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Hemp is coming back in the US

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seeroseero View Drop Down
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  Quote seeroseero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Hemp is coming back in the US
    Posted: 09 April 2005 at 23:21

2:28 p.m. April 5, 2005

SACRAMENTO – John Roulac wants to give California agriculture a boost and cut his transportation costs at the same time.

Roulac is the founder and chief executive officer of Nutiva, an up-and-coming organic food company that is based in California but that processes and packages most of its products in Canada. The reason: Nutiva sells bars, protein powder, seeds and oil made with hemp, a cousin of marijuana. 
 
Hemp has only a trace of tetrahydrocannabinols, or THC, the drug in marijuana, but hemp can't be legally grown in the United States without a permit from the Drug Enforcement Administration. And the DEA has only allowed an experimental plot in Hawaii, according to Adam Eidinger, a spokesman for Vote Hemp, the lobbying arm of the hemp industry.

So Nutiva contracts with Canadian farmers for its hemp, processes it in Canada and imports the finished products.

"We pay Exxon and Chevron a lot of money for gasoline for truckers," said Roulac. "We'd rather pay that money to California farmers to grow a sustainable crop."

Assemblyman Mark Leno has a bill that could make that happen. The San Francisco Democrat's measure would allow the state Department of Food and Agriculture to issue licenses to grow and process hemp.

Bills similar to Leno's have been introduced in New Hampshire and Oregon. The New Hampshire legislation has passed the House and is awaiting action by the state Senate. North Dakota approved hemp cultivation in 1999, and this year the governor signed a bill allowing the state university to try to develop improved hemp seeds in anticipation of the removal of the federal ban on hemp farming.

Leno's proposal has a "huge potential economic impact," said Johanna Schultz, a spokeswoman for the Hemp Industries Association, which has about 300 members, including nearly 50 in California.

"I foresee a whole bunch of new hemp businesses starting up just because of its availability."

Hemp can be used to make a myriad of products, including clothing, cosmetics, food, paper, rope, jewelry, luggage, sports equipment and toys. As food, hemp is high in essential fatty acids, protein, B vitamins and fiber, its supporters say.

American farmers, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, grew hemp for centuries, often under government mandates or with government subsidies. Copies of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence were written on hemp paper, Leno said.

"The strange irony is that we can presently import the entire hemp plant and manufacturers can produce thousands of different products (using hemp) and then sell them," he added. "The one component which is missing out on this is the farmer."

Roulac figures he would save more than $100,000 a year in transportation costs and could cut his prices if he could buy hemp seeds from California growers and process them into food products at a plant he wants to build in Bakersfield.

Michael Bronner said Leno's bill would eliminate the "massive lead times" he has to deal with in getting hemp oil from Canada and Europe for the soap produced by Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, an Escondido company started by his grandfather.

"It would be nice if we could get it right here in San Diego County," he said. "The price would probably be half of what we pay now."

Tom Riley, a spokesman for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said hemp farming could be used to hide marijuana cultivation by mixing the two plants in the field.

"I hope that legislators would look very carefully at this effort and see what factors there are," he said.

But the bill's supporters say there is little likelihood that a grower would try to mix marijuana with hemp. The two plants grow differently and cross pollination could result in less-potent strains of marijuana, they say.

Marijuana growers, fearing wind-blown hemp pollen could weaken their crops, are among hemp's biggest opponents, along with the DEA, said Roulac. "It's strange bedfellows, isn't it?"

Also, the bill would require hemp to be tested in the fields to ensure that THC levels did not exceed prescribed limits. It also would bar anyone with a criminal conviction from getting a license to grow or process hemp.

"We're quite open to putting together regulatory schemes that meet law enforcement's legitimate concerns," said Alexis Baden-Mayer, director of governmental relations for Vote Hemp.

Leno's bill attempts to get around federal opposition by requiring farmers to sell hemp seeds, stalks and fibers only to California processors to avoid an interstate commerce grounds for federal intervention.

"With that distinction, there's no reason why the federal government should get involved," he said.

Leno said the Bush administration didn't appeal an appeals court decision last year barring the DEA from banning the sale of food products containing hemp. He interpreted the lack of an appeal as "tacit agreement" by the administration that Congress exempted hemp from the Controlled Substances Act.

A U.S. Justice Department spokesman, Charles Miller, wouldn't discuss why the administration decided not to appeal. "We don't make any remarks on why we decline to pursue a case beyond a certain point," he said.

Eidinger, the Vote Hemp spokesman, said the fight over hemp cultivation is likely to end up in the courts, if Congress doesn't pass legislation in the meantime allowing hemp farming.

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, is planning to introduce a bill that would remove any federal roadblocks and allow states to decide if they want their farmers growing hemp.

"I think the courts are leaning our way," Eidinger said. "If you're going this direction on hemp food you might as well go one step further and grow the crop."

California's two major farm organizations, the Western Growers Association and the California Farm Bureau Federation, haven't taken a position on the bill, although spokeswoman Ann Schmidt said the Farm Bureau's directors had a "lively discussion" about it.

The Schwarzenegger administration also hasn't taken a stand, said Jay Van Rein, a spokesman for the Department of Food and Agriculture.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/state/20050405-1428-ca-xgr-hempfarming.html

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  Quote Ganja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2005 at 13:32
Originally posted by seeroseero

SACRAMENTO – John Roulac wants to give California agriculture a boost and cut his transportation costs at the same time.

Roulac is the founder and chief executive officer of Nutiva, an up-and-coming organic food company that is based in California but that processes and packages most of its products in Canada. The reason: Nutiva sells bars, protein powder, seeds and oil made with hemp, a cousin of marijuana.  

Kinda pathetic that they have to push the line that hemp is a 'cousin' to marijuana. Because, as we all know, marijuana is a BAD THING. We don't need to discuss that point any further...

Of course, hemp and weed are the same plant - cannabis - just bred for different qualities (fibre vs resin). It's like saying that green apples are cousins to red apples.

Cannabis is illegal worldwide largely because of US business interests. It's becoming inreasingly bizarre to watch the USA cannibalise itself as the principle of 'commercial interests above all else' comes home to roost.

We in the rest of the world are used to the US putting its own commercial interests ahead of little things like international agreements, social policy, the environment and human rights. We usually see the effects of this in ... the rest of the world.

But in the last five years or so, the principle of de-regulation of business and over-regulation of private citizens is getting out of control in the USA as well.

The above story is a tiny example of it.

There's a crop that could be of great benefit - financially and heath-wise - to a huge number of people and small businesses, and thus the country as a whole.

But that crop is unpopular with the government and the business interests that represent the biggest influence on the government's policy.

So the crop remains illegal.

Large amounts of money are spent on misinforming the public as to why the crop must continue to be prohibited. This is a win for PR/advertising businesses and all the media corporations that are paid to broadcast the misinformation.

The small businesses which wish to use the end product of the crop have to spend large amounts of money transporting it from the nearest country in which it can be grown. This is a win for oil and transport businesses.

The small businesses can eventually sell their product, factoring in the extra costs of obtaining the prohibited crop plus any government regulations involved in using a 'dangerous substance'. This is a win for the somewhat dodgy principle of 'adding value', a small gain for the economy as a whole and a big loss for the principles of economic independence and individual freedom.

Hooray for fee enterprise!

(see also: everything by Noam Chomsky)



Edited by Ganja
Auto-flowering Cannabis Seeds!
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mutatron View Drop Down
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  Quote mutatron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 July 2005 at 22:32
Yeah, I hate that. I'm for industrial hemp but I'm also for marijuana, and I hate that part of the justification for hemp is that you don't have to worry about anyone hiding their marijuana crops, because cross-pollination will render it useless for recreation.

Prohibition should end solely because it is unjust, but industrial hemp seems to have a good chance of passing, and I have a financial interest in it passing, so there you go.
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  Quote seeroseero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 October 2005 at 11:15

Besides the financial interest that I share with you Mutatron I really do think it's more important to see where the world is going at the moment.

As we all know somewhere after 2000 'a switch' was turned.

We can not keep on going consuming the planet at the current rate. Nor can we let ourselves be fooled by our governments.

For thousands of years this plant has served many, world wide. Technically a FREE and 100% Natural plant. Somewhere through the grapevine we heard that FEMA is looking to use hemp as construction materials for rebuilding New Orleans.

We should really considder buying mre hemp. As we all know the rules of supply
and demand.

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  Quote NORML4Cali Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 February 2006 at 10:57

Coming from a small rural California County this legislation could be a huge boon for us.

Over 4/5ths of my county is 150 acres per residence is allowed.  Our people here are "land rich, and dirt poor."  With an abundance of heavy metals in our soil, and a perfect climate to grow hemp, (some of the DEA's largest busts are from here), and the ability and space to create a production plant this legislation is desperately needed.  The condition here provide the optimal soil content to produce Hemp filled with the elements that create the reations for Bio fuel production.

I can invision a future with no more Round-Up sprayed willy nilly by county workers along the roads.  My County used 600 Gallons this year to control weeds in my town alone, any wonder kids are getting sicker and sicker?

Once we held a proud history as productive farmlands, I have watched my beloved county be sold off in 1/4 acre lots to commuters from large cities in the last 5 years. Mainly land sold off because of the farming slump and lack of jobs.  Farms are becoming an endangered species in America today, as are the traditions of the farmer.

Economics of an area should be farm based, not chemical.  Monies flowing from the country to the city, not into a few certain mens pockets to chemically "make" what we can grow for a healthy economy.  Jobs, healthy enviorment, and a financial boon to many such as my family and myself, the only crime involved with this law, would be not passing it.

KMS

 

 

 

 

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