Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The Fairbanks City Council passed a resolution encouraging the legalization of industrial hemp production. Growing hemp is illegal under federal law because the plant is a relative of marijuana. City Council member Lloyd Hilling sponsored the resolution to support hemp as a viable agricultural crop for Alaska. Hilling told the council hemp has lot of valuable uses.
"It's fibers for a myriad of cloth-type products and rope and canvas, and of course the seeds for oils that are used in a bunch of different food and even potentially for fuel. And then the hurds, the center of the stalk which is an extraordinarily good fuel. It competes with wood," Hilling said.
Hilling says hemp is grown at similar latitudes in Canada, and the United States is the world’s largest hemp importer. During public testimony, Lance Roberts questioned the council’s consideration of the hemp cultivation resolution, considering no farming is likely to happen in the city.
"I don’t really think this is city business, I don't think this is anything that the city should be involved in. This has nothing to do with the city," Roberts said.
The photo below show the company's employees, mostly area farmers in 1917. The company owner is pictured in the back row at the far right.
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent
Established in 1916, the Fairwater Hemp Company was one of the upper midwest's largest hemp producers. It was located adjacent to the booming railroad line and also to the west of the north fork of the Grand River, making it convenient for the production of electricity to power their manufacturing plant. The community of Fairwater, which was founded around the water power of the river in 1848, was officially incorporated in 1921.
In 1917, Fairwater Hemp began using industrial hemp as electrical energy when the river was low by burning the byproducts of their hemp rope manufacture, hemp hurds, to drive a steam engine to produce electricity. This instance is the first documented use of hemp as an energy source.
Although Fairwater hemp operations ceased in 1931, the number of things that can be made from hemp continues to grow today. The possibilities for the plant are endless job producers for those who wish to be innovative. It is this writers opinion, we must re-introduce this agricultural crop to our society, now more than ever.
by Dorothy Chomicz, News Miner
FAIRBANKS — Fairbanks City Council member Lloyd Hilling will introduce a resolution at the next council meeting urging the state government to legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp in Alaska. This is Hilling’s first resolution since regaining the council seat that he lost to Emily Bratcher in 2008.
Hilling said he has several reasons for writing the resolution.
“Well, I’ll tell you, my primary motive is that this is something that should be legal, and should be investigated and should be explored. It should be experimented with openly and possibly be developed into something relatively big for Alaska,” Hilling said.
Hemp, or Cannabis sativa, has only minute quantities of the psychoactive substance tetrahydrocannabinol, and cannot be used as a recreational drug. Hemp grows quickly, and the plant and fibers can be used for many purposes such as paper products, textiles, plastics, animal bedding, rope, essential oils, medicine, food and construction.
Cannabis indica, commonly referred to as marijuana, is not suitable for industrial use and is cultivated almost exclusively for recreational or medicinal drug use. The cultivation of marijuana, and consequently its close cousin hemp, has been illegal in the U.S. since the 1930s.
Even though it is illegal to grow hemp in the U.S., it is not illegal to use it industrially.
It hasn't gotten the attention of medical marijuana, but a growing number of states have passed laws authorizing the growth of hemp and are attempting to get the federal government to make it legal nationwide.
By Tim Johnson and Adam Silverman, USA TODAY
Hemp can be cultivated for fiber or oilseed, and it is used to make thousands of products worldwide, including clothing and auto parts. From 1999 through last year, 17 states have enacted measures that would either permit controlled cultivation or authorize research of industrial hemp, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
Colorado was the most recent to authorize research in 2010. Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont and West Virginia have passed laws authorizing cultivation, according to NORML.
Hemp and marijuana are different varieties of the same species of plant, Cannabis Sativa. Industrial hemp has lower THC content, the primary psychoactive component of marijuana.
The federal government classifies all cannabis plants as marijuana and places strict controls on the cultivation of hemp. Industrial hemp was an American staple in colonial times. The output peaked during World War II.
Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc. develops renewable and environmentally sustainable biomass resources from flax, hemp and other bast fibers.
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent
Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc. (NAT) announced that it has entered into a short-term Crailar Flax fiber development agreement with Carhartt to support evaluation of processing Crailar Flax fiber in premium grade work wear.
Established in 1889 and based in Dearborn, Michigan, Carhartt is a global work wear brand with a heritage of developing rugged apparel for workers on and off the job.
"Carhartt aligns perfectly with our current portfolio and we are excited to add them to our growing mix of partner brands," said Ken Barker, CEO of Naturally Advanced Technologies.
"Our testing to-date has demonstrated significant qualities that will be beneficial to the work wear market, including increased tensile strength, reduced shrinkage and high dye uptake that can reduce chemical usage," Barker continued.
"Perhaps most important is Crailar's ability to wick moisture, which provides Carhartt with a performance advantage by ensuring consumers stay cooler in hot summer months. We look forward to demonstrating this during our development period with Carhartt," explained Barker
By Michael Holder, Hillingdon Times
A HILLINGDON pensioner is living with his family in a new environmentally-friendly 'hemp home' for people with disabilities.
The house in Mulberry Crescent, West Drayton, was built with Hemcrete, a blend of a lime-based binding and hemp that absorbs CO2 during the manufacturing process.
It has water-heating solar panels, extensive insulation and emits 100% less CO2 than a standard building.
Father-of-four Sharif Omar, 37, who lives in the house with his 79-year-old disabled father, said: "It has changed my life - my whole family is very happy here."
"We worked with Hillingdon Council to make the access better for my father and he can use the garden and other rooms now."
To date, 47 new bespoke borough homes have been created, including several bungalows for people with disabilities.
Cllr Philip Corthorne, cabinet member for social care health and housing, said: "Not only does it use cutting-edge materials and processes to create an environmentally friendly property, it also looks at the specific needs of the resident - something that will ultimately empower them to live as independently as possible."
The project is part of a programme launched by the council in 2008 to redevelop derelict and under-used spaces, previously targeted by vandals, into affordable housing.
Canada is investing in innovation that will help develop new bio-composites derived from hemp fibers.
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent
SASKATCHEWAN - Members of Parliament have pledged funding for the Composites Innovation Centre (CIC) to study hemp fibers with the goal of making composites that perform better than fiberglass and plastic.
"Finding new and innovative uses for our flax and hemp will greatly benefit farmers and the economy in Western Canada," said MP Bruinooge. "This investment will enable farmers to adapt their growth and harvesting regimes to optimize fibre performance, increasing the demand for their crops and resulting in increased profitability."
The investment through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP) is designed to study the sub-molecular structure of hemp fibers.
"This exciting collaboration between the CIC and our world-class Canadian synchrotron facility will provide our local and national biomass industries with a key competitive edge in a growing international marketplace," says CIC Manager of Product Innovation Simon Potter. "The information we generate with the Canadian Light Source will support the high penetration of agricultural fibers into building materials and composites for automotive and aerospace products."
The transatlantic cable, completed in August 1858, was the beginning of instantaneous communication, and hemp was there.
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent
Our country has a history of growth and progress, from Pony Express letter to the iPhone call. Through the agricultural age to the industrial and straight into the technological age. Our citizens changing over time as new discoveries about our capabilities are made, we have gotten better at so many things, and yet continue to struggle in others.
By Tim Johnson, Burlington Free Press
Vermont supporters of hemp received a boost Tuesday when U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., signed on as a co-sponsor of The Industrial Hemp Farming Act.
That measure, introduced five months ago in the House by Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, would remove federal restrictions on the cultivation of hemp, a crop Paul calls a non-drug variety of cannabis grown for oilseed and fiber. Hemp and other varieties of cannabis are now classified as marijuana under the federal Controlled Substances Act, and cultivation of hemp in the United States is effectively banned, requiring a special permit from the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Hemp is used to make a variety of products, including clothing, drinks, skin butters and auto parts. Virtually all the hemp used in products sold in the U.S. is grown in more than 30 other countries, including China and Canada. Unlike marijuana, according to the pro-hemp lobby, industrial hemp has a psychoactive content so low that it won't produce a high if smoked.
Vermont is one of nine states that has enacted legislation that would permit controlled hemp cultivation or research -- contingent on federal authorization, which the Paul bill would provide.
By Tom Washington, Moscow News
Hemp could be back on the landscape as part of a $315 million project. "We have already assessed the costs, they stand at approximately 10 billion rubles," Viktor Ivanov, head of the Federal Drug Control Service, told Rossiiskaya Gazeta.
The State Anti-drug Committee will decide on Wednesday whether to allow the planting of hemp, currently prohibited in Russia. The country is currently one of the world's biggest importers of hemp fibers and oil.
He added that the funds could be raised "without cutting other important [budget] expenditures."
Russia is estimated to have at least 1 million hectares of illegal cannabis, planted mainly on the fringes of the country, in the Far East and Black Sea region. About 2,000 hectares are used to grow hemp.
The Federal Drug Control Service earlier said that a revival of hemp's industrial usage will help "to create new jobs and reduce social tensions in the regions, which are abundant with illegal wild cannabis."
By Agua Das1 and Thomas B. Reed2
Historically Hemp (Cannabis Sativa L.) has been a very high yielding plant (Haney 1975). Assuming that hemp produces up to 4 tons/acre seed plus 10 tons/acre stalks. Table 1 shows how many gallons of liquid fuel import could be saved by each of the following proven conversion routes.
Recent hemp yield data is largely unavailable, due to restrictions on the growth of hemp. Cultivation of hemp currently requires permits under Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) form 225. Patented hemp seed varieties are now available in the EC and Eastern Europe which are effectively denatured and drug free. The hemp plant is a promising high yield biomass fuel crop cultivar and both production and utilization should be included in the DOE/TVA and regional biomass screening programs. One would hope that DOE regional biomass program contractors should not have difficulty qualifying for the necessary permits.
Hemp manufacturing is an innovative & effective "green" industry.
By Diane Walsh, Salem-News.com
(VICTORIA, B.C.) - In British Columbia — the word is now out, thanks to Bill Finley of Hemp & Company, in Victoria, where I got this magnificent bead on the story.
Sanctioned by all three levels of government, the successful results from BC’s Caribou Region 'pilot' plantation sites has allowed for 3 impressive scientific studies to be produced which have confirmed/demonstrated the viability of en-masse industrial hemp production in 100 Mile House district-region and vicinity. Not only that — there are clear plans for a manufacturing facility.
100 Mile House is a unique name — which many may not have heard — of a district municipality in the South Cariboo Region with a population of about 2,000, a few hours out of Vancouver as you drive North up BC on Highway 97 headed toward Prince George.
May seem like a little place, but if you read the (3) aforementioned report-studies: by visiting 100milehouse.com, you'll understand the extraordinary significance of what this community has done with industrial hemp crop.
The local government, known as District of 100 Mile House, has a 10 person Industrial Hemp Steering Committee chaired by Mayor Mitch Campsall and includes the participation of community members, hemp producers, and representatives from local government, First Nations, and provincial government staff.
By Rita Trichur, Globe and Mail
Photo by John Woods, Globe and Mail
Hemp is fast becoming a staple of daytime TV as Oprah, Dr. Oz and others extol the health virtues of hemp oil, protein powders and pasta. At the same time, industrial interests tout it as a potential base for products ranging from textiles to car parts. As a result, demand is surging in the United States, Germany and Japan.
But American farmers are prohibited from growing hemp. That leaves farmers in Canada – where it's been a legal crop since 1998 – free to tap the growing U.S. interest in hemp-based products.
First, though, they must navigate the shifting sands of public opinion – or, as one Alberta report called it, "the snicker factor."
According to an Alberta Agriculture Department report on industrial hemp production in Canada, the plant's cultivation evokes chuckles "largely because of its hippy-dippy image and close association with marijuana, its consciousness-altering cousin."
Nevertheless, this is serious stuff. The North American market for industrial hemp – which has only a minuscule amount of the chemical that gives marijuana its punch – is booming.
For centuries, hemp had been ubiquitous in global commerce – from paper making to the rope used on sailing vessels – until synthetic fibres usurped its naval role and global anti-drug sentiment put paid to the rest.
COVINGTON—Two of the three gubernatorial candidates debated in Covington Thursday afternoon, Republican State Senate President David Williams and independent candidate Gatewood Galbraith.
Gov. Steve Beshear announced earlier in the week that a scheduling conflict would keep him from attending the debate at the joint conference of the Kentucky County Judge/Executives Association and the Kentucky Magistrates and Commissioners Association held at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.
Williams criticized Beshear as having no agenda.
"My favorite Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt, talks about people in the arena who have the blood and sweat and get in there and try," Williams said. "Gatewood, thank you for being here today and offering yourself for public office. You're in the arena. Two out of three candidates are here, and the other will be engaged when he chooses, but he's not here today."
Galbraith blamed partisan politics for Kentucky's woes and said as an independent, he will work with both sides of the aisle.
"I foresee that after my stint as governor, I'm going to be one of the most disliked people in the state because I'm going to have to make decisions that neither party candidate can possibly make, because they've got to answer to the party," Galbraith said. "I don't answer to anybody except God and an occasional judge or two."
One of the questions involved the state gas tax, which funds road improvements throughout Kentucky.
By KSEE News
Shampoo, shirts and milk are just several things that can be made out of hemp. Stratford farmer Charles Meyer has been an advocate for industrial hemp for years. He said, "In the early days hemp was the standard of the economy. It could be a multi-trillion dollar had it kept going from the early days had it hadn't been outlawed because of it's relationship with marijuana."
A bill that would allow the growing of industrial hemp just passed the State Assembly Ag Committee. It would permit the growing of hemp as an eight year pilot program in Kern, Kings and San Joaquin counties. A number of law enforcement agencies are against the plan. They say growers can easily hide marijuana in hemp fields. They add it would bring more crime to the area. Meyer says this isn't the case.
"You can't grow marijuana in a hemp field it would get pollinated by the male plants and would seize to produce the thc or wouldn't produce it at all," said Meyer.