Hemp Politics – Could hemp outrival oranges as a Florida crop?

With hemp’s growing popularity amongst Americans, and its nickname of being a miracle crop, its no wonder Hemp Politics are changing.

Some Florida residents believe that hemp could even outrival oranges in the agricultural department. But there is still some resistance among some lawmakers.

Hemp Politics

Industrial hemp has a significant place in the history of the United States. Presidents Washington and Jefferson both cultivated hemp on their plantations, and during WWII the government encouraged farmers to increase their production of hemp, in support of their Army and Navy.

Despite hemps notorious history, for many years it was banned by the government, because of its close relation to marijuana. But hemp differs greatly from its cousin, marijuana, especially when it comes to THC content. THC is the psychoactive chemical, but hemp contains mere traces of it. Certainly not enough to get you high.

In the last few years, the U.S. government has begun loosening its laws around industrial hemp. In 2014 the Federal Farm Bill was introduced, giving states the opportunity to create programs to grow hemp for study and research purposes.

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Hemp in the News – Hemp trial in NZ harvests success for the future

A coastal community in Ruatoria, New Zealand, puts Hemp in the News with the harvest of their first hemp crop.

Hemp in the News

The crop was planted as a test to see if it can be a viable industry in the area. Its success has revealed the potential for a new industry and job creation.

Hikurangi Enterprises, a generous company based in Ruatoria, welcomed members of the community to join in the harvest. There were about 5000 plants grown at a site that was kept secret.

The invitation drew about 50 people from the community, who were interested in seeing what kind of plant could potentially transform their community economically.

Panapa Ehau, Hikurangi Enterprises’ general manager, said their motivation for the trial hemp plot was to involve the community, open up a discussion about the crop, and create employment opportunities. With the success of their first crop, it is likely the first of many.

Hikurangi Enterprises received a licence to grow from the Health Ministry, and planted the first seeds in mid-December.

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Hemp in the News – New Mexico Governor vetoes hemp bill for the second time

Governor Susana Martinez’s opposition for hemp legalisation put Hemp in the News again this week.

House Bill 144 was rejected by Martinez, closing the door on New Mexico’s opportunities for the employment and economic benefits that a hemp industry could bring. Three Representatives sponsored the bill, Bealquin “Bill” Gomez, Antonio “Moe” Maestas, and Rick Little, sharing the opinion that HB 144 would have introduced a lawful and standardised hemp industry to New Mexico, paving the way for farmers to join a booming $600 million industry.

Hemp in the News

Rep. Maestas said Martinez’s rejection of the bill wiped out innumerous jobs and eliminated new economic potential for the state. With the proven success in at least thirty other states, the logical choice would have been to vote in favour of the new industry that promises jobs and a big boost to the state’s economy.

The different parts of the plant, (stalk, grain, and floral), can be used to create a number of products, such as textiles, paper, building materials, food, beverage and nutritional products, cosmetics and biofuel, to list just a few. The industrial hemp market offers a wealth of opportunity with little effort required.

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Hemp in the News – South Australia gives the go ahead for hemp cultivation

A decision by the Australian government to back a Greens party Hemp Bill has put Hemp in the News. The bill will make industrial hemp legal in South Australia.

The new hemp laws will make it legal to cultivate industrial hemp for the production of such products as cosmetics, clothing, textiles and building materials.

Hemp in the News

Industrial Hemp Bill 2016 was first presented to Parliament by Greens MLC Tammy Franks. Some amendments will be made to the Bill, by Manufacturing and Innovation Minister Kyam Maher.

The new bill will eliminate the legal obstacles that have blocked hemp farming up until now, thus opening up new possibilities and opportunities for growers and manufacturers to investigate industrial hemp’s potential.

Maher commented that farmers will now have the option of growing hemp in South Australia, and can obtain a license to grow it. Manufacturers will be able to explore a new range of hemp-based products, such as textiles, construction materials and cosmetics.

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Hemp Politics – Let Kansas grow hemp!

In U.S. Hemp Politics there is a growing need to let go of the past and to allow industrial hemp to flourish. A law that is outdated and futile stands in the way of a new crop with the potential to completely turn things around for farmers in Southwest Kansas.These farmers are dealing with terrain that is very dry and water levels that are drying up.

Hemp is a harmless plant that got mixed up in the campaign to criminalize marijuana back in the 30’s. But unlike marijuana hemp is a viable crop replacement for farmers who are struggling to get by with the likes of corn, milo and wheat, due to a combination of low prices and difficult growing circumstances.

If Kansas lawmakers could just forget about the past and be open to the study and research of industrial hemp, Southwest Kansas farmers could have access to a cash crop that could relieve them of their current struggles.

Hemp Politics

Hemp doesn’t need a lot of water to grow and it can thrive in many different climates and terrains. In addition to hemp farming, new markets for industrial hemp could open up and provide economic benefits to the state. The federal Farm Bill of 2014 paved the way for such research and development. Now it’s up to the individual states to get on board.

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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.

Hemp Politics

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.

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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.

Hemp Politics

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

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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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