Pennsylvania ponders allowing smokable flower to combat a medical marijuana supply shortage, police in Juneau, Alaska, green light transporting cannabis on commercial airlines, and Idaho lawmakers shelve a CBD bill. Here’s a closer look at some notable developments in the marijuana industry over the past week. Slim pickings in Pennsylvania Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis program hit […]
HempTalk - Business Blogs and Press Releases
By Daniel Kruse
Special to HempToday
If Europe doesn’t move fast on hemp, we’ll be missing an historic opportunity to maintain our rightful place as the leader of the crop’s revival in the 20th and 21st centuries. And it all comes down to THC.
While most European countries follow an EU directive that sets THC limits for hemp at 0.2%, leading hemp nations around the world operate on a generally accepted global standard of 0.3%.
That EU member states – guided by wobbly directives from Brussels — continue to operate under the 0.2% THC limit, puts our producers at a critical disadvantage as the global hemp industry quickly expands.
Seven Italian hemp producers will have products in HempToday’s HempBoutique popup showroom at NoCo Hemp Expo Friday and Saturday, April 6-7, in Loveland, Colorado, USA.
The seven fly the flag of Federcanapa, the Italian federation that backs hemp initiatives throughout Italy’s regions, and represent the agriculture, health & beauty and food sectors. Rachele Invernizzi, Federation President and President at SouthHemp Tecno srl, one of Italy’s leading hemp processors, is representing Federcanapa at NoCo.
For small, innovative producers
Ten other companies from as far away as Nepal and South Africa, along with European vendors from Germany, Poland, Czech Republic and France also will have products in the HempBoutique, situated in the Global Hemp Village section on the Expo floor.
The Boutique aims to give small, specialized producers a chance to get their products and innovations exposure in the fast-growing U.S. market, said Hana Gabrielová of Czech-based Hempoint, who is leading the HempBoutique supplier group.
International panel is set
Both Gabrielová and Invernizzi also will sit on the HempToday international panel set to run 3:20 to 4:05 p.m. Friday on the NoCo Mainstage, moderated by HempToday. The finalized panel:
On the road in the USA • What’s gonna happen to our little industry in the Disastrous Era of Trump? Hold on to your hemp knickers, because we may be about to find out.
Kentucky Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell said today he would “soon be discussing the issue” with Jeff Sessions, Idiot Attorney General. This came at a press conference during which McConnell announced that next week he’ll introduce a bill in the U.S. Senate to legalize hemp and allocate federal funds to help expand cultivation of our beloved crop. Specifically, the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 will legalize hemp as an agricultural commodity and remove it from the list of controlled substances. That’s what McConnell’s press release said.
One of the really stupid ones
The IAG, you’ll remember, announced in January that his Department of Justice was rescinding five Obama-era memoranda affecting criminal prosecution of marijuana-related offenses under federal law. The memoranda had essentially allowed individual states to decide about the cultivation, processing and sale of cannabis-based products including those derived from industrial hemp.
Sessions has been a longtime ignoramus about cannabis law reform. One of the really stupid ones.
Meanwhile McConnell, a Trump enabler and occasional punching bag (a true supporter, in other words), wants to take home the hemp, so to speak, for his farmer friends back in Kentucky. The Senator is among lawmakers representing several American farm states that want to revive hemp, which was grown across the vast Midwestern farm belt decades ago as a common crop.
Hemp’s tendency to absorb contaminants from the earth is among subjects to be explored during the fourth edition of “Cannabis & Science,” a conference set April 18, 2018 at Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic.
While hemp is seen by some as useful in phytoremediation – in which plants absorb contaminants such as mineral fertilizers, composts and sewage sludges – the plant’s absorptive properties could mean it is more susceptible to contamination of hemp crops grown for other end uses.
Marie Bjelková, Agritec Šumperk, a plant science researcher based in the Czech Republic, will look at hemp’s ability to reduce or eliminate heavy metal from soil caused by intensive farming and industry.
Bjelková will balance hemp in phytoremediation with the potential for contamination in the cultivation and production of fiber, organic dry plant matter for industrial applications, and as seeds destined for food and oil.
Mendel U. expanding hemp research
Mendel University is rapidly expanding exploration of industrial hemp in its broader cannabis research program. That’s due in part to legislative changes that have made the Czech Republic an attractive destination for foreign investors interested in cannabis research.
Vancouver-based Isodiol International Inc. has partnered with Kawacatoose First Nation to grow hemp and manufacture CBD, the company said this week.
Under the agreement, Kawacatoose will provide up to 3,000 acres of land, and the two parties will work together to set up a co-op with other tribes in Saskatchewan aimed to boosting tribes’ economic fortunes.
Isodiol makes pharmaceutical-grade phytochemical compounds and CBD consumer products.
“The company will have significant access to the highest quality CBD, as Kawacatoose will provide the labor necessary to maintain and improve the farmland,” said Marcos Agramont, Isodiol’s CEO. The company will consult with Kawacatoose and the planned co-op on cultivation methods and standards, Agramont said.
The Kawacatoose Reserve in southeast Saskatchewan comprises 8,248 hectares and has 1,000 inhabitants.
The European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) has again called on the European Union to reverse a tightening of THC levels for industrial hemp-based products enacted in 1999 “to restore the European hemp industry’s full competitiveness.”
“EIHA demands rational THC limits for industrial hemp in accordance with international regulations,” the Association said in a release. It called for an easing of the 17-year-old restriction that sets maximum THC content for industrial hemp at 0.2% in Europe while other markets around the world set that limit at 0.3%.
“The hemp food industry in Europe has a significant competitive disadvantage to producers in North America and Asia. With increasing hemp food markets, this problem will become even bigger in subsequent years,” EIHA said.
Europe specific THC limit values for industrial hemp were first set at 0.5% in 1984. The limit was later cut to 0.3% based on a standard set out in the 1970s by the International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT), and based on the work of American plant scientists Ernest Small and Arthur Cronquist. Their work for the IAPT set 0.3 % THC (dry weight) as the line between cannabis sativa (“hemp”) and cannabis indica (“marijuana”).
The European Union in 1999 further tightened the allowable amount of THC for hemp to 0.2% in a misguided effort aimed at preventing marijuana grows in industrial hemp fields.
A pioneering hempcrete project in the U.S. state of Washington will get final framing touches next month, with wall infill to begin in early May, Pamela Bosch, Founder at the Highland Hemp House project in Bellingham told HempToday.
Contractors working on the project include Matt Mead of U.S.-based hempcrete construction firm Hempitecture and local builder Ross Grier, Bellingham Bay Builders. The hemp hurd supply for the project was provided from Dun Agro, Holland while Wolf Jordan & Associates, Belgium, is supplying proprietary additive for the hempcrete mix.
A learning center for healthy living
In addition to hosting hands-on building workshops, Highland Hemp House also will serve as a learning center. “Our aim is to demonstrate hempcrete as the perfect building material for human comfort and sustainability,” Bosch said. The project will also showcase innovative solutions to maximize energy efficiency.
Workshops to run May-June this year will offer hands-on experience with hemp-lime to builders, architects, contractors, suppliers and self-builders. The HHH workshops are under the Deep Green Building Network, which hosts hemp building events in Europe and in the USA where it also partners with Tiny Hemp Houses, Ft. Collins, Colorado and The Fort, Duluth Minnesota.
Canadian hemp firms Manitoba Harvest and subsidiary Hemp Oil Canada say they’ve applied for certification under standards governing Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Manitoba Harvest is one of the world’s biggest hemp food makers. It purchased Hemp Oil Canada, a raw materials supplier, in 2015.
Certifying hemp foods are safe
GRAS certifies that substances in food are considered safe, exempting them from requirements under U.S. federal rules governing foods, cosmetics and drugs. Having the designation lifts barriers for hemp food innovators, those in the hemp ingredients trade, and mass-market food service buyers, the companies said in a release.
“This is a milestone for the entire hemp food industry,” said Bill Chiasson, CEO at Manitoba Harvest. The company is also accredited under standards from the British Retail Consortium (BRC), Chiasson noted.
“The use of hemp is expanding rapidly, and is now an in-demand ingredient for fast growing specialty food companies, but also large scale multinational packaged goods companies seeking to respond to consumer demand for more natural and high-nutrition products,” the companies noted.
A Colorado, USA couple say they’re developing one of the first nutraceutical and medical hemp research and treatment facilities in the United States.
Former horseman John Lyons and his wife Jody, a Registered Nurse, started turning their 70-acre ranch into the Colorado Hemp Institute (CHI) three years ago. The enterprise currently encompasses several indoor grows and corporate offices with a research lab under construction.
Ambitious expansion plans
The couple has plans to further develop both a testing lab and CBD oil extraction facility, a food grade manufacturing plant, a medical research facility, an office staffed with doctors, a day spa, and an organic food grow that will supply an on-site restaurant. Also in the plans are a hemp specialty retail store, and an assisted living facility and end-of-life center.
They say they’re now focused on developing strategic partnerships and alliances with private firms, researchers, doctors, and investors.
John Lyons for 40 years served as a horsemanship instructor, having published a magazine and developed “My Perfect Horse,” a television series for RFD-TV, an American thematic channel.
South African cannabis activist and hemp entrepreneur Tony Budden, and two principle industry players from Australia – Paul Benhaim, Hemp Foods Australia, and Phil Warner, Ecofibre — are among international headliners at this year’s NoCo Hemp Expo, as the world’s largest industrial hemp gathering continues to expand its footprint around the globe. NoCo also announced the completion of its international panel with the addition of industry stakeholders from Asia, Europe and the USA.
The 5th Annual NoCo Hemp Expo will run April 6-7 in Loveland, Colorado, USA.
“We spent a lot of time in different parts of the world last year and met some incredible people doing truly innovative things for the industry,” said Morris Beegle of We Are for Better Alternatives (WAFBA) and Colorado Hemp Company (CoHempCo), the event’s organizer. “NoCo’s bringing together more great companies, products, speakers and energy from around the world than ever before.”
NoCo will for the second year host a Global Hemp Village, where international companies will present their products and services. Companies from Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic, Nepal, France, Germany and South Africa are among those already signed to be present on the Expo floor this year.
Budden is South African pioneer
Budden is a founding partner at Hemporium, South Africa’s premier hemp company. Hemporium has pioneered the use of industrial cannabis products since 1996, built Africa’s first hemp house and was instrumental in launching hemp-lime construction material in South Africa. He also is involved in hemp research trials in both South Africa and Malawi.