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Hemp and the 2018 Farm Bill

The good news: The 2018 Farm Bill will be “marked up” by the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee on Wednesday, June 13 at 9:30 AM.  The “markup” is a significant step in the Senate’s lawmaking process – the Farm Bill will be amended, and the amended version would then be considered by the full committee and sent to the Senate floor.  There’s a decent possibility that the markup will last a few days.

The great news: The committee released the current version of the Farm Bill, and as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised, it includes the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 in its entirety.  That means that should the Farm Bill be signed into law as currently drafted, hemp would be permanently removed from the purview of the Controlled Substances Act. Read it here.

The cautionary news: There are still many steps left in the process.  As you’ve been hearing from us regularly, the best way we can help empower Leader McConnell and our bi-partisan array of supporters is to secure the co-sponsorship of more and more Members of Congress.

Please share this news with your networks.  And please encourage everyone to use our simple online portal to contact your Senators and Congressman ASAP.

SEND A LETTER TO YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS!

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Dream Machines: Investing in industrial hemp’s future

 
Hemp Multicombine
The MCHC 3400 hemp harvester from HANF FARM, Germany, is a major advancement in the field.

With all the big hemp money chasing CBD, its no wonder that Isolate Extraction Systems is flourishing. Well-positioned in the expanding hemp value chain, IES, Louisville, Colorado, USA has predicated a big part of its future on growing demand for cannabidiol. The company already has more than 100 extraction installations in 45 U.S. states that turn out compounds from hemp and other raw material via its CO2-based extraction technology, CEO Kelly Knutson said.

IES is currently in the process of designing and building a new CO2 machine that is not only faster and more efficient than ethanol, butane, or steam but which can also automatically separate terpenes, oils and waxes mid-process, a major advancement.

Read more …

 

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Industrial Hemp Growing Increases In State

Industrial Hemp Growing Increases In State

NASHVILLE – In effort to broaden the opportunity and impact of the industrial hemp program for farmers and industry, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) is reopening the application period for industrial hemp grower and processor licenses through June 1, 2018.

“This is a proactive effort to assist Tennessee farmers who are looking to diversify, and we want to make sure they have every opportunity to do so,” Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton said. “We are seeing more interest in particular from tobacco growers who recently learned the company that purchases their crops would no longer buy tobacco from the U.S. We look forward to expanding the pilot program by reopening our application period.”

Applicants wishing to participate in the pilot program must submit an application, license fees, and required documentation, including a signed memorandum of understanding. At the end of the growing season, program participants are required to submit an agronomic report regarding the industrial hemp produced.

TDA has approved 170 applications from producers, which is more than double the number of applications approved in 2017. Producers have the option to cultivate up to 3,416 acres of industrial hemp for research purposes in 2018.

“By collaborating with universities like MTSU, TSU, and UT, more information and options are becoming available to Tennessee hemp growers each year,” Templeton said. “As we also see an increase in processors, producers, and available hemp varieties, we expect this sector of Tennessee’s agriculture industry to continue to grow and develop.”

Of the approved applicants, 152 are focused on growing hemp for oil, 9 for fiber, 5 for seed production, and 1 each for tea, greens, protein powder, and health.

In 2017, 79 growers planted 130 acres of hemp, 64 growers planted 225 acres in 2016, and 44 growers planted 660 acres in 2015.

There are currently 70 licensed processors, with more approvals expected in the coming months. With approximately 83% of hemp processors in Tennessee focusing on extraction oil and 6% focusing on fiber, the other 10% choose to process for educational research, animal feed, seed press, seed cleaning, juicing, or protein supplement.

In 2014, the Tennessee General Assembly enacted Public Chapter 916 tasking the department with development of a licensing and inspection program for the production of industrial hemp in Tennessee. As provided in Sec. 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill, industrial hemp may only be grown as part of a research or pilot project.

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Arizona Hemp on the Horizon

Gov. Doug Ducey recently signed a bill to explore the economic benefit of growing, cultivating and marketing hemp.

Gov. Doug Ducey recently signed a bill to explore the economic benefit of growing, cultivating and marketing hemp.

While Gov. Doug Ducey may be outspoken about his distaste for the psychoactive stylings of cannabis, his thoughts on hemp seem to be a bit more on the money.

Earlier this month, Ducey signed a bill, SB1098, giving the go-ahead for a hemp “pilot program” to explore the economic benefit of growing, cultivating and marketing hemp, hemp seeds and hemp products.

The Arizona Department of Agriculture will oversee the program, which will allow licensed farmers and universities to grow and study the sister plant of cannabis as long as the THC content remains below .3 percent.

As a pilot program, the new allowance has an end date, though exactly when the plug gets pulled—and by whom—is yet unclear.

The main purpose of the bill is to vitalize Arizona’s agriculture economy. For example, hemp is an extraordinary substitute for cotton (one of Arizona’s five Cs) but grows nearly four times as fast. The new crop could multiply the product coming from the fields of cotton farmers.

Additionally, hemp is rife with CBD, which means producers may no longer need cannabis licenses to extract the cannabinoid and use it in topicals and tinctures as popular pain-relieving alternatives to THC.

But the industrial uses of hemp don’t stop there. Hemp can be used in everything from fabric, paper and sunscreen, to fuel, milk and even beer.

The plant’s versatility gives cause for concern to current producers of soy, cotton and big oil. Though it doesn’t seem to meet the same resistance as cannabis does from the pharmaceutical industry, vested interests could try to quash the industry down the line.

Read more …

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Bill to Legalize Industrial Hemp Heads to Governor’s Desk

A bill that would allow farmers to grow industrial hemp sailed through the Illinois House this week, bringing the state one step closer to legalizing a crop that experts say is in high demand.

Industrial hemp is a variety of the cannabis plant used to make textiles, paper and a variety of commercial and industrial products. Despite the plant’s widespread use, federal law prohibits the growing of hemp, which is classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule 1 drug, or one with a high potential for abuse.

Legislation introduced in January by state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Chicago Heights, would allow Illinois farmers to apply for permits to grow industrial hemp. After passing the state Senate in a 50-0 vote last month, the bill cleared the Illinois House on Wednesday by a vote of 106-3.

The bill now returns to the state Senate for a concurrence vote, after which it is expected to be sent to the desk of Gov. Bruce Rauner.

If it becomes law, the bill would allow Illinois to join 16 other states that have legalized industrial hemp production for commercial purposes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Illinois passed legislation in 2014 allowing the state’s Department of Agriculture and state universities to grow hemp for research purposes.

“Illinois has some of the best farmland in the Midwest,” Hutchinson said in a statement. “And with more than 80 percent of our land use tied to agriculture, farmers would finally have the chance to grow and produce a product that is already available in our stores.”

Read more …

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Arizona Governor Ducey Legalizes Hemp Farming

Field of Hemp

Don’t be surprised if sometime next year you see acres and acres of what appears to be marijuana growing, unfenced, in the desert.

But don’t bother stopping to pick some to smoke.

Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday signed legislation that finally authorizes Arizona farmers to grow hemp. Proponents contend that the plant, which can produce things like fibers for clothing and oils for soaps, would give Arizona farmers some new options to make money off something that likely would grow well in the desert environment.

“This bill opens Arizona to the possibility of a new agricultural product,” the governor said in a prepared statement, saying the measure “could have a positive economic impact for the state.”

And it’s only taken nearly two decades to get here.

The issue isn’t so much industrial hemp. Instead it’s the fact that it really is a form of marijuana.

Prior legislation was sidelined amid questions of how law enforcement could differentiate between crops.

The law that takes effect next summer seeks to resolve that two ways

Read more…

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It’s Tea Time!!!

Over the past few months, we have been experimenting with a new pre-packaged product – a pre-filled hemp tea blend. While we have seen several versions of hemp tea we have not see any product that blends hemp leaf with other herbs in a tea mixture.

We are very happy to announce that we have now launched our hemp and chamomile filled tea bags. Each 2-gram tea bag is filled with a blend of ground hemp leaf and organic chamomile flowers. They are packaged in our new kraft barrier bags and are packaged five bags to a packet. They are available for a special introductory price of $12.00

 

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Growing Hemp Now Allowed in 40 States

Posted By: HEMPTODAY

Hemp pilot programs are coming online in the U.S. states of Kansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico as a result of developments in late April. The expansion of the USA’s federally controlled hemp program brings to 40 the number of states with hemp legislation now on the books, and anticipates a loosening of U.S. laws covering hemp under a bill expected to be voted on next month – and which has strong support among both Democrats and Republicans.

Kansas passed its hemp legislation April 20, with Oklahoma following on April 23. Legalization in New Mexico came only after the state’s Supreme Court overturned a series of vetoes by Gov. Susana Martinez in 2017. Martinez had blocked state hemp bills despite their passage by a Democratic-controlled State Senate and a Republican-controlled State House of Representatives.

Public views sought in Kansas

The program in Kansas – a traditional wheat, corn and soybean-growing state – is under an “Alternative Crop Research Act” that lets the state’s Department of Agriculture coordinate research in cultivation and other aspects of processing and production. The Department is developing rules and regulations for the pilot program. A series of public forums to guide that process are planned this month,

Full support in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, where wheat is the major state crop, the hemp measure passed the state House of Representatives unanimously and received only one dissenting vote in the state Senate. The pilot program, to be overseen by the state’s Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, will allow universities and farmers who contract with universities to grow the crop

Strong interest in New Mexico

Department of Agriculture officials in New Mexico, where the primary agricultural crop is hay, said they are already getting inquiries from both big and small farmers who are interested in growing the crop. Hemp also proved itself to be a bi-partisan issue in that state, with strong support from both Republicans and Democrats.

Under the N.M. program, New Mexico State University’s board of regents must sign off on hemp regulations before growers can apply. State officials said the rules should be ready by autumn 2018.

Big vote expected this month

U.S states are rushing to get onboard with hemp as legislation that would legalize the crop at the federal level is expected to get a vote in the U.S. Congress this month.

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said last week he will include the language of the new hemp legalization bill into broader farm legislation expected to go before the Congress that would effectively remove hemp from the Controlled Substances Act’s definition of marijuana.

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Herb-a-lites Distributor Network Grows

The interest in the Herb-a-lites product line is growing rapidly with over 40 pounds of high-quality tops and leaf heading out the doors every month. One of the reasons we are being so successful is the work of our expanding group of Distributors. These folks are working to spread the word about Herb-a-lites in their local communities and representing us in shops around the nation.

To help you find distributors in your area and to entice some of you to consider joining the “elite” network of hempsters, we have created a special page on our site dedicated to these folks.

Please check it out.

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World Health Organization and CBD

Posted by the US Hemp Roundtable

World Health OrganizationUS Hemp Roundtable

Last fall, in a bombshell for the hemp industry, the World Health Organization’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence delivered its preliminary judgment that hemp-derived CBD is safe and well-tolerated in humans (and animals), and is not linked with any negative public health concerns. The World Health Organization also concluded that CBD does not induce physical dependence and is not associated with abuse potential.

In the coming months, the WHO will meet again to issue its final guidance, as it considers whether or not to recommend any international restrictions for hemp-derived CBD and other cannabis products.  As part of its formal process, the WHO asked the US Food and Drug Administration for its response, and the FDA has asked for public comment.

The US Hemp Roundtable, the hemp industry’s national business association that represents over thirty firms and organizations across the country – at each link of the hemp supply and sales chain – as well as all of its major national grassroots organizations, submitted its formal comments yesterday. In sum, the Roundtable strongly recommends against the scheduling of hemp-derived CBD as an international controlled substance.  The Roundtable argues that CBD derived from hemp is not a controlled substance and has many medicinal and non-medicinal uses. It further urges FDA to include in its evaluation the evidence demonstrating the low abuse and dependence potential, safety, and health benefits of hemp-derived CBD – all of which were recognized by WHO in its recent report on CBD and have been confirmed by the totality of scientific evidence.

Click here to read the Roundtable’s full submission.