By Steve Elliott
Oregon has "temporarily" halted issuance of state licenses for industrial hemp cultivation, pointing to policy issues that emerged during the inaugural year of the program.
The decision doesn't impact those currently licensed to grow hemp in the state, Oregon Department of Agriculture officials said on Tuesday, reports Noelle Crombie of The Oregonian. The decision is effective immediately, coming at the end of the current growing season.
The problems will be resolved in time for next year's growing season -- or at least, officials hope so, according to Lindsay Eng, who oversees the state's hemp program.
The decision to stop issuing licenses isn't tied to concerns raised by marijuana growers who don't want hemp planted near their crops, according to Eng. Marijuana farmers say hemp production near their cops poses a risk for cross pollination and threatens the quality of their cannabis crop.
Eng said the Department of Agriculture needs to address a new law reducing from three years to one the licenses for hemp production. The change takes effect on January 1, 2016.
"We just didn't feel it was prudent to continue issuing new three-year licenses when so much might change," she said. Eng said the 2009 hemp law is "very short and general" and doesn't address the growing practices of farmers currently licensed to cultivate the crop.
Hemp Industries Association (HIA), a non-profit trade association consisting of hundreds of hemp businesses and farmers, has announced will host its annual conference Sunday, September 27 through Tuesday, September 29, at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Lexington, Kentucky.
The three-day conference will feature keynote speaker James Comer, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner, and expert speakers David Mitlin, professor at Clarkson University, David Williams, agronomist at University of Kentucky, Mike Fata, CEO of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods, Ethan Russo, MD, medical director at Phytecs, John Roulac, CEO of Nutiva, plus many others.
Focusing on the expansion of the hemp industry and market in North America, the conference will also feature hemp exhibits, networking opportunities, and a hemp farm tour.
WHAT: Hemp Industries Association 22nd Annual Conference
WHEN: Sunday, September 27 – Tuesday, September 29, 2015
WHERE: Hilton Hotel, Downtown Lexington
369 West Vine Street
Lexington, KY 40507
Held for the first time in Kentucky, the 22nd annual conference occurs at a bright moment in hemp history, as hemp is cultivated in numerous research projects and farms throughout the state.
Exceeding $620 million in retail sales, according to SPINS data and HIA estimates, hemp products are demonstrating significant market growth; with 21.2 percent year over year growth for the category of hemp foods and body care products alone.
By Steve Elliott
U.S. Congress members from Oregon on Monday urged state agriculture officials to speed up a pilot project allowing farmers to begin cultivating industrial hemp crops in time for next year's growing season.
The federal lawmakers said in a letter that the program missed the 2015 growing season because of concerns in the Oregon Legislature over how hemp would coexist with the marijuana industry, which became legal for recreational use by adults in Oregon on July 1, reports Shelby Sebens at Reuters.
Industrial hemp cultivation faces a number of complications, including the fact that all forms of cannabis are federally illegal. Prosecutors have cautiously allowed state hemp experiments to inch forward.
In the letter, sent to Oregon Department of Agriculture Director Katy Coba and Oregon State University Director of the College of Agricultural Sciences Daniel Arp, lawmakers said provisions in last year's Farm Bill allow states and universities to research potential benefits of commercial hemp cultivation.
"The potential for industrial hemp production represents a great opportunity for Oregon agriculture," the lawmakers wrote.
Oregon, which has issued 13 hemp licenses to farmers since adopting rules for the program in January, is reviewing the letter, according to Agriculture Department spokesman Bruce Pokarney. The agency is reviewing the letter, Pokarney saikd.
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News
On Monday, Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley along with Representatives Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader, Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici asked the Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon State University to expedite the pilot project allowing farmers to begin planting industrial hemp in time for next year's growing season.
The program missed this year's growing season because of concerns in the state legislature over how hemp would coexist with the cannabis industry, which became legal for adult social use on July 1.
“The potential for industrial hemp production represents a great opportunity for Oregon agriculture,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter. “Many Oregon farmers have expressed interest in participating in this pilot program and some have already obtained permits to grow hemp from the Oregon Department of Agriculture.”
"Without ODA’s active participation in the pilot program and the cooperation of OSU, Oregon farmers could lose out on the chance to make Oregon a leader in the hemp industry,” according to the lawmakers.
To date, Oregon has issued 13 licenses to farmers since adopting rules to implement the hemp program in January, but not all of the farmers have planted yet, according to Department of Agriculture spokesman Bruce Pokarney.
"I don't think there's any indication that we're not moving forward," Pokarney concluded.
Currently officials are visiting approved farms to make sure they are in compliance with hemp growing regulations within the state.
By Steve Elliott
If things go according to plan, the world's very first hemp airplane could make its maiden flight as early as this fall.
The plane, composed of 75 percent hemp, will take off from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, chosen for its symbolic value as the site of the first flight by the Wright Brothers. The project is part of Canadian Derek Kesek's plan to help get industrial hemp use noticed, reports Deb Hopewell at Outside.
"There are many advantages to using hemp," said Kesek, who founded Hempearth, a Waterloo, Ontario-based company focused on developing hemp products for mass use. "This plane project is just our first experiment with industrial hemp, and we plan to explore many uses.
"Once we establish structural testing and information from the hemp project, we will take that and work on the next best implication," Kesek, a former organic-restaurant owner in Burlington, Ontario, said. "The sky may not be the limit."
Kesek believes hemp can be used to replace the fiberglass currently used to build airplanes. This is important because hemp is carbon neutral, whereas the fiberglass manufacture creates air pollution, releasing styrene into the atmosphere.
“Our experts have tested the strength and durability of woven hemp material compared to fiberglass, the traditional material for aircrafts, and determined that in most cases hemp is as strong, or stronger, than fibreglass,” according to Hempearth.
By Steve Elliott
Wall Street analyst James Savage thought there must be a better way. Growing disturbed about the conditions he saw on TV after events like Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti, he started looking for a better building material -- and the material he found, through a simple Internet search, was industrial hemp.
"There has to be something better we can do than this," he recalled thinking, reports Matt A.V. Chaban at The New York Times. "Who knew hemp would be the answer to what we were looking for?"
Savage started a company, Green Built, to create building materials derived from cannabis. His first project has been his own 1850s farmhouse, but he said he believes hemp-based building materials can transform both agriculture and construction.
Hemp has had a long history as a fiber used in ropes, sails, and paper products, with Presidents Washington and Jefferson famously cultivating it. Savage is among a small but growing number of entrepreneurs who have turned to hempcrete, which is made using the woody interior of the cannabis stalk combined with lime and water.
Hempcrete provides natural insulation, and is flexible, non-toxic, impervious to mold and pests, and practically fireproof.
CBD Sourced from High-Quality, Colorado-Grown Organic Hemp Flowers
Mary's Nutritionals on Tuesday announced that its Elite CBD™ products, including gels, compounds, Muscle Freeze and Remedy Oil, are now available for nationwide online purchase and shipping via marysnutritionals.com.
Mary's Elite CBD™ is derived from Elite Botanicals' Colorado-grown, 100 percent organic and natural industrial hemp cannabis plants.
"Mary's is committed to providing products made from plants selected for their optimal cannabinoid content so we can provide the best value to our customers," said Nicole Smith, Mary's Nutritionals CEO. "Plants with a higher concentration of quality CBD deliver more bang for the buck."
Elite Botanicals is a family-run organic hemp farm that produces Elite CBD plants in full compliance with Colorado Department of Agriculture, the 2014 Farm Bill and the pending Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015.
"We receive calls and emails every day from individuals across the country looking for high-quality CBD options," said Smith. "With Elite Botanicals' unique industrial hemp, we are now able to create new products with the benefits of whole plant-derived CBD that can be distributed to everyone in need—regardless of where they live."
• Mary's Elite CBD™ Gel Pen is the perfect resource for quick, discreet delivery of CBD. Mary's proprietary dispenser pen contains 50-2mg doses of CBD Gel. Users apply it to the wrist, ankle, temples, or any other veinous area. Contains 100mg CBD.
Sipp Industries, Inc., a diversified conglomerate corporation specializing in technology and distribution of consumer products, on Tuesday announced the formation of a new business unit dedicated to serving the growing hemp industry.
The new Sipp Industries Hemp unit will have large-volume hemp ingredients available including: Toasted Hemp Seeds, Hulled Hemp Seeds, Hemp Protein Powder, Cold-Pressed Hemp Oil, and Purely Refined Hemp Oil, according to the company. Each ingredient will be available in both Organic and Natural.
"These Hemp ingredients can be used in various applications from packaged Hemp products, nutritional bars, smoothies, salad dressings, body creams and moisturizers," Sipp Industries' prepared statement reads.
"Hemp is in high demand especially in market segments such as Food and Beverage and Nutritional Supplements," said CEO Syman Vong. "We have witnessed many new hemp infused products coming to market such as hemp-infused energy drinks, hemp meal replacements and hemp body creams. We anticipate this trend to continue and intend be the one-stop shop for U.S.-based high-volume commercial consumers and manufacturers of hemp products."
Current estimates of retail hemp sales in the U.S. exceeds $300 million per year and growing. As of today and for the foreseeable future, due to federal restrictions, there is little current commercial production of hemp in the U.S. and the market is dependent upon imports.
Compass Diversified Holdings, a Westport, Connecticut-based owner of middle market businesses, on Monday announced that on June 4, it entered into an agreement to acquire Fresh Hemp Foods Ltd. ("Manitoba Harvest"). The acquisition is expected to close in the next 45 days, subject to customary closing conditions.
Headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Manitoba Harvest is a pioneer and global leader in branded, hemp-based foods. The company's products are the fastest growing in the hemp food market and among the fastest growing in the natural foods industry.
Manitoba Harvest's award-winning products are currently carried in about 7,000 retail stores across the U.S. and Canada. For the year ended November 30, 2014, Manitoba Harvest reported net revenue of approximately C$37.9 million, an increase of 23.9 percent year-over-year. The company continued its rapid growth in the first half of its current fiscal year, generating net revenue of approximately C$27.6 million for the six months ended May 31, 2015.
The purchase price for Manitoba Harvest is based on a total enterprise value of C$132.5 million and will also include working capital and certain other adjustments upon closing. Manitoba Harvest generated net revenues of approximately C$44.9 million and Adjusted EBITDA of approximately C$6.4 million for the last twelve months ending May 31, 2015, representing year-over-year growth of 28.5 percent and 59.4 percent, respectively. The company generated Adjusted EBITDA for the six months ended May 31, 2015 of approximately C$5.0 million.
The 6th annual Hemp History Week campaign began on Monday, bringing more than 1,400 events including documentary film screenings, cooking demonstrations, retail promotions, educational outreach, spring hemp plantings and hemp home building courses to the public—all aimed to catalyze movement on the issue of lifting the federal ban on industrial hemp farming in the United States.
Organized by Hemp Industries Association (HIA) and Vote Hemp, Hemp History Week will be held June 1-7, with events occurring in all 50 states. Encouraged by federal support in Congress, with the Industrial Hemp Farming Act introduced in both the House and Senate in January 2015, the campaign's theme Sow the Seed highlights spring plantings in states that have passed legislation legalizing industrial hemp farming, and encourages consumers to participate in the call for support among legislators to support industrial hemp farming and the growth of the hemp industry nationwide.
To learn more about Hemp History Week, visit: www.HempHistoryWeek.com.
Spring Hemp Plantings
HIA and Vote Hemp have partnered with University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture, to coordinate a hemp planting demonstration, to occur June 2, on the site of the university's hemp pilot program fields. Throughout the country, farmers in states that have legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp will begin to plant this spring, and Hemp History Week is coordinating events to celebrate the return of hemp to the American agrarian landscape.
Industrial hemp products specialists USHempWholesale.com on Thursday announced they are now selling wholesale CBD oil on their website.
As a company spokesperson for US Hemp Wholesale explained, cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a chemical compound from the cannabis genus. The compound is non-psychoactive, and it may have anti-anxiety properties. For people who wish to purchase CBD oil wholesale, US Hemp Wholesale says it is a one-stop CBD shop.
Even though the wholesale CBD oil was only just launched, it is already getting a lot of positive attention from customers, according to US Hemp Wholesale. For example, the High CBD Hemp Oil is already selling briskly.
As the company spokesperson noted, the Gold Version of the oil is the most potent type of CBD hemp oil supplement that is available. The oil is shipped in oral syringes with concentrations ranging from 12 to 30 percent CBD.
The non-psychoactive dietary supplement is naturally rich in CBD while being very low in THC.
A Blue Version of the CBD hemp oil is also available; this dark and paste-like substance will become soft when the syringe is placed into warm water. A Raw Version has also been added to the inventory at USHempWholesale.com; it's similar in consistency to the Blue Version but contains both CBD and CBD-a.
By Steve Elliott
Kentucky's industrial hemp crop is growing and bringing new investors to the state, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer announced at a Tuesday news conference in Lexington.
According to Comer, 121 participants have been selected to grow hemp this year, including seven universities across the state, reports Janet Patton at the Herald-Leader. Thirty-six groups and projects will grow 1,742 acres of hemp this year, he said.
Last year, the first in decades that a legal hemp crop was grown in Kentucky, saw 20 farmers growing just over 33 acres.
The re-emerging industry has attracted 24 licensed hemp processors who are investing in the state, according to Comer.
"With their investment, jobs have been created, jobs are going to be created, and they've signed contracts with family farmers," Comer said. "Hemp equals jobs and true economic growth, which is what we predicted when we launched Senate Bill 50 two years ago."
Among the investors are Colorado's Stanley Brothers, who said on Tuesday they plan to grow hemp in Kentucky for their Charlotte's Web CBD oil, used to treat seizures in children. Joel Stanley, CEO of Stanley Brothers Social Enterprises, said they plan to invest at least $500,000 this year.
By Steve Elliott
Turning around a new law originally intended as a tool of intolerance against gays, the First Church of Cannabis Inc. has been approved by Indiana's secretary of state after the state's "religious freedom" legislation came into effect last week.
Church founder Bill Levin said he filed the paperwork in direct response to Gov. Mike Pence's signing of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law last Thursday, reports Sarah Pulliam Bailey of The Washington Post. Secretary of State Connie Lawson approved the church as a religious corporation with the stated intent "to start a church based on love and understanding with compassion for all."
Cannabis is listed as a sacrament in the church's doctrine, according to Levin, who set he was setting up a church hierarchy. Levin wrote out the new "Diety Dozen," a list of suggestions for better living comparable to the 10 Commandments.
The church will grow hemp, he said, though it will not buy or sell marijuana.
"If someone is smoking in our church, God bless them," Levin said. "This is a church to show a proper way of life, a loving way to live life. We are called 'Cannataerians.'"
Algae International Group, Inc., through its operating subsidiary American Seed & Oil Company, on Friday announced an expansion of the previously announced distribution agreement of the DuBe Hemp Energy Shot in Texas and Kentucky. American Seed & Oil will now be selling the DuBe Hemp Energy Shot in Colorado, New Hampshire and Vermont.
"The response to the DuBe Hemp Energy Shot from our distribution network has been extremely positive," said Steven Rash, CEO of Algae International Group and American Seed & Oil. "We went back and asked to expand our distribution network into the additional states because we had unsolicited demand from those states.
"In addition to expanding our retail distribution network, we will soon be adding ecommerce to our website and selling the DuBe Hemp Energy Shot online with other organically certified hemp infused consumer products," Rash said.
The DuBe Hemp Energy Shot is a berry-flavored, all natural, zero calorie, sugar free, gluten free, GMO free energy shot infused with Hemp Pro 70 Protein Powder, "providing smooth energy for hours," according to the company. A DuBe CBD Energy Shot is coming soon, according to the company.
DuBe Hemp Energy Shot Products are herbicide and pesticide free, peanut-free, vegetarian approved, kosher certified, THC-free (NO THC, 100 percent Legal), and tryspin inhibitor free, the company said.
Brian Westphal, founder of Lotus Boards, is looking to produce the world's first hemp skateboard.
In an interview with Ganjapreneur, Westphal discussed his goals to spread awareness about ecological manufacturing using biological composite materials and 3D printing. The piece was published as part of a series of interviews conducted via Ganjapreneur with business owners and investors who specialize in cannabis and hemp.
Westphal discusses how he originally came up with the idea after learning about industrial hemp on the "Joe Rogan Experience" Podcast.
"Joe would bring up the illegality of industrial hemp and the real conspiracy perpetrated by the media during the 1920?s," Westphal said. "He also would discuss Henry Ford’s hemp plastic concept car as a great example of the wide uses of hemp.
"From there I researched to see what happened to this material," Westphal said. "Why is nobody developing with it? And how come bio-plastics and industrial hemp aren’t more prevalent in our society?"
Westphal also discussed his belief that the future of manufacturing will likely hinge on ecological, renewable practices and 3D printing. "Hemp offers many benefits to our current methods of manufacturing paper, textiles, houses, and of course, plastics," he said.