Hemp: Revolutionary and Innovative

Hemp is old news. Records of its use date back to the first millennium BC, and George Washington is reported to have grown it at his home in Mount Vernon. Yet despite its storied history, the hemp industry has faced significant challenges in the United States due to regulation and its associations with its recreational cousin, marijuana. In recent years, however, legislation has been introduced that could allow for overdue advancement of the industry, and hemp proponents are starting to see a much greener future.

Before delving into what hemp can do, it’s important to clarify what it cannot do. Despite its botanical similarities to marijuana, hemp produces such low levels of the psychoactive compound Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that a person would be unable to achieve a high. By contrast, hemp contains elevated amounts of cannabidiol, an anti-psychoactive chemical that can block highs. While the plants do come from the same species, their uses are vastly different. One would be disappointed to find themselves smoking hemp and wearing clothes made of marijuana fibers.

Despite its differences from marijuana, the US government classifies hemp as a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act. This means that while hemp is technically not illegal, there are strict regulations on its production. Growers must have a permit from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) or face federal charges or confiscation. This classification makes growing industrial hemp difficult, and starting with the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, efforts have been introduced to Congress to alter the definition of marijuana so that it specifically does not include industrial hemp. Should these efforts succeed, America would find itself primed for a surge in hemp production and reap the many benefits that could result.

Read more at Dope Magazine

Bill To Exclude Hemp From The Controlled Substances Act

Congressman James Comer (R-KY-1) and 15 co-sponsors have reintroduced legislation to amend the federal Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp.

Currently, the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 labels hemp as a Schedule I drug.

H.R. 3530 excludes low-THC strains of cannabis grown for industrial purposes from the federal definition of marijuana.

Read more at NORML

Pot Matters: The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017

On Friday, July 28, Congressmen James Comer (R-KY), Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Jared Polis (D-CO) and Thomas Massie (R-KY) introduced legislation to remove industrial hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, which would effectively legalize the cultivation of hemp in the United States. The bill has a total of 15 co-sponsors.

H.R. 3530, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017, would “amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marihuana.” The bill also creates a new category establishing hemp research as a conventional crop at university and state departments of agriculture and allows for increased commercialization of industrial hemp.

Comer explained: “By removing industrial hemp from the definition of a controlled substance, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act will finally allow for responsible, commercial production of industrial hemp without fear of violating federal law.”

Read more at High Times

Senators Defy Sessions, Vote to Extend Medical Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Protections

Photo by Jesse Faatz. 

The powerful Senate Appropriations Committee delivered a disappointing blow to already beleaguered Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The Committee voted on Thursday to extend protections of state medical marijuana and industrial hemp laws against federal interference.

Read more at High Times

Pot Matters: Hemp Policy and Legislative Update

Later this week, Congressman James Comer (R-KY) will introduce the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, federal legislation that would “essentially remove hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, allowing industrial cultivation of the plant,” a key objective of the National Hemp Association (NHA). The bill will also set a THC limit and provide for state regulation of the hemp industry and related companies.

Vote Hemp has also been working with Congress to refine the proposed legislation, successfully advocating for a provision to include Native American tribes and influencing a key compromise allowing research on hemp with an upper limit of 0.6 percent THC. (The designated THC threshold in hemp regulations has an impact on the cost of cultivation and research.)

On his website, Comer is proud of his past support for hemp, recalling that as Kentucky’s Commissioner of Agriculture in 2011, he “promoted rural economic development by spearheading the successful effort to legalize industrial hemp and developed new branding initiatives for Kentucky farmers.”

Read more at High Times

Jay Leno Test Drives a Cannabis Car

On a recent episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, retired Dell executive Bruce Dietzen banged on the hood of a snazzy red convertible to demonstrate the strength and durability of his 2017 Renew, which is made out of 100 pounds of cannabis hemp.

Dietzen explained to Leno that hemp is 10 times stronger than steel but not psychoactive.

“It’s not made out of marijuana, it’s made out of cannabis hemp. You could smoke all the cannabis hemp you want, and you won’t get high,” Dietzen told Leno, as if he didn’t know.

Read more at High Times

An Essential Element

The male plant, while less glamorous than the female, is a key piece of the botanical puzzle.

The art of cannabis photography typically tends toward glorifying the dazzling female flower, with its full bud expressions, colorful blossoms and rich terpene aromas. While less glamorous, the cannabis plant’s male counterpart can also be an exceptionally beautifully plant and is an integral piece of the propagation puzzle.

Cannabis cultivators the world over know the obsessive, purgatorial feeling of waiting for their plants to mature to discern sex – female, male or hermaphrodite. A male plant, while essential for reproduction, can also run rampant across a garden and devastate an entire crop of flowering female plants — intended for consumption — by inadvertently pollinating them and causing hermaphroditism. If culled and managed correctly, the male becomes a key part of this sustainable, perpetuating reproduction process.

Read more at Cannabis Now

Dime Bags: A Decade in the Hemp Industry

A look inside Dime Bags, a company that provides fashionable bags to transport glass.

As I sat inside the rain-drenched entrance of one of the largest hemp product companies in America, I couldn’t help but sympathize. After hours of wrestling the company truck out of hemp field-turned muddy nightmare, Dime Bags founder and CEO Tim Morrissey asked if he could quickly run home to change his clothes. As much as I love the smell of hours of physical labor mixed with the notoriously unpredictable Colorado rain, I happily obliged.

Moments later a profusely apologetic and surprisingly well put together Morrissey led me through the warehouse doors. If it weren’t for the light pattering of the rain on the roof, you wouldn’t have known it was a gloomy day. From the shipping fulfillment to customer service department, everyone was smiling. It wasn’t the type of happiness you could force; it came from a love and appreciation or the company as well as Morrissey’s leadership. This was a work family born from an era of complete prohibition, a family that wasn’t ready to forget the trials and tribulations that led them to where they are today.

Read more at Cannabis Now

Growing Pot is Your Patriotic Duty

Clammy mists clung bitterly to the rolling hills of a brisk autumn morning, but the panting grower ignored them as he hurried on. His employer, one of the top cannabis growers in the region, would be devastated by the news the man so hurriedly carried that crisp fall morning, but he was also a man who should not be kept waiting. In an unfortunate turn of events, this dutiful gardener had learned that an unaccounted male plant had popped off, pollinating an entire field of sinsemilla in the process. This grower didn’t think his employer would be pleased.

It’s a scene that could have occurred countless times in the U.S., in any state or during any year. This particular occasion, however, would prove historic. Indeed, modern historians know about the incident because of the personal diary of the man’s employer, a very imminent farmer of his time, written in 1765: the diary of George Washington.

These days, standard history textbooks no longer mention that the man who would go on to become the first president of the United States began his career as a “gentleman” farmer of some of Virginia Colony’s top cash crops, including cannabis. The fact is hardly controversial; Washington wrote extensively about his cannabis crop in his own handwriting – especially in the period before the Revolutionary War when his career was primarily focused on cash crop agriculture. The entry dated Aug. 7, 1765, in which the future president bemoans the fact that he began to “separate the male and female plants… rather too late” has been the focus of much debate.

Read more at Cannabis Now

New York Entrepreneurs Betting on Billion-Dollar Future of Hemp

A former bank executive and a former counterterrorism agent are running the first legal hemp farm in New York State, and they’re harvesting superfood products, like baby greens salad mix, pasta and cold-pressed oil.

JD Farms’ co-owners, Mark Justh and Dan Dolgin, bought 1,500 acres of land nearly a decade ago with the idea of growing organic veggies, until they learned that hemp was more than just a cover crop as protection against weeds.

“I’d been approached about growing medical marijuana. But I thought, what can I produce that has a competitive advantage?” Justh told Bloomberg News. “How do I compete with the Midwest, with Ukraine? I realized it was a question of government regulation. Then, Dan got involved, and we saw the possibility of hemp as a food product.”

Read more at High Times