In Praise of Hemp

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by Jim Prues / September 29th, 2010

Hemp use predates the Agrarian Age, as hemp fibers have been found in pottery in China and Taiwan dating to 7,000 years ago. The classical Greek historian Herodotus (ca. 480 BC) reported that the inhabitants of Scythia would often inhale the vapours of hemp smoke, both as ritual and for their own pleasurable recreation. So presumably the Scythians were the first recorded stoners.

 

In Europe, hemp growing and production became quite popular during the Medieval Age, having disseminated in that direction along with much of the technology of the Arabic Golden Age in Northern Africa. In Europe hemp seeds were used for food and oils, the leaves for teas and the stalks for fibres, including rope, clothes, sails and paper. Estimates put the number of Europeans actively involved in hemp growing and production in the 15th and 16th century at well over 50%.

Hemp has a strong historical influence on every continent, with varied cultural and religious traditions. Many African spiritual practices involve consuming hemp smoke to enhance awareness and generate visions like the Dagga ‘cults’.

The Spaniards brought hemp to the Western Hemisphere and cultivated it in Chile starting about 1545. However, in May 1607, “hempe” was among the crops Gabriel Archer observed being cultivated by the natives at the main Powhatan village, where Richmond, Virginia is now  situated; and in 1613, 

Samuell Argall reported wild hemp “better than that in England” growing along the shores of the upper Potomac. As early as 1619, the first Virginia House of Burgesses passed an Act requiring all planters in Virginia to sow “both English and Indian” hemp on their plantations. The Puritans are first known to have cultivated hemp in New England in 1645.

In more modern times, hemp was a popular crop in antibellum Kentucky and other southern states. It was commonly used for a variety of products, most notably the paper on which the U.S. Constitution was written. Several of our founding fathers were hemp farmers.

All this changed with William Randoph Hearst, who began demonizing hemp in order to leverage his great tracks of forest for paper production instead of needing to buy hemp from other farmers. His effort to demonize the plant was also instigated by his racism, as many hispanics and blacks used hemp for recreation. The word, marijuana, is the hispanic term for that form of hemp which has psychoactive ingredients.

There are several varieties of hemp, most of which have very little THC [tetra-hydro-cannabanoid], the mind-effecting component. For most of U.S. history, the distinction was well-understood and laws reflected that awareness. Like so many with the power of media, however, Mr. Hearst did his best to cloud that distinction, as he was against hemp in any form. Indeed, industrial hemp was referred to as ‘ditchweed’, while hemp for medicinal or recreations purposes has come to be known as marijuana.

An analogy would be poppies, where you have the breadseed poppy seeds that can be found on bread or rolls, in contrast to the opium poppies grown to create morphine and heroin.

As reference, the timber and lumber industries, textile and petro-chemical industries are the most influential in keeping hemp illegal. As usual, we can follow the money. Then for pot there’s the pharmaceutical industry, the alcohol lobby and all those anti-drug agencies with self-preservation interests. We learn much from understanding these connections.

With this background, let’s consider how hemp might again play a pivotal role in our culture.

Assuming access to air and water, our most regular needs are for food and energy. In the World4 culture, these needs, at least for the industrialized world, are met through global corporations like ADM, Monsanto, BP and Exxon. And of course, hemp is illegal to grow in much of the industrialized world and particularly the United States.

But as noted above, hemp is easily grown with little required in the way of fertilizer or pesticides. As such, hemp typifies a sustainably-oriented plant. Corn, by comparison, requires heavy doses of fertilizer, especially nitrogen, and requires a good deal of pesticide use, with Roundup often used to kill weeds, and genetically modified corn seed that is resistant to the effects of Roundup. With the vast expanses of corn grown in this country, it should be no surprise that the runoff from these chemicals has created a huge dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. And let us not forget that our tax dollars subsidize these efforts through farm and energy subsidies.

With hemp, we have a low-impact, high-yield crop that can be used for a variety of uses. The stalks and fiber can used for composites that can be a wood substitute in an array of products. They can also be processed to create ethanol. They can be burned as a carbon-neutral resource, since the carbon they release is but the carbon the plant ingested during it’s life. Durable, light-weight, and strong, it’s difficult to imagine all the uses for industrial hemp were we to focus on designing and building hemp-based products.

With hemp oil we have another energy-rich resource, which can be used in cooking, as lamp oil and as a medicinal, as its high concentration of essential fatty acids is great for the skin and overall health.

Hemp seed can be used as a food as well. The roasted seeds are crunchy, they can be used in soups and casseroles, mixed with cereals or other foods. They’re highly nutritious, have a good deal of protein and again, are positive-impact environmentally.

Hemp has remediation properties too. It absorbs heavy metals in the soil, reducing their toxicity and harmful environment effects. There are vast expanses of hemp in the area of the Chernobyl nuclear accident for just that reason.

Hemp can be grown successfully in nearly every state in these United States. One can imagine a culture where locally produced hemp provides a good portion of the energy, food and product needs for our communities. This methodology would provide employment in both production and processing of the plant. It would reduce the environmental damage caused by our overused, subsidized corn. [Corn syrup is a cheap, low grade sugar that’s in a ton of processed foods.] Re-integrating hemp into our culture is just good, common sense.

And then there’s marijuana. The heathen devil-weed [a term coined by Heart’s yellow press] was blamed for all sorts of bad behavior as part of the demonization process. But as usual, someone who smokes pot and acts badly likely acts badly anyway, with marijuana as the straw man. Marijuana reduces aggressive behavior, unlike alcohol. This slander against the singular most influential plant in human history is but one example of the dysfunctionality of our culture.

Weed does indeed have psychotropic properties of note. Being stoned has a curious effect on the mind. Most say it tends to enhance whatever we feeling or experiencing at the time, offering a heightened experience of music or games or food [the proverbial munchies]. It is often used as a mind-quieting agent as well, as the stream of thoughts so constant to most of us becomes less pressing in a marijuana state of mind. In our fear-ridden, highly-stressed culture that alone could be of great value.

It’s worth noting that marijuana has not been placed as the medical cause in a single death in this country. Compare that with alcohol, tobacco, or the host of concoctions the pharmaceutical industry markets to us constantly. Mary Jane is decidedly benign.

As a medicinal, hemp oil has the afore mentioned essential fatty acids that are very effective for skin issues like excema and when ingested enhances body health. Medical marijuana is much in the news these days, being legal in California and a handful of other states. It’s value in alleviating the worst effect of cancer treatments,  chronic back ache and other issues is well-documented. Imagine if our culture actually encouraged research on medical marijuana. Not likely when the legal drug cartel we call the pharmaceutical industry has so much influence in government.

Proposition 19 is a measure on the ballot in California this fall that makes hemp legal. It merits our support for all the reasons indicated in this writing. Perhaps with this ballot measure passing we can begin to reverse the foolishness that has withheld leveraging this marvelous plant for the last 100 years.

Perhaps one of the most beneficial characteristics of this renewable resource is that the hemp plant can be used in its entirety, and that a streamlined life-cycle assessment yields positive impacts on the environment throughout the growth, harvest, and production stages. The industrial hemp plant offers a wide variety of high performance applications through the many aspects of community design, and will help strengthen our local economy, return power back to our local agricultural industry, and restore the environment as it grows. – Scott Blossom

Well said, Mister Blossom. Perhaps this fall [in California Ballot Measure Prop 19] we’ll begin to see a return to sanity in our policies toward this marvelous and versatile plant. And wouldn’t it be just swell to see this happen in the wider context of a return to localism. Very World Five – dude.

Jim Prues is the founder of World 5.0, a new cultural operating system based on peace and love. He can be reached at jim@world5.org. Read other articles by Jim, or visit Jim’s website.

CONTINUE READING…

Hope for Hemp: Cave City family sees future in new crop

Hannah McCarthyin Feature Long Reads

Story and photos by Hannah McCarthy

Just 2 miles outside of downtown Cave City, Kentucky, the landscape quickly turns from old brick and mortar to farmhouses and dirt roads. Down one such dirt road, a 45-acre plot of land rests nestled between patches of trees, large stretches of wildflowers and tall grasses. Two 2012 Clayton model mobile homes, an old red barn and a spattering of newer-looking structures dot the immense sea of green grass.

The dirt road leads to a gravel pathway almost up to the door of the main house. This is the new home and farm of the Wilson family, one of Kentucky’s first families to enter into the world of hemp farming through the Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program.

Inside, two men, the heads of the two households, scurry around in the small kitchen of the main home. Dodging the kitchen island, the dog and each other, they are busy making phone calls to clients and searching for a product or a tool or a piece of paper. There is much to be done on this April day, as the summer is quickly approaching.

One of them is a burly bearded man in a farmer’s plaid button down. The hat he wears reads “Green Remedy,” and it is adorned with buttons and pins with pro-hemp sayings, phrases and images. Tufts of curly gray and black hair stick out from beneath the hat, and a salt-and-pepper goatee wraps around his bright smile.

This is Chad Wilson, sometimes better known as the Hemp Preacher.

He doesn’t remember when he first got the name or even who gave it to him; all he knows is that it has caught on over the years.

“I can get up on a soapbox pretty quick,” he laughs. “Thing is I get to speakin’ and it just turns to preachin’.”

Chad knows he is not the only one out there who preaches the power of hemp as a versatile and strong plant. He believes in its abilities to rejuvenate Kentucky farms and the agriculture industry across the nation.

As for his nickname, Chad does not want to end up as the face of Kentucky hemp, although he slowly starting to gain that reputation. He said his biggest goal is to spread the word about the industry and to help it grow with or without his name.

This year, Chad and his family are taking their involvement in the industry one step further. They will be planting and growing their own hemp in order to have a hand in every aspect of the production.

“We’re trying to get into a position where we help others, and we feel like it’s our calling; by doing that we help grow the industry.”

Hemp History and the IHRPP

Hemp has been planted on American soil since the Colonial Era. According to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Kentucky planted its first crop in 1775, and the state would become the leader in hemp production for years to come. In 1850, hemp production was at its peak with 40,000 tons of the crop coming out of Kentucky’s soil. However, in 1938 all forms of cannabis, including hemp, were outlawed, and so began its disappearance from the American farm.

During World War II, a small resurgence occurred in the industry, as hemp was used to make rope and materials for the war effort. Once the war ended, the crops began to dwindle and died out completely by 1958.

The “Second Prohibition,” as it is called by some hemp enthusiasts, occurred in 1970, when the Controlled Substances Act was passed, declaring Marijuana a “Schedule 1 substance.” Although hemp is also from the cannabis plant, it is grown and cultivated differently than marijuana. However, much of the legislation passed in the 19th and 20th centuries lumped both plants together without exception.

While marijuana is grown in a wider, spread out area, hemp farmers hope that stalks will grow up rather than out. Marijuana is also grown and harvested for its THC content. Hemp is cultivated for its seed and fiber. It has been used to make lotions, clothing and hair care products, but until recently it has been a U.S. import.

The 2014 U.S. farm bill allowed certain states to test hemp farm pilot programs. Kentucky was one of the first states to adopt the Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program, and from its installation has seen the acreage of crops planted go from zero to 2,300 acres in just under 3 years. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture hopes to see continued growth in the industry as the 2017 season begins around late May. However, many local farmers still worry about the risks of industrial hemp farming.

In a letter included in the 2017 IHRPP Policy Guide, Ryan Quarles, KDA Commissioner, stated the importance of maintaining flexibility and strong communication between farmers, government officials and law enforcement agencies:

“Freedom, flexibility and latitude to try new methods and applications are essential to the success of any agricultural research pilot program… the Department must work closely with federal, state and local law enforcement officials to devise and oversee a research pilot program that encourages continued expansion of industrial hemp production while also effectively upholding laws prohibiting marijuana and other illegal drugs.”

Still, some small family farm owners have not seen this kind of flexibility from their local law enforcement and government. In fact, they have experienced quite the opposite sentiment as regulations on percentages of the cannabinoid, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are strictly enforced.

This month, Kentucky agriculture officials seized and burned almost 100 pounds of Kentucky industrial hemp from grower, Lindsay Todd. Her crop, when measured for THC percentage, came out at .4083 percent according to officials. That means the crop was one-tenth over the legal limit of .3 percent, giving officials the right to eliminate it.

Chad Wilson weighed in on the incident, saying that alternatives are necessary if the IHRPP is to continue successfully in Kentucky.

“There have to be rules and regulations, but there also have to be concerns for the farmer and mitigation of loss…the plants are affected by the environment, by the weather, by stress that can throw those levels off,” Chad said.

As long as the law remains at .3 percent and no compensation for loss is provided, Wilson worries other farmers will be reluctant to begin growing their own crops in Kentucky.

How it all began

For most of his life, Chad Wilson, like many of his now critics, had a deep-seated opposition to hemp based on the assumption that it was the same as marijuana and was detrimental to society.

“I didn’t understand what hemp was, that it wasn’t marijuana. That’s how we were raised here in the South,” said Chad. “So I’ve made this incredible journey from where I was to where I am now.”

In 2011, Chad Wilson discovered the benefits of hemp after he began seeing posts about its various uses on Facebook. He started to look deeper, and he found information about the use of industrial hemp farming for vital remediation of the soil.

Then, as he looked further, he found stories about medical hemp and CBD oil helping children and adults with epilepsy or other painful health problems.

After being given the book “The Emperor Wears No Clothes: Hemp and the Marijuana Conspiracy,” Chad said things changed. He is now an advocate and self-proclaimed activist for the agriculture industry and industrial hemp in Kentucky.

In an effort to spread the word about hemp and provide hemp-based products to a larger market across the state and country, Chad and his partner, Chris Smith, founded Green Remedy, Inc., in October 2014. It is a company dedicated to the production of solely hemp products such as hair and skin care items, foods, and oils. The company also sells Cannabidiol products such as tinctures, capsules and concentrates.

Cannabinoids can be found in both hemp and marijuana plants. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) does not cause euphoria or intoxication, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Instead, preclinical studies have shown that CBD has “anti-seizure, antioxidant, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-tumor, anti-psychotic, and anti-anxiety properties.”

Green Remedy, Inc. specializes in the now-legal production of this medicinal cannabis product.

In March 2015, hemp hit home for the Wilson family when Chad’s father suffered a stroke that left him virtually speechless for months. He would look with blank expression at his family members and respond to them with a simple “yes” or “no.”

“I knew we had to get CBD into his body,” Chad said.

Chad’s sister was a nurse practitioner who did not agree with the use of CBD, and she was especially against using it on her father. Not wanting to cause a divide in the family, Chad let go of the idea.

Six months later, Chad’s father was still having trouble formulating full sentences and engaging in conversation. His eyes looked different. They were dimmer than before.

Chad, unable to wait any longer, took his father to his computer. He sat him down and told him to read about the U.S. government patent on CBD oil, which states, “nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention.”

“Take it,” Chad’s father looked at him with pleading eyes. “I’ll take it.”

In less than 10 days, Chad noticed a change. His father was speaking again, in full sentences. A year later he was laughing, joking and living on his own with a new lease on life.

“They said he would never drive again. They said he would never live on his own again. He would probably never speak again, never ride his motorcycle or be able to care for himself. We put him on CBD, and now I have my daddy back,” Chad said behind tear-filled eyes. “I have my daddy back.”

The Local Perspective

Not everyone shares the Wilsons’ sentiments about hemp and its role in American agriculture. Chad has faced ignorance and even discrimination from people around the country. Some of the most obvious opposition and lack of knowledge comes from his own locale, South Central Kentucky.

On Broadway Street, one can find a variety of antique shops, small restaurants and a number of “For Sale” signs. Squatty buildings with chipping paint and once-bright shop signs beckon a number of town locals and some tourists on a good day. Along Broadway, one patio set-up seems to catch the eye.

Magaline’s Antique Mall, with its plastic patio chairs and array of flowers and small trees, sits awaiting customers.

Inside, Magaline Meredith stands behind the counter.

“Hemp!? You mean that marijuana stuff? I’m afraid I don’t know nothing about that, darlin’,” she said.

A clay-like concealer covered her creviced face, and bright eyes shown through the thick black mascara under her polka-dotted hat.

“Come right on in, sugar,” said the old woman with raspy southern drawl. Her attention drifted to a raincoat-clad customer walking in the door.

“What can I do ya for…oh, well hey there honey,” she said, growing louder with the realization that her guest was actually someone she had been expecting. The man began to chat with Magaline’s husband behind her and they quickly engaged in a conversation about a plastic credit card scanner.

“Ya know, we used to use that hemp in the Navy. Made ropes and such,” he said.

“Yeah, and they’re usin’ it to make plastic and lotsa cool things nowadays,” said the man in the raincoat.  “Hell, they could probably make this credit card swiper outta hemp.”

“So it doesn’t get you high like real marijuana then?” Magaline asked, her bright eyes now sporting a look of confusion.

“I guess not,” said her husband.

“Well then, I guess I’m fine with them plantin’ it,” Magaline said, and they all went back to their search, leaving the conversation behind without a second glance.

Scenes like the one at Magaline’s are common in the state of Kentucky. While some people do know about hemp’s alternative uses, many still group the plant with its high-in-THC counterpart, marijuana.

In May of 2016, Chad paid a visit to the Warren County Justice Center to help his son get a driver’s license. Once he entered the building, Chad was told that he would have to leave the premises if he did not remove his Green Remedy hat. According to the Bowling Green Daily News, the officials said that Chad’s hat “promoted marijuana” and so he would have to remove it before going any further.

Chad, not wanting to cause a scene, removed the hat but was disheartened by the entire event. After having explained himself to the officials and telling them that he was in fact a licensed grower, they still made him take off the hat.

“The only way this industry is gonna grow is if people take down these walls and freely communicate and share ideas,” Chad said. “And right now we’re still not seeing that.”

The Plan of Action

Back on his own farm, Chad and his son, Jordan, patiently await planting day. For now, June 1 is the set date when the first cutting will be placed in the soil. The Wilsons will be experimenting with cloning their plants rather than planting seeds.

“Cloning helps us ensure that the plant has good genes,” said Jordan. “That way it’ll be easier to regulate those THC levels and the quality of the plants we’re farming.”

With the planting of the cuttings quickly approaching, there is still much to be done on the farm- a shop to be furnished and cemented, greenhouses to be readied and careful protection of the plants themselves. Although the weather has been an obstacle in the process, the Wilsons remain hopeful that they will have a fully functioning farm within the next couple of months.

“We have a pretty good outline of what we’re going to do,” said Jordan. “But we don’t want to make anything too strict because things happen. It may rain. We may have some other setback. We just know what our end goal is, and we know we’ll make it happen.”

The Wilsons hope that the entire farm will one day become a place that draws people to Cave City. Chad believes that his farm has the potential to bring life back to the small town with an agritourism approach.

Jordan has planted radishes and carrots while he waits for the day to start planting the hemp cuttings. Another goal for the Wilson family, which Jordan is especially passionate about, is to run a certified Kentucky Organic produce farm. First, they will have to prove to the KDA that the land has been free of pesticides and chemicals for a three-year period.

Both Chad and Jordan are confident that they will receive the certification, as most of the land has not been farmed in years. Except for the back, where there was corn and soybean production, the Wilson family can prove that there have not been any chemicals or sprays on the land for around six to 10 years.

With big plans ahead of them, the Wilsons work daily to ensure that their farm will run smoothly. Chad wakes up almost every morning at 5 a.m. to begin his day making phone calls, doing business and readying the farm.

After the cuttings of hemp are planted in the greenhouse beds, the Wilsons will finally have a hand in all aspects of hemp agricultural production.

“I especially care about keeping [the hemp plants] inside, away from external factors like bugs and bad weather, especially if they will be used medicinally,” Chad said, mentioning the importance of knowing exactly where your hemp products come from.

Chad will get to oversee every part of the process from plant birth to the lab at Green Remedy and then, he hopes, into the lives of people in need.

Once everything is up and running smoothly, the final steps in Chad’s plan include making the farm a training center for anyone who wants to grow hemp. Old farmers who want to try something new. New farmers who have never put one seed in the ground. Anyone with a true desire to grow the plant will be welcome to listen and learn the Hemp Preacher’s lessons.

“My hope is that I can build something that’s a benefit to the farmer and the agricultural economy around Cave City. Then, eventually we can experiment with new crops…see what works and what doesn’t, and then we can train farmers based on that research,” Chad said.

“We’re starting a new page of history for this farm.”

CONTINUE READING AND TO SEE PICS OF FARM!

Lawmakers eye THC content of state’s industrial hemp

For Immediate Release

May 3, 2017

Lawmakers eye THC content of state’s industrial hemp

FRANKFORT—Industrial hemp legally grown in Kentucky is not considered marijuana. It has only a fraction of THC—or tetrahydrocannabinol, a psychoactive compound—found in marijuana. And state regulators aim to keep it that way.

Around 100 pounds of industrial hemp grown under Kentucky’s three-year old Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program were destroyed just three weeks ago after the state found the crop had a higher THC level than the law allows. An April 13 Associated Press article on the destroyed crop reported that it registered THC levels of between 1.2 and 0.4 percent, or slightly above the federal and state legal limit of 0.3 percent.

Kentucky mandated 0.3 percent as the legal THC limit for industrial hemp grown in the state four years ago when it passed legislation allowing industrial hemp production as part of a state pilot program cleared by the 2014 U.S. Farm Bill. Hemp grown under the state program is routinely tested—as the destroyed crop was—to ensure that its THC level falls at or below the legal limit.

Questions about the destruction of the non THC-compliant crop were raised today before the state legislative Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee by Rep. Kim King, R-Harrodsburg. King asked for more information about what happened with the crop from representatives of Atalo Holding of Winchester and Sunstrand of Louisville, two companies that process industrial hemp at their facilities.

Atalo Holdings Chairman Andrew Graves said the crop is question was a variety most commonly grown in the western U.S. “In this climate, when it’s grown, the THC level tends to be a higher level than it should be.” He said there wasn’t any question that the crop needed to be destroyed.

“It’s not a problem with us. We are used to regulated industries—tobacco is heavily regulated—and so this is as well,” said Graves.

King said she is pleased the system worked.

“I’m very, very inspired and I’m very, very hopeful that the system caught a portion of the crop that tested above the legal limit,” said King. “I just wanted some additional discussion on that.”

Sen. Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville, mentioned the use of industrial hemp in the production of CBD or cannabidiol oil, which is extracted from hemp. CBD oil reportedly helps with balance, mood, sleep, appetite and can help relieve pain. It has also been known to help with epilepsy. And, since the oil is made from low-THC hemp, it doesn’t create the sensation of being high, like marijuana can.

Hornback asked Graves and others testifying before the committee if medicinal products made from industrial hemp, including CBD oil, are more effective if the THC level is above 0.3 percent. Atalo Holdings Research Officer Tom Hutchens said that, as of yet, is unknown.

“We don’t know the answer to that, truly, because there hasn’t been enough research. I think it will probably get (to a) higher (level) somewhere along the line, but all of this has to do with the national scope,” said Hutchens.

Graves said he’d like to see Kentucky increase its legal limit of THC in industrial hemp from 0.3 percent to 1 percent to improve plant breeding options. That would give Hutchens “some leeway, where he wouldn’t be under the scrutiny of law while he’s trying to breed some new variety that could be indigenous to Kentucky and beneficial to farmers here,” he said.

Cultivation of up to 12,800 acres of industrial hemp for research purposes has been approved by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) for 2017. That is nearly three times the acreage approved for industrial hemp cultivation in 2016, according to a press release from the KDA. Kentucky has “the largest state industrial hemp research project program in the nation,” the KDA reports.

Some funding for hemp processing in Kentucky has come from the state’s share of the national Master Settlement Agreement, a 1998 multi-billion dollar agreement between major tobacco companies and 46 states including Kentucky. Spending of those funds are overseen by the Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee.

-END-

2016 Annual Retail Sales for Hemp Products Estimated at $688 Million

Press Releases 

 

2016 US Hemp Market Sales by Category

Please click here to downlad this release as a PDF.

For Immediate Release
Monday, April 14, 2017

CONTACT: Lauren Stansbury, 402-540-1208
lauren@votehemp.com

2016 Annual Retail Sales for Hemp Products Estimated at $688 Million

Hemp Food, Body Care, CBD and Supplements Retail Market in U.S.
Achieves 25% Growth in 2016

WASHINGTON, DC – Vote Hemp, the nation’s leading grassroots hemp advocacy organization working to change state and federal laws to allow commercial hemp farming, has released final estimates of the size of the 2016 U.S. retail market for hemp products.  Data from market research supports an estimate of total retail sales of hemp food, supplements and body care products in the United States at $292 million.  Sales of popular hemp items like non-dairy milk, shelled seed, soaps and lotions have continued to increase, complemented by successful hemp cultivation pilot programs in several states, and increasing grassroots pressure to allow hemp to be grown domestically on a commercial scale once again for U.S. processors and manufacturers.  Vote Hemp and Hemp Business Journal have 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 2016 to be at least $688 million.

Of this $688 million hemp market, Vote Hemp and Hemp Business Journal estimate that hemp foods constituted 19% ($129.3 million); personal care products constituted 24% ($163 million); textiles constituted 14% ($99.5 million); supplements constituted 4% ($26 million); hemp derived cannabidiol or CBD products constituted 19% ($130 million); and hemp dietary supplements constituted 4% ($26 million); industrial applications such as car parts constituted 18% ($125.5 million); and other consumer products such as paper and construction materials accounted for the remaining 2% of the market.

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, Alfalfa’s Market, and certain other key establishments, who do not provide sales data — and thus it significantly underestimates actual sales.  According to the SPINS data, combined 2016 sales of U.S. hemp food, body care, CBD products and dietary supplements grew in the sampled stores by 24.64% or approximately $23 million, over the previous year 2015, to a total of nearly $117 million.  According to SPINS figures, sales in conventional retailers grew by 36.54% in 2016, while sales in natural retailers grew by 11.64%. Indeed, the combined growth of hemp retail sales in the U.S. continues steadily: annual natural and conventional market percent growth has progressed from 7.3% (2011), to 16.5% (2012), to 24% (2013), 21.2% (2014), 10.4% (2015),
to nearly 25% in 2016.
“Vote Hemp estimates the total retail value of all hemp products sold in the U.S. to be at least $688 million for 2016,” said Eric Steenstra, President of Vote Hemp.  “To date, 32 states have passed legislation that allows hemp farming per provisions set forth in the 2014 Farm Bill, and the U.S. remains the largest consumer market for hemp products worldwide. However misguided drug policy still prevents our farmers from cultivating hemp at the scale needed to meet consumer demand, so instead nearly all the hemp to supply the U.S. market is imported. We need Congress to pass federal legislation to allow commercial hemp farming nationally, to let our farmers and American business take advantage of the robust economic opportunity hemp provides,” continued Steenstra.

Data was gathered and analyzed in partnership with Hemp Business Journal, the leading provider of market intelligence to the hemp industry.  Sean Murphy, founder and publisher of Hemp Business Journal said, “The hemp industry is being lead by the Natural Products channel. Food and personal care categories have traditionally lead the industry and continued to do so in 2016. The emergence of Hemp CBD—a category growing at 53%—drove the hemp industry to a total market size of $688 million. Hemp Business Journal estimates $130 million in hemp industry sales is from the Hemp CBD category, nearly 20% of the total market.  This category is being driven by channel sales in the Natural Products Industry, smoke shops and online verticals, with pharmaceutical players quickly moving into position to capture market share.”

Vote Hemp has calculated that approximately 9,650 acres of hemp crops were planted in 15 states during 2016 in the U.S., 30 universities conducted research on hemp cultivation, and 817 State hemp licenses were issued across the country. This hemp cultivation is legal in 32 states, which have lifted restrictions on hemp farming and may license farmers to grow hemp in accordance with Sec. 7606 of the Farm Bill, the Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research amendment. To view the Vote Hemp 2016 Crop Report, which gives a state-by-state breakdown of hemp acreage grown in 2016, please visit:

To date, thirty-two states have defined industrial hemp as distinct and removed barriers to its production. These states are able to take immediate advantage of the industrial hemp research and pilot program provision, Section 7606 of the Farm Bill: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

# # #

Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue, non-profit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and a free market for low-THC industrial hemp and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers to once again grow the agricultural crop. More information about hemp legislation and the crop’s many uses may be found at www.VoteHemp.com or www.TheHIA.org. Video footage of hemp farming in other countries is available upon request by contacting Lauren Stansbury at 402-540-1208 or lauren@votehemp.com.

Company to process hemp, other fiber receives state dollars

For Immediate Release

April 13, 2017

Company to process hemp, other fiber receives state dollars

FRANKFORT—A Kentucky-based company looking to process the fiber of around 750 acres of hemp and the jute-like plant kenaf has been approved for $381,500 in state funds to expand its processing facility.

The Louisville-based Sunstrand received the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board’s (KADB) approval for the funding, drawn from the state’s tobacco settlement agreement dollars, in February. Approved state funds will be used to match county-level KADB funds up to $381,500, with any shortfall covered as a loan up to the full amount, Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy (GOAP) Deputy Executive Director Bill McCloskey told the Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee yesterday.

McCloskey said the natural fiber processed by Sunstrand is being used instead of plastic and glass fiber in car parts manufacturing and other industries, with economic benefits.

“It can be a lower input for the plastic and injection mold industry, specifically car parts,” he told the committee.

Sen. Dennis Parrett, D-Elizabethtown, told the committee that funding Sunstrand may lead to commercial fiber processing-facility requests from other parts of the state. “We opened up an avenue for several of these others. Are you going to be able to treat them the same way?”

GOAP Executive Director Warren Beeler said “probably not.”

“This idea was to do a seed plant and do a fiber plant, and then step aside,” he told Parrett.

Another hemp-related project that came before the KADB in February was a request from the Kentucky Hemp Research Foundation, which McCloskey said requested $189,592 in state and county-level agricultural development funds for research. Total funds approved by the board were $2,000 in Floyd County funds, said McCloskey.

The county funds were approved because they were prioritized by the county, Beeler told the committee.

“We trust the county more than anybody, and they put a high priority on it, then we assume that’s how they want to spend their money,” said Beeler.

At the same time, Beeler said the KADB “felt like research probably needs to be left at this point and time to the (state) universities,” which McCloskey said were conducting 17 hemp research projects in 2016.

The KADB in February also approved:

· A request for $12,000 in county funds for Hopkinsville Elevator to investigate business opportunities in canola;

· $179,373 for Eastern Kentucky University for robotic milkers for dairy farming;

· $50,000 to Kentucky Agricultural Opportunities Inc. to create a producer-owned entity to look at business opportunities in Central Kentucky, specifically the Bluegrass Stockyards project.

Committee Co-Chair Rep. Myron Dossett, R-Pembroke, thanked the GOAP for the update on how tobacco settlement dollars are being used for the state’s benefit.

“I think it’s important for us to share …the importance of what this tobacco settlement money is doing, not only for our ag producers, but how it’s impacting our communities,” said Dossett.

–END–

Kentucky Hempsters | April 2017

 

 

Springing into hemp season!

 

April showers mean May planting is right around the corner! We’re excited to spring into year four of Kentucky hemp crops, and can’t wait to show you the progress that has taken place through the hemp pilot program over the past three seasons!

Last month, our state took another step toward progress as the Kentucky General Assembly passed two bills that aim to improve the hemp pilot program. House Bill 333 and Senate Bill 218 will protect and expand the Kentucky hemp industry, particularly in regards to CBD (cannabidiol or hemp extract) crops and the products derived from them.

Looking forward, we are eager to share updates as we prepare and plant our crops this season! There are also several events coming up with opportunities to learn more about industrial hemp, get involved, purchase Kentucky Proud Hemp Products, and network with others in the industry.

State Hemp Legislation

Last month proved particularly stressful for those involved in hemp legislation on behalf of the Kentucky industry, as several bills included language that could have negatively impacted hemp pilot projects. Fortunately, and due largely in part to the many concerns expressed by program participants, these bills have been revised to benefit and expand the emerging industry.

House Bill 333

KY HB 333 is an effort to deal with the state’s growing opioid abuse problem. As introduced, the bill included a controversial provision which would require CBD (cannabidiol, or hemp extract) to be prescribed by a physician and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA.)

Fortunately, this language has since been altered to protect and expand CBD hemp protection within the state. According to Commissioner Quarles, the bill removes any remaining doubt that CBD products derived from industrial hemp are legal, and not “marijuana” under state law. Click here to learn about the subsections in HB 333 that concern industrial hemp derived CBD and CBD products.

Senate Bill 218

KY SB 218 revised legal framework enacted by the Kentucky General Assembly Senate Bill 50 in 2013, and aligns the state law with Section 7606 the 2014 Farm Bill. In a recent press release, Quarles described the bill as “a product of six months of close collaboration and consensus-building with the Kentucky State Police and the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.” It passed early last month, and the law immediately took effect after Governor Bevin signed it on March 20, 2017.

Click here to learn more about KY HB 333 and KY SB 218

Federal Hemp Legislation

We are anxiously awaiting the introduction of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act (2017) by Kentucky Congressman James Comer! If passed, the bill would: 

  • Get the DEA off the Farm: Remove industrial hemp from the purview of the Controlled Substances Act; empower states to monitor and regulate.
  • Redefine Industrial Hemp: Distinguished from its cousin, “marijuana,” industrial hemp is all parts of the cannabis sativa L. plant with a THC level of less than 0.3% (and potentially up to 0.6% if states permit.)
  • Create A New Industry: Allow for the growth, production, and commercialization of industrial hemp and hemp products.

Those working alongside Congressman Comer on the bill have informed us that the legislation should be introduced sometime early this month, if all continues to progress accordingly. Stay tuned for updates on social media! 

Click here to learn more about the Industrial Hemp Farming Act (2017)

CONTINUE READING…

Hemp Lobby Day Report

Vote Hemp

 

Vote Hemp held a fly-in in Washington, DC on March 1st in coordination with Hemp On the Hill. Attendees included 55 farmers, business owners and advocates who engaged in more than 80 meetings with Senate and House members and staff. A number of attendees were able to meet with their representatives including Senators Grassley, Ernst, Graham, Scott, Manchin and Wyden. Meetings are critical to building support for passage of The Industrial Hemp Farming Act which should be introduced soon. If you couldn’t make it to Washington, you can still help by attending a district meeting. See below for more info. 

Hemp Lobby Day 2017

You can still schedule meetings with your Senators and Representative in your district. Click here to view our advocacy toolkit documents. Make sure and let us know if you are interested in doing a district meeting. We can assist with scheduling, preparation and follow up with you post meeting. Contact Ben Droz at congress@votehemp.com. We are coordinating with the Hemp Road Trip on a number of state lobby day’s as well.  Contact us for more info.  

DEA Arresting Hemp Farmer

Please Support Vote Hemp!

Vote Hemp depends entirely on contributions, bequests and in-kind donations from supporters like you to do our work. Please help us continue this very important work. Your contributions help make action alerts like this possible, help defend farmers and much more. 

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Vote Hemp | www.VoteHemp.com

Hemp Industries Association Sues DEA For Ignoring 9th Circuit Decision in HIA v. DEA (& Please sign this petition for Hemp)

Hemp Industries Association Sues DEA

For Ignoring 9th Circuit Decision in HIA v. DEA

In 2001, the DEA issued new rules to ban hemp foods despite the fact that Congress had exempted them in the Controlled Substances Act. The HIA, Dr. Bronner’s, Nutiva and other plaintiffs went to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to challenge the illogical rules and won a victory. This ruling prohibited DEA from treating legal hemp products as controlled substances and helped the burgeoning hemp foods market to take off. 

Despite this victory and the clear order from the court prohibiting DEA from enforcing the rules, DEA has continued to put out incorrect and confusing information advising the media and state officials that hemp foods are still illegal if they are intended for human consumption! 

Today the HIA filed a motion with the court to ask that DEA be found in contempt for refusing the follow the courts order. You can read the filing here.

 

Image result for kentucky hemp

Let American Farmers Grow Hemp Once Again to Create Jobs and Rebuild the Rural Economy – Sign This Petition

Created by E.S. on January 20, 2017 – Sign This Petition

Industrial hemp was once a dominant crop on the American landscape. This hardy and renewable resource was refined for various industrial applications, including paper, textiles, and cordage. Unfortunately hemp was conflated with marijuana but hemp can't be used as a drug.

Over time, the use of industrial hemp has evolved into an even greater variety of products, including health foods, body care, clothing, auto parts, construction materials, biofuels, plastic composites and more.

Farmers in Europe, Canada and China all grow hemp and over $600 million in imported hemp products were sold in the USA in 2016. Congress has 2 bipartisan bills which would bring back hemp farming and create rural jobs. We request that President Trump work with Congress to pass hemp legislation in 2017 – Sign This PetitionSign This Petition

Hemp Industries Association Files Petition Against DEA

Hemp Industries Association Files Petition Against DEA to Defend Lawful Hemp-Derived Products from Agency Overreach
19 Jan 2017 5:41 PM

Suit Seeks to Defend Hemp Farmers, U.S. Businesses and Consumers from Illegal Attempt to Schedule Non-Psychoactive Hemp Derivatives as ‘Marihuana Extract’
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Hemp Industries Association (HIA), the leading non-profit trade association consisting of hundreds of hemp businesses, filed a Petition for Review on January 13, 2017, in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, seeking to block the implementation of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) recently announced Final Rule regarding “Marihuana Extract.” The proposed DEA Final Rule attempts to unlawfully designate hemp-derived non-psychoactive cannabinoids, including cannabidiol, as “marihuana extract,” and append the Controlled Substances Act to add all cannabinoids to its Schedule I. Furthermore, this action by the DEA contravenes clear Congressional intent and legal parameters for the production and consumption of hemp-derived products containing cannabinoids, enacted by Sec. 7606 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill).

To read the full petition, please visit:

https://hoban.law/sites/default/files/2017-01/17.01.13%20Petition%20%5Bfinal%5D.pdf

The DEA does not have the authority to augment the Controlled Substances Act; that power resides with Congress. Congress has clearly mandated, through the 2014 Farm Bill and the 2016 Omnibus Spending Law that the Controlled Substances Act does not apply to hemp grown in state pilot programs, and that it is a violation of federal law for agencies such as DEA to interfere with these programs. The DEA’s proposed rule regarding cannabinoids thumbs its nose at Congress and threatens to undermine the market for legal hemp products containing cannabinoids, including those produced in the U.S. under state laws that regulate hemp cultivation and processing pursuant to, and in accordance with the federal Farm Bill. These products, such as hemp foods and supplements, fall outside the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and are not subject to regulatory control by the DEA.

“Hemp-derived products containing cannabinoids are an increasingly in-demand category within the hemp market—and U.S. consumers constitute the largest market for hemp products worldwide,” said Colleen Keahey, Executive Director of the Hemp Industries Association. “We are committed to defending the rights of our members, of entrepreneurial hemp farmers, businesses and consumers, who all are acting entirely within the legal framework of the CSA and Farm Bill, including those adversely affected by trying to source American-grown hemp and hemp derivatives to supply this demand. The DEA’s attempt to regulate hemp derived products containing cannabinoids lawfully sourced under the CSA, and farmed and produced under the Farm Bill in states like Kentucky and Colorado, is not only outside the scope of their power, it’s an attempt to rob us of hemp’s economic opportunity.”
The DEA has made previous attempts to interfere with legal hemp products, notably from 2001-2003 when the agency contended that hemp food products such as cereals, hemp seed and hemp oil, are a Schedule I substance due to trace insignificant residues of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. On February 6, 2004, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in response that hemp is not included in Schedule I; that the trace THC in such products is similar to trace opiates in poppy seed bagels, and does not render them controlled substances. The HIA believes this 2004 ruling sets strong legal precedent for the current petition, which asserts that cannabinoids derived from lawful portions and varieties of the Cannabis plant exempted from control under the CSA and through the Farm Bill, may not be regulated as “marihuana” or “marihuana extract” by the DEA.

More recently, in 2014, the DEA interfered with the implementation of state pilot programs for hemp farming, when the agency unlawfully seized 250 lbs. of certified industrial hemp seed imported from Italy. The viable hemp seed had been legally sourced to supply six hemp research projects licensed by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and coordinated in conjunction with Kentucky State academic institutions. The seed was quickly released, following the filing of a lawsuit against the DEA on May 14, 2014 by then Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner, now U.S. Congressional Representative James Comer.
“Over a decade ago, the Ninth Circuit held that non-psychoactive hemp is not controlled by the CSA,” said Patrick Goggin, co-counsel for the HIA. “The DEA is again attempting to schedule under the CSA cannabinoids and non-psychoactive hemp beyond its authority. We believe the Ninth Circuit will invalidate this rule just like it did in 2004.”
To date, 31 states have passed hemp legislation that allows their farmers to cultivate hemp according to guidelines set forth in the Farm Bill. Per these guidelines, U.S. farmers planted nearly 10,000 acres of hemp in 2016. Farmers and agri-business across the country have invested many millions of dollars in infrastructure to comply with federal law; this retroactive misreading of statute puts the livelihood of these law-abiding companies and individuals at risk.
Recent DEA pronouncements indicate that DEA is threatening to flout prior court rulings, and assert regulatory authority over hemp seed, oil, and products made from hemp seed and oil, which have always been exempt from the Controlled Substances Act. HIA continues to monitor these developments, and will consider further actions to resist DEA’s unlawful attempts to regulate legal hemp products.
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The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) represents the interests of the hemp industry and encourages the research and development of new hemp products. More information about hemp’s many uses and hemp advocacy may be found at www.TheHIA.org.