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The Vote Hemp Weekly News Update Volume I, Number 1
March 29, 2006

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the first issue of The Vote Hemp Weekly News Update! We are happy to welcome the readers of The Hemp Report's Hemp News list. Every week members of the Vote Hemp Board of Directors and our Media Team will choose the best hemp news stories for you to peruse.

Please make a contribution to Vote Hemp. Thanks again for your support.

The most interesting news of the week was the press release New DNA 'fingerprinting' technique separates hemp from marijuana from the University of Minnesota News Service. In the study, researchers document a new method to scientifically distinguish industrial varieties of cannabis from drug varieties. The study "Genetic variation in hemp and marijuana (Cannabis sativa L.) according to amplified fragment length polymorphisms" by George Weiblen and Shannon Datwyler was published in the March issue of the Journal of Forensic Sciences. This research provides additional evidence that hemp and marijuana are distinct and should be recognized separately under US federal law. Please click here to download a full copy of the study (PDF file 128K).

There was also another study issued during National Agriculture Week. The Maine Agricultural Center released its long awaited study on hemp in Maine. Please click here to download a copy of An Assessment of Industrial Hemp Production in Maine (PDF file 257K). The study, authorized by LD 53 in 2003, paints a realistic picture of what needs to be done in Maine to realize the dream of growing hemp in that state.

Weekly Hemp News Stories
  • Drug-free hemp is focus of U study
  • New Funding for Science Research at Composites Innovation Centre
  • Hemp Harvested to Check Pollution
  • State Ag Commissioners on a Quest to Make Hemp Farming Legal

  • New Funding for Science Research at Composites Innovation Centre

    Government of Canada News
    March 21, 2006

    WINNIPEG, MANITOBA The Composites Innovation Centre (CIC) will receive a further $6.6 million under the Canada-Manitoba Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) to support the growth of an internationally competitive composites industry in Manitoba.

    The Honourable Carol Skelton, Minister of National Revenue and Minister of Western Economic Diversification, and the Honourable Greg Selinger, Manitoba Minister of Finance, made the announcement today at the CIC laboratory, located in the University of Manitoba's Smartpark.

    "The Government of Canada supports the importance of basic and applied research, especially in science and technology, as an essential component of Canada's future economic well-being," said Minister Skelton. "This funding will ensure long-term economic and industrial growth, and mirrors the priorities of our Government in creating jobs, opportunities and stronger communities."

    Hemp Harvested to Check Pollution

    Manawatu Standard
    March 14, 2006

    NEW ZEALAND - A crop of hemp is being harvested in Feilding to check the absorption rates of known river pollutants - phosphorus and nitrogen.

    There are three plots of hemp near Feilding's sewage treatment plant, which treats waste before it reaches the Oroua River.

    The crop is looking promising, and one plot, planted in November, has reached 2.5m in height.

    The plants are sub-irrigated with tertiary treated waste from the sewage plant. This means the waste is treated several times before being put on paddocks.

    State Ag Commissioners on a Quest to Make Hemp Farming Legal

    Agriculture Online
    February 23, 2006

    Agriculture commissioners from four states met with Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials last week to explore acceptable rules on industrial hemp farming.

    North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson, along with ag commissioners from Massachusetts, West Virginia and Wisconsin, met with DEA Deputy Assistant Administrator Joseph Rannazzisi, Deputy Chief Counsel Robert Gleason, and Chief of Congressional Affairs Eric Akres.

    "The DEA people were very cordial, but they told us that the process of legalizing the production of industrial hemp will be extremely complicated under existing federal law," Johnson said. "The DEA has never responded to our earlier inquiries, but today we were able to present our case and learn from them what may be required in terms of regulations and safeguards."

    Drug-free hemp is focus of U study

    UMN Researcher George Weiblen


    By Lily Langerud
    The Minnesota Daily
    March 27, 2006

    A new University study on hemp and marijuana could pave the way for a drug-free industrial hemp plant.

    The study identifies the genetic markers that differentiate hemp from marijuana and could have broader implications for the growing of industrial hemp and criminal cases involving marijuana distribution.

    The technique, developed by University researchers George Weiblen and Shannon Datwyler, has immediate applications in Europe and Canada, where it is illegal to grow marijuana but legal to grow hemp, Weiblen said.

    In the United States, both marijuana and hemp are illegal to grow, but the research is useful in forensic science, and DNA fingerprints from the plants could be used to link marijuana growers to distributors, he said.

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