Legislation to legalize recreational and medicinal marijuana is unlikely to be addressed during this legislative session in Kentucky

 

https://i0.wp.com/static.lakana.com/nxsglobal/tristatehomepage/photo/2016/01/27/5bdff8866c6a426bad10f0c8540e3323_6711047_ver1.0.jpg

 

Legislation to legalize recreational and medicinal marijuana is unlikely to be addressed during this legislative session in Kentucky.

That’s according to the committee’s chairman who’s handling the proposal. So what about the state’s hemp pilot program?

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles was in Owensboro Wednesday. He says he expects 200 farmers to plant more than 4,000 acres this year.

That’s 4 times as much as in 2015.
Former Agriculture Commissioner James Comer started the program last year.  Quarles says officials are encouraging more local companies to use hemp grown in the Commonwealth –

“There are car manufacturers in Kentucky who use plant products similar to industrial hemp, but we’re hoping to pitch them on the idea of using Kentucky grown industrial hemp, not just for the manufacturing industry, but also other manufacturers across the state as well.”

More than 100 farmers participated last year and twice as many are expected this year.  Kentucky is one of several states with a hemp pilot program.

CONTINUE READING…

Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research now publishing with the International Cannabinoid Research Society

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

New Rochelle, NY, January 21, 2016–Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research the new peer-reviewed open access journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers, announces a new partnership with The International Cannabinoid Research Society. This new collaboration promotes the missions of the Journal and Society to further the advancement of cannabis and cannabinoid-related research.

This new relationship reflects the growing need for education and broader dissemination of cannabis and cannabinoid biology research in the scientific and medical community, particularly in the face of the widespread changes to cannabis regulation worldwide. For over 25 years, the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS) has been a leading society dedicated to education and scientific research in all fields of cannabis and cannabinoid research.

“The ICRS is delighted to affiliate with Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research and to collaborate with Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., to further the Society’s educational objectives and support the dissemination of peer-reviewed cannabinoid research,” says Cecilia J. Hillard, PhD, Executive Director of ICRS.

Led by Editor-in-Chief Daniele Piomelli, PhD, PharmD, Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research provides an important open access venue for publishing the scientific, medical, and psychosocial exploration of clinical cannabis, cannabinoids, and the endocannabinoid system. In addition to its collaboration with the ICRS, the Journal will publish the Society’s 2016 Symposium abstracts. The ICRS 26th Annual Symposium will take place on June 27-30th, 2016, at the Bukovina Terma Hotel in Bukowina Tatrza?ska, Poland.

“We are excited to partner with the ICRS because they have a long history of facilitating scientific discussion and research on cannabis and cannabinoid science,” says Jordan Schilling, Director of Open Access Publishing at Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. “Similarly, both Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research and the ICRS bring a diverse group of scientists and practitioners together not only to advance the science but also to share, learn and ultimately provide better education on cannabinoid research for medical application.”

###

About the International Cannabinoid Research Society

The International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS) is a non-political, non-religious organization dedicated to scientific research in all fields of the cannabinoids, ranging from biochemical, chemical and physiological studies of the endogenous cannabinoid system to studies of the abuse potential of recreational Cannabis. In addition to acting as a source for impartial information on Cannabis and the cannabinoids, the main role of the ICRS is to provide an open forum for researchers to meet and discuss their research. More information can be found the ICRS website.

About the Journal

Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research is the only peer-reviewed open access journal dedicated to the scientific, medical, and psychosocial exploration of clinical cannabis, cannabinoids, and the endocannabinoids system. Led by Editor-in-Chief Daniele Piomelli, PhD, PharmD, the Journal publishes a broad range of human and animal studies including basic and translational research; clinical studies; behavioral, social, and epidemiological issues; and ethical, legal, and regulatory controversies. Visit the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research website to read the latest articles published in the Journal.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Journal of Palliative Medicine, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, and Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

CONTINUE READING…

THE BALLAD OF “JOHN BOONE”

 

Sun King Labs Marijuana Grow House Tour

 

The Ballad Of “John Boone”

*This is a copy of a post that I put on the old site, when it existed.  This was the link.E-mail   I have added additional links at the bottom of articles about Johnny Boone.

Posted by Smkrider

Saturday, 04 October 2008 01:07

10/3/2008 8:00:18 PM

THE BALLAD OF “JOHN BOONE”

John “King of Pot, Godfather of Grass” Robert Boone

After having lived in Kentucky all of my life, I am almost embarrassed to say that until I listened to last nights news on a local channel in Louisville I had never even heard of “John Boone”.

According to the local news and “Americas Most Wanted”, Mr. Boone has had quite a reputation for the last 40 odd years.

http://www.amw.com/fugitives/case.cfm?id=59229

Mr. Boone’s first documented run-in with the law came in late October 1969, when the ATF in Louisville arrested him on charges of possessing untaxed spirits and whiskey. Since then, he has been charged with multiple felony counts which include cultivating marijuana, wanton endangerment, drug trafficking, firearms and others.

The article goes on to say that Mr. Boone is considered a pioneer in the marijuana business. He was one of the first growers to separate the male plants from female plants, making the marijuana much more potent.

In 1987, law enforcement arrested Mr. Boone for Unlawfully Manufacturing in Excess of 1,000 Kilos of Marijuana in the state of Minnesota where he was growing with seeds that were imported from Russia.

With that arrest approximately 75 other participants of the Cornbread Mafia were apprehended and many millions of dollars worth of Marijuana was confiscated throughout the Midwestern States.

Mr. Boone was sentenced to 20 years in Federal Prison but was paroled in 1999.

In late May of this year, the KSP Marijuana Radication Team flew over his farm and noticed what looked like Marijuana plants on a wagon. Allegedly there were more than 900 plants on that wagon!

After obtaining a search warrant the KSPMRT and DEA Task Force discovered over 2,400 Marijuana plants.

According to the reports, Mr. Boone keeps a number of “Rottweiler’s” on his property which he allegedly had their “vocal chords” cut, in order to alleviate the noise of a pack of dogs approaching – to anyone that might stray onto his property. There are even stories of “rattlesnakes tied to posts around Boone’s Marijuana barns”…

Not even a $10,000.00 reward could get anyone in the area to “fess up” to knowing Mr. Boone.

OMERTA is subscribed to by many people in KY. The belief that “To never harm another” among other things, is a type of religious belief to these people.

Marshals in Louisville, KY believe that he is in Marion County KY. He was last seen in Raywick, KY and Campbellsville, KY. He also has property in Belize.

With the belief of “MERTA” among the Kentucky natives, it is unlikely that he will be turned in for the reward money.

Only time will tell if Mr. Boone will face the ever growing Government conspiracy against him.

The “Godfather of Grass” will remain a ghost in the wind, unless the law just happens upon him.

I, myself, have not seen anything to suggest that he is a dangerous person, just one who believes in what he believes in, and vow’s to “NEVER HARM ANOTHER”

If the law does catch up with him, he is looking at spending the rest of his life behind bars.

Isn’t it ironic that many violent offenders are being let out of Kentucky prisons at this time to accommodate overcrowding?

By: Sheree Krider

Share Link: Share Link: Bookmark Google Yahoo MyWeb Del.icio.us Facebook Myspace Reddit Technorati Stumble Upon Blinklist Newsvine Slashdot Yahoo Bookmarks myAOL MSN Live

Last Updated on Sunday, 05 December 2010 00:44

Additional Links of information:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornbread_Mafia

https://vimeo.com/24856158

http://www.chattanoogan.com/2010/11/30/189503/Roy-Exum-The-Legend-Of-Johnny-Boone.aspx

http://kentuckymarijuanaparty.com/2012/05/31/tale-of-kentuckys-king-of-pot-hits-greenpoint/

https://grlbhvingbadly.wordpress.com/2008/10/03/stoners-beware-feds-wasting-taxpayer-moneyagain/

https://www.facebook.com/CornbreadMafia

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…

If Kentucky wants to pass br 161 "the Cannabis Freedom Act", you must do this now…

TREELeft:  Link to USMjParty Kentucky

Above: Link to Facebook Page of the “Kentucky Cannabis Freedom Coalition”

Because of the “Origination Clause” in the U.S. Constitution there must be a Representative to submit a “Companion Bill” in order for it to move forward because this clause says that all bills for raising revenue must start in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as in the case of other bills.

(From Wikipedia) The Origination Clause, also known as the Revenue Clause, is as follows:

All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

COMPANION BILL – A bill which is identical to a bill having been introduced in the opposite house.

THEREFORE,

What we need to do right now is to find a Representative who is willing to back up Sen. Perry B. Clark’s BR 161 with a “COMPANION BILL” in order to be in coordination with the “Constitution”.

Please write your Representative an email or letter asking them to get behind Sen. Perry B. Clark’s BR 161 and provide a “Companion Bill” as soon as possible because the Legislative Session (calendar link here) starts on January 5th, 2016 and January 8th, is the deadline for prefiled House Bills.

The LINKS you will need are listed here (just click on picture):

LINK to KY BR 161

KyLRC 12.17.15 Ky Cannabis Freedom Act homepage

LINK to KY Legislator’s Email Addresses:  (Please note that some of the Representatives/Senators have direct email links, and some of them can be copied/pasted into your email program). 

KY Legislative Email Addresses

Also, of note, this is a little more time consuming, but worth it, I believe —  When I wrote my “Email” I sent it to my individual Representative, who is Johnny Bell – in Glasgow, KY, but I also copied the email to ALL of the Kentucky Senators as well as the Representatives, so that THEY ALL would be able to see the letter I had written.

Here is the LINK to the 2016 Legislative Calendar:

KY 2016 Regular Session Legislative Calendar

As well, anyone who may have a printer, and postage money available should ideally send individual letters through the U.S. Postal Service to the Representatives given addresses.  The more “paper” we can send them, the better they will hear us speaking!

PHONE CALL’s as well will be a great help!  Please back up your letter or email with a phone call to your Representative to reiterate the issue of BR 161 !!!

PLEASE DO NOT LET THIS BILL DIE!   KEEP IT GOING WITH AN EMAIL AND A PHONE CALL TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TODAY!

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
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Hemp advocates hope to see a resurgence of the crop that’s legal for the first time in decades.

Hemp advocates hope to see a resurgence of the crop that's legal for the first time in decades.

Javier Rodriguez helps harvest some of the 27 acres of hemp on an Andy Graves’ farm near Winchester, Ky. GenCanna, which moved to Kentucky from Canada to focus on hemp, harvested the 27 acres of hemp grown this year in Winchester and processed it to produce a kind of powder they plan to sell to companies that want to put hemp in nutritional supplements. A law was passed in early 2014 to allow experimental hemp farming in states that conduct agricultural research.

By Paul Woolverton, Staff writer

By next summer, some North Carolina farm fields could be filled with cannabis plants – not marijuana, but hemp, which is marijuana’s near-twin in appearance but has little of the ingredient that makes people high.

For the first time in decades, hemp will be a legal crop in this state.

Initially it’s to be grown only on an experimental basis. But hemp advocates hope North Carolina will become part of a national revival of a hemp industry that was knocked down in the 20th century when hemp was lumped in with marijuana by national and local laws against illicit drugs.

The 21st-century American hemp revival is somewhat reminiscent of Colonial times. In the 1700s, according to historical records, leaders in North Carolina and other English colonies in North America encouraged farmers to grow hemp. They aimed to generate income with exports.

In 1766, North Carolina’s legislature voted to open a hemp-inspection warehouse in Campbellton, one of the two towns that later merged and became Fayetteville. A journal of the legislative session says the lawmakers also renewed for four years a bounty paid to hemp farmers.

More than two centuries later, North Carolina and the United States were importing all of their hemp products. After encouraging hemp production during World War II to supply the military with rope and other materials, the government effectively banned hemp farming in 1970. The last known American commercial crop was reported to have been grown in Wisconsin in 1957, according to The Denver Post newspaper.

In early 2014, Congress and the president approved a law to allow experimental hemp farming in states that conduct agricultural research. North Carolina’s lawmakers voted nearly unanimously in late September to join this effort. The legislation, which emerged with little warning or opportunity for vetting or public comment in the final days of the 2015 lawmaking session, creates the opportunity “to study the growth, cultivation, or marketing of industrial hemp.”

Including North Carolina, 27 states are pursuing hemp production, says the Vote Hemp Inc. advocacy group.

That’s great news for people such Brenda Harris, who operates the The Apple Crate Natural Market health food stores in Fayetteville and Hope Mills. The hemp seed, hemp-based protein powders and hemp-based soaps, lotions and oils on her shelves are imported from Canada and overseas.

Hemp seed is high in protein, Harris said, and in essential fatty acids that people need for good health.

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD oil, is reported to reduce nausea, suppress seizures, help with cancer, tumors, anxiety and depression and other health problems, says the Leaf Science website. But it notes that most of the studies that made these findings were with animals, not people.

In addition, hemp can be used in a number of fiber-based products.

“I’d love to know my dollars were supporting a North Carolina farmer,” Harris said.

“It will definitely mean the product will be more competitively priced,” she said. “And it’s not a terribly expensive product to start with, but still I feel like with bringing that closer to home, it’ll be more sustainable, there’ll be less shipping involved, there’ll be less mark-up involved. That’s usually the way the chain works.”

New opportunities

Organic farmer Lee Edwards of Kinston, about 90 minutes east of Fayetteville, could become one of Harris’ North Carolina suppliers.

Edwards plans to become part of North Carolina’s hemp pilot project and get a crop into the ground in mid-2016. He thinks hemp will make more money than the corn, wheat, soybeans and cereal grains he grows now.

“It’s a lower input cost and a higher profit per acre crop,” Edwards said. He estimated hemp could net him $1,250 per acre after expenses versus the $400 at most “on a real good year” from traditional grains. And he hopes that he can get two hemp crops a year.

Las Vegas-based Hemp Inc. opened a processing plant last year in Spring Hope, between Raleigh and Rocky Mount. It has been extracting fiber from kenaf, which is similar to hemp (and never was banned), and plans to process hemp as it becomes legal and available in the U.S.

The decortication plant extracts fibers that can be used in paper, clothing and other fiber-based products, even car parts and building materials, according to the Hemp Inc. website.

Back in Fayetteville, researcher Shirley Chao and her students at Fayetteville State University might be able to get North Carolina-grown hemp seed for their research into a hemp-derived insecticide. Until now, they have been buying imported seed.

Over the past several years, Chao and her students discovered that chemicals in hemp have a variety of detrimental effects on roaches, carpenter ants and grain-eating beetles.

“We found that it’s very effective in controlling reproduction,” Chao said. “And when they feed on it, they don’t develop normally. And so they, most of them, either die or have these deformations that you can see. And then if they do survive, they don’t reproduce normally.”

Chao hopes that further research will demonstrate that the hemp-based pesticide has no ill effects on people or other vertebrates. That quality could make it preferable to other pesticides in use today.

The school also is seeking a patent for the pesticide.

Regulatory system

Before anyone buys hemp legally grown in North Carolina, the state has to set up its system to regulate it and issue hemp-growing licenses to the farmers.

That process is not moving as quickly as advocates would like.

The new hemp law says a state commission must be set up to license and regulate the growers. But first, the industry has to raise $200,000 in private donations to pay for the commission.

As of mid-November, about $20,000 had been raised, said Thomas Shumaker, the executive director of the N.C. Industrial Hemp Association.

Shumaker’s group led the effort at the legislature this year to pass the hemp law.

Once the money is raised, a five-person N.C. Industrial Hemp Commission will be appointed to set up the state’s hemp program, the law says. It is to work with federal law enforcement or other federal agencies as appropriate, vet people seeking licenses and set rules for how the program will operate.

Because of law enforcement concerns, the GPS coordinates of every hemp farm will be noted, and the hemp will be subject to testing to ensure that it isn’t actually marijuana. Under the law, hemp plants must have no more than 0.3 percent THC content, the psychoactive chemical that makes marijuana users high.

Marijuana typically has 5 to 20 percent THC and the highest grades carry 25 to 30 percent, Leaf Science says.

It will probably be June before North Carolina’s hemp regulatory system is in place and farmers can start planting, Shumaker said.

Learning from others

In the meantime, the state’s farmers can learn from growers in several other states who have been experimenting with hemp.

Kentucky just finished its second year of its pilot project. It had 922 acres planted in 2015, said Adam Watson, the industrial hemp program coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

The state is looking at different varieties of hemp for grain (the seeds), fiber and nutraceuticals, which are oils that are thought to have health benefits.

The program has worked with with law enforcement, Watson said. Police know the growers have hemp, not marijuana, he said, but some thieves didn’t know the difference and went into a field and stole some.

Farmers have tested seed from Canada, Australia and Europe, he said. They are allowed to sell their harvest, but it’s too soon to figure out yet the extent of the potential market, he said.

While hemp can be used to make paper, textiles, building materials and other items, it may not necessarily be the best raw material for those products, Watson said. Much depends on whether the hemp-based products prove to be practical and cost-effective, he said.

Watson and other industry observers said the American hemp industry is in a chicken-and-egg situation in getting started: Because there have been no growers, there is no marketplace or infrastructure to buy their product. But without growers, there is no incentive to set up a marketplace.

But there is demand for hemp.

The Congressional Research Service this year estimated that in 2013, the United States imported $36.9 million in hemp products. The Hemp Industries Association estimated that the total U.S. retail value of hemp products in 2013 was $581 million, the research service said.

People like Edwards, the farmer from Kinston, want a piece of that market.

“I hope to start with around 50 acres,” Edwards said. “That’s more of just getting going the first year. Depending on how things go, I’d love to get up to a couple hundred acres.”

Staff writer Paul Woolverton can be reached at woolvertonp@fayobserver.com or 910-486-3512.

CONTINUE READING…

The hemp industries association; lawrence serbin, president, introduces himself…

Hello everyone!

On October 14, 2015 the new board of directors for the Hemp Industries Association had their first board meeting and elected me, Lawrence Serbin to be the new president. Our previous president, Anndrea Hermann will continue to serve on the board of directors.

I would first like to applaud Anndrea Hermann for all the work she has done over the years with the HIA as well as all the great work she has accomplished for the hemp industry as a whole. It will be a challenge to follow in her footsteps.

Many people know me in the industry, but for those who do not, I would like to provide an introduction.

I first got involved with hemp 25 year ago in 1990, right after I graduated from college. I had been contemplating what to do with my life and wasn’t sure which industry I should pursue. I knew I wanted to start a company and felt I should do something which would help the planet. One morning I awoke and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I would start an environment hemp company to promote and sell hemp products.

It was not easy at first because at that time, there were no hemp companies in existence. I bought a copy of the “Emperor Wears No Clothes” and began to do my research. From that book, I got to know Chris Conrad of the Business Alliance for Commerce in Hemp (BACH) where I volunteered to help out. I also met Jack Herer the author of the Emperor Wears No Clothes. Within 6 months of volunteering, Chris Conrad moved to Europe to write his own hemp book, and I became the national director in his place. I ran BACH for about a year and a half from early 1991-to late 1992. I left BACH to start my own business in 1994. I formed Hemp Traders, specializing in selling hemp textiles. During the next 22 years, my business slowly grew and my company is now the largest supplier of hemp textiles, twine, yarn, rope and fiber in the United States.

I joined the HIA in 1995 and have always been a member. I served as an early Fiber and Fabric committee leader, and around 5-6 years ago I was elected to the board of directors and became the secretary and vice president. 

There have been so many changes in the hemp industry over the years. From the beginning, hemp enthusiasts constantly had to endure the jokes about smoking our products. People were constantly inferring the only reason we supported industrial hemp was because we wanted to legalize marijuana. The early days were mostly about educating the public on the difference between hemp and marijuana and the benefits of industrial hemp.

But it has been a long and frustrating process. We did see some early advances with a number of western European countries legalizing industrial hemp in the mid to late nineties and Canada legalizing industrial hemp in 1998. But nothing seemed to change for industrial hemp in the United States. Even when a number of states began legalizing medical marijuana during the next decade, the status of industrial hemp stayed the same. A few states did legalize industrial hemp, but without federal approval, viable seeds could not be imported and practically nothing was grown.

But things finally began to change with Colorado legalizing industrial hemp in 2012. The U.S. Congress included a provision in the Agricultural Act of 2014 that allowed colleges and state agencies to grow and conduct research on hemp in states where it is legal. 2015 has seen the first viable industrial hemp crops grown for commercial and research purposes, with Colorado and Kentucky taking the lead.

So what is happening with the HIA and what is the status of hemp? In my next article I will discuss the exact measure the HIA will be taking to promote hemp and empower our members and state chapters. In the meantime, I would like to provide a parable.

Imagine there is a farmer who has magical seeds. The farmer knows these seeds are special and represent tremendous possibilities. These seeds hold the potential to provide food, clothing, shelter, and medicine for all humanity. The farmer talks about the magical seeds to the neighbors who are also stewards of the land. Some listen intently but others dismiss his claims. They don’t quite seem to believe what the farmer is telling them. They want to see proof.

But something is wrong with the land and the seeds will not grow. Year after year the farmer plants the seeds, and year after year they fail to germinate or are eaten by birds. The neighboring farmers shrug their shoulders and shake their heads. After many years the farmer feels frustrated and even contemplates giving up. 

Then one spring morning the farmer notices something has changed in the air. The wind is blowing from a different direction and the soil seems more fertile. There is a feeling of positive energy all around the land. So the farmer decides to give it one more try. He takes his magical seeds and scatters them across his fields. At first, nothing seems to be happening, but after a couple of weeks the farmer notices a few sprouts have appeared. Not all the land is fertile, but in a few fields, the green leaves of his miraculous plants have begun to grow. The farmer does not get discouraged because the plants are only growing in some areas, nor does he feel impatient because the plants are not fully grown. The farmer is thrilled because he realizes this is the beginning of something tremendous.

Even with some of the plants now growing, the farmer understands the work is just beginning. With new vigor, the farmer sets out to cultivate the plants which have developed. He also continues to plant in the areas of his fields which did not sprout. For the farmer knows these areas will eventually become ripe for growing.

It is the spirit of the farmer’s new vigor that the HIA should to emulate. Hemp in America is just starting to sprout, but there is a lot of work which needs to be accomplished to bring our industry to harvest. Don’t be discouraged or impatient if things seem to be moving too slowly. Hemp plants grow on their own time and only need to be nurtured.

Over the years I have been told certain things about hemp were impossible. It would be impossible for hemp to be legalized. It would be impossible to get seeds. It would be impossible to make fine textiles, it would be impossible to build a house. It would be impossible to make paper. When I hear these things I just smile, for I know todays impossibilities are tomorrows realities. There are miracles happening everywhere with hemp. All it takes is love, imagination, and application.

Membership in the HIA has doubled during the past year, and our annual conference was the biggest and best ever. We expect more states to legalize industrial hemp and lots more acreage to be planted next spring and in the years to come.

I look forward to working with all hemp entrepreneurs, enthusiasts, students, and farmers during the next year. I am always available for business advise and will be happy to listen to your questions and plans for hemp. I am most easily reached by email.

Be blessed.

Lawrence Serbin

Board President

Hemp Industries Association

President

Hemp Traders

About the Hemp Industries Association

The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) represents the interests of the hemp industry and encourages the research and development of new products made from industrial hemp, oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis. To learn more about the HIA and the benefits of membership, visit our web site at: http://www.TheHIA.org

The United States is currently the only industrialized nation where hemp production is illegal

Legalizing Weed: 4 Facts About the Industrial Hemp Farming Act

By Andrea Miller   |   Tuesday, 17 Nov 2015 05:53 PM

Though it’s often confused with the movement for legalizing weed, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015 is actually a separate movement specifically for cannabis sativa plants cultivated for development and production of hemp products. The bill seeks to amend the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act so that it will not include industrial hemp.
Here are four facts about the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015.

Urgent: Should Marijuana Be Legalized in All States?

1. The bill has a long history.
While it was reintroduced in 2015, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act has gone through several iterations. It was first introduced in 2005 by Ron Paul, Pete Stark, Jim McDermott, and Raul Grijalva, but stalled after it was referred to the Subcommittee on Health.
With some changes, the bill was introduced again in both 2007 and 2009, both times failing to get past this committee despite changes in the bill that seek to separate legalizing weed from legalizing industrial hemp. A 2013 version stalled with the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.
2. The bill has bipartisan support.
Unlike legalizing weed, which has traditionally been a Democrat-supported movement, both Republicans and Democrats have shown support for the new version of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act. This is a nod to the economic impact that cultivation of industrial hemp could have on the nation’s agricultural landscape and on manufacturing. Sponsors of the bill include Reps. Jared Polis (D-Colorado), Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky), Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon), Kurt Schrader (D-Oregon), and Dana Rohrabacher (R-California)
3. The United States is currently the only industrialized nation where hemp production is illegal.
However, the U.S. is also the world’s largest consumer of hemp-related products. This means that a bill allowing cultivation of industrial hemp would bolster domestic trade and allow access to more affordable and fresher industrial hemp for manufacturing purposes.

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4. Twenty states have already legalized industrial hemp production.
However, farmers who grow the crop in those states still risk targeting by federal authorities unless the Industrial Hemp Act is passed. In an earlier win for industrial hemp production, President Barack Obama signed a bill in early 2014 allowing colleges and universities to grow the crop for research purposes in these 20 states.
With legalizing weed a reality in 20 states and Washington, D.C., this new reintroduction of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act has a real chance at becoming law for the first time since its inception.

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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.”

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