to mark National hemp History Week

    From KTVZ.COM news sources
    POSTED: 7:29 PM PDT June 4, 2015  UPDATED: 7:29 PM PDT June 4, 2015

     

    Sen. Wyden backs lifting ban on industrial hemp

    Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., takes to Senate floor to urge colleagues to lift ban on industrial hemp

     

    WASHINGTON –

    Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., on Thursday again urged lifting the federal ban on industrial hemp, saying it has a wide variety of uses and economic benefits in Oregon and nationwide.

    Hemp-based products contributed $620 million to the U.S. economy in 2014, but current federal regulations prohibit farmers from growing hemp in the United States, the senator noted.

    “I’ve long said if you can make it and sell it in Oregon, you should be able to grow it in Oregon,” Wyden said in a speech on the Senate floor in recognition of National Hemp History Week.

    “In my view, keeping the ban on growing hemp makes about as much sense as instituting a ban on Portobello mushrooms," he said. "There’s no reason to outlaw a product that’s perfectly safe because of what it’s related to.”

    Wyden highlighted several products made in Oregon from industrial hemp by companies such as Milwaukie-based Bob’s Red Mill, which produces protein powder from hemp seeds, Creswell-based Fiddlebumps, which makes hemp butter and other skin care products, and Eugene-based Hemp Shield, which makes deck sealant and wood finish from hemp.

    Wyden introduced a bill earlier this year with Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to lift the ban on growing hemp domestically. The Industrial Hemp Farming Act, S. 134, would distinguish between industrial hemp and marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Steve Daines, R-Mont., Al Franken, D-Minn., and Cory Gardner, R-Colo., also cosponsored the bill.

    CONTINUE READING…

    Myths of cannabis & hemp cross-pollination

    Posted on April 8, 2015 | By Vivian McPeak

     

     

    Note: I invited Joy Beckerman to guest blog on this important issue. The opinions expressed are her own. – Vivian

    MYTHS & REALITIES OF CROSS-POLLINATION
    by Joy Beckerman

    Oh, the irony. On the one hand, marijuana and hemp activists have been tortured for decades by the DEA’s exceedingly absurd stance that marijuana growers will use industrial hemp fields to camouflage their marijuana plants; and on the other hand, there has recently arisen the hysterical stance by some populations of outdoor marijuana growers that marijuana and industrial hemp fields must be kept extraordinary distances apart in order to avoid cross-pollination. To be sure – whereas the DEA stance is unequivocally non-factual and has no basis in reality, the cross-pollination hysteria is actually grounded in truth, albeit recently a distorted and emotionally-based version of the truth. Greed inspires irrationality. Let’s have an intelligent conversation based in fact because there is no need for hysteria and cross-pollination is a common agricultural issue with a common agricultural solution…and one that would never require a distance of anywhere in the realm of 200 miles between plant species types. We don’t see the State of Kentucky in an uproar. Make no mistake, Kentucky’s Number One cash crop is outdoor marijuana while Kentucky simultaneously is the country’s Number One industrial hemp producer (both feral [i.e. leftover/wild] and deliberate, now that it is legal to cultivate there).

    No doubt it will be helpful to found our discussion on a necessary botany lesson, especially since the most common misunderstanding about the “difference” between marijuana and industrial hemp is that “hemp is ‘the male’ and marijuana is ‘the female.’” In fact, nothing could be farther from the truth. “Cannabis” is the plant genus, “sativa” is Latin for “sown” or “cultivated” (and is included in many scientific plant species names), and the “L.” we often see associated with Cannabis sativa merely stands for the surname initial of Carl Linnaeus, the Swiss botanist who invented taxonomy. Cannabis sativa is a member of the Cannabaceae family. Within the Cannabis sativa plant species, we have the drug type known as “marijuana” and we have the oilseed and fiber type known as “industrial hemp.”

    Both plant types – marijuana and industrial hemp – can be dieocious, which is to say they can be either exclusively male or exclusively female; and they can also be monoecious, which is to say they can have the staminate (i.e. the male pollen-producing part) and pistillate (i.e. the female ovum-producing part) on the same plant. However, marijuana is a high-resin crop generally planted about four feet apart for its medicine or narcotic rich leaves and buds, whereas industrial hemp is a low-resin crop generally planted about four inches apart for its versatile stalk and seed. The different kinds of marijuana are classified as “strains” and the different kinds of industrial hemp are classified as “varieties” and “cultivars.”

    Industrial hemp is non-psychoactive with a higher ratio of CBD to THC, thus smoking even several acres of it will not result in achieving a high; conversely, only a memorable headache is achieved, regardless of Herculean effort. Marijuana flower production and industrial hemp production cultivation processes are distinctly different. Finally, there is no such thing as a plant or plant species known as “Cannabis hemp” and “hemp” is not a synonym for “marijuana,” “pot,” or “ganja,” etc. Botanists have argued for ages over whether a separate plant species “Cannabis indica” exists, and that age-old debate is not being addressed here.

    The significant difference between the two types that effects cross-pollination and legitimately frightens marijuana growers is that hemp plants go to seed fairly quickly and would thus pollinate any marijuana plants growing in the same field or in a nearby field. This is botanically analogous to field corn and sweet corn, one of which is grown for human consumption, and one of which is grown for animal consumption. Corn producers take great measures to prevent any cross-pollination between their field and sweet corns; including growing the different varieties of corn at different times or making sure there is sufficient distance between the different fields. Either way, these corn producers do what is necessary to ensure that pollen carrying the dominant gene for starch synthesis is kept clear of corn silks borne on plants of the recessive (sweet) variety.

    Cross-pollination of hemp with marijuana would significantly reduce the potency of the marijuana plants. While hemp farmers are not going to want marijuana cross-pollinating with their hemp and increasing their hemp’s THC content, it would be entirely more disastrous for the marijuana grower if hemp were to cross-pollinate with their marijuana due to the cost of producing and value of selling medical and adult-use marijuana. The concern is real. The concern is valid. But the concern does not merit the level of hysteria that appears to have arisen in Washington. We must take a note from Kentucky.

    Industrial hemp is primarily pollinated by wind, and most pollen travels approximately 100 yards, give or take. Bees, of course, can also pollinate hemp; and bees travel up to three miles from their hives. It is also true that, depending on the weight and size of any plant pollen, combined with other natural conditions, wind-borne pollen can technically travel up to 2,000 miles away from the source. Yes, it’s true, up to 2,000 miles. And also it would be beyond ridiculous to give serious agricultural consideration to this extreme factoid for entirely obvious reasons.

    Cannabis case in point: Kentucky. Kentucky may not have legal outdoor marijuana grows, but you’d better believe that – like every other state in the nation – there’s a whole lotta marijuana being deliberately cultivated outdoors; and on quite a grand scale in Kentucky, which state learned centuries ago that Cannabis grows exceedingly well in that climate and soil. Kentucky was always been the heart of our nation’s industrial hemp farmlands, thus Kentucky is covered with more feral hemp than any other state. This issue of marijuana and hemp cross-pollination is old news and no news at all to the marijuana growers of Kentucky, who experience and demonstrate no sense of hysteria like that which has risen up in Washington.

    Global industrial hemp leader and professional industrial hemp agrologist Prof. Anndrea Hermann, M.Sc, B.GS, P.Ag., who has been a certified Health Canada THC Sampler since 2005 and is the President of the U.S. Hemp Industries Association, has assisted with creating and reviewing hemp regulations in Canada, the European Union, South Africa, Uruguay, Australia, New Zealand, and several U.S. States. Anndrea refers to this issue of cross-pollination as the “Cannabis Clash” and “Cannabis Sex 101.” So what is the answer? What is a safe distance between marijuana and hemp fields?

    The Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA), which is the global agency to which most developed countries subscribe for agricultural purposes, has completed its draft industrial hemp seed certification regulations, which rules include a range from a minimum distance of three (3) feet to a maximum distance of three (3) miles between different pedigrees and cultivars of industrial hemp. This is the same with Health Canada’s industrial hemp regulations. But we are talking about safe distances between two plant types – marijuana and industrial hemp. Absent intense research and collection of hard data that will be interesting to conduct as we move forward and funding becomes available, experts agree that a distance of ten (10) miles between hemp and marijuana fields is exceedingly appropriate to avoid cross-pollination. Or as Anndrea Hermann would say, “a nice, country road drive!”

    This is not a complicated issue or a new issue. This is basic agriculture. Marijuana and industrial hemp are best friends and this is no time for them to start picking unnecessary fights with one another. Ten miles, folks; ten miles!

    Joy Beckerman is the President Hemp Ace International LLC, and the director of the Hemp Industries Association, Washington Chapter

    CONTINUE READING…

    Report: $620 Million in Hemp Products Sold in the U.S. in 2014

    Report: $620 Million in Hemp Products Sold in the U.S. in 2014

    Hemp Foods and Body Care Retail Market in U.S. Achieves 21.2% Growth in 2014

    WASHINGTON, DC — The Hemp Industries Association (HIA), a non-profit trade association consisting of hundreds of hemp businesses, has released final estimates of the size of the 2014 U.S. retail market for hemp products.

    Data from market research supports an estimate of total retail sales of hemp food and body care products in the United States at $200 million.  Sales of popular hemp items like non-dairy milk, shelled seed, soaps and lotions have continued to skyrocket against the backdrop of the new hemp research provision in the Farm Bill, and increasing grassroots pressure to allow hemp to be grown domestically on a commercial scale once again for U.S. processors and manufacturers. The HIA has also reviewed sales of clothing, auto parts, building materials and various other products, and estimates the total retail value of hemp products sold in the U.S. in 2014 to be at least $620 million.

    The sales data on hemp foods and body care, collected by market research firm SPINS, was obtained from natural and conventional retailers, excluding Whole Foods Market, Costco and certain other key establishments, who do not provide sales data — and thus it underestimates actual sales by a factor of at least two and a half. According to the SPINS data, combined U.S. hemp food and body care sales grew in the sampled stores by 21.2% or $14,020,239, over the previous year ending December 31, 2014 to a total of just over $80,042,540. According to SPINS figures, sales in conventional retailers grew by 26.8% in 2014, while sales in natural retailers grew by 16.3%. Indeed, the combined growth of hemp retail sales in the U.S. continues steadily, as annual natural and conventional market percent growth has progressed from 7.3% (2011), to 16.5% (2012), to 24% (2013), to 21.2 in 2014.

    “The HIA estimates the total retail value of all hemp products sold in the U.S. to be at least $620 million for 2014,” says Eric Steenstra, Executive Director of the HIA. “Eleven new states have passed legislation and new businesses are rapidly entering the market now that American farmers in a handful of states are finally beginning to grow the crop legally. Challenges remain in the market and there is a need for Congress to pass legislation to allow farmers to grow hemp commercially in order for the market to continue its rapid growth,” continues Steenstra.

    When the 2013 farm bill was signed into law in February of 2014, the hemp amendment to the farm bill, Sec. 7606 Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research, defined industrial hemp as distinct from marijuana in states where hemp is regulated under authorized hemp pilot programs. This was an historic moment in the longstanding effort to legalize hemp as the act asserts that industrial hemp is not psychoactive, having less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol on a dry weight basis and therefore presenting no drug value.

    The bill further allows for states that have already legalized the crop to cultivate hemp within the parameters of state agriculture departments and research institutions. In 2014, 1831 acres of hemp were licensed in Kentucky, Colorado and Vermont. Many licensees were unable to obtain seed in time to plant due to DEA seed import requirements. We estimate that approximately 125 acres of hemp crops were planted during 2014.

    In January of 2015, The Industrial Hemp Farming Act was introduced in both the House and Senate, H.R. 525 and S. 134 respectively. If passed, the bill would remove all federal restrictions on the cultivation of industrial hemp, and remove its classification as a Schedule 1 controlled substance.

    Currently, 21 states may grow hemp per Sec. 7606 of the Farm Bill, including California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia.

    CONTINUE READING…