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.
Legislation advancing to allow crop to be grown in Kings, four other counties
By Hanford Sentinel Staff
A state bill that would allow farming of industrial hemp in Kings, Kern and three other counties could hit Gov. Brown's desk in September.
Senate Bill 676, authored by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Rafael, would create an eight-year pilot program in five counties. The other three counties are San Joaquin, Imperial and Yolo.
The legislation passed the Assembly Committee on Agriculture last week and earlier was approved by various other committees in the Senate and Assembly. The bill goes before the Assembly Appropriations Committee and a potential floor vote in August. Approval there would take it back to the Senate for a concurrence vote and a potential trip to the governor's desk.
Kings County was included in the list because local farmers have expressed interest, according to Leno's office. Most if not all of that interest has come from Charles Meyer, a Stratford farmer who has for years been a vocal advocate for industrial hemp.
The Kings County Farm Bureau has declined to take a position on the bill.
"We decided to stay neutral on the situation," said Michele Costa, Kings County Farm Bureau executive director. "We didn't really think it would affect us."
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).