Petroleum or Hemp Economy?

Petroleum or Hemp Economy?

As most of the world understands, the petroleum economy is in its final days. The damage it has done to the world is substantial. It is survivable only because it will soon be dismantled.

My recent interview with a major head of a giant petroleum conglomerate was eye-opening, heartful and revealing. In short he has sent out his minions to find the center of the hemp world for the purpose of taking it over. He plans to go from Big Oil to Big Hemp. 

In the process of the takeover he will become a social and economic hero. He understands the implications of his role in this next step. He is truly a visionary. When I asked him what a person ought to invest in, he was quick to insist that anyone who wants to get on board this new bullet train to mindful profits, one ought to be the first to market with any and all items that support the hemp industry in any way.

“Your product could be as small as a hemp hat, briefcase, candle or tennis shoe or it could be an innovative way to make the hemp wood, plastic, hemp filters or hemp surfboards…Also any production machinery that can improve the production of the plant or provide a better way to use the fiber for clothing or the biomass for insulation ought to be advertised and available in the marketplace now.”

“Be first to market. Put your stuff out there into the face of the investors, manufacturers, farmers, and the crafts people who will be fabricating everything from shoes to plastic wrap and hemp-crete homes to biofuel, all from this amazing plant. Now is your time to get ahead of the curve. Tell people about it. Make sure people in the industry know you exist, that they know what you’re offering and how it works.”

When I asked him what the time frame is, he hinted that the lobbying to correct the current law was in process, the major financial arrangements were being made.

“It’s for the sake of the planet and the profits. Without the planet, there are no profits.”

He went on to tell me about the biodegradable “plastic” bottles that can just about save mankind single handedly. He spoke for an hour about acreage and yields and the rebirth of the American farm family. This crop grows in about 12 weeks and it can change every industry including papermaking!  When he was done he was slightly hoarse and he excused himself. He had to get up early to travel to a speaking engagement. We need a social and economic hero right about now.

Todd Andrews – A Visionary, Author, Poet, who believe in Human Transformation

Note from the Editor: This story happened in the realms of possibilities – in other words, ‘it could happen’!

A Booming Industry

Vote Hemp’s 2017 US Hemp Crop Report found that 23,343 acres of hemp were cultivated in America that year alone. In 2018, that number rose to 77,000 acres. Now that hemp is legal nationwide, this number is expected to skyrocket during 2019. https://fee.org/articles/green-rush-how-hemp-is-growing-the-ec

Vote Hemp Releases 2019 U.S. Hemp Grower License Report

Vote Hemp Releases 2019 U.S. Hemp Grower License Report

Vote Hemp, the nation’s leading grassroots hemp advocacy organization, has released its 2019 U.S. Hemp License Report.

The report documents state-by-state progress of hemp legislation passed in 2019, reported licensed acreage of hemp, identifies states with active hemp farming programs and estimates the amount of hemp that will be planted in this critical year following the federal legalization of hemp through the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill. To view the complete 2019 U.S. Hemp License Report, please visit: https://www.votehemp.com/u-s-hemp-crop-report/.

“We are seeing hemp cultivation dramatically expand in the U.S. in 2019, with over quadruple the number of acres licensed in hemp compared to last year and the addition of 13 more states with hemp programs,” said Eric Steenstra, President of Vote Hemp. “Now that we have lifted federal prohibition on hemp farming, it’s time build the infrastructure and expand hemp cultivation and the market for hemp products across the country so that all can reap the benefits of this versatile and sustainable crop.”

Since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp cultivation in the U.S. has grown rapidly. The number of acres of hemp licensed across 34 states totaled 511,442 in 2019—more than quadruple the number of acres licensed from the previous year. State licenses to cultivate hemp were issued to 16,877 farmers and researchers, a 476% increase over 2018. Licensing is a good indicator to show intent but we know from previous years that significantly less hemp is planted than what is licensed due to a variety of factors including access to seed and/or clones, a lack of financing as well as inexperience. This will be the case again for 2019 and Vote Hemp estimates that 230,000 acres of hemp will actually be planted and 50-60% of that will be harvested due crop failure, non-compliant crops and other factors resulting in 115,000-138,000 acres of harvested hemp.

Hemp processors are critical to the growth of the industry and the report also documents dramatic investments and growth in hemp processing facilities. States which license processors reported 2,880 processing licenses, an increase of 483% over 2018. Several key states including Colorado do not license processors so processing capacity is actually significantly higher. The growth in processors is largely for extraction and positions the hemp industry well to meet market demand for extracts but more investment is needed for fiber and grain processing.

The new 2018 Farm Bill, signed into law by the President on December 20, 2018, includes Section 10113 titled “Hemp Production,” which removes hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, places full federal regulatory authority of hemp with USDA, and allows State departments of agriculture to submit hemp program plans for approval and regulate hemp cultivation per their State specific programs. The USDA is expected to release new federal regulations for hemp cultivation this fall as required by Section 10114 of the Farm Bill and states with approved plans can begin regulating hemp cultivation under the new Farm Bill provisions starting in 2020.

In addition to defining hemp as cannabis that contains no more than 0.3% THC by dry weight, the 2018 Farm Bill asserts a ‘whole plant’ definition of hemp, including plant extracts; and removes roadblocks to the rapidly growing hemp industry in the U.S., notably by authorizing and encouraging access to federal research funding for hemp, and removing restrictions on banking, water rights, and other regulatory roadblocks the hemp industry currently faces. The bill also explicitly authorizes crop insurance for hemp. For more details on the specific hemp provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill, please check out Vote Hemp’s blog post, “Hemp in the Farm Bill: What Does It Mean?” https://www.VoteHemp.com/hempinthefarmbill.

Among the fastest-growing categories in the natural foods industry, hemp seed is a rich source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids (EFAs), providing both SDA and GLA, highly-digestible protein, and naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E and iron. An excellent source of dietary fiber, hemp seed is also a complete protein—meaning it contains all ten essential amino acids, with no enzyme inhibitors, making it more digestible by the human body. Advancements in hemp research and manufacturing demonstrate the remarkable versatility and product-potential for hemp. Hemp bast fiber has shown promising potential to replace graphene in supercapacitor batteries, which could then be used to power electric cars and handheld electric devices and tools. Hemp fiber can also be used to create environmentally friendly packaging materials, and hard bio-plastics for use in everything from airplanes to car parts. Hemp houses are also on the rise, as hempcrete, which is energy-efficient, non-toxic, resistant to mold, insects and fire, has many advantages to synthetic building materials, lumber and concrete.

To date, forty-six states have defined industrial hemp as distinct and removed barriers to its production. These states are able to take immediate advantage of the industrial hemp research and pilot program provision, Section 7606 of the Farm Bill: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

This story first appeared on Vote Hemp.

Oak is Out, Hemp is in – HempWood Factory Opens in Kentucky

Oak is Out, Hemp is in – HempWood Factory Opens in Kentucky

“Oak is out. Hemp is in,” says HempWood leader Greg Wilson, whose 15,600-square-feet factory is now officially open for business in Kentucky. 

HempWood is a reverse-engineered wood substitute with advantages over traditional oak hardwood, says Fibonacci, the company behind it. Those include a higher availability, a much quicker grow time of six months, and a 20 percent higher density. HempWood can be used in furniture, flooring, and other woodworking projects.

“We’re taking something that grows in six months and we’re able to able to replicate, if not out perform, a tropical hardwood that grows in 200 years,” Wilson said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday. Wilson and Congressman James Comer cut the ribbon at the ceremony, later demonstrating how HempWood logs are manufactured. The plant will consume $1 million a year in raw materials (all coming from local farmers and neighboring counties) and have a significant impact on labor, generating another $1 million a year, WPSD Local 6 News reported. The one-of-a-kind HempWood plant will run two presses over two shifts.

Around 12 employees and three managers are needed each shift – reaching around 50 employees overall by the end of the year. Wilson is currently taking job applications at work@hempwood.com. Two people will be hired each month through the year’s end. Eight employees currently work at the plant. HempWood will be available in blocks, pre-sawn boards, flooring, and finished products such as cutting boards and skateboards at prices lower than oak. The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority approved $300,000 in tax incentives for the operation.

The incentives, based on performance, will allow Fibonacci to keep some of its investment by meeting job and investment targets. The company will also receive no-cost recruitment and job placement servies from the Kentucky Skills Network. “The commonwealth’s burgeoning hemp industry is quickly gaining national attention, and this exciting project will significantly intensify that spotlight,” Kentucky’s Governor Matt Bevin said. “This hardwood alternative opens up new possibilities within the construction and woodworking industries and emphasizes the capabilities hemp has across numerous sectors.

We are grateful to Greg Wilson and Fibonacci LLC for locating the United States’ first HempWood operation in Kentucky, and we look forward to the powerful impact the company will have on the region’s economy and the overall industry.” Wilson was inspired to create the HempWood product after working for a bamboo flooring company. He co-owns SmartOak, which manufacturers engineered wood products from would-be waste logs. 

Wilson told the Murray Ledger that he is planning seven other HempWood facilities around the country. Wilson hopes to add another press at the Murray plant by next year and double the employees. 

This story originally appeared at Woodworking Network.

The Explosion of Hemp Beyond CBD

The Explosion of Hemp Beyond CBD

The room was buzzing at the National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC) Event in Portland OR, this month of August 2019.

Conversations with attendees from all over the world, on and off stage was the explosion of Hemp beyond CBD. How refreshing to know that those who have educated themselves in this arena know, Hemp/Cannabis will be the ‘what’ that saves all of us with its emerging multi-billion dollar industry, way beyond CBD. Hemp is the next Industrial economic, environmental and wellness evolution

The presenters covered everything from Hemp Farming to Hemp Banking along with all the many facets Hemp can grow in; textiles, biofuel, plastic, paper, hemp buildings, clothing, automotive, any thing petrochemical can be made with hemp.  

It seems the larger companies from around the world are seeing the writing on the wall.  CBD is the small corner stone to bring Hemp medicine back into the world. In the meantime on a much grander scale there’s the entire industrial hemp industry about to blossom in our country!

NIHC had some excellent speakers and presenters.  Among them was the Honorable Jeff Merkley, US Senator for the State of Oregon; Jay Noller, Director and Lead Researcher at Oregon State University’s Global Hemp Innovation Center; Greg Ibach, US Department of Agriculture; Kate Greeberg, Colorado Department of Agriculture;  Ed Elfmann, Agricultural Policy for the America Bankers Association; Lowell Schiller JD, Commissioner, Policy of the Food and Drug Association.  

NIHC – Aligning Your Marketing with Hemp Production

THE .03% HEMP LAW

It seems the policy makers are under many guidelines they must adhere too that truly need adjustments and as we know, everything in the bureaucratic world moves very slowly.  Example, the .03% THC is the definition of legalized Hemp. This .03% seems to be an arbitrary number that would satisfy the FDA for food and drug products in the Hemp arena. However the question comes up over and over, what happens if a farmer grows ‘hot’ and the THC exceeds .03%?  The answer right now is, the crop must be destroyed! Which is why Farmers Insurance has been created!  

For many of us, especially women (just sayin), because we like to think beyond ‘what is’, why does it matter if the Hemp crop is hot at .06% or even 10%?  This ‘hot’ hemp crop would be perfect for HempCrete, Hemp shoes, Hemp Biofuels, Hemp Plastics, Hemp Textiles and so many more hemp industrial uses.  Why would FDA care what percentage a hemp tennis shoe or hemp graphite, or biofuel is? Why do we need to pay such close attention to the THC level if it is not a food or drug? Those questions were asked and no real answer came from it.  What was said regarding the .03% Hemp Law is ‘this is what Congress has made Law, therefore it’s what it is and where we’re at right now’. My response was, ‘However, how does a farmer put their life on the line financially, knowing if not perfect, they could lose a lot?  Why not allow this hemp to produce the rest of the mega Hemp Industry?’ The response from the Honorable Jeff Merkley, US Senator for the State of Oregon, ‘everything takes time’ – my response, ‘we need to start pushing for this now, with Climate Change happening, time is not on our side!’

Women of Vision

I do want to acknowledge the women who spoke and presented in their earnestness and factual materials.  Brie Abramowicz of Phylos.; Amy Ansel, and Tanya Hart of TITANBioPlastics.com and Lucy Infeld of Beveridge&Diamond and many more women I met off the stage. Marylou Burton of the Cannabis Collaborative Conference, CCC-CON.com  Gina Kolhage of Cannabiz Journal Cannabizjournal.com, TanyaHeart of TITANHEMP,   TitanHemp.net, Ptricia Sheikh, Roots of Peace, Roots of Peace.org, Dr Jamie Green, ThinkandGrowFrams – ThinkandGrowFrams.com.   

I’m acknowledging these three women because of the deep care and commitment to what’s right for our world and our people right now  They all seem to agree, time is of the essence today for tomorrow’s sustainable world to grow!

I am grateful to be have attended NIHC 2019 Hemp Business Summit in Portland. 

ABOUT NIHC is for the Awareness, Growth and Integrity of the Industry.

  • We promote public awareness and understanding of industrial hemp and hemp industry.
  • We promote the sustainable long term growth and profitability of the industry
  • We provide a strong, unified voice on legislative, regulatory and policy issues that affect the hemp businesses. 
  • We protect and enhance the integrity of the hemp industry.

NIHC is a network of organizations available as a resource for industry and consumers to learn more about the availability, applicability, and proven benefits for hemp and its derivatives. 

I highly encourage those of you who earnestly wants to see change in the laws of this mega industry begin going to HEMP Events and make your voice heard. It’s amazing how many people came to me afterwards and thanked me for asking the questions that, ‘needed to be asked’. As a journalist and a huge activist of the Hemp world, there’s no way I can not ask these questions.  The full legalization of the cannabis plant will be the greatest change our entire planet could benefit from. Game is on, get involved, it’ll make a world of difference!

Together We Grow!
Darlene Mea
CEO/FOUNDER

DEA Affirms Hemp’s New Status, Sends Notice That Plant is Legal

DEA Affirms Hemp’s New Status, Sends Notice That Plant is Legal

More than six months after hemp was made legal in the United States, federal drug authorities have updated their guidance to remind law enforcement that hemp is no longer a controlled substance.

A notice posted Monday by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) cited the 2018 Farm Bill in noting that “certain forms of cannabis no longer require DEA registration to grow or manufacture.”

The agency went on to say that “hemp, including hemp plants and cannabidiol (CBD) preparations at or below the 0.3 percent delta-9 THC threshold is not a controlled substance.”

The DEA notice didn’t change the law or make hemp legal; that occurred last year.

But because the agency had yet to remind national law enforcement through its regular bulletins that hemp is legal, some hemp businesses found themselves fighting legal confusion about the plant’s status.

Attorneys who represent hemp clients told Hemp Industry Daily that the DEA statement is an overdue affirmation of cannabis legality.

The DEA also announced Monday that it will expand research on higher-THC varieties of cannabis classified as marijuana.

This story first appeared on Hemp Industry Daily.