Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Captain Amsterdam in Vegas for medical trade show

Cannabis sativa medicine is getting a much better rap these days, and one Colorado company is even getting it certified kosher at the Orthodox Union in New York. Companies are even doing roadshows, such as Captain Amsterdam, which is  in Vegas today  to promote cannabis medicine, below are the details:


ASD Tradeshow the dates are March 1-4, 2015Las Vegas Convention Center   

Time is 9am-6pm everyday


 


Tyler Lacey
Captain Amsterdam(Operations Director)
619-866-3344 (Direct Line)
877-752-7362 Ext 106 (Office Line)
949-632-1069 (Cell Phone)


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Letter to Texas paper about hemp in Texas

This is a letter published in the Victoria Advocate on 7 February, 2014, from Mina Hegaard, owner of Minawear, who lives in Victoria:


Editor, the Advocate:
I am a clothing designer here in Victoria, and the main material used in my clothing, Minawear Luxury Hemp Loungewear, is hemp and organic cotton. The reason I only design with hemp and organic cotton is that I believe our environment is in grave danger of becoming severely imbalanced by the overuse of chemicals, which affects humans on many levels - whether it be a rise in illnesses from water contamination or air and soil pollutants.
Unlike conventional cotton that requires one-third of a pound of chemicals per T-shirt, hemp is grown without the use of harmful chemicals, and that is profitable to farmers as well as beneficial to the health of the planet.
Hemp has more than 25,000 applications, including fuel, textiles, building materials, food, paper, batteries and more.
Texas recently introduced a HB 84 (R) to legalize hemp farming on the state level, while H.R. 525, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015, was introduced by Representative Thomas Massie, of Kentucky, on Jan. 21 to allow American farmers to once again grow hemp to the extent that it is allowed under state laws.
Forty-two states have introduced pro-hemp legislation and twenty-eight have passed pro-hemp legislation as a resolution, hemp study bill or other.
In order to legalize growing industrial hemp, we need to first educate ourselves, and then take action. Please visit votehemp.com/write_congress.html and follow the links to find your legislators and send them email letters.
There are also many informative publications available including "Hemp For Victory," a book that my brother wrote about the uses, history, processes and financials of hemp. Woody Harrelson wrote the foreword, and I wrote the textile chapter. See link at minawear.com/shop/general/hemp-for-victory-by-kenyon-gibson.
Thank you for taking the time to educate yourself.
Mina Hegaard, Victoria

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Article on hemp biofuel by Giolio Sica in The Guardian

Years ago I did an article with The Guardian, but somehow I missed this very telling piece by Guilio Sica, which detailed how the UK government ignored hemp as a biofuel and even downplayed biofuels - which is ridiculous, as biofuels can be sourced from existing farm waste; wheat straw etc. can be turned into alcohol at very low cost and in the process generate local employment. Too many politicians are on the take and it can be said are committing treason by working against national interests.

________________________________________________________________________________________

Guardian, 28 January 2008

The Royal Society, the European Commission and the UK government have all managed, in the last few days, to take the wind out of the sails of the biofuel industry, publishing reports that suggest biofuels could be causing more harm than good, the crops not being as environmentally friendly as first thought, with the Commons environmental audit committee calling for a moratorium on biofuel targets until more research can be done.
What struck me as astonishing about these reports is that they all managed to ignore the one crop which has been successfully used for many years to create bioethanol and biodiesel, is environmentally friendlier to produce than sugar beet, palm oil, corn or any of the crops mentioned in the report and can grow in practically any temperate to hot climate leaving the ground in better condition than when it was planted.
That plant is hemp.
Last year, the Conservative MP David Maclean tabled a question to the then environment secretary, Ian Pearson, asking what assessment had been made about the potential to grow hemp as a biofuel crop in England. Pearson responded:

Research into the potential of hemp as a biofuel crop suggests it is not currently competitive compared to other sources of biomass. However, hemp does have a number of high-value end uses. For example, as a fibre crop it is used in car panels, construction and as horse bedding. In addition, hempseed oil is used in food, cosmetics and various industrial applications. As a result, there is little interest in this country at present in growing it for biofuel production.

So the government cannot point to ignorance of hemp's uses, which makes hemp's omission from any of the recent reports even more perplexing.
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The fact that hemp does not need to have land cleared to grow it, grows faster than any of the crops currently used and leaves the ground in a better state when it is harvested should surely be enough for it to be considered a perfect crop to offset the carbon currently produced by fossil fuels and by the less efficient biofuels currently being so roundly criticised by the various official research bodies.
The influential Biodiesel magazine reported last year on the cultivation of hemp as a biofuel and it too could only point to its lack of economic competitiveness (due to its minimal production) as a reason for not seeing it as a viable biofuel. But surely if it was mass-produced, this one drawback could be overcome and its many benefits as an efficient biofuel could be harnessed.
As far as research and implementation of hemp for biofuel, the US is way ahead of Europe and there are a range of websites dedicated to the use of hemp as a fuel for cars.
In the UK, companies such as Hemp Global Solutions have been set up very much with climate change and the reduction of carbon emissions in mind, but there is little, if any, research in this country that has looked into the viability of the hemp plant as a fuel for cars.
So why was there not a single mention of this miracle crop, that, in addition to being able to be used as fuel, can also be used as paper, cloth, converted into plastic and is a rich food source containing high levels of protein?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Hemp article in Your True Colours

This is the article I wrote that appeared in the latest issue of Your True Colours Magazine:

http://www.yourtruecolours.biz



Hemp is today a hard to get item. The consumer that once purchased items made from it now can get  clothes made from cotton, paper made from trees, medicine  made from manmade chemicals, and oil sourced from fish livers. Textiles, paper, medicine and edible oils are but a few of the products that hemp provides; it is a simple-to-grow plant that can be cultivated on all continents save the Antarctic. Part of the whole enigma is that hemp is a plant of great varietal variability, lending itself even to experimentation as the great Russian plant geneticist Vavilov proclaimed. Thus it can produce tall slender stems with high cellulose fibre, or it can grow short and branched with many flowers which can contain high levels of THC and other cannabinoids. These compounds make some strains valuable to medicine and also appealing to marijuana smokers; most strains do not provide much in the way of medicine of drugs, but there is such a volume of literature on the marijuana culture that the general public at times associates all hemp with marijuana. There is also a large body of literature on hemp as an industrial plant, spanning centuries.
 
In the not too distant past, entire nations, empires to wit, depended on its availability; Russia, the chief supplier in the 17th-19th centuries, sold to both the British and the American navies.  Britain and America themselves grew at that time no small amount, and both nation's legislators expressed alarm at the rate of expenditure on foreign hemp for their military. The superior quality and price of Russian hemp, however, ensured that Western powers relied on Russia's. Thus it was once the world's most traded commodity and cultivated nearly worldwide not only for its commercial value, but for the fact that many of its products, in addition to rope and sails, were necessary to survival; Thomas Jefferson, for instance, exhorted it be grown for the wealth and defense of the colonies. Over a century after his advice, the United States was eager to cultivate this crop and produced a film in WWII titled "Hemp for Victory." The threat to rope supplies in the Pacific prompted the legislature to make sure that American farmers were able and willing to plant hemp.

With the advent of metal ships running on steam and petroleum sails became almost obsolete, and abaca from the Philippines replaced hempen cordage on modern ships. Despite a dramatic downturn in demand in the maritime industry, this plant continued to be grown into the 20th century, providing a range of products from paper to food. It excelled in both of these categories, as its long and strong fibres interlocked perfectly for long lasting paper (the oldest existing fragment of paper is 2,000 years old and contains hemp) and its Omega 3,6 & 9 rich seeds full of all essential amino acids were excellent for food. Farmers also found the plant not only easy to grow in most countries of the world, but it acted as a natural pesticide (with one US cotton farmer sowing it on one third of his land at a time to rid the soil of pests).

Many changes in the law, however, in the 1930s to the 1960s in the US and other nations made hemp illegal, as these laws mistakenly lumped all forms of Cannabis sativa
in with high THC producing strains known as marijuana. A few nations continued to cultivate hemp; mainly China, which today profits from its policy. Western nations have
had a reawakening due to activists who struggled to make hemp not only legal but in some countries a subsidized species. These efforts have largely paid off, and there is presently a thriving hemp textile and hemp oil industry.

All of which might bode well for the US, as hemp, which was such a part of its history that the first US flag was made of it, can be grown in all 50 states. However, the present status of hemp is prohibitive, even with the recent ruling at the federal level that states may decide for themselves whether to allow its cultivation. So far, only two states have made cultivation legal: Colorado and Kentucky. Both were largely responsible for the change in the federal law, with farmers in the former sowing 60 acres of hemp in a field before the change; thus challenged, Washington lawmakers saw the gauntlet on the ground and  conceded. Soon afterwards, a complex battle in the Kentucky House ensued, perhaps an epic note  in American history, with both  Republican senators, Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell, supporting the hemp issue in Washington, while a Democrat  worked hard to keep it illegal. The governor promptly signed the bill, allowing the Bluegrass state, which was in the 19th and into the 20th century the hemp-basket of America, to regain  its heritage. 
 
While hemp is still illegal to cultivate in 48 states, and not yet produced in any quantity in Colorado or Kentucky, many American businesses manufacture hemp items, the largest sector being the hempseed oil industry, which sources its oil mainly from Canada, where farmers are profiting greatly from America's ban. A number of  other firms manufacture hemp clothing, such as Minawear in Texas, which started in 1998 in California when the hemp movement was still rather small. The years of manufacturing hempen apparel by this and other companies has brought hemp to the awareness of the general public and has helped to restore the crop to legality in the US.
 
Another outfit in the same state  working in this field is Canvasland, which makes artist's canvas - which are not only archival quality but true to original material; the use of hemp for canvas is of such  longstanding practice that the very word 'canvas' derives from 'cannabis'; canape in Italian, chanvre in French. Hemp was a major crop in many Renaissance countries, including Italy and the Netherlands. Not only was the textile used in art, but also the oil, which is clear and long-lasting. This last mentioned use of hemp is one that is not yet available on a commercial level, but is being researched by artists with a view to only bottling hemp oil as an art supply but also in finding the best variety among the thousands of varieties of hemp for this purpose, with the possibility that in the future it will replace linseed and safflower oils, both of which are prone to some degree of yellowing. 
 
From the innovative to the well established, hemp has many uses, making it  an essential part of the economy, as well as being a top choice ecologically, given the fact that it needs less water than cotton and also far less pesticides. Since there  is no real reason not to cultivate it, and every reason to do so, it is the challenge of this present generation to reverse the mistakes of our predecessors  and restore hemp to its place in our fields and the marketplace, hopefully succeeding and earning the respect of future generations.
 
Kenyon Gibson
Author of "Hemp for Victory: History & Qualities of the World's Most Useful Plant"

Monday, October 27, 2014

Progress for hemp in North Carolina


We have been following on this site states' progress in making hemp legal; there has been little progress, despite the federal ban being lifted. Mainly a handful of southern and western states are fighting for their rights. This just in from North Carolina:           
 
Posted: Thursday, October 23, 2014 12:27 am | Updated: 12:29 am, Thu Oct 23, 2014.
NC State students are advocating for the legalization of hemp, arguing that the misunderstood dichotomy between hemp and marijuana has inhibited the U.S.A. from receiving the benefits from mass-producing hemp. 
The Raleigh Hemp Society screened the award-winning documentary, “Bringing It Home,” which emphasizes the benefits that hemp can have on our society and the struggle to get it legalized in the US on Sunday in the Witherspoon Student Cinema.
About 30 students attended the screening to hear the film’s message that hemp’s benefits are being ignored by American society due to the fundamental mischaracterization that the hemp plant is the same as recreational marijuana. 
“You can smoke a field of hemp, and you would die of CO2 poisoning before you got high,” said Andrew Klein, a senior in natural resources policy and administration and founder of the Raleigh Hemp Society. “Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis sativa, but the point is that they are completely different. It’s like comparing a house cat to a lion.” 
The documentary presented one of the Drug Enforcement Administration’a (DEA), arguments against hemp, stating recreational marijuana can be hidden among hemp stalks because the plants look similar.
Hemp supporters, however, argue this is unlikely due to the special, climate-controlled conditions needed to produce “smoker’s” marijuana.
Hemp is widely produced in 31 other industrial countries including France, China and the U.K. 
The THC content of industrial hemp is 0.3 percent or lower, which, according to the documentary, is too low a level to be psychoactive in the body. It is significantly less than the THC content found in recreational cannabis, which stands at about 40 percent.
Historically, this misconception has been a major factor in hemp’s illegal status in the U.S., dating back to 1970 when President Richard Nixon first declared it a Class I drug along with recreational marijuana and heroin, among others.
While interning for the Virginia Hemp Company this past summer, Klein said he spent a significant amount of time lobbying in Washington D.C. where he ran into the problems with this misconception frequently. 
“I talked mostly with staffers, but most agriculture reps said that [the politicians they represent] are anti-marijuana,” Klein said. “This shows that, for many politicians, the fear of politically associating with marijuana keeps them from seeing the benefits of hemp.”
Before it was declared illegal, the U.S. government promoted hemp to help the U.S. win WWII with the “Hemp for Victory” propaganda campaign, which encouraged farmers to produce hemp to make rope, cloth and cordage for military use. Hemp was also the first material ever used to make cloth in 800 B.C. China, according to the documentary. 
Klein and his staff members set up a table showing off some of the varied ways that hemp can not only provide a greener alternative to common products but even improve on them. The table had hemp cooking oil, which has more omega-3 than traditional oil, hemp paper, which can be produced four times more efficiently than paper from trees, the different hemp fibers used in clothing, which can be produced with less water than cotton, and raw hemp, which can be made into a concrete substitute. 
The use of hemp to make concrete, or “hempcrete,” has particularly interesting prospects for the U.S. as a whole, according to the documentary. 
Not only could it provide thousands of new jobs due to building renovations and new building construction, but it can improve quality of life for homeowners. 
According to the documentary, hempcrete is a carbon negative material, which means that it actually absorbs CO2 in the air as well as filters out other pollutants. The construction process could also made safer by the use of hempcrete, as it does not require workers to wear masks or gloves because it is nontoxic. Power tools would also be unnecessary when using hemp, which would eliminate loud noise and wires on construction sites. 
“Hempcrete wall construction is not complicated, but there is a learning curve in working with low temperatures and wet conditions,” Linda Booker said, co-producer, director and editor of “Bringing It Home.”
When Booker and her co-producer Blaire Johnson began filming in November 2010, Booker was new to the history of hemp.
In 2011, Booker and Johnson attended the Hemp Building Symposium in Granada, Spain where they were able to meet with global hemp business leaders which changed her perspective on this issue. 
“I was skeptical like a lot of people,” Booker said. “I realized that we need a good film to educate people about this.” 
President Barack Obama signed the Farm Bill in February, which made hemp legal for research and academic uses, which is a step towards legalization. However, hemp is still illegal to grow without a DEA issued permit. 
The DEA has only issued three of these permits since 1970, according to the documentary released in 2013.
“Until we take hemp out of the substance one narcotic classification, the DEA will still have jurisdiction over seed imports for research,” Booker said. 
Booker said DEA pressure forces higher prices for legal hemp products because they have to be imported. 
Andrew Klein said he is working to inform people about hemp close to home. 
“The future is working with businesses, farmers and political leaders to formulate policy to help legalize hemp in NC,” Klein said. “The long-term future of the hemp society is to get passionate, intelligent students jobs in the hemp markets.”  

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Hemp canvas

Canvasland is the industry leader in Hemp Artist Canvas - we're working to return the original canvas to the artist's easel! Get started with our Slim line - thinner and lighter than our Premium line, Slims are a great way to experience the Canvasland difference! Go to http://www.canvasland.net/
 
 
I just saw this on the www.minawear.com facebook site - something I was waiting for quite a while -
as an artist, I am well aware that hemp was used as canvas - in fact, the word canvas comes from the Latin - vd. French: chanvre
                  Italian: cannape
                  Spanish: canamo ( pronounced kanyamo - tilde on the n) - in Rembrandt van Rijn's land, hemp was grown extensively; not only are the fibres used for canvas - but the oil, a permanent drying oil, was used; today, better artists use hemp oil as it dries more clearly than linseed (see previous posts on this blog, I have extensive analysis of the process of  linoleic acid/linolenic acid oxidation and notes on specific brands of hemp oil that I am making swatches of to find the best).

So I welcome this new product and will be using it in the near future.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Article on hemp in Virginia

Last year the Virginia legislature started to vote on the law to allow Virginians their constitutional right to grow hemp - as did so many of its famous sons, some of them former US presidents. Today this article appears in the Daily Progress of Charlottesville, VA, titled "Will Hemp be a cash crop again for Virginia?"

__________________________________________________________________________________

Hemp is not marijuana.


It looks like marijuana.
 

                            
It’s related to marijuana.


But it’s not marijuana.


It’s a plant fiber so useful that it can be used in making things from auto parts to yarn. Not quite A to Z, but close enough.
A hemp car? Really? Apparently so. “Hemp fibers have higher strength to weight ratios than steel and can also be considerably cheaper to manufacture,” reports Alan Crosky of the School of Material Science and Engineering at the University of New South Wales in Australia. He and other researchers are working on using hemp fiber to replace plastic in some car parts. The result could be a car that has more fuel efficiency because it weighs so much less, but is still just as strong.
So why aren’t American farmers rushing out to plant hemp and cash in on this miracle plant?
Umm, because it’s kind of illegal.
In Colonial times, Virginia required farmers to plant hemp because it was deemed so useful. Rope, clothes, sails for ships — all could be made from hemp. Thomas Jefferson penned the first drafts of the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper. In World War II, the federal government promoted “Hemp for Victory!” Growing hemp for use in making industrial fiber was considered patriotic.
Then came another war — the War on Drugs. Hemp got lumped in with marijuana (same cannabis species, but different genetics and vastly different psychotropic potential) and was effectively banned.
The feds do allow hemp farming, as long as your state has a law allowing it and regulating it. Lately, there’s been a campaign to do just that.
However, the push to legalize hemp isn’t coming from drug-addled hippies. It’s coming from people who see hemp as a potential cash crop to replace tobacco — or no crops at all. At the national level, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is pro-hemp, and he’d never be mistaken for a pot smoker.
In Virginia, one of the main hemp advocates is Jim Politis, a former Republican member of the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors. He sees it as a pro-economic development measure for struggling rural areas. Another Republican, Del. Joseph Yost of Pearisburg, has already filed a bill for next year’s General Assembly to create the Virginia Industrial Hemp Farming Act.
The main objections to hemp come from law enforcement, which argues that it’s easy to confuse the two plants. The counter-argument is that alcohol looks pretty much the same but authorities do a good job of distinguishing between a craft brewery and a moonshine still.
So let’s say again: Hemp is not marijuana.
But if Yost’s bill passes, it could be a cash crop again.
Adapted from the Roanoke Times.