Thursday, October 03, 2013

Fifty Years' a not growing: America's first hemp harvest

Just in from Colorado: A story about a farmer who is challening the federal law and growing hemp. He wins this round, but it cannot just go on in legal limbo - we need every vote we can get, make your voice heard and please add your name to the White House Petition at www.minawear.com/about-us/ so farmers all over the US can safely grow this and create JOBS for everyone!

Thank you and please check out the story below:

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Ryan Loflin.
America's first (known) hemp harvest in more than fifty years began this month in southeastern Colorado. This past spring, following last year's passage of Amendment 64, which legalized small amounts of marijuana for adults and paved the way for industrial hemp production, farmer Ryan Loflin planted 55 acres of marijuana's sober sister. Last week, hemp advocates from across the country came to watch as Loflin and others harvested the first plants by hand.
"It felt very historic," says advocate Lynda Parker.
See also: Free joint giveaway on Boulder's Pearl Street Mall
"We think that, obviously, this is a symbolic first hemp harvest," says Eric Steenstra, the executive director of the Hemp Industries Association.
With the U.S. Department of Justice recently indicating that it won't sue to stop states' marijuana policies, Steenstra predicts farmers in other states will soon follow Loflin's lead. Steenstra is among those who believe the DOJ's pot policy extends to hemp; although hemp contains little to none of the THC found in marijuana, the federal government doesn't distinguish between the two and considers both to be illegal.
"Our eventual hope is to see the full commercialization of hemp," he says.

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Hemp Industries Association
Loflin harvests his hemp plants.
Loflin has only been able to harvest about a quarter-acre of his plot so far. He was planning to use a combine to harvest the bulk of it, but when he tested that method, he found that the combine destroyed part of the plant in the process. So now he plans to hand-harvest the entire field. That way, he says, he'll even be able to save the roots.
"We're going to try and save the entire plant and do as much as we can," Loflin says.
Since hemp was illegal for so long, there's very little seed available, making the seeds produced by Loflin's plants quite valuable. "We'll save a lot of the seed and replant it next year," says Loflin, who also plans to make a small amount of hemp seed oil.
Loflin says he isn't worried about law enforcement, especially in the wake of the Department of Justice's announcement. "It's time for this to happen," he says.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture is currently working on rules for registering hemp farmers with the aim of having them in place by early 2014. Back in May, the department issued a statement clarifying that it's not okay to plant hemp in Colorado until that registration process in in place -- a distinction that didn't stop Loflin.
The night before the September 23 ceremonial harvest, Loflin hosted a dinner at his farm, complete with hemp food. It was attended by Colorado hemp advocates, as well as national advocates from Vote Hemp, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps and the Hemp Industries Association. See photos below from the dinner and of advocates in Loflin's field.

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Hemp Industries Association
Advocates enjoy a hempy dinner before the harvest.


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Hemp Industries Association
Ryan Fletcher, communications director for HIA; Eric Lineback, board member of Vote Hemp; Patrick Goggin, board member of Vote Hemp; Eric Steenstra, executive director of HIA; Christina Volgyesi, marketing director for Dr. Bronner's; David

7 comments:

Carlos said...

They did not dare send the SWAT teams - the movement is gaining a lot of respect. Good companies like Arrogance, Minawear,Nutiva, Rocky Mountain Grain Products, they rep the image to the public and make it known this is about jobs and the economy. So the DEA did not want to look stupid here.

Carlos said...

They did not dare send the SWAT teams - the movement is gaining a lot of respect. Good companies like Arrogance, Minawear,Nutiva, Rocky Mountain Grain Products, they rep the image to the public and make it known this is about jobs and the economy. So the DEA did not want to look stupid here.

Jason Williams said...

This is awesome. Are their any plans to use the hemp in the production of construction materials i.e. walls of a home. I've seen a lot online about it happening in Europe and even NC here in the states.

Mark Ski said...

Yes Jason, there is, I think there is info in the book "Hemp for Victory: History & Qualities of the World's Most Useful Plant"
If we could use raw materials we can create JOBS man. Tired of these politicians wasting our time and no JOBS.

Mark Ski said...

Yes Jason, there is, I think there is info in the book "Hemp for Victory: History & Qualities of the World's Most Useful Plant"
If we could use raw materials we can create JOBS man. Tired of these politicians wasting our time and no JOBS.

Kenyon Gibson said...

Jason - There is hemp building material, and I do mention it in my book, the one Mark mentoined here - but the best book is by someone else, Steve Allin - BUILDING WITH HEMP. Steve lives in Ireland. There were also some Dakota Indians who were using hemp building material, and I think that on this blog you will find other examples of it. This makes jobs in the US with materials grown in the US, somehow the politcians are against that...
If you have any more info please share and I can post about it.

Phil Telic said...

Hemp for building materials and for string bags to replace the plastic bags that are a mess everywhere. The obstacle is the press which is out checking out Pee Wee Herman or Linsday Lohan.
America needs more independent and informed press with real journalists who research issues.