It seems like we are expanding the Overton
Window, and the traditional media is including
a range of possibilities for industrial hemp
that just a few years ago mostly generated pot-infused
headlines and reeked of controversy.
While this week's CNBC story "Hemp
Wars Fire Up" cannot escape the
seemingly ubiquitous double entendre, it does
present the growing hemp marketplace as a
straight business story, muck like the FOX Business
News story last month. The worldwide
hemp trend is getting to the point where it is
impossible to ignore.
While we are just learning how to take hemp seriously
here in the U.S., the rest of the world is getting on
with the business of developing markets,
farming and processing techniques. On May
27-28 the European Industrial Hemp
Association (EIHA) will hold their 6th
International Conference. This is the largest
gathering of hemp experts in Europe and is
well worth attending. Please see the EIHA
Conference site and download the Conference
PDF for the latest information on this
Closer to home, we have made some navigation
updates to the Vote Hemp Web site, along with
some layout changes on the Home page, to make
finding things easier. Action Alerts now have
a prominent position on the right-hand side
of the page, just below the new Legislation
tab which makes it easy to find the status
of federal and state hemp legislation. We hope that
these changes help you find more easily what you
need on our site and facilitate your taking action to
help us change the situation here in the U.S.
We continue to work very hard on the hemp issue.
Please make a contribution
to Vote Hemp today to help us continue our
We need and truly appreciate your support!
Hemp News Update Editor
|Hemp Wars Fire Up
David Bronner of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps.
Photo credit: CNBC.
By Jane Wells
May 11, 2009
What if Americans could buy cigarettes but
were banned from growing tobacco? Buy bread
but not allowed to grow wheat? That is the
case with industrial hemp, a product in
everything from car doors to milk ... legally.
Hemp farming was banned in the U.S. decades
ago as part of the earliest drug wars. Hemp
contains THC, like marijuana. But hemp is not
marijuana. "It's like a Chihuahua versus a
Saint Bernard," says David Bronner, President
of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, which sold $29
million in hemp-related products last year.
The THC in industrial hemp is so minute that
"the only thing you will get from smoking it
is a headache," says Gregg Baumbaugh, CEO of
FlexForm Technologies, which uses hemp in car
doors for Dodge Vipers. Both companies import
their hemp from Canada or France, adding 10
to 15 percent to costs.
"A classic overreach," says Rep. Ron Paul,
the one-time Presidential candidate who has
co-sponsored a bill to legalize domestic
production of industrial hemp. "There's not
another country in the world that prohibits
the raising of hemp. Only in America ... I
mean, it's utterly ridiculous."
|Hemp — The Law, The Musical
A reading of The Caitlin County Hemp Wars play.
Photo credit: The Phoenix.
By Chris Faraone
April 29, 2009
When liberal congressmen like Barney Frank
begin co-sponsoring bills with libertarians
like Ron Paul, there must be something funny
in the air. That stench — according to
activists, agriculturalists and economists
alike — is the manure that Drug
Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials
have fed Americans about industrial hemp for
decades, which has resulted in policies that
allow for hemp to be imported, but not ones
that let suffering American farmers cultivate
Coincidentally simultaneous with the landmark
(and fashionably dubbed) Paul-Frank proposal
— which would lift senseless
restrictions on industrial hemp farming
— local playwrights Terry Crystal and
Don DiVecchio are rolling out their
five-years-in-the-making musical, The
Caitlin County Hemp Wars, for one night
only at the Zero Arrow Theatre in Harvard
Square. Their motivation is simple: banning
non-psychoactive hemp because of stigmas
regarding its genetic cousin marijuana is
like banning bananas because of Ron Jeremy.
"It's outrageous that something so
potentially useful is illegal to grow in the
United States," says Crystal, a Boston
University librarian who first became
interested in hemp as a functional material
while studying at the Rhode Island School of
Design more than a decade ago. "It's
ridiculous, and you just have to wonder why."
|Flax and Hemp to be Featured in New Era Bio-Composites
Innovation in Textiles
April 29, 2009
At the recent JEC Composites exhibition at
Porte de Versailles, Paris, CELC Masters of
Linen showcased the use of flax and hemp
fibers in the future world of renewable
composites. According to CELC, the
environmentally sustainable properties of
these two European-grown fibers are proving
increasingly attractive to manufacturers
seeking to incorporate sustainable solutions
into their products.
The natural mechanical properties of flax and
hemp bring high performance and competitive
cost to new composite materials now being
used in the automotive, furniture, boat
building and leisure industries, the
"As renewable fibers, European-grown flax and
hemp help safeguard the environment, as their
cultivation requires no irrigation, little or
no artificial fertilization, and no
pesticides. Their use within an otherwise
intensive crop rotation regime allows the
land to recover fertility and quality, to
enjoy an 'environmental pause,' encouraging
bio-diversity," a spokesperson for CELC
Masters of Linen said.
6th International Conference of the EIHA
The 6th International Conference of the
European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA)
is happening later this month in Germany. Experts
from all over the world
will meet in order to exchange
information about the latest developments
concerning hemp and other natural fibers.
The spectrum of participants will range from
cultivation consultants, primary and further
processors, traders, mechanical engineers and
investors, to numerous small and medium-sized
enterprises, to global
enterprises and suppliers. They all share a common
in the utilization of hemp raw materials in industry.
Date: May 27-28, 2009
Kölner Straße 42
50389 Wesseling (near Cologne)
Organiser & Contact:
More about the EIHA 2009 Conference...