Hemp Politics – NHA is one step closer to milestone goal for legalization

In recent Hemp Politics, the National Hemp Association (NHA) has received its signature goal for the hemp legalization campaign, ‘Allow American Farmers to Grow Industrial Hemp.’ The forerunner of the campaign is NHA Board member Micah Nelson, and is one of several campaigns aimed at changing laws in the U.S. to make it legal to grow industrial hemp.

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Over 130,000 signatures have been collected, and as head of hemp advocacy in the U.S., the NHA has good reason to celebrate, as the signatures mark a significant development towards industrial hemp legalization.

In addition, significant supporters have joined the NHA advocacy movement. Congressman Comer will present the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017 to the 115th Congress.

On February 28th, the annual ‘Hemp on the Hill Expo and Conversation’ will take place in Washington DC, and the NHA will be there to reveal its petition and signatures.

Click here to read more.

Hemp in the the News – DEA sued for classifying hemp as controlled substance

Legal action taken by the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) put Hemp in the News this week.

The HIA has put forth a request to the court to obtain an order against the Drug Enforcement Administration’s actions of disrespecting the court’s authority pertaining to a 2004 ruling about industrial hemp.

The February 6, 2004 ruling excluded hemp stalk, fibre, sterilized seed and seed oil from being classified as Schedule I controlled substances.

It’s true that industrial hemp is related to marijuana – they are both species of Cannabis sativa – but industrial hemp differs in many ways. The main difference is that hemp is grown for industrial use as opposed to recreational drug use. Hemp contains very small amounts of THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana that gives the high, and hemp is used to make a variety of products such as paper, textiles, food and fuel. The HIA’s request is one of many motions that have happened to defend the status of industrial hemp.

Hemp in the News

The DEA and the North Dakota Department of Agriculture recently stopped a North Dakota hemp company, Healthy Oilseeds LLC, from shipping its hemp food products, due to industrial hemp’s classification as a Schedule I controlled substance. DEA spokesperson Russ Baer stated that the only legal hemp products are those that “are not used, or intended for use, for human consumption.”

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Hemp Politics – New Mexico Senate votes for hemp

Hemp Politics rise again in the state of New Mexico. The New Mexico Senate voted 37-2 in favour of a bill that would legalize hemp cultivation for research purposes.

The next step is for the bill to be passed on to the House of Representatives for approval, along with all the other industrial hemp bills that are up for review.

This hemp bill, Senate Bill 6, endorsed by Sen. Cisco McSorley, D-Albuquerque, is exactly the same as the one that passed the Legislature two years ago. Unfortunately, Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed it, stating that hemp is too similar to marijuana and would be difficult for law enforcement to control.

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The difference, however, is that hemp contains just trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana.

Click here to read the full story.

Hemp in the News – WA developing hemp strain that eliminates THC rise

A West Australian research team puts Hemp in the News with their study to create a consistent strain of hemp that will help bring success to growers and producers nationwide.

Hemp’s extensive list of uses combined with its increasing global demand are why hemp is predicted to be a billion-dollar industry, but the rules and regulations make it a difficult crop to grow.

Hemp in the News

Although hemp is a species of the cannabis plant, it contains very low levels of THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana. And although it is legal to grow hemp in Australia, it is not legal to use the plant for human consumption.

Glenn Ossy-Orley is a hemp grower in Nannup, WA, and the chair of Industrial Hemp Western Australia Association (iHempWA). He is currently cultivating his third hemp crop and is noticing a consistent increase of THC with each growing season. It is a growing concern because he is the only seed grower in WA.

At Murdoch University, researchers are working on a breed of hemp that will remain stable and contain constant low levels of THC.

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Hemp in the News – North Dakota hemp plots expected to grow in numbers this year

The 2014 Farm Bill continues to put Hemp in the News. The bill permits universities and state agriculture departments to set up pilot programs for growing and researching industrial hemp. But no changes were made to the Controlled Substances Act, which means hemp is not yet entirely legal.

Russ Baer of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says although the Farm Bill addresses industrial hemp, it still has the same status as marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act.

Hemp in the News

Many states have hemp pilot programs, including North Dakota, but hemp farmers need to acquire approval from the North Dakota Department of Agriculture in order to start growing industrial hemp, according to Doug Goehring, the state agriculture commissioner.

Goehring says this is due to the fact that hemp is still classified as a Schedule I controlled substance in the U.S. and he wants to protect hemp farmers and producers from potential conflict with the law.

Last year North Dakota grew its first legal hemp crops in decades. There were five pilot programs in the state, which together amounted to 70 acres. Of the 17 applications submitted to his department, only 5 were filled out correctly, but this year Goehring is expecting an increase in applications because the 2016 crops were so successful.

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Hemp Politics – The DEA vs Congress

The DEA’s move to change CBD’s status under the Controlled Substances Act is leading many to question the status of Hemp Politics in the U.S.

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CBD, (Cannabidiol), is an extract of the cannabis plant. It does not contain the psychoactive compound found in marijuana (THC), and it is used as treatment for many different medical conditions, such as epilepsy and chronic pain.

In December 2016 the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration added CBD to the list of Schedule 1 drugs, thus changing the classification of the extract. CBD now has the same status as heroin and methamphetamine, so technically it’s illegal.

There is a contradiction however, as laws have been introduced by Congress that do not equate this new ruling. The good news is that when there is a discrepancy between the DEA and Congress, Congress takes precedence, according to Asheville attorney Rod Knight.

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Hemp Politics – Kentucky to grow 3 times more hemp this year

Hemp Politics in the U.S. are sure to benefit from Kentucky’s high achievements in hemp research, cultivation and production.

The state’s research on hemp production has proven to be very successful, and the result is an increase in hemp fields and processing plants for 2017.

The Kentucky Agriculture Department said farmers are now permitted to cultivate up to three times more hemp than last year, as studies of the plant continue to prove its viability as a cash crop.

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said farmers and processors are eager to invest in the hemp industry and want to see a revival of the long lost crop.

Hemp Politics

When hemp pilot programs first started in Kentucky in 2014, only 33 acres were planted, compared to 4,500 acres last year. This year, state agricultural officials are permitting an increase to 12,800 acres, a tremendous growth. The number of growers has increased from last years 137 to 209 applications this year.

Hemp is grown all across the state of Kentucky and the acreages vary in size from small plots to mass production of several hundred acres.

Kentucky has been the leading state in bringing the hemp industry back to the U.S., and Quarles hopes it will become the “epicentre” of the hemp industry.

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Hemp in the News – Thailand to reduce THC levels in cannabis

An announcement from Thailand’s Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) put Hemp in the News.

The ONCB announced there will be research conducted to reduce the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in cannabis. THC is the psychoactive component found in cannabis plants. The purpose of the research is to hinder people’s desire to use marijuana.

Hemp in the News

Sirinya Sitdhichai, the secretary-general of the ONCB, said steps are being taken by the Public Health Ministry to begin lowering THC levels in hemp to less than 0.5%.

The team of researchers include the ministry’s Food and Drug Administration, the Highland Research and Development Institute and the Royal Project Foundation.

The ministry recently gave a green light to hemp farms in six provinces. The species of hemp grown must have a THC content of under 1%. Hemp farmers could face legal action if their plants contain more than the legal 1% amount.

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Hemp in the News – Attempts to stop the ban on marijuana extracts

The DEA’s federal ban on marijuana extracts is pouring Hemp in the News.

When the state of Colorado legalised the selling of marijuana in 2014, it brought new hope to the hundreds of families across the country with children suffering from severe seizures.

Several families relocated to Colorado in order to have legal access to CBD oil, a treatment made from marijuana. Cannabidiol, or CBD oil, has proven to be immensely helpful for children who experience several seizures a day, but the Food and Drug Administration has yet to give it a stamp of approval.

Last week the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration added to the dilemma by announcing that marijuana extracts, including CBD oil, will now be added to the list of Schedule 1 drugs, along with the likes of heroin and LSD.

Hemp in the News

In response, the Hemp Industries Association stated that the DEA does not have the authority to do this, and that only Congress or the U.S. attorney general has the power to make this change to the status of CBD oil. The HIA might be taking legal action.

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Hemp Politics – New DEA ruling deems CBD illegal

Hemp Politics just took a turn for the worst, when on December 14th the Drug Enforcement Administration introduced a new code for extracts of the cannabis plant. This new ruling deems cannabidiol hemp oil illegal.

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The federal law surrounding CBD oil hasn’t changed, but up until now, CBD producers have relied on the assumption that any cannabis product that contains less than 0.3% THC is legal. However, the new ruling from the DEA counteracts this.

The new code states that any extract containing cannabinoids from the Cannabis plant is no longer legal. This definition means that any extract from marijuana or hemp plants fits the Schedule I classification, including CBD products made from hemp. This is the same category as heroin, LSD, and other drugs.

CBD oil is derived from hemp plants and it contains only trace amounts of THC. CBD oil is used as treatment for pain management, epilepsy, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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