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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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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Hemp Politics – Advocates present hemp to South Australia Parliament

In Hemp Politics this week, the Greens party of South Australia put forth new laws to make industrial hemp cultivation legal again.

Several products can be made from industrial hemp, such as clothing, building materials and cosmetics, but still it remains illegal to grow in South Australia.

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Greens MLC and hemp advocate Tammy Franks said hemp is much more environmentally-friendly than other crops, especially cotton.

The reason hemp is illegal is because of the misconception that its the same cannabis variety as marijuana, but this is not the case. In fact, hemp contains only trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

Franks said its the centuries old “fear and scare campaigns” that have kept industrial hemp in the misconstrued position its in. Hemp is not a recreational drug and it’s not even possible to get high from smoking it. On the contrary, hemp contains less than one percent THC.

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Hemp Politics – Bringing hemp cultivation back to California

In California Hemp Politics the spotlight falls on the legalisation of marijuana.

Proposition 64 will make recreational marijuana legal in the state of California, but let’s not overlook the other plant that will also become legal: industrial hemp.

Although hemp and marijuana are both species of the cannabis plant, hemp doesn’t contain the same levels of THC, (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Back in the 1940’s hemp was just another average crop, and a useful one at that. It was used to produce most of the rope and clothing during WWII.

But the federal government deemed it illegal in 1957.

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With the passing of proposition 64, hemp advocates in California are looking forward to the return of numerous hemp fields in Kings County.

Recognising the potential of hemp and its many uses, Hanford resident Brian Neves Jr. sees the legalisation of hemp cultivation as the most important aspect of Prop.64.

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Hemp Politics – UNL sows their first hemp seeds

Following a long process of working through the bureaucratic regulations of U.S. Hemp Politics, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has sowed the seeds of their first legal crop of hemp.

The greenhouse on UNL’s East Campus is now home to 150 hemp plants.

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Industrial hemp has mere traces of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component that marijuana contains, but because the two plants are closely related, they are considered equal in the list of Schedule 1 drugs, along with heroin, LSD and ecstasy.

Tom Clemente, a professor of biotechnology and hemp researcher at UNL, said you could get higher off of a corn plant than you can on hemp.

The classification of hemp as a Schedule 1 drug has made it impossible to farm hemp in the U.S. for years. But in 2014 the federal government introduced the Farm Bill, which allows for industrial hemp to be grown for research purposes. So far at least 30 states have signed up for the program.

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Hemp Politics – Hemp 101 for Hawaii farmers

On October 14th, the annual Hawaii Farmers Union United Convention shed some light on the current state of Hemp Politics. Taking place at OK Farms in Hilo, farmers from across the state gathered to learn about a crop that is new to Hawaii.

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There were over 60 people in attendance. Speakers from Colorado and Vermont were there to talk about the technicalities of cultivating industrial hemp.

As federal laws are easing up on hemp regulations, an industry of hemp farming and processing is slowly rising up across the United States and Canada. Individual states are setting up pilot programs to study hemp farming and its economic benefits.

Hawaii is one of the latest states to get on board. A successful pilot program in Oahu showed that Hawaii is a prime location for growing hemp. As a result, Gov. David Ige signed a bill last July that permits farmers to grow hemp in order to study the crop for agricultural purposes.

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Hemp Politics – NY’s first legal cannabis crop in 80 years

JD Farms in New York State is farming cannabis, making it the state’s first legal crop in 80 years, but the Hemp Politics in the U.S. haven’t made it easy.

Make no mistake, this is not the type of cannabis that gets you high. The cannabis JD Farms is growing is industrial hemp, which has thousands of uses from food products to building materials, clothes, and plastic.

Jennifer Gilbert Jenkins, professor of agriculture at Morrisville State College, explains that although industrial hemp and marijuana stem from the same cannabis species, they are very different plants. The college is working together with JD Farms on a hemp pilot program for study and research purposes.

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Included on the list of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Schedule I drugs is industrial hemp, even though it contains less than 0.3% THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana that gives the high. Due to hemp’s inclusion  on this list, JD Farms had to deal with strict government regulations before being granted a permit from the DEA that allowed them to import seeds from Canada.

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