By Steve Elliott
Colorado's first industrial hemp crop in almost 60 years is now growing.
Ryan Loftin, a farmer in Springfield, Colorado, on Monday began planting 60 acres of industrial hemp in fields previously used for alfalfa, according to the Denver Post.
He and business partner Chris Thompson are installing a seed press to produce hemp seed oil, reports Patricia Collier of The Associated Press.
Hemp, like marijuana, comes is a form of the cannabis plant. Industrial hemp typically contains little or no THC, the main psychoactive substance in marijuana, but it has dozens of uses in food, fuel, clothing and industrial materials.
Our farmers need this valuable crop to be returned as an option for commercial agriculture
By D. Paul Stanford, Hemp News Director
Hemp is the ultimate cash crop, producing more fiber, food and oil than any other plant on the planet. According to the Notre Dame University publication, The Midlands Naturalist, from a 1975 article called, "Feral Hemp in Southern Illinois," about the wild hemp fields that annual efforts from law enforcement eradication teams cannot wipe out, an acre of hemp produces:
1. 8,000 pounds of hemp seed per acre.
* When cold-pressed, the 8,000 pounds of hemp seed yield over 300 gallons of hemp seed oil and a byproduct of
* 6,000 pounds of high protein hemp flour.
These seed oils are both a food and a biodiesel fuel. Currently, the most productive seed oil crops are soybeans, sunflower seeds and rape seed or canola. Each of these three seed oil crops produce between 100 to 120 gallons of oil per acre. Hemp seed produces three times more oil per acre than the next most productive seed oil crops, or over 300 gallons per acre, with a byproduct of 3 tons of food per acre. Hemp seed oil is also far more nutritious and beneficial for our health than any other seed oil crop.
In addition to the food and oil produced, there are several other byproducts and benefits to the cultivation of hemp.
2. Six to ten tons per acre of hemp bast fiber. Bast fiber makes canvas, rope, lace, linen, and ultra-thin specialty papers like cigarette and bible papers.
By Steve Elliott
Funny how everyone in Washington suddenly seems to be a marijuana expert, now that the herb is legal in the Evergreen State. In one of the latest examples of how an advanced cluelessness can make its way into the press, prosecutors and crime lab scientists are claiming that the differentiation between marijuana and hemp in the state's legal marijuana law could make it impossible to go after any pot "crimes" at all.
The problem supposedly stems from a part of I-502 meant to distinguish marijuana from industrial hemp, which is grown for its fiber and seed oil. Washington law now defines marijuana as having more than 0.3 percent of the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, delta-9 THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
Scientists (who really should know better) with the state crime lab clain that "often," even potent marijuana can have less than 0.3 percent, claiming that it's only when heated or burned that "another compound" turns into delta-9 THC.
"That means if people get caught with more than an ounce of marijuana, or if police bust illicit grow operations, prosecutors might not be able to prove the plants or material seized meets the definition of marijuana, The Associated Press inaccurately reported on Wednesday.
By NBC29 Staff
The debate over whether hemp is the same as marijuana has been contentious for law enforcement and legislatures alike.
But Albemarle County supervisors are open to what could mean an economic boost for the county.
Wednesday's presentation on the topic highlighted many of the positives. It could mean thousands of jobs, and growing hemp is environmentally friendly. But convincing Congress could be a tough sale.
Jim Politis, a Montgomery County supervisor, argued that industrial hemp would be good for the commonwealth, saying the $360 million market could restore manufacturing and tobacco jobs. He's asking supervisors to support a resolution to present to Congress.
Currently, hemp falls under the Controlled Substance Act and to grow or produce it in the United States would mean shifting regulation from the Drug Enforcement Administration to the Department of Agriculture.
Politis says he wants to work with law enforcement.
by FRED GARDNER, CounterPunch
Paul Stanford, 52, is the author and prime mover behind Oregon’s marijuana legalization initiative, Measure 80, which had gotten 46.5 percent of the vote as of Sunday morning when I called to offer condolences.
“We came close,” he said. “We won Portland by over 60 percent and they’ve still got about 100,000 Portland votes to count. I think it’ll go above 47 percent when all those votes are counted.” Stanford did not sound downhearted. “Here’s an amazing thing,” he went on. “The day after the election the Oregonian, which had opposed us and called us all kinds of names, ran an editorial arguing that the legislature should now legalize and regulate marijuana!”
The billionaires Back East who put about $5 million into successful initiatives in Colorado and Washington state did not contribute to the Oregon legalization effort. Stanford had implored them for help, to no avail. “If we’d had a half million dollars of outside support for advertising, we’d have won,” he says matter-of-factly.
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent
Since 1973, when Earl Blumenauer first voted for legislation that successfully decriminalized marijuana in Oregon, he has been a supporter of a reasonable approach to marijuana regulation.
While he feels there are still many questions about the effects of marijuana use, he believes that this is an issue best left to the states. Blumenauer strongly supports the initiative process and encourages people to push forward in this process of changing the law.
"I suspect that doing your job right, engaging people in this debate, in this discussion, looking at the facts, trying to bring people together in a thoughtful non-hysterical way, letting the evidence speak for itself...I suspect this will be your decade of decision," Blumenauer proclaimed at the 2010 National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law's (NORML) Conference at the Governor Hotel in Portland.
After so many years working for the people of Oregon, Blumenauer has seen the evidence of our failed war on drugs, and feels that a re-examination of the way we handle marijuana and hemp would be greatly beneficial. Oregon has the potential to lead the way forward to a better future through regulation rather than prohibition.
WHAT – The Seattle Hempfest XXI, America’s largest "protestival"
WHEN – Noon – 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 17, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 18 & 19
WHERE – Myrtle Edwards Park - Pier 70 on the downtown Seattle waterfront
Is it time to retire marijuana prohibition? The world's largest cannabis policy retirement party thinks so. Seattle Hempfest 2012 expects many tens of thousands to attend its 21st annual event, and as America’s largest marijuana law reform event Hempfest invites everyone to join in the celebration to end cannabis prohibition Aug. 17-19 at Myrtle Edwards Park.
The 2012 "protestival" features hundreds of booths and six stages of music and speakers dotting the mile plus expanse at Myrtle Edwards and Centennial Parks, on the beautiful Puget Sound. With the Washington state decriminalization Initiative 502 on this November’s ballot, there will be much discussion about the merits and mechanics of regional cannabis reform on all of Hempfest's stages.
By Suzanne Stevens, Web editor- Portland Business Journal
PORTLAND, Ore. - A possible ballot initiative that would tax cannabis has landed the support of one of Oregon's largest unions.
The United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 555, has voted to endorse Initiative 9, known as the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, the Portland Business Journal reported.
The measure would tax and regulate cannabis for adults over the age of 21.
The union believes that regulating the growth and sale of cannabis would help kick start an agricultural hemp industry in Oregon.
"From retail to manufacturing to health care, we recognize that a vibrant hemp and cannabis industry in Oregon will create thousands of family-wage, sustainable jobs across the entire state," said union President Dan Clay in a statement.
The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act website touts the many applications of cannabis, from biofuel to consumer health products, and says that regulating its growth will not only create jobs, it will also help ensure that marijuana is only sold to adults for approved uses. Proponents say the tax would generate more than $140 million a year.
The Union Food and Commercial Workers Union has 19,000 members in Oregon and southwest Washington.
The Portland Business Journal is a news partner with KATU.com
United States: 10 Reasons to Revisit Marijuana Policy Now - Americans Increasingly Favor Legalization of PotSubmitted by restore on Sat, 06/23/2012 - 21:54
Culturally, marijuana has become hardly more than a punch line. But in reality, U.S. marijuana policy is no joke; it causes great harm, both directly and indirectly. Here are the 10 most important reasons our marijuana laws deserve serious reconsideration
By Maia Szalavitz, Time.com
For the first time ever, a solid majority of Americans supports legalizing marijuana for recreational use: 56%, according to the most recent Rasmussen poll. Support for legalization has been growing steadily since the 1990s; in 1994, just 25% were in favor.
In November 2010, California residents voted on a ballot initiative to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana. Although the measure failed to pass — 46% to 54% — the fact that the initiative made it onto the ballot and garnered that much support was itself historic. Indeed, it was fear of the initiative’s passage that led then California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to decriminalize possession of up to 1 oz. of pot shortly before the vote — a move that was intended to bleed voter support from the ballot question. Had it passed, California would have been the first state to legalize the drug outright. In 2012, Colorado and Washington State will vote on total legalization.
By Grant Butler, The Oregonian
Photo by Stephanie Yao/The Oregonian
At the digital kitchen table, today's hot topics include hemp seeds, which pack a ton of nutrition in a tiny package, plus more evidence that eating more fruits and vegetables fights diabetes.
Hemp seeds -- the other "superfood": We spend a lot of time in Foodday talking about "superfoods," those nutrient-dense foods that are loaded with vitamins and minerals, and may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities that help fight everything from inflammation to cancer. While kale, lentils and quinoa have had plenty of attention, Dreena Burton shines a light on hemp seeds in her new blog Plant-Powered Foods. Before launching into predictable jokes about Grateful Dead concerts and tie-dyed t-shirts, listen to what she says about what hemp seeds deliver: "Complete protein, essential fatty acids, chlorophyll, antioxidants, and other vitamins and minerals, an almost perfect balance of the essential fatty acids!"
I've been tossing them on salads and soups for several years, and I like the faintly nutty flavor they deliver. She's got other ideas that never dawned on me:
* Stir into non-dairy yogurt
* Add to cold cereals and granola
* Stir into warm oatmeal
* Add to batters for pancakes, muffins, quick breads and cookies
* Blend into shakes and smoothies
In Oregon, you can find hemp seeds at Whole Foods Markets, New Seasons Market, many food coops and health food stores.
State Sen. Joey Pendleton, D-Hopkinsville, says as an agricultural product, its time has come
By ROBYN L. MINOR, The Daily News
One area lawmaker believes the state is ready to approve growing hemp as an agricultural product.
State Sen. Joey Pendleton, D-Hopkinsville, said Congress also must be on board after outlawing the production of the crop decades ago.
"But for once, I'd like to see Kentucky proactive rather than reactive," he said. "That way, once they release it, we would be ready to go."
Hemp is already widely used in the manufacturing of clothing, cosmetics and even the auto industry.
"Most of what we use or sell here is grown in Canada," Pendleton said. "Eighty-five percent of what Canada produces comes to us."
Pendleton is headed to Washington, D.C., today to talk to congressional leaders about the need to produce hemp and to get a White House briefing on the Farm Bill.
This is the second time Pendleton has made an earnest attempt to allow the production of agricultural hemp. This time he has the support of Republican Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, he said.
"So I'm hoping that's going to help me on the other side of the aisle," Pendleton said. "I want to try to at least get a hearing and get it moving."
Comer's office said he would be interested in discussing the issue, but he couldn't be reached by press time today.
By Stephanie Potter, KBOO Staff
Will Oregon be the first state to end the prohibition of cannabis? Host Stephanie Potter speaks with Paul Stanford and Jennifer Alexander about Initiative Number 9 which is the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act 2012. This initiative would regulate the legal sale of marijuana to adults through state-licensed stores, allow adults to grow their own, license Oregon farmers to grow marijuana for state-licensed stores, and allow unlicensed Oregon farmers to grow cannabis hemp for fuel, fiber and food. Initiative organizers have until July 7, 2012 to gather 90,000 registered Oregon voters' signatures to qualify for the November 6, 2012 ballot.
OCTA 2012 is also announcing a series of three benefit concerts featuring reggae music legends, Toots & The Maytals on Independence Day weekend. Toots & The Maytals will headline three shows, starting at the Lane County Fairgrounds in Eugene on Saturday, July 2, then the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond on Sunday, July 3, and culminating at the Washington Park Rose Garden Amphitheater in Portland on Monday, July 4.
By Paul Stanford, Hemp News Director
Ben Masel was, beginning in his teens, a leader and activist for freedom and cannabis. Ben was brilliant, incisive and a Grand Master chess champion. He was a seemingly fearless advocate who spent his life supporting others and working for freedom and justice. I am proud and honored to count Ben Masel as an associate, mentor and friend.
Ben was the primary force behind the Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Fest in Madison, Wisconsin, which happens in late September every year since 1970. Until the Seattle Hempfest emerged in the late 90s, it was the largest pro-marijuana rally in the world. I was honored to speak at the Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Fest in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was truly empowering and inspirational to march the half mile from the University of Wisconsin campus down State Street, with 15,000+ others, to the Wisconsin State Capitol in the early Autumn sunshine, the colorful Wisconsin foliage and the crisp clean air. Ben also was a driving force behind Wisconsin's annual Weedstock protestival. The Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Fest continues today and is still one of the largest pro-cannabis events in the world.
An activism pioneer who inspired many, Ben Masel loses battle with lung cancer
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent
Madison, Wisconsin - A lifelong activist, Ben Masel, has died after his battle with lung cancer. As the Hemp and Cannabis Community and many others mourn this great loss, we must also remember what Masel spent most of his life fighting for and continue on the path he helped to blaze.
Over the course of his life, Masel traveled countless miles and spent innumerable hours voicing his ideas and fighting for the rights of his fellows. Even in the face of opposition, he continued to speak out in favor of hemp and cannabis legalization, freedom of speech and the ability of people who make a stand to make a difference.
Masel's life-long passion project, Madison, Wisconsin's Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival, began as a marijuana smoke-in in 1971. The Harvest Festival, now celebrating its 41st year, has a long history of promoting cannabis hemp legalization and free speech while providing an annual celebration for like minded people to join together.
Oregon Hemp History, Connecting the Past to the Future
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent
In the early 1990's, C & S Specialty Builder's Supply (namely Bill Conde, Dave Seber, Barry Davis, and Tim Pate) in Harrisburg, Oregon, imported regulated bales of hemp and began working on a medium density fiberboard (MDF). The evolution of hemp MDF as a viable building supply option began when Bill Conde of C & S took their hemp fiber research and ideas to Paul Maulberg, the head of Washington State University's Wood Engineering Laboratory.
Conde explains in a 2005 Mycotopia blog, "We asked if [Maulberg] would consider trying some hemp fiber to make some experimental hemp MDF, and his reply was, 'You bet, hemp is the King Cong of fiber. I would love a chance to work with some."
Excitedly, Conde and team began the process working with Maulberg on creation and testing of the hemp MDF. It was soon discovered how strong the hemp fiber truly was, as the full-length hemp fibers jammed both of the processing machines and brought things to a standstill. The process for breaking down the fibers was redesigned and restarted with ultimate success.