A freshman Kentucky congressmen, and member of the House Agriculture Committee, attended the American Farm Bureau Federation convention on Sunday to promote his new legislation to deregulate industrial hemp nationally.
Rep. James Comer, a Republican representing Kentucky’s 1st Congressional District, was the state’s agricultural commissioner from 2012 to 2016 before being elected to Congress. During his time as ag commissioner, the state passed a bill to set up a regulatory framework to make industrial hemp a reality.
“That was six years ago. Today, Kentucky is the leading industrial-hemp producing state in the nation and 20 other states have passed similar legislation.”
Comer’s bill would reclassify industrial hemp from a controlled substance to an agricultural crop. The bill would make it clear it is not a drug and Comer said he does not support legalization of marijuana.
“I’m trying to differentiate between marijuana and hemp,” he said.
Hemp generally has less than .3% of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical compound that creates the high in marijuana, which generally has 15% or more THC. That difference is “It is a crop that has a lot of potential, not just for farmers, but for manufacturing,” Comer said.
Hemp can still produce Cannabidiol (CBD) oil that Comer said can be a solution in managing pain, and possibly help address the country’s opioid crisis. CBD oil can treat pain in a non-addictive manner, he said.
“I think hemp has a very bright future, but we have to get the federal government off the backs of producers and give the private sector confidence that this is an agricultural crop and something worth investing in, not something they have to worry about some overzealous DEA agent or Department of Justice coming in and seizing their assets because they do not know the difference between hemp and marijuana.”
Beyond CBD oil, Comer said there is a Louisville company making fiber, as well as a fiber foam that is going into at least some automobile production. Comer said other auto manufacturers want to research further uses for auto interiors as well. There are also companies using hemp to produce animal feed and bedding, he said.
“We’re trying to utilize every part of the plant and I feel Kentucky has proven there is huge demand for hemp products,” Comer said.
Comer said his bill has House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., as a co-sponsor. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., also is going to introduce a companion bill in the Senate. McConnell had language in the last farm bill to help commercialize the crop in the state.
Comer said he will likely look to move his legislation through the Energy and Commerce Committee, as well as Judiciary, but he said it is possible the bill might be included in the upcoming farm bill. Comer added, however, that at least some members of the House Agriculture Committee are leery of dealing with a hemp-legalization bill.
“The Ag Committee really is not as crazy about this as some of the other committees,” Comer said. “They hear hemp and they get scared.”
Comer’s bill comes, however, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions seeks to potentially reinstate more prosecutorial authority over marijuana even as more states are legalizing the drug. That could blur the lines in the debate about hemp as well.
The American Farm Bureau Federation also has endorsed the bill and the growth of industrial hemp as an agricultural industry.
Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.com
Follow him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN
By Nicole Erwin • 44 minutes ago
Kentucky’s industrial hemp research program is on a trajectory for growth with highest number of approved applicants this year. Hemp’s association with Marijuana however, remains a hurdle for producers.
In a recent breakout session at the American Farm Bureau National Convention in Nashville hemp supporters discussed legislation to remove the crop from the DEA’s schedule one substance list. Hemp is only legal in states with certified industrial hemp pilot programs like Kentucky. The federal government currently classifies hemp as an illegal substance due to its similarities to marijuana.
West Kentucky hemp processor Katie Moyer says Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ move to rescind the ‘Cole memo,’ which reflects a passive federal policy on the enforcement of cannabis laws, won’t affect hemp or the proposed Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017.
“Jeff Sessions seems to be acting pretty much of his own accord. It doesn’t seem like there’s a big appetite in D.C. for doing the things that Sessions is doing.” Moyer said.
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has said the 2014 Farm Bill gives clear authority to conduct an Industrial Hemp pilot program, regardless of Marijuana enforcement. Moyer said what could happen in the 2018 Farm Bill remains uncertain.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has approved more than 12,000 acres for growers to cultivate industrial hemp for research purposes in 2018. The 225 approved participants must pass background checks and consent to inspections. Last year, participants planted the highest number of acres in recent history at more than 3,200 acres.
Kentucky Congressmen have filed federal legislation to ease restrictions on hemp; including the most filling by Congressman Andy Barr. H.R. 4711 which asks for protections for institutions that provide financial services to hemp businesses.
Section 7606 of 2014 Farm Bill gives clear authority to conduct an Industrial Hemp pilot program! Just approved 12,000+ acres for 2018. https://twitter.com/jimhigdon/status/950191461701701632 …
Ryan F. Quarles
KY Department of Agriculture
As we start 2018, I wanted to give you an update on the status of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s (KDA) Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program.
2017 was a good year, and we did much to put this crop on a path towards commercialization in Kentucky once Congress acts to remove industrial hemp from the federal list of controlled substances.
Last year, our growers planted more acres of hemp than ever before, with more than 3,200 acres and another 46,000 square feet in indoor facilities. I am happy to report to you that we have approved more than 12,000 acres for industrial hemp research in 2018.
We also have more processors than ever before, filling a huge research need, and allowing us to explore the many applications of industrial hemp. It is imperative that Kentucky attract processors to drive innovation and spur economic development.
By now, applicants have been notified whether or not their 2018 grower applications were approved. Once conditionally approved applicants have attended mandatory training, the KDA will begin issuing licenses in March for the 2018 growing and processing season.
As you may know, I have still not received a formal response from the DEA, USDA and FDA regarding its 2016 Statement of Principles on Industrial Hemp (SOPIH). This is disappointing. I sent another letter to the DEA last month requesting a response to our concerns about the SOPIH and also for a meeting to discuss my concerns. You can read my comments here and watch my video message to the DEA here. Specifically, recent statements by a DEA spokesperson claims that consumable hemp-derived product is illegal to consume, a view which we are currently pushing back against.
I am hopeful that 2018 will be a great year for agriculture all around, and specifically for our industrial hemp research pilot program. I want you to know that if you ever need anything from the KDA’s team, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of KDA’s Hemp Staff.
Happy New Year!
Ryan F. Quarles
KY Department of Agriculture
105 Corporate Drive
Frankfort, KY 40601
For all of his hard work attending school and graduating as a German Chemist, while participating in the Tour de France in the 60’s, Manfred Donike was most widely known as an “doping expert” and is credited with the first accurate urine testing procedures.
He was Director for the Institute for Biochemistry at the German Sports University Cologne and head of drug testing operations at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Manfred Donike, at 61 years old, suffered a major heart attack and died in flight to Johannesburg to set up a drug testing lab for the All-African Games in August of 1995.
At the time of his death, Dr. Don Catlin, head of the Paul Ziffrin Analytical Laboratory at UCLA stated:
“He devised all the chemical methods of identifying prohibited substances. This is a staggering blow (to the anti-doping movement), but we will recover…”LINK
The first thing I saw on google January 3rd, while browsing the news was an article at the Daily Beast written by Christopher Moraff.
I had to look two or three times with my glasses on just to make sure of what I was seeing. I checked to see if it was a spoof – and it is not – as it is being reported by a number of news sites.
I immediately thought to myself, “I wonder if Manfred Donike knew what would happen when he came up with the procedure for drug-testing?” Did he have any idea that this testing would be used to imprison people throughout the World? Did he know how many Children would be separated from their Parents for nominal use of any substance that the Government saw fit to deem illicit? Did he know how many people would go to jail or prison or possibly a mental health facility for smoking Marijuana?
Then, on January 4th we wake up to this news!
Manfred Donike was appointed director of the Institute of Biochemistry at the German Sport University in Cologne in 1977, he is THE man who was responsible for the development of drug testing which is still used today.
Single handedly he is responsible for more people being imprisoned or confined in facilities for drug use than any other person on Earth. Whether or not he realized at the time what would happen we will probably never know. Continuing long after his death the long arm of drug testing has nestled into every Country on the face of the planet and threatens to control all of Society at large for a long time to come…
His lab work also led to the massive drug bust at the 1983 Pan American Games LINK
Dr. Robert Dupont formerly of NIDA, Kevin Sabet of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), and several other notable anti-legalization Activists joined Mr. Sessions in a meeting to discuss the situation regarding the many States who have “legalized” Marijuana in December.
As the meeting was closed-door there was no initial reports except to the fact that it did take place. Mr. Sessions said this about the meeting…
We’re working on that very hard right now,” he said on Wednesday. “We had meetings yesterday and talked about it at some length. It’s my view that the use of marijuana is detrimental and we should not give encouragement in any way to it. And it represents a federal violation which is in the law and is subject to being enforced, and our priorities will have to be focused on all the things and challenges that we face.”(USAG Sessions) LINK
As of this morning, we know what he decided to do! The “COLE MEMO” will be rescinded.
(CNN)In a seismic shift, Attorney General Jeff Sessions will announce Thursday that he is rescinding a trio of memos from the Obama administration that adopted a policy of non-interference with marijuana-friendly state laws, according to a source with knowledge of the decision. LINK
If anyone thinks that it is not feasible for the Federal Government to drug-test everyone, they would be wrong. The health-care system is set up as a monitoring system. At some point everyone will have to see a doctor for illness.
“Doctors already check for things like cholesterol and blood sugar, why not test for illicit drugs.”
— Dr. Robert DuPont
Ultimately, it will all lead you back to Agenda 21/30. The total control of the people through the food and medicine (and plants) you consume. Add to that drug testing at your local PCP and the NWO has us rounded up pretty well.
Therefore, we MUST have evidence. And what better way to have the evidence at hand than to routinely urine test every citizen as part of our healthcare, as a way to keep us free from addiction? Not to mention the fact that it is all conveniently entered into a computerized health care system for easy access by any Federal entity that is deemed appropriate at the time. Sounds like a great plan to me…(!!) if I were interested in maintaining total control over the population and keeping the prison industrial complex flowing…
Additionally, there was an article written by R. William Davis, entitled “Shadow of the Swastika – The Elkhorn Manifesto” which outlines the historical avenues which were taken to get us where we are at today. Today, on the anniversary of Gatewood Galbraith’s death I invite you to take a look at it. It is a very interesting and informative read.
After the morning news today there isn’t much more to be said about what is happening unless they literally declare martial law across the Nation just to control the potheads.
I can’t wait for the new “memo” to come out!
I’ll keep you informed…
“Rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to purposes and principles of the United Nations.” HOW THE UNITED NATIONS IS STEALING OUR “UNALIENABLE RIGHTS” TO GROW FOOD AND MEDICINE THROUGH THE U.N. CONVENTION ON NARCOTIC DRUGS AND AGENDA 21.
When Washington State legalized recreational marijuana three years ago, it created a licensing regime that was supposed to protect and encourage small growers, but the data shows that marijuana growing has consolidated into a few large suppliers, even as the price per gram has fallen — and that the industry’s embrace of exotic derivatives like edibles and concentrates is capital-intensive and inaccessible to small, independent providers.
Recreational weed will be legal in California as of tomorrow, and the state is already the country’s largest marijuana market, thanks to the loose rules around medical marijuana. With legal weed racing across the country, there’s a real risk of the whole industry being captured by a few major firms — the whole US market for THC could be provided with 10,000 acres’ of cultivation acreage, about 10 midwestern farms’ worth.
The market for legal weed was already structurally unjust, with legal restrictions on the ability of people with drug records to participate in it — and since the browner and poorer you are, the more likely you are to get convicted of drug offenses (even though rich white people are the most prolific American drug users), the market was off-limits to the population that was given the harshest treatment by the War on Some Drugs.
Current regulations keep pot farms from infinitely expanding, but as legalization marches forward, bigger farms could well be permitted. This summer, regulators in Washington expanded the maximum farm size from 30,000 square feet to 90,000. California plans on capping farms at 1 acre, or 43,560 square feet, when the market first launches. But the state rules do not currently stop farmers from using multiple licenses, which opens the door for larger farms.
What would happen if pot farms could be as large as wheat or corn fields? According to Caulkins, 10 reasonably sized farms could conceivably produce the entire country’s supply of tetrahydrocannabinol, pot’s most famous active chemical (usually shortened to THC).
“You can grow all of the THC consumed in the entire country on less than 10,000 acres,” Caulkins said. “A common size for a Midwest farm is 1,000 acres.”
Legal Weed Isn’t The Boon Small Businesses Thought It Would Be [Lester Black/Fivethirtyeight]
(via Naked Capitalism)
Republican state Senator Dan Seum plans on introducing legislation for the 2018 session that legalizes the adult use of and sale of cannabis.
Lawmakers in the 2018 legislative session will be primarily focused on crafting and passing a two-year state budget bill. The Senator believes that casting adult use legalization as a “jobs bill” will gain in traction.
“I’m looking at adult use, because that’s where the money is at,” Seum said.
According to the DEA, agents confiscated over 300,000 marijuana plants in Kentucky in 2016 — the third highest total of any state in the nation.
Enter your information below to send a letter to your state elected officials in support of this effort.
December 22, 2017
CARLISLE COUNTY, KY- Plans have been made to build a plant to commercially process pharmaceutical grade Cannabidiol (CBD) isolate.
Kings Royal Biotech of Kentucky partnered with an industrial hemp development company from China to build the facility.
Organizers say the plant will process CBD isolate, which is a powder made from hemp. Advocates say CBD, whether in isolate or oil form, can help with medical ailments without getting the user high.
Kings Royal has contracted with farmers in Carlisle and Hickman counties to grow 2,300 acres of hemp. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture also issued the permits for the farming and processing.
Hemp will be harvested this fall and the first round of CBD isolate will be produced in late 2018.
Unions have caught a whiff of a rare opportunity to organize a whole new set of workers as recreational marijuana becomes legal in California.
The United Farm Workers, Teamsters and United Food and Commercial Workers are looking to unionize the tens of thousands of potential workers involved in the legal weed game, from planters to rollers to sellers. The move could provide a boost to organized labor’s lagging membership — if infighting doesn’t get in the way.
The United Farm Workers, co-founded by iconic labor leader Cesar Chavez, says that organizing an industry rooted in agriculture is a natural fit, and that growers could label their products with the union’s logo as a marketing strategy.
“If you’re a cannabis worker, the UFW wants to talk with you,” national Vice President Armando Elenes said.
But United Food and Commercial Workers, which represents grocery store employees, meat packers and retail workers, registered its intent to organize cannabis workers across the country.
“We would hope they respect our jurisdiction,” UFCW spokesman Jeff Ferro said.
Teamsters organizer Kristin Heidelbach said there’s no need for unions to battle each other. There will be plenty of workers needing representation as small cannabis businesses run by “happy stoner” types give way to large pharmaceutical corporations, she said.
The green rush that begins in 2018 is an opportunity for unions to regain influence that began declining in the late 1950s, said David Zonderman, a professor of labor history at North Carolina State University. But discord between unions could upend it, as could resistance from cannabis business leaders.
“Are they going to be new age and cool with it,” Zonderman said, “or like other businesspeople, say, ‘Heck, no. We’re going to fight them tooth and nail’?”
Last year, California voters approved sales of recreational marijuana to those 21 and older at licensed shops beginning Jan. 1.
Cannabis in California already is a $22-billion industry, including medical marijuana and a black market that accounts for most of that total, according to UC Davis agriculture economist Philip Martin. Medical marijuana has been legal since 1996, when California was the first state to approve such a law.
Labor leaders estimate recreational pot in California could employ at least 100,000 workers from the north coast to the Sierra Nevada foothills and the San Joaquin Valley, harvesting and trimming the plants, extracting ingredients to put in liquids and edibles, and driving it to stores and front doors.
Pot workers have organized in other states, but California should be especially friendly territory for unions, said Jamie Schau, a senior analyst with Brightfield Group, which does marketing analysis on the marijuana industry.
The state has one of the nation’s highest minimum wages and the largest number of unionized workers across industries. Its laws also tend to favor employees.
At least some workers say they’re open to unionizing.
“I’m always down to listen to what could be a good deal for me and my family,” said Thomas Grier, 44, standing behind the counter at Canna Can Help Inc., a dispensary in the Central Valley community of Goshen.
The dispensary — with $7 million in yearly sales — sells medical marijuana.
Called a “bud tender,” Grier recently waited on a steady flow of regular customers walking through the door to pick out their favorite strains.
He said that so far, no unions have contacted him. Grier gets along with his boss and said he doesn’t want to pay union dues for help ironing out workplace disputes. But he hasn’t discounted the possibility of joining.
After recently entering the marijuana industry, Los Angeles resident Richard Rodriguez said one sticky traffic stop three months ago converted him into a “hard core” Teamster. He’d never been in a union until this year.
Rodriguez said an officer pulled him over while he was delivering a legal shipment of pot. He was accused of following too closely behind a semi-truck and was detained for 12 hours, he said.
A union lawyer stepped in, and Rodriguez said he was released without being arrested or given a ticket.
“Most companies can’t or are unwilling to do that,” he said, “because employees are easily replaced.”
Chad Wilson of Cave City stands next a row of industrial hemp he is growing on his farm called the Sacred Seed Farm. He is growing hemp for the cannabidiol or CDB, which is extracted from the plant and can be used to treat certain illnesses. Gina Kinslow / Glasgow Daily Times
BY GINA KINSLOW email@example.com
CAVE CITY – Seven years ago, Chad Wilson was anti-industrial hemp, but that’s mostly because he didn’t really know what it was. He thought industrial hemp and marijuana were the same thing.
But they’re not. Industrial hemp is different from marijuana, even though they are part of the same plant family.
“All my life I was told to stay away from the Devil’s lettuce, and that’s what I did as a good southern boy,” he said. “I didn’t understand that hemp wasn’t marijuana.”
The major difference between the two is that industrial hemp contains a much lower concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, than marijuana.
THC is the hallucinogenic that is found in marijuana.
“There is no getting high off industrial hemp,” he said.
After seven years, Wilson has come a long way. He has gone from being anti-industrial hemp to being an industrial hemp farmer. He is also now a cannabis activist.
He grows hemp on land in Cave City he calls the Sacred Seed Farm, and says he got into industrial hemp farming by accident.
“I was doing organic farming on a little two acre plot in Bowling Green. I realized my son did not know how to grow his own food and seeds. At that point I was just doing traditional gardening, so I got into finding ways to teach him and stumbled across some stuff on hemp and the nutritional value,” he said.
Then he discovered that studies are showing an extract of industrial hemp can be used to aid in the treatment of certain illnesses, even epilepsy. He also learned that industrial hemp can be used to make biodiesel fuel and clothing, among other things.
Wilson planted a little more than nine acres of industrial hemp this year. He is one of two hemp farmers in Barren County, and one of many across the state.
“In order to be a hemp producer, it is a permitting process and that process is handled by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture in cooperation with law enforcement so that everybody is on the same page. They know where every hemp production is,” said Chris Schalk, Barren County’s Agriculture Extension Agent. “I guess this is probably the second or third year for the permitting process.”
The federal farm bill of 2014 allowed state departments of agriculture to create industrial hemp research pilot programs.
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles hosted a roundtable discussion for Barren County producers in October at the Barren County Cooperative Extension Service’s office off West Main Street, and during his talk he mentioned industrial hemp.
“Industrial hemp obviously gets a lot of publicity. We have a very strong industrial research hemp program here. We want to remind people that this may not be a silver bullet for tobacco, but it might be something that works for some farmers. It may not work for others,” he said. “My family used to grow it in World War II because the government asked them to for the U.S. Navy. For some people we believe this could be a profitable market.”
On Wilson’s Sacred Seed Farm, he grows industrial hemp for the cannabidiol or CDB, a natural plant compound with significant medical benefits.
Wilson is co-owner of a Louisville-based business called Green Remedy.
“We buy the hemp from the farmers and then we take it into our facility and we have a CO2 extraction where we extract the CDB and then we make the tinctures and the capsules and the isolets and all the different kinds of products, and it is a Kentucky Proud Product,” he said.
Wilson is also owner of another business called Modern Concepts, which is located on the Sacred Seed Farm in Cave City.
“This is about a 4-year-old business that I moved from Bowling Green because I wanted to get back to small town America. I wanted to get back to country living and back home to the country,” Wilson said. “We’re losing farm families every day across the state and my family was one of the ones who lost their farm in the early ’80s due to the economics of farming. For me, it’s personal and it’s about getting my boys back to the farm and living simpler.”
Modern Concepts is a garden supply center that will offer organic, hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponicly grown plants.
“We’re also a distributor for a “Shark Tank’ product – the Tree-T-Pee. What we’re doing is basically going out and finding the specialty product for this industry and bringing it to Cave City,” he said.
Industrial hemp farming has become an economically viable business for many producers.
“There’s not a lot crops out there right now that can bring the economic hope to the small Kentucky farm like this plant can right now,” Wilson said.
Despite all the things industrial hemp has going for it, it is considered to be a Schedule I controlled substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act, along with other varieties of cannabis. But that is something U.S. Rep. James Comer, R-Tompkinsville, is hoping to change.
“I have a bill that I’m working on … that will address all of the updates that are needed with the hemp industry. And that’s the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017,” Comer said.
The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017 will do a lot of things, but the main thing it will do is reclassify industrial hemp from a controlled substance to an agriculture crop.
“That will solve a lot of the problems right there,” he said.
Comer, a former Kentucky commissioner of agriculture, referred to industrial hemp as being “a huge success story.”
“That’s something I was glad to be a part of in a big way and that’s kind of the issue that I’m identified with. When we passed it in 2013 in Kentucky, nobody would have predicted that here we are four years later and we are the leading hemp producing state in the nation,” he said. “It’s just been a real good success story. There’s a lot of hemp being grown in Kentucky. A lot of companies that are coming into the state are making a big private investment, so I think the future looks very bright for the hemp industry in Kentucky.”
Extracting CDB from industrial hemp is not the only thing that can be done with the plant.
“It is being used as fiber in textiles. It is being used as a heavy duty fiber in a lot of the tarps that is used in the military. We’ve got companies trying to use the fiber to make components for the automotive industry for mainly the dashboards and door panels for cars in Europe,” Comer said
Industrial hemp is also being grown for livestock feed.
“Murray State University is doing a lot of research on hemp from that aspect because it yields so much more per acre than fescue hay,” he said. “And they are testing the digestibility and the nutrient content. Cattle eat it. That’s for sure.”
Comer continued that he thinks more and more uses will surface for industrial hemp because it is a plant than can be used in so many ways.
“It can be used in bioenergy. It can be used in textiles. It can be used in pharmaceuticals. It can be used in construction. There seems like for every potential use of hemp there is interest in companies to come into the state and make an investment and start processing the hemp here in Kentucky, which would be good,” he said. “It would be good for farmers. It would be good for job creation.
“I think that once we can get legislation on the federal level that deregulates hemp, I think you’ll see more private dollars flow in and more processing facilities come online and therefore more farmers will grow it.”