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The Vote Hemp Weekly News Update Volume I, Number 5
June 13, 2006

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the fifth issue of The Vote Hemp Weekly News Update! Every week or so, members of the Vote Hemp Board of Directors and our Media Team will help choose the best hemp news for your perusal.

The big news this week is the North Dakota Department of Agriculture's hearing on their proposed industrial hemp farming rules. Please read our press release "Public Hearing on Hemp Farming in North Dakota to Feature Largest Hemp Seed Contractor in North America" in the right column. For more information on the proposed rules, please see the Vote Hemp North Dakota page.

Also included herein are three other stories. The first concerns the possibility of North Dakota becoming competition for hemp growers and processors in Canada. This reality is still a ways off, but we are getting closer. The second covers the talk given by Dr. James Klotter at the Bluegrass Heritage Museum on the history of hemp in Kentucky. The last story is a somewhat humorous one about some low-THC ditchweed (feral hemp) that was growing outside the Federal Courthouse and new Federal Building in downtown Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Vote Hemp continues to make great strides towards our goals of creating a free market for industrial hemp and changing current law to allow U.S. farmers to grow the crop. Please make a contribution to Vote Hemp today to help us in this important work.

We need and truly appreciate your support!

Best Regards,

Tom Murphy
Weekly News Update Editor

Weekly News Update Stories
  • Public Hearing on Hemp Farming in North Dakota to Feature Largest Hemp Seed Contractor in North America
  • Canada May Get Competition
  • Hemp Once a Boon for Kentucky
  • Courting Ditch Weed

  • Canada May Get Competition

    By Angela Hall
    The Leader-Post
    June 10, 2006

    Saskatchewan farmers who grow industrial hemp may have competition from North Dakota in the coming years.

    About 24,000 acres (9,700 hectares) of hemp was grown in Canada last year, with roughly one-third of those acres in Saskatchewan. Commercial hemp farming is nonexistent in the United States, where the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) [sic] doesn't currently recognize the crop apart from marijuana.

    North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson is proposing rules for the production of industrial hemp, including a requirement that producers consent to a criminal background check and fingerprinting.

    However, approval from the DEA is still essential. Johnson and agriculture commissioners from three other states recently met with the agency to make their case.


    Hemp Once a Boon for Kentucky

    The Winchester Sun
    June 9, 2006

    For years it earned Kentucky farmers more income than tobacco, and a historical study of hemp is chiefly a Kentucky story, Dr. James Klotter told a Bluegrass Heritage Museum audience Thursday night.

    Klotter, editor and author, former executive director of the Kentucky Historical Society, state historian and professor of history at Georgetown College, noted that long before the time of Christ, the Chinese used hemp for paper. Later Europeans employed it in sails and ship rigging and early in America's history the British government ordered it grown here so a supply would be available for maritime use, he said.

    Kentucky produced most of the hemp crop in the United States, he said, growing three-fourths of it in 1840 and more than 90 percent of it about half a century later.


    Courting Ditch Weed

    By Shannon Stevens
    KSFY News
    June 8, 2006

    If it looks like a weed and smells like a weed, it must be a weed, right? Someone spotted suspicious buds growing outside the Federal Courthouse and new Federal Building in downtown Sioux Falls. Someday the beds will be flowers or grass, but somehow we don't think developers had this kind of grass in mind. Just to be sure it wasn't some other weed posing as marijuana, we had it tested, and sure enough, it's ditch weed, or low grade pot, right outside the very building where people are put away for dealing it.

    No one wanted to stir the pot by going on camera and talking about the mishap, but city officials and a developer KSFY spoke with say it's most certainly an accident. Crews bring in dirt for major construction projects like this one and more than likely, the seeds were sitting in the soil, just waiting to sprout.


    Public Hearing on Hemp Farming in North Dakota to Feature Largest Hemp Seed Contractor in North America

    BISMARCK, ND The first in the nation to do so, North Dakota's Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson will hold a public hearing on Thursday, June 15 about rules expected to be finalized later this year that would license farmers in his state to grow industrial hemp under current state law. The hearing begins at 10 a.m. in the North Dakota Heritage Center, Lecture Room B, located at 612 East Boulevard Avenue in Bismarck. Members of the media are invited to attend this historic stride towards bringing back hemp farming in the United States after 50 years of prohibition. The proposed hemp farming rules may be viewed online here.

    At the hearing a spectrum of agricultural interests, including contractors, farmers, market experts and a certified agrologist, will testify about their personal experiences growing industrial hemp in Canada which expects to plant an estimated 40,000 acres this year.

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