By Silvia Pikal, Mobile Mag
While hemp can be used for food, textiles, paper, fabric, and fuel oil, the misunderstood crop breeds fear amongst politicians in the United States and has led to the crop being illegal to grow without a DEA permit, which is pretty hard to get. But growing hemp is legal in Canada. Canadian company Motive Industries has taken advantage of this, and have been working on an electric car made of hemp plastic. Touted as Canada’s first bio composite electric car, the Motive Kestrel’s top speed is 135 km/h, with a range of 160 km. The ultralight car is a 3 door 4 passenger electric vehicle, and packs 16 kWh of lithium battery juice to keep the car going 160 kilometers per charge.
Now Motive has announced that bio composite materials derived from hemp and flax fibre will also be used in the car’s interior. They will be used to create the headliner, door panels, door trim, floor tub and center tunnel, instrument panel and the center console panel. The prototype should be coming out sometime this year, with a production goal of 2012.
High on a hill, this looks like many other examples of elegant modern architecture but it's been built from a special ingredient.
Green textiles on the fringes: Here's how plant-based fabrics flax, hemp, bamboo and Tencel stack up in terms of sustainabilitySubmitted by restore on Wed, 06/29/2011 - 20:59
By Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times
Much as they're trumpeted by so-called eco-designers, plant-based alternatives to cotton are a minuscule piece of the fashion puzzle. Dwarfed by cotton and synthetics such as polyester, spandex and rayon, textiles made from flax, wood pulp, hemp and bamboo make up less than 2 percent of the market. But that percentage is growing because of consumer and corporate demand, as well as technological advancements that make natural fibers easier to transform into wearable fabrics.
One of the more promising developments in sustainable textiles is flax, a stalky and fibrous plant that can be grown with far less water and fewer pesticides than cotton and produced at a lower price. While cotton is cultivated on 12.6 million U.S. acres, flax is currently grown on just 2 million acres of U.S. and Canadian farmland. Most flax is produced for its grain, which is turned into food. But its fiber can also be transformed into materials that look and feel similar to cotton. As a textile, it's incorporated into 1.1 percent of U.S. garments and most commonly used in linen.
Drafted by Jon Marsh of The Hemp Consultants
While Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were drafting the U.S. Constitution (on hemp paper), each was farming cannabis hemp. Said Jefferson, who would later become the 3rd President of the United States:
"Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth & protection of the country."
The U.S. President before Jefferson was John Adams. Adams too had something to say about hemp:
"We shall, by and by, want a world of hemp more for our own consumption."
And the very first President of the United States, General George Washington, is infamous for writing:
"Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere."
The Hemp Consultants represents over 100 million citizens who wish to farm, medicate with, and consume cannabis hemp. We are collectively embracing these words from our Founding Fathers, the very men who fought to establish what was once considered the freest nation on Earth. We are also embracing the actions of the Founding Mothers, women who stood by these men during this tumultuous time in our nations history, feeding, clothing and tending to soldiers during our country's citizen-based Declaration of Independence.
HEMPSTERS is a thought-provoking and compelling documentary that will not only encourage all of us to take action, but move us one step closer towards a more sustainable planet.
Available on DVD June 28, 2011
As our society continues to consume 30% more than the planet can regenerate, Industrial Hemp is proven to be a viable and cost-effective crop that can reduce our reliance on some of the earth's most precious resources. HEMPSTERS: PLANT THE SEED, featuring Woody Harrelson, will be released on DVD June 28th by Cinema Libre Studio.
This lively documentary, directed by Michael Henning and produced by Diana Oliver, explores the reasons why the United States is the only developed country that still bans the growth of Industrial Hemp. Hemp, which is a durable fiber cultivated from plants of the cannabis genus, can be used for paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food and fuel. Due to its relation to marijuana, it is illegal to grow in the U.S. under Federal law. Hemp is considered a controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act even though it contains minimum levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
By Kevin W. McCarty, Daily Nexus
Humanity stands at a crossroads. For nearly two centuries, human civilization has seen its every facet transformed by the machinery of industrial development. During this period of rapid expansion, we have beheld the gracious power of cheap fossil fuels, namely petroleum oil, as our premier source of energy and electricity. But today we are witnessing crude oil prices skyrocket as many economists say we have already reached peak global oil production and will see increasing prices until the supply of petroleum is diminished. As a result, we must expect additional sources of renewable electrical power will sustain economic growth in the coming decades.
For most of human history, the hemp plant has been used as an integral crop of commerce and navigation. Cultures across the globe have utilized hemp as a source of food, rigging and building materials and paper pulp. It is, without a doubt, the most resilient and efficient plant the Earth has ever grown. But not until now has it become quite so necessary to realize the prohibition of hemp and cannabis must be suspended. The arguments against legalization do not stand trial when compared to the immense benefits.
By Jay, Willie Nelson Peace Research Institute Staff Writer
Art Bell and Willie Nelson talk about hemp cannabis marijuana in this clip no longer available on the original Coast to Coast site. In this clip from Friday May 9th, 1997, country music legend Willie Nelson chats with Art Bell about the state of hemp criminalization. You may find it surprising how little has changed in the last dozen years.
While several states now allow medical marijuana and thousands of people have been able to emerge from under the dark cloud of criminalization, millions more still fear for their freedom because they enjoy the benefits of this herb superb. The country as a whole still suffers under the unnecessary burdens of the expensive and ineffectual War On Drugs while being denied the financial benefits of this valuable commercial crop.
By Paul Armentano, NORML
Texas Republican Ron Paul and a coalition of 25 co-sponsors are once again seeking to allow for the commercial farming of industrial hemp.
House Bill 1831, The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011, would exclude low potency varieties of marijuana from federal prohibition. If approved, this measure will grant state legislatures the authority to license and regulate the commercial production of hemp as an industrial and agricultural commodity.
Several states — including North Dakota, Montana, and Vermont– have enacted regulations to allow for the cultivation of hemp under state law. However, none of these laws can be implemented without federal approval. Passage of HR 1831 would remove existing federal barriers and allow states that wish to regulate commercial hemp production the authority to do so.
By Gabrielle Giroday, Winnepeg Free Press
Bet you never thought a bus part might be made with hemp, canola and flax.
But Helena Marak, Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council program coordinator, sees possibilities for the products you might be more used to encountering on the shelves of your local health-food store.
Marak stood Saturday morning with a brown University of Manitoba prototype at the Agriculture in the City event at The Forks.
"People have really found this interesting. They marvel at the strength of it. It's really, really strong, it's durable and, of course, it's made with natural fibres that are grown right here in Manitoba, so that's a big bonus," said Marak.
She said hemp fibres left over from making food products can be used for other purposes, like products for the transportation or aerospace industry such as car door panels.
The three-day event is dedicated to educating the public about farmers, agriculture science and research, and uses for Manitoba crops beyond the table.
Event organizer Reg Sims said it started in 2003 and is expected to draw thousands of people.
"At one time, everybody in the city had an uncle or a grandparent that lived on a farm. They'd go to the farm, they knew their milk came from cows, their hamburgers came from cows," said Sims. He said he believes farmers are "the greatest stewards of our land."
"Agriculture is a lot more than food," he said.
Written by Colby Dunn, Smoky Mountain News
If someone said the word "hemp," the first thing to spring to mind probably wouldn't be home construction. But if you're looking for a strong, green, energy-efficient building material that's resistant to pretty much everything, hemp might be your best choice.
This is the concept being pitched by Greg Flavall and David Madera, owners of an Asheville-based business called Hemp Technologies. They're some of the first to build with the material in the United States, where industrial hemp hasn't seen the rise in popularity it enjoys in other countries, thanks to a federal ban on U.S. production.
Its recognition is slowly ramping up, though, due in part to its benefits over standard concrete. The third house in the country to be built with the technology is going up now, in the mountains above Lake Junaluska.
Roger Teuscher, the homeowner, said he was turned on to the idea by his first architect, who suggested the plant as a cleaner, greener alternative to standard homebuilding supplies. Tuescher, who lives most of the year in Florida, said he was drawn not only to the cost savings gained by increased insulation, but by the product’s recyclability.
Over the past several years, sixteen states have passed pro-hemp farming legislation, so why are Illinois lawmakers working against the farmer?
By Michael, Hemp News Correspondent
Last month, because of years of festering propagandist lies, the Illinois House of Representatives voted against mid-west farmers and their right to grow a viable rotation crop (HB1383 - Illinois Industrial Hemp Act). The bill, which passed a House Agriculture and Conservation Committee by a vote of 11-2 earlier in the same week, would have licensed: individuals desiring to grow, process, cultivate, harvest, possess, sell, or purchase industrial hemp or industrial hemp related products. In many cases, an alternative rotation crop, such as hemp, could possibly save the multi-generational farms from foreclosure.
"The fiber from industrial hemp is one of the strongest natural fibers known, and it is present in bundles that surround the main stem. Industrial hemp fiber applications include uses in textiles, cordage, construction materials, paper products, and bio-composite plastics," according to Donald P. Briskin, Professor of Plant Biochemistry/Physiology, Department of Natural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois.
By Government of Alberta, Agriculture and Rural Development
Industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa) is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world. The species was banned in North America in late 1930s because its leaves and flowers contained a hallucinogenic drug known as delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It was banned internationally in 1961 under the United Nations’ Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Hemp does suffer from the “snicker factor”, largely because of its hippy-dippy image and close association with marijuana, its conscious-altering cousin.
By Paul Benhaim, Hemp News Correspondent/Hemp Building Consultant
As there are so many applications for hemp and hemp products, so it is not a surprise to find that it can be used to build a house; but the question we need to answer is, is it worthwhile?
Let's look at the facts and see why the answer to this question is undeniably YES!
To begin with, hemp buildings are not a new concept - but the technology necessary is very new and constantly evolving. Although there is a 300 year old hemp-built house in Japan! Hemp building technology was originated in France where most hemp building products come from.
There are several different combination's of building materials used in hemp building:
• Hemp + Lime, Cement and minor wetting agents.
• Hemp + Lime only
• Hemp + Gypsum based binder
The Gypsum composite is the basis for hemp bricks, for building, generally the first method is the most used. The composite should be chosen to suit the climate and specific requirements of the building. Hemp houses exist from the snow of Canada down to the Australian tropics and just about everywhere along the way!
David Piller, Hemp News Correspondent
A friend of mine recently put together a survey for a ethnography research methods class on the topic of creating effective hemp education and promoting hemp awareness. Below are a few of my responses.
What is your educational platform (or pro-hemp argument) that you use when doing hemp outreach?
My main "argument" is that if we are truly serious about maximizing the growth of the green economy and creating a sustainable future, industrial hemp must become, once again, one of the United States' primary crops. I stress how cultivating hemp will do more to help clean our air, soil, and water than any patented technology our scientists can offer. I include hemp nutritional benefits and communicate how making more hemp foods available to our citizens, we can improve the quality of life of many and reduce our long term health care costs.
Do you change this platform for various audiences: when and why?
Yes and no.
I think it is important to make things as simple as possible for people to grasp hemp’s true potential, and I always strive to bring it down to a healthy environment, healthy food, and healthy industries to lay a solid foundation to build a dialogue upon.
Oregon Hemp History, Connecting the Past to the Future
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent
In the early 1990's, C & S Specialty Builder's Supply (namely Bill Conde, Dave Seber, Barry Davis, and Tim Pate) in Harrisburg, Oregon, imported regulated bales of hemp and began working on a medium density fiberboard (MDF). The evolution of hemp MDF as a viable building supply option began when Bill Conde of C & S took their hemp fiber research and ideas to Paul Maulberg, the head of Washington State University's Wood Engineering Laboratory.
Conde explains in a 2005 Mycotopia blog, "We asked if [Maulberg] would consider trying some hemp fiber to make some experimental hemp MDF, and his reply was, 'You bet, hemp is the King Cong of fiber. I would love a chance to work with some."
Excitedly, Conde and team began the process working with Maulberg on creation and testing of the hemp MDF. It was soon discovered how strong the hemp fiber truly was, as the full-length hemp fibers jammed both of the processing machines and brought things to a standstill. The process for breaking down the fibers was redesigned and restarted with ultimate success.