George Washington, Champion of Growing Hemp

February 16, 2016

Washington Inseparable from Hemp

by Joe Klare

The recent occasion of Presidents Day allows us to take some time to look back on Presidents of yore and discuss the things they championed. When you talk about the Father of our Country, George Washington, you really can’t have a discussion of his life without talking about hemp.

Washington, like most of the Founding Fathers, was a man of substantial wealth. He owned several farms in the Virginia area and was a big proponent of industrial hemp, using it for rope, thread, canvas and repairing nets.

While some like to believe Washington also smoked hemp, this scenario is highly unlikely, especially since he would have felt no effects from smoking the hemp besides a headache. To grow marijuana as we know it today, Washington would have had to segregate the plants; growing industrial hemp in the same area as good ole get-me-high-as-a-kite marijuana will only result in cross pollination, which would destroy the THC-producing abilities of the plant.

Believe it or not, hemp was a common crop in the days of the Founding Fathers. Its utility was championed by the U.S. government, right up until World War II and the famous “Hemp for Victory” war film. After that, its association with the now illegal and evil “marihuana” caused it to fall out of favor.

This injustice has only recently been remedied as the federal government has backed off its prohibition of industrial hemp and several states have passed legislation re-allowing it to be grown; huge fields of hemp are grown just a few dozen miles south of where I write this in Kentucky.

The Founding Fathers knew a lot, and one of those things was the amazing ability of industrial hemp.

Read more: http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/george-washington-champion-of-hemp/#ixzz40RMnGEYZ

Follow us: @TheLibRepublic on Twitter

As advocate for industrial hemp production, Kentucky’s Thomas Massie standing tall

Jun 25th, 2015 ·
 
By Tim Thornberry
Special to NKyTribune
If there is anyone from Kentucky who is a bigger industrial hemp advocate than Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, it is likely U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, who stood beside Comer when state legislation was being passed to allow an administrative framework be set up.
Massie, a Republican who represents the 4th District stretching across Northern Kentucky, has been leading the charge at the federal level. Recently, he joined a host of others in co-sponsoring an amendment that would keep the federal government from using taxpayers’ dollars to hinder research production efforts.
U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie
U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky)

Earlier this year, Massie introduced the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015 (HR525), which would amend the Controlled Substances Act to remove industrial hemp from the list of controlled substances.

And it was an amendment he sponsored in the 2014 Farm Bill that granted states research rights when it came to cultivating industrial hemp.
This latest legislation was a part of the Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations bill, which funds many government agencies, including the Department of Justice and the Department of Commerce. It is the result of the situation that arose in 2014 when the federal government held up hemp seed delivery to Kentucky’s waiting research projects.
“Their seeds were confiscated by an overzealous DEA, that is turning a blind eye to marijuana in Colorado and Washington State, but the DEA saw fit to come to Kentucky and harass our state department of agriculture that had non-psychoactive hemp seeds,” Massie said.
It took a lawsuit on behalf of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and this same legislative amendment introduced by Massie to get those seeds released.
That amendment became law as part of the Omnibus Bill which means it remains in affect until Sept. 30, when the bill expires.
“Whenever you amend an appropriations bill to achieve a desired effect, it doesn’t become permanent law, it only lasts for the length of the appropriation, which is one fiscal year,” said Massie. “That’s why I reintroduced this amendment so this fiscal restraint on the DEA will also be in place in the 2016 fiscal year. And this time it passed by an even larger majority than last year.”
He sees this as growing support from Congress to allow industrial hemp to once again become a production agriculture crop.
“Just about every week I get a new co-sponsor for HR525 and that’s one of the reasons these amendment votes are important. They show a level of support for industrial hemp in Congress that keeps growing,” said Massie.
He added that these vote totals will show leadership and committee chairs the will of the House is to allow the growing of industrial hemp and therefore HR525 should be passed out of committee and allowed a vote on the floor.
 
“What’s happening here to motivate federal legislators is that the state legislatures are passing industrial hemp initiatives in their own states.” — U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky)
One positive move that happened this year with the amendment that did not happen in 2014 is the support from the chair of the Judiciary Committee, the committee of jurisdiction for HR525.
Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) chairs that committee and in his home state, hemp research legislation passed in 2014 by a nearly unanimous vote.
“What’s happening here to motivate federal legislators is that the state legislatures are passing industrial hemp initiatives in their own states,” Massie said.
From an agricultural standpoint, hemp is thought by many to be a viable replacement for tobacco in Kentucky.
Massie, who raises cattle on a former tobacco farm, said he is acutely aware of the need to find a replacement crop even though it may not be on a one-for-one basis.
But there are some sectors within the hemp industry that hold promise from a financial standpoint including its use in pharmaceuticals.
“The majority of the venture capital that’s starting to come into the hemp field is focused on pharmaceutical applications not for THC but for CBD (cannabidiol) oils,” said Massie.
Cannabinoids are extracts derived from industrial hemp that are often used in medical research.
David Williams, UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment agronomist and co-project lead for the university’s hemp research said some of that cannabinoid research, which until now has been conducted indoors, is going outdoors in fieldscape production at UK, something that may hold the key to it being a potential replacement crop for tobacco producers.
“I’ll underline and bold that word ‘potential,’” said Williams cautiously. “If a tobacco production model yielded more cannabinoids than a direct-seeding model, it could be a ‘potentially’ wonder thing for Central Kentucky farmers to have a ‘potential’ alternative crop that might be just as profitable as tobacco used to be.”
The House passed the CJS appropriations bill by a vote of 242-183. The legislation will now need Senate passage before going to the president.
Tim Thornberry is a freelance writer and photographer who has covered Kentucky agricultural and rural issues for various publications since 1995.
CONTINUE READING…

Hemp planted at Locust Grove

Sheldon S. Shafer, The Courier-Journal 10:10 p.m. EDT June 5, 2015

 

hemplogo2

"Today hemp is grown mostly in Canada. and the seeds and oil are imported for culinary purposes, but historically hemp was cultivated mainly for use in canvas and rope."

Locust Grove will have a hemp festival on Aug. 9. It will include a hemp village where products can be purchased, a hemp café with foods made from hemp oil and seeds, rope and paper making demonstrations, and talks by experts on hemp.

Also at the festival two films will be shown — "Hemp for Victory," a World War II-era short documentary, and "Bringing It Home," a film about the modern benefits of hemp.

Sponsors of the festival include Rainbow Blossom, Caudill Seed & New Earth. Admission to the festival is $5 per person.

Locust Grove is a 55-acre, 18th-century farm site and National Historic Landmark at 561 Blankenbaker Lane, just off River Road. The site has a mansion that was the home of the Croghan family. It served as a gathering place for George Rogers Clark and his associates and was visited by several presidents.

The property has a welcome center with a gift shop, museum and meeting space.

Reporter Sheldon S. Shafer can be reached at (502) 582-7089. Follow him on Twitter at @sheldonshafer.

CONTINUE READING…

Farmers, Industry Leaders Excited About Future of Industrial Hemp in Kentucky

KENTUCKY — Kentucky Hemp is coming back. Fiber, seed, fuel, oil, and artisan products are simmering in the recently revived hemp industry.

 

kentucky-set-to-be-first-state-to-legalize-hemp-production.si

 

SEE GRAPHIC HERE

Research and debate about bringing hemp back has circulated since the 1990s, when other countries like Canada and Australia re-legalized hemp production. Finally, last year, the 2014 Farm Bill provided a framework for U.S. state agricultural departments and universities to plant hemp seed on U.S. soil as long as individual state law allows it.

Now, Kentuckians are turning their research and theories into a promising hemp industry.

“We don’t want to put the cart before the horse,” said Josh Hendrix of the newly formed Kentucky Hemp Industries Association (KYHIA). “We haven’t had a hemp industry for over 70 years.”

He says research is necessary to reduce risk to farmers. His organization and others, who have participated in hemp trials, are testing for the best seeds to plant, and the best way to harvest and process hemp crops. Part of KYHIA’s mission is to disseminate its research and provide education about the hemp industry.

Hemp production was deterred in the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act. Then, in 1970, the Controlled Substance Act coupled hemp with the drug, marijuana, making hemp illegal as a narcotic. Hemp does not hold the drug’s THC properties, but the plant is from the same genus, cannabis, and looks similar.

Before 1937, 98% of hemp seed used in the U.S. came from Kentucky. Now, they have no seeds. Hemp trials have used seeds imported from other countries.

“2014 was a celebratory year, just to get seed in the ground,” said Hendrix. “2015 has seen a nice expansion, with 326 applications.”

Kentucky farmers can submit applications to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture to participate in the hemp revival. They must provide production plans to be approved, and pass a background check to appease the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

Kentucky U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, along with two Oregon senators, submitted a bill on January 8, 2015, to decouple hemp from marijuana, and remove hemp production from DEA enforcement.

“We don’t know if or when it might become a legal crop,” said David Williams, of the University of Kentucky. “We also do not know how large an industry the market will support. We extrapolate based on data from other markets, but we cannot know exactly what the market will be in the U.S.”

A Promising Market

Kentuckians have deep roots with the hemp plant, and have grand plans for bringing the industry back. Industries, like tobacco and coal, are facing hard times, and hemp may offer both profitable alternatives.

Hemp advocates, like Hendrix, also see hemp as a crop to sustain dwindling family farms, and increase young and new farmers. Artisans can use hemp for cloth, beauty products, teas, and countless other items. The organic market for hemp is also highly profitable and growing.

Seventh generation family farmer, Andy Graves, grows conventional grains like soy, wheat, and corn. His generation is the first in his family to not grow hemp. The Graves family was the top hemp seed producer when hemp was legal, and is set on renewing that legacy.

“The market is so big,” Graves said. “We haven’t even scratched the surface.”

Graves is also the CEO of Atalo Holdings, Inc. The group contracted 5 farms to grow hemp in 2014 and for 2015 they’ve expanded to 26 farms. Atalo has three subsidiaries: Hemp Oil Kentucky, Kenex, and Kentucky Hemp Research and Development — each focuses on seed, fiber, and research and development, respectively.

Oil from seed, Graves said, has a quick return. Once Atalo has a revenue stream from oil, it will invest in fiber operations. Fiber operations have a higher barrier to entry because of the cost of new machinery.

Hemp seed can be harvested using the same equipment as conventional grain. As far as processing, Graves said that seed pressing equipment that is currently used for chia and sesame seeds can also be used for hemp. He will add chia and sesame to his portfolio as well.

Graves is using the most popular hemp seed for oil: Finola, from Finland. Atalo has guaranteed a no loss crop by securing a deal with Hemp Oil Canada to buy any seed Atalo cannot sell.

‘We haven’t scratched the surface of the market.’

Atalo has been approved for 356 acres of hemp, and is hoping for up to 500. 10-12 acres will be devoted to organic hemp seed production. Their research and development subsidiary aims to be an educational asset to the hemp industry in the U.S., Graves says.

Hendrix, Graves, and Williams all emphasize that they are building a new industry from the ground up. It will take research and time, but, Hendrix believes they have “the right people, the right place, and the right time” to build the industry and create jobs.

The Hemp Capital of the U.S.

Other groups germinating in the Kentucky hemp industry include The Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Association, which focuses on biomass and high capacitance graphene nano-sheets; and Sunstrand LLC, which focuses on industrial fiber. There are many others cropping up. Stay tuned, says Graves, new developments are breaking on Kentucky soil.

The laws may not be set yet, but hemp advocates in Kentucky are confident that their state will soon be known for more than bourbon, and re-claim their name as the ‘Hemp Capital of the U.S.’

CONTINUE READING…

JOIN THE KENTUCKY INDUSTRIAL HEMP ASSOCIATION (KYIHA) HERE

Farmers, Industry Leaders Excited About Future of Industrial Hemp in Kentucky

KENTUCKY — Kentucky Hemp is coming back. Fiber, seed, fuel, oil, and artisan products are simmering in the recently revived hemp industry.

 

kentucky-set-to-be-first-state-to-legalize-hemp-production.si

 

SEE GRAPHIC HERE

Research and debate about bringing hemp back has circulated since the 1990s, when other countries like Canada and Australia re-legalized hemp production. Finally, last year, the 2014 Farm Bill provided a framework for U.S. state agricultural departments and universities to plant hemp seed on U.S. soil as long as individual state law allows it.

Now, Kentuckians are turning their research and theories into a promising hemp industry.

“We don’t want to put the cart before the horse,” said Josh Hendrix of the newly formed Kentucky Hemp Industries Association (KYHIA). “We haven’t had a hemp industry for over 70 years.”

He says research is necessary to reduce risk to farmers. His organization and others, who have participated in hemp trials, are testing for the best seeds to plant, and the best way to harvest and process hemp crops. Part of KYHIA’s mission is to disseminate its research and provide education about the hemp industry.

Hemp production was deterred in the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act. Then, in 1970, the Controlled Substance Act coupled hemp with the drug, marijuana, making hemp illegal as a narcotic. Hemp does not hold the drug’s THC properties, but the plant is from the same genus, cannabis, and looks similar.

Before 1937, 98% of hemp seed used in the U.S. came from Kentucky. Now, they have no seeds. Hemp trials have used seeds imported from other countries.

“2014 was a celebratory year, just to get seed in the ground,” said Hendrix. “2015 has seen a nice expansion, with 326 applications.”

Kentucky farmers can submit applications to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture to participate in the hemp revival. They must provide production plans to be approved, and pass a background check to appease the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

Kentucky U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, along with two Oregon senators, submitted a bill on January 8, 2015, to decouple hemp from marijuana, and remove hemp production from DEA enforcement.

“We don’t know if or when it might become a legal crop,” said David Williams, of the University of Kentucky. “We also do not know how large an industry the market will support. We extrapolate based on data from other markets, but we cannot know exactly what the market will be in the U.S.”

A Promising Market

Kentuckians have deep roots with the hemp plant, and have grand plans for bringing the industry back. Industries, like tobacco and coal, are facing hard times, and hemp may offer both profitable alternatives.

Hemp advocates, like Hendrix, also see hemp as a crop to sustain dwindling family farms, and increase young and new farmers. Artisans can use hemp for cloth, beauty products, teas, and countless other items. The organic market for hemp is also highly profitable and growing.

Seventh generation family farmer, Andy Graves, grows conventional grains like soy, wheat, and corn. His generation is the first in his family to not grow hemp. The Graves family was the top hemp seed producer when hemp was legal, and is set on renewing that legacy.

“The market is so big,” Graves said. “We haven’t even scratched the surface.”

Graves is also the CEO of Atalo Holdings, Inc. The group contracted 5 farms to grow hemp in 2014 and for 2015 they’ve expanded to 26 farms. Atalo has three subsidiaries: Hemp Oil Kentucky, Kenex, and Kentucky Hemp Research and Development — each focuses on seed, fiber, and research and development, respectively.

Oil from seed, Graves said, has a quick return. Once Atalo has a revenue stream from oil, it will invest in fiber operations. Fiber operations have a higher barrier to entry because of the cost of new machinery.

Hemp seed can be harvested using the same equipment as conventional grain. As far as processing, Graves said that seed pressing equipment that is currently used for chia and sesame seeds can also be used for hemp. He will add chia and sesame to his portfolio as well.

Graves is using the most popular hemp seed for oil: Finola, from Finland. Atalo has guaranteed a no loss crop by securing a deal with Hemp Oil Canada to buy any seed Atalo cannot sell.

‘We haven’t scratched the surface of the market.’

Atalo has been approved for 356 acres of hemp, and is hoping for up to 500. 10-12 acres will be devoted to organic hemp seed production. Their research and development subsidiary aims to be an educational asset to the hemp industry in the U.S., Graves says.

Hendrix, Graves, and Williams all emphasize that they are building a new industry from the ground up. It will take research and time, but, Hendrix believes they have “the right people, the right place, and the right time” to build the industry and create jobs.

The Hemp Capital of the U.S.

Other groups germinating in the Kentucky hemp industry include The Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Association, which focuses on biomass and high capacitance graphene nano-sheets; and Sunstrand LLC, which focuses on industrial fiber. There are many others cropping up. Stay tuned, says Graves, new developments are breaking on Kentucky soil.

The laws may not be set yet, but hemp advocates in Kentucky are confident that their state will soon be known for more than bourbon, and re-claim their name as the ‘Hemp Capital of the U.S.’

CONTINUE READING…

JOIN THE KENTUCKY INDUSTRIAL HEMP ASSOCIATION (KYIHA) HERE

Canadian company eyes Ky. for possible hemp plant

By BRUCE SCHREINER
Associated Press

 

 

Header

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Canadian hemp processor looking to expand operations south of the border sees Kentucky as fertile territory for production and processing, but its top executive said Wednesday that questions about the crop’s legality have to be resolved first.

Hemp Oil Canada Inc. President and CEO Shaun Crew said the Bluegrass state is in the running for a possible plant in the U.S. to process hemp seeds. The company would look to contract with area farmers to supply seeds to the plant, he said.

The company, based in a town south of Winnipeg, is looking at other states including North Dakota, Minnesota, Colorado and California for the potential expansion, he said.

Crew, who visited Kentucky recently to meet with officials, said the state’s central location and heritage of hemp production would be advantages.

"This underscores what’s out there potentially," said Holly Harris VonLuehrte, chief of staff to state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer.

The crop flourished in Kentucky until it was banned decades ago when the federal government classified it as a controlled substance related to marijuana. Hemp has a negligible content of THC, the psychoactive compound that gives marijuana users a high.

Before the company expands production into the U.S., there needs to be certainty that the plant is legal, Crew said.

"The whole situation on the political end, until that’s resolved it’s difficult to make any commitments at this stage of the game," he said in a phone interview.

"We need to have the legal framework in place for not only ourselves but so the growers have some confidence that if they put in a crop, they’re not going to have the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) swoop in and cut it down and burn it."

Kentucky lawmakers passed a bill this year to allow industrial hemp to be reintroduced, but only if the federal government lifts its ban.

The state’s attorney general, Jack Conway, recently warned that if farmers plant industrial hemp in Kentucky next spring, they would be violating federal law and could be criminally prosecuted. Conway indicated he issued the advisory to state leaders, largely to protect farmers who might mistakenly believe it’s OK to grow the plant.

Comer, a leading industrial hemp supporter, argues that Kentucky law allows the crop and that the federal government doesn’t plan to prosecute to enforce its law. Comer says hemp could give an economist boost for Kentucky. The plant’s fiber and seeds can be turned into products ranging from paper to biofuels.

"Why in the world everybody wouldn’t want to jump on board for this is beyond Commissioner Comer," VonLuehrte said Wednesday.

Hemp supporters say their efforts to reintroduce the crop were strengthened by the federal government’s response to Washington and Colorado, which legalized the recreational use of marijuana last fall. The U.S. Department of Justice recently said it would not interfere as long as the states create tight rules.

Hemp Oil Canada’s products include hemp seed oil, toasted hemp seeds and hemp powders and flours. Its top markets are in Canada and the U.S., Crew said.

A new processing plant would likely start with about a half-dozen employees with the goal of expanding, Crew said. The plan would be to contract with area farmers to supply hemp seeds, he said. The company’s contract farmers in Canada typically net about $300 to $500 per acre, after production costs, he said.

Comer doesn’t expect large-scale grain farmers to shift to industrial hemp, but the crop holds potential for farmers with smaller operations, VonLuehrte said.

Crew said he sees tremendous growth potential for hemp products in the U.S. if the legal issues about the plant are resolved.

"U.S. legalization of growing industrial hemp brings so much more legitimacy to the market," he said. "I think the opportunities would flourish after that."

CONTINUE READING…