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Industrial Hemp Bill On Governor’s Desk

Oklahoma State Senator Elaine Bowers, Representative Troy Waymaster, Russell County Economic Development and CVB, and a local committee of City of Russell leadership, Russell County leadership and business leaders have announced that Senate Bill 263 for research of industrial hemp unanimously passed the Senate on Saturday, April 7.

Passage of SB 263 means the bill will now move on to Governor Jeff Colyer’s desk to seek his signature.

Representative Waymaster met with Governor Colyer on March 29 to advocate the bill’s signage.

Both Senator Bowers and Representative Waymaster, along with Russell County Economic Development and CVB and local task force members will be advocating the bill’s signature according, o Eco Devo and CVB Executive Director Janae Talbott.

Russell County is specifically named in the bill as a pilot county allowed to participate in research efforts said Talbott.

Industrial hemp is a value-added agriculture opportunity for ag producers and has the potential for processing and manufacturing opportunities for entrepreneurs said Talbott.

Industrial hemp is not marijuana, therefore, any passage of a medicinal use or marijuana legalization effort is not associated with SB 263.

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Wisconsin Farmers Consider Hemp

by Samantha Stetzer, Chippewa Herald

With just over two weeks left to apply for a license and register to grow hemp in Wisconsin for the first time in more than half a century, state farmers must also factor in low traditional crop and dairy prices—and a possible trade war—when considering adding hemp to their field rotation and market sales.

Jerry Clark, agricultural agent for UW-Extension-Chippewa County, said the extension has been fielding questions about hemp farming possibilities since the Wisconsin State Legislature approved the farming in November, which was allowed through the Farm Bill in 2014.

This is the first year in recent decades farmers can grow hemp in the state. The deadline to apply for a license and register is May 1.

Read more …

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Iowa Industrial Hemp Bill Passes Senate

By Terry Lassitenaz – April 10, 2018

Iowa’s Senate has approved Senate File 2398, which relates to establishing an industrial hemp industry in the state, in a unanimous 49 to 0 vote last week.

Senate File 2398 would create the Iowa Industrial Hemp Act authorizing production and marketing of the crop in Iowa in compliance with federal law (2014 Farm Bill), so it will be quite restrictive.

If passed, the Bill would see two programs established in the state:

Industrial Hemp Commodity Program, administered by the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
Industrial Hemp Production Program administered by a Board of Regents institution.
The maximum amount of THC to be permissible in plants is yet to be determined, but it’s likely Iowa will fall into line with other states; which is generally 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.

Under the program, the Department will offer certified industrial hemp seed for sale to licensees participating in the commodity program and may also do so for participants operating under the production program.

Senate File 2398 was filed by Senator Tom Shipley, who said Iowa lawmakers need to “get out of our own way” in relation to the crop, which he stated offered many possibilities.

Senate File 2398 will now go to the House and assuming it passes muster there, it will then make its way to Governor Kim Reynolds for her final consideration.

It’s always interesting how some states allow for medical cannabis cultivation before industrial hemp and Iowa is such an example. It was nearly a year ago that a medical cannabis bill was passed in the state and headed for then-Governor Terry Branstad’s desk, which he signed before leaving office in May.

The other interesting and disappointing aspect of the proposed industrial hemp program will be that it has been specified it can’t be used to produce medical cannabidiol, a compound that some strains are quite rich in. That’s even though medical cannabis legislation in the state only allows for cannabidiol. Why it has been excluded isn’t clear, but it may be to protect Iowa’s medical cannabis industry. While that’s hardly huge as only two growers will be permitted, no doubt those companies will want to protect their investment.

The stipulation may also have to do with the 2014 Farm Bill, which makes the issue of the legal status of cannabidiol derived from hemp rather confusing.

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Pharmacology 201

For the pharmacology geeks among us…

The metabotropic glutamate 5 receptor and the cannabinoid type 1 receptor are G protein-coupled receptors that are widely expressed in the central nervous system. Metabotropic glutamate 5 receptors, present at the postsynaptic site, are coupled to Gαq/11 proteins and display an excitatory response upon activation, whereas the cannabinoid type 1 receptor, mainly present at presynaptic terminals, is coupled to the Gi/o protein and triggers an inhibitory response. Recent studies suggest that the glutamatergic and endocannabinoid systems exhibit a functional interaction to modulate several neural processes. In this review, we discuss possible mechanisms involved in this crosstalk and its relationship with physiologic and pathologic conditions, including nociception, addiction, and fragile X syndrome.

Read more …

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Hemp Legislation Fast-Tracked

Senate fast-tracks bill legalizing hemp as agriculture product

Legislation that would legalize hemp as an agricultural product is getting fast-tracked through the Senate.

The bill, introduced last week by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), was placed on the Senate calendar on Monday.

The procedural move, known as Rule 14, allows it to skip over the committee process, paving the way for the legislation to be brought up on the Senate floor. The move doesn’t automatically guarantee that the bill will get a vote.

A spokesman for McConnell noted on Monday that they didn’t have guidance or an announcement about if, or when, the bill would come up.

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Supply & Demand

Being involved in a new industry is both exciting and challenging.

As some of you may already know the United States grew approximately 25,000 acres of hemp for the 2017 season. It is estimated that 50-60% of that acreage was for high CBD cultivars. As you can see from the chart to the right, the states that provided the vast majority of this material are – in order of acreage, Colorado, Kentucky, Oregon, Nevada and North Carolina. That means that we only had in the neighborhood of 12,000 – 15,000 acres from which to source all our product.

In the first month or two after harvest this past September and October, we saw huge amounts of product get ground up and processed into oils and isolate. Becuase if this we are now starting to see the supply becoming much less abundant especially for the carefully trimmed product Herb-a-lites is becoming known for. One of our main focuses at this point is to secure a consistent supply for all our existing and future customers over the next four months before the 2018 harvest begins.

Because of the supply and demand realities of our “free market” system, we are finding that farmers are now starting to ask for higher prices for all of their products, including the trimmed tops we use for our products. This means that we will need to increase our prices somewhat over the next few weeks to compensate for the prices we have to pay our farmer partners. But, we hope that by locking in supply now, we will only have to do this kind of increase once.

We appreciate all the amazing support we have received from our customers over the past four months and look forward to a long and beneficial relationship with each and every one of you.

Sincerely,

 

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The Hemp Farming Act of 2018

Written by: Eric Steenstra – President, Vote Hemp

On Monday Senate Majority Leader McConnell held a press conference with Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Quarles to announce that he will be introducing new hemp legislation soon to fully remove hemp from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Leader McConnell said he plans to introduce the bill along with Senator Wyden (D-OR) and Senator Paul (R-KY). 
“It’s now time to take the final step and make this a legal crop,” McConnell said.
You may have heard about the announcement but probably not many details. That is because the bill has not yet been introduced and is being finalized following feedback from farmers, industry and the USDA.
Leader McConnell explained “the goal of this new bill.. is to simply remove the roadblocks”
We couldn’t agree more with his approach. McConnell indicated that the bill will move regulatory authority to the USDA and states and remove it from the DEA. Some of the other details include:
  • The bill will be called “The Hemp Farming Act of 2018” 
  • States will need to submit their regulatory plan to USDA and then the state department of agriculture will regulate its production
  • Hemp will be defined as 0.3% THC or less including a more expansive definition of all part of the plant including extracts
  • The bill will open up access to federal research funding 
  • It should also help remove restrictions on banking, water rights and other roadblocks currently facing the industry
  • The bill will be introduced in April, likely after the Easter recess
  • Leader McConnell intends to add the bill as an amendment to 2018 Farm Bill
We applaud Senator McConnell for his leadership and for working to bring back commercial hemp farming in the U.S. again. Once the bill is introduced, we will contact you so you can urge your senators to support it. Please consider making a donation to support our ongoing efforts.
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Federal Legislation Supports Industrial Hemp


Submitted by: The Hemp Roundtable

As you may have read, Congress has agreed upon, and will soon pass, a new Omnibus Spending bill that keeps the entire federal government operating.  The document, as you can imagine, is thousands of pages long.

Within the new Omnibus bill are some critical provisions that protect hemp farmers and businesses – as well as the interstate sale and transport of hemp — and specifically call out the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), ordering them not to interfere with hemp pilot programs.

Specifically, the FY18 Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration, Rural Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act includes the following section:

SEC. 729. None of the funds made available by this Act or any other Act may be used—
(1) in contravention of section 7606 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (7 U.S.C. 5940); or
(2) to prohibit the transportation, processing, sale, or use of industrial hemp, or seeds of such plant, that is grown or cultivated in accordance with subsection section 7606 of the Agricultural Act of 6 2014, within or outside the State in which the industrial hemp is grown or cultivated.

(See pp. 98-99 of the full text .pdf)

Furthermore, the FY18 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act includes the following section:

SEC. 537. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used in contravention of section 7606 (‘‘Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research’’) of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Public Law 113–79) by the Department of Justice or the Drug Enforcement Administration.

(See pp. 239-240 of the full text .pdf.)

Finally, the Agriculture Appropriations Act also encourages USDA to award competitive grant funding for hemp research:

SEC. 730. Funds provided by this or any prior Appropriations Act for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative under 7 U.S.C. 450i(b) shall be made available without regard to section 7128 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (7 U.S.C. 3371 note), under the matching requirements in laws in effect on the date before the date of enactment of such section: Provided, That the requirements of 7 U.S.C. 450i(b)(9) shall continue to apply.

(See p. 99 of the full text .pdf.)

 

All and all, this is great news for the hemp industry: more access to grant dollars and less interference by federal agencies.

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Coming to a Store Near You

The word is out and the reviews are coming in. People are excited about the opportunity to consume CBD in the form of whole plant material. The response we have received from a wide variety of CBD, Smoke and Vape shops has been very positive. While many of these stores have been selling extracted hemp oil for a while in a variety of concentrations, they have not yet known of or had access to raw plant material. That is all about to change.

If you are interested in helping expand the Herb-a-lites Brand and are good at sales and talking to retail owners, please get in touch with us about becoming an Herb-a-lites Distributor. We offer our products at a deeply discounted rate to our Distributors and then support you to get these products into your local stores. The wholesale price is typically 30% above your distributor price so you can make money while doing good!

To learn more please contact us at info@herbalites.com.

Thank you!