Monday, July 21, 2014

Hemp string bags for New York City; a solution to economic problems in the US

An article in the New York Daily News ("Money in the Plastic Bags" by Corinne Lestch) on 19 July talked about the possibility of the city imposing a fee on plastic bags in an effort to eradicate them; they produce a mess and cost millions to the taxpayer to clean up.
Yet the 'solution' of charging a fee is not a solution; just a way to raise money. So what is the solution? Objectively, it is not right to be simply negative and not offer a positive alternative. So let me step up to the plate and talk from experience; years ago, people in many countries used string bags, 'file' they were called in Istanbul - and they were re-used many times. When it was time to throw them out, they could be recycled easily into paper. And nations that used them were not obligated to source the materials for these bags from other nations; string could be made from many plant fibres, most notably, and easily for the US - from hemp.
So imagine! A patriotic solution (most readers probably know already that the first US flag was made of hemp) - and one that would start an industry in the US using American grown raw materials.
But does the New York Daily News give a damn? The perception exists that for the many years, in fact decades that I have tried, along with others, to get even one little story on hemp for the US economy or the environment in their paper, they do not; it seems they are a bunch of fools spitting on the American dream as they make money off of chopping down trees for paper made, not in America, but in Southeast Asia. And their paper, like the billions of plastic bags in New York, becomes pollution.
What is their solution to my caustic - yet pertinent - remarks? Prove me wrong; write about hemp and help the campaign to grow hemp in America, start a string and string bag industry, and along with it, paper recycling so Americans, not just city slicker reporters working for a billionaire, can have jobs.
Or, they can do nothing; and prove me right.
I implore the reader to contact the New York Daily News and put pressure on them. But only if you want jobs in the US.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tennessee to grow hemp

The years of campaigning by activists in the US has paid off, and now more and more states are welcoming hemp - please continue to support the movement by signing the petition at www.minawear.com

Tennessee Governor Signs Law to Legalize Hemp
Activist Post

Yesterday, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill which some supporters consider the strongest pro-hemp legislation in the country. House Bill 2445 (HB2445), introduced by Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby), would mandate that the state authorize the growing and production of industrial hemp within Tennessee, effectively nullifying the unconstitutional federal ban on the same.

The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 28-0 and the House by a vote of 88-5. It reads, in part:
“The department shall issue licenses to persons who apply to the department for a license to grow industrial hemp.”
Mike Maharrey, communications director for the Tenth Amendment Center, noted that one word strengthened the bill considerably. “By including the word ‘shall’ in this legislation, it has a great deal of impact,” he said. “This means that rather than keeping it open-ended like other states have done, hemp farming will be able to move forward in Tennessee whether the regulatory bureaucrats there want it to or not.”

‘Shall’ is a legal term which creates a specific requirement far stronger than a word like ‘will.’ The former is more closely interchangeable with the word “must,” while the latter allows leeway for the object of the term to delay. In this case, the bill states that the Tennessee department of agriculture will have a mandate to license farmers for growing hemp.

Three other states – Colorado, Oregon and Vermont – have already passed bills to authorize hemp farming, but only in Colorado has the process begun. A similar bill was passed in South Carolina this week and awaits action by Gov. Nikki Haley.



Farmers in SE Colorado started harvesting the plant in 2013 and the state began issuing licenses on March 1, 2014. In Vermont and Oregon, hemp farming was authorized, but no licensing program was mandated, so implementation has been delayed due to regulatory foot-dragging.

With passage of HB2445, Tennessee will most likely become the 2nd state in the country to actively produce hemp. The legislation also ensures that not only will hemp licenses be issued, but the process for doing so will start quickly. It reads:
The department shall initiate the promulgation of rules … concerning industrial hemp production within one hundred and twenty (120) days of this act becoming law
In other words, now that the bill has become law, the process in Tennessee will start no later than November, 2014.

Maharrey called this “monumental” in comparison to Oregon. That state first legalized hemp farming in 2009 but five years later, farming and production still has not begun.

HUGE ECONOMIC POTENTIAL

Experts suggest that the U.S. market for hemp is around $500 million per year.

But, since the enactment of the unconstitutional federal controlled-substances act in 1970, the Drug Enforcement Agency has prevented the production of hemp within the United States. Many hemp supporters feel that the DEA has been used as an “attack dog” of sorts to prevent competition with major industries where American-grown hemp products would create serious market competition: Cotton, Paper/Lumber, Oil, and others.

There are as many as 25,000 uses for industrial hemp, including food, cosmetics, plastics and bio-fuel. The U.S. is currently the world’s #1 importer of hemp fiber for various products, with China and Canada acting as the top two exporters in the world.

During World War II, the United States military relied heavily on hemp products, which resulted in the famous campaign and government-produced film, “Hemp for Victory!

Even though soil, climate and agricultural capabilities could make the United States a massive producer of industrial hemp, today no hemp is grown for public sale, use and consumption outside of Colorado, which just began production.

In February of this year, President Barack Obama signed a new farm bill into law, which included a provision allowing a handful of states to begin limited research programs growing hemp. The new “hemp amendment”
…allows State Agriculture Departments, colleges and universities to grow hemp, defined as the non-drug oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis, for academic or agricultural research purposes, but it applies only to states where industrial hemp farming is already legal under state law.
The farming laws in Colorado, Oregon and Vermont go beyond research and into full-scale farming and production, effectively nullifying the federal ban once production begins. Tennessee joins them, and will likely become the 2nd state in the country to actively start an industrial hemp program.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Los Angeles Times article on hemp fashion

This is an old article, but worth posting today as hemp is gaining even more momentum - and legal status in the US - where the federal government has made it legal to grow in states where it is legal - this measure came after many months lobbying by Minawear with thousands of signers to her petition which is still in progress as we are looking to secure wider pro-hemp legislation - check it out and sign on at www.minawear.com/about-us/

Hemp, from hippie to hip

It’s not just for the stoner set. Stella McCartney, Giorgio Armani and Calvin Klein are among the designers incorporating hemp textiles into their fashions. It’s a versatile material said to be easy on the environment.

April 18, 2010|By Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times
 
It's durable. It's versatile. And when it's used in textiles, it's easier on the environment than, say, cotton. Yet its cannabis connection has slowed its widespread use. We're talking about hemp, and, by extension, hemp fashion — a concept that seems like an oxymoron but is quietly being embraced by the mainstream as major designers and clothing retailers take on the material that has long been equated with burlap and granola-munching hippies.

Stella McCartney, Giorgio Armani and Calvin Klein are among the designers who've seen through the smoke and incorporated hemp textiles into their lines. And Whole Foods, Urban Outfitters, American Rag and Fred Segal are some of the better-known stores selling fashion-forward hemp brands, such as Livity Outernational, Jung Maven, Satori and Hemp Hoodlamb, all of which exploit hemp's various attributes in chic items that run the gamut from technical outerwear to dresses that would hardly be the first choice of the dreadlocks-and-doobie crowd.
"Hemp clothing has definitely come a long way," says Al Espino, the owner of two hemp clothing boutiques called Hempwise in Santa Barbara and Isla Vista. "Ten years ago, a lot of the hemp clothing played on the connection with marijuana with labels saying ‘contains marijuana fabric.' There was a lot of confusion and I think it held back the industry. Now there are a lot of small [fashion-forward] companies. It's gone from a niche market with an illegal drug connection to appealing to the organic and natural crowd."
Hemp is an industrial, nonpsychoactive plant that is part of the cannabis family; the fibers are different and stronger than a marijuana plant, making it suitable for textiles.
What's drawing designers to hemp textiles are their natural performance attributes and their low impact on the environment. Hemp fibers are highly absorbent, UV resistant, antimicrobial and long lasting. Growing it also requires less water and fewer pesticides than does cotton. Growing hemp in the U.S. has been prohibited since the '50s, so most of the hemp used by American clothing designers comes from China. "It's so high value and so much lower impact in every other way that it eclipses the carbon generated through shipping," said Isaac Nichelson, founder of the Santa Monica-based hemp clothing line Livity Outernational.
Eco-chic is a rising tide in the fashion world, and the use of hemp is swelling — aided by technological advances that have produced appealing and increasingly refined hemp textile blends, the most common being hemp and organic cotton and hemp fibers woven with recycled plastic, both of which soften a material that can be coarse.
Still, hemp's illicit image is hard to shed. Two teenage girls read the sign for Hempwise and giggled before walking into the shop on a recent weekday to peruse the women's section, which is stocked with slinky hemp-blend T-shirts and Capri pants, and asymmetrical mini-dresses. All of it was set out in displays that play up the "eco" with only the merest hint of "Rasta." A mint green Vespa was parked inside the doorway on bamboo flooring that led to displays of backpacks and wallets, hats and menswear — all made from hemp.
One of the brands sold at Hempwire is Livity, which Nichelson started after a friend pointed out that the materials he was using as a clothing designer weren't in sync with his environmental beliefs.

"I was using nylon, PVC, Teflon — every toxin known to man wrapped up in a garment that we were putting on ourselves and dropping in a landfill later," said Nichelson, who started to look for alternatives and found one in hemp. Eight years later, he's running a multimillion-dollar business that sells outdoor-wear to Whole Foods and Urban Outfitters. On Thursday — Earth Day — he'll be opening his first branded store on Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica, so strong is his belief that hemp is "headed straight to the mainstream. Eventually it won't even be perceptible. Hemp is as high performance and functional and as cool and flashy and sexy as any conventional product, but it doesn't impact the planet in terrible ways. More and more, it's going to be incorporated into things where the end user doesn't even know or care it's there. They're just reaping the benefits."
susan.carpenter@latimes.com

Monday, April 07, 2014

Book Review on Hempista

Here's the latest review of Hemp for Victory - from www.hemista.com


Hemp For Victory – published in 2006 by Kenyon Gibson, Nick and Cindy Mackintosh, Woody Harrelson, Mina Hegaard and Sam Heslop. $29.95 at MinaWear!
When my friend Mina at MinaWear told me she was sending me one of the most amazing and authoritative books ever published about hemp to review for my readers here at Hempista, I was totally thrilled to have the opportunity to share this book with you today!
Hemp For Victory is a 280 page volume of history, science and uses of the hemp plant and is an encyclopedic treasure trove of information about the plant. The book has hundreds of black & white reproductions of historical images and documents dating back to when hemp was part of everyday life. Yes, sometime before the drug war was invented in the 20th century, hemp was just a plant! But, it was a special plant that had an important role in ancient and pre-20th century society for food, fiber and medicinal purposes.
This book is what I would call the ultimate educational volume and almanac of hemp. And I would highly recommend this for educators and teachers that are seeking unique and relevant material for Earth Day educational units. Students often hear about “marijuana” from their DARE lectures and sessions which typically paint the cannabis plant in a negative light, completely ignoring the environmental and health advantages of the hemp plant. Hemp For Victory is a great resource for Earth Day.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Kinky Friedman wins Democratic party runoff for Texas State Agricultural Commissioner

Richard “Kinky” Friedman, a humorist and country music singer, got one step closer Tuesday to adding another line to his résumé: agriculture commissioner of Texas.
It’s highly unlikely that the colorful candidate will go on to win a statewide position in deep-red Texas, but Friedman did make the Democratic primary runoff for the position.
He’ll compete against cattle farmer Jim Hogan in that May 27 contest, but a Republican is heavily favored to win the general election.
Friedman has run for office in the Lone Star State several times before, including for the same position in 2010. Then he also made the cut for a runoff before losing the ultimate battle for the nomination.

  [photo is Kinky with Mina Hegaard of Minawear]
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/03/richard-kinky-friedman-texas-agriculture-commissioner-runoff-104270.html#ixzz2vI7dNqbf



 

 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Kinky Friedman Texas hemp boys (and girls)

View Kinky Freidman.jpg in slide show

Above is a picture of Kinky Friedman, with Mina Hegaard - both Texas hemp advocates, both are well known and need little introduction in the hemp world.
Kinky is running for Texas Agricultural Commissioner, while Mina runs Minawear Hemp Clothing
based in Victoria, but soon to move to Austin, Texas.

The election will be in November. If Kinky gets in,  chads will be made of hemp paper and farmers will be making money in America and using less water and little or no pesticides.

Lots of news in the US about hemp lately, so much so that the federal government has made it legal for people to grow it if is legal at the state level - so once Texas gets a sensible law passed it will be able to stop the dependency on water hungry cotton and corn and grow hemp.  Hopefully there can be emergency expedition of such a law so that it can be passed as soon as the Texas legislature sits.

For this to be, there needs to be public support of such a move - the federal government passed the hemp legislation only after much outcry - some of it coming from Texas in the form of the Minawear petition, still up at www.minawear.com/about-us/

There will be a new petition soon to make hemp legal at the state level and also to expedite this legislation for 2014.









Friday, February 21, 2014

Clear drying, good tasting Ukranian hemp oil


These are images of Ukranian hemp oil I came across at Netcost in Brooklyn. Not only does it taste good, but it dries completely clear, I tested it against another hemp oil and linseed oil on 25 November 2013. I will be trying to get information on the variety of seed used with a view to making it available to artists to use.