Tag Archives: HIGH

Hemp Homes Could Hit New High

Posted on19. Sep, 2015 by .


The Declaration of Independence was drafted on paper made from it. Henry Ford built car parts with it. George Washington grew it. Now, as more farmers are allowed to harvest this multi-purpose plant, hemp might see a new heyday – in homes.

The United States is rolling out a come-back mat for an ancient leaf that was widely used from Colonial times through World War II but fell into anti-drug disfavor. Its 2014 farm bill permits limited growing of hemp, the non-psychoactive cousin of the same cannabis plant that produces marijuana.

Hemp backers see potential boom times ahead. Buoyed by influential bi-partisan supporters, including GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, farmers are aiming to put down seed. Builders are hoping those crops lower the cost of hemp fiber, used to make non-toxic, energy-efficient insulation.

“We are at a tipping point,” says Greg Flavall, technical building advisor for Hemp Technologies Collective, which sells a hemp mixture for insulating walls. He says inquiries are rising, and he expects the number of hemp homes – now about a dozen in the U.S. – could quadruple in the next year.

“It all comes down to acceptance,” Flavall says, noting many baby boomers saw hemp as taboo and didn’t distinguish it from marijuana. He says they thought that if a house with hemp caught fire, the neighborhood would party.

Not so. Hemp contains much lower levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) so it won’t give people a high. It also looks different than marijuana during cultivation, since it grows in densely-packed stalks of nine to 15 feet tall. Its oil and fiber can be used to make thousands of products including textiles, health foods, and Mercedes-Benz door panels.

“What’s coming are the hemp wars.”

Still, hemp in America faces obstacles. Building inspectors don’t know what to make of it. Some hemp farmers are having trouble importing seed. Others are getting blowback from medical marijuana growers, who don’t want cross-pollination from hemp plants because it could lower their crops’ THC levels.

“What’s coming are the hemp wars. We’re ground zero,” says Cliff Thomason, president of ORHEMPCO, an Oregon-based company that aims to produce 10,000 acres of industrial hemp in the state in the next five years. He tries to avoid conflict with marijuana growers by keeping pollen-bearing male hemp plants in greenhouses.

Hemp Has Storied Tradition

For centuries, hemp didn’t have to prove itself. It was woven into the sails that took Christopher Columbus’ ships to the New World and into the first American flag that was sewn by Betsy Ross. It was also used in World War II to make naval ropes and parachute webbing.

China leads the world in making and exporting hemp products, many of which go to the U.S. The European Union also has an active hemp market, led by France, the United Kingdom, Romania, and Hungary, according to a 2015 report by the Congressional Research Service.

Dozens of homes in Europe have used hemp as insulation – a trend that began catching on in the U.S. about five years ago. Builders place hempcrete – a mixture of ground-up hemp stalk, lime and water – into wall forms that are removed once it sets.

“It’s everything you want in a building, in a wall. It’s permeable so it mediates the humidity in the room,” and it resists mold as well as mildew, says Pam Bosch, homeowner of Highland Hemp House in Bellingham, Wash.

Plus, hemp has environmental benefits other building materials do not. Unlike concrete or fiberglass, it’s a renewable resource that sequesters carbon dioxide as it grows.

Manufacturers say their hemp mix is now largely cost-competitive with other insulation even though they have to import the plant’s fiber. They say domestic production could lower costs, allowing the U.S. to compete with China and the more than 30 countries that grow hemp.

Last year’s U.S. farm bill took the first step in decades toward decriminalizing hemp cultivation, which was not allowed without a permit from the Drug Enforcement Administration under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act. The DEA’s last such permit, for a quarter-acre experimental plot in Hawaii, expired in 2003.

“I want to make sure our legal hemp producers can safely transport their crops between states.”

The law allows states that have already legalized hemp to set up pilot growing programs. About two dozen states may now grow hemp, but not all have programs in place that issue licenses to farmers or help them secure DEA approval to import seed.

“I want to make sure our legal hemp producers can safely transport their crops between states…so they can fully capitalize on the commercial potential for this commodity,” Sen. McConnell said in welcoming passage of the bill’s hemp provision.

The law, despite bipartisan support, has critics. “I think it’s part of a larger agenda to normalize marijuana by a few,” Kevin Sabet, director of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a group opposed to pot legalization, told the Associated Press.

Will Legalization Create Boom?

Another U.S. bill, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, is pending that would lift all federal restrictions on growing hemp and remove its classification as a controlled substance.

It also has broad political support, but it – like any stand-alone piece of legislation – will have difficulty winning passage in the current gridlocked Congress, says Eric Steenstra, executive director of the Hemp Industries Association, an advocacy group.

Still, he’s confident of an eventual hemp comeback. “There’s so much potential,” Steenstra says, pointing to Clarkson University research that found hemp can also be used to make ultrafast supercapacitors that – like batteries – store and release energy.

“It’s going to take some time. We’re really starting from scratch,” he says, noting the U.S. has lost expertise and market dominance after decades of disallowing hemp production. He says building codes will need to accept hemp as insulation and specialized machinery will be needed to separate parts of its plant.

Studies suggest mixed prospects for a U.S. hemp revival. While several note the increasingly wide applications for the plant, others question whether the market would be big enough to encourage farmers to switch from other crops or invest in new machinery.

“Given the absence since the 1950s of any commercial and unrestricted hemp production in the United States, it is not possible to predict the potential market and employment effects of relaxing current restrictions on U.S. hemp production,” writes Renee Johnson, a specialist in agricultural policy at the Congressional Research Service, in the 2015 report.

Johnson says U.S. hemp production faces several obstacles, including DEA concerns that it could boost the likelihood of covert production of high-THC marijuana even though the two cannabis plants look different. She says there’s also global competition, noting China’s dominance and “Canada’s head start in the North American market for hemp seed and oil.”

Matt Engelmann, CEO of American Lime Technology, a manufacturer of prefabricated wall panels containing hemp, expects domestic production could reinvigorate the U.S. market. He doesn’t expect a revival will happen quickly but says “the tide is turning.”

News Moderator: Jacob Redmond 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Hemp Homes Could Hit New High As Growing Cannabis Gets Legal
Author: Wendy Koch
Contact: National Geographic: Images of Animals, Nature, and Cultures
Photo Credit: Asana Foods
Website: National Geographic News


Continue Reading

High Times’ Cannabis Consumer Choice Polling

Posted on27. Aug, 2014 by .


majority_supportOur friends at High Times (and former NORML director Dr. Jon Gettman) are running an online poll asking for consumers’ choice regarding the preferred marijuana distribution that emerges post-prohibition.

Legal Marijuana: Which Market Do You Prefer?
As we approach the new inevitability of legalized cannabis, three models have been proposed for a national marijuana market.
By Jon Gettman

In the past, the goal of marijuana legalization was simple: to bring about the end of federal prohibition and allow adults to use the plant without threat of prosecution and imprisonment. But now that legalization is getting serious attention, it’s time to examine how a legal marijuana market should operate in the United States.

Below are descriptions of the three kinds of legal markets that have emerged from various discussions on the subject. We would like to know which one you prefer.

First, though, let’s touch on a few characteristics that all of these proposals share. In each one, the market has a minimum age for legal use, likely the same as the current age limits for alcohol and tobacco. In each of these legal markets, there will be penalties for driving while intoxicated, just as with alcohol use. You can also assume that there will be guaranteed legal access to marijuana for medical use by anyone, regardless of age, with a physician’s authorization. The last characteristic shared by all three mar- kets is that there will be no criminal penalties for the adult possession and use of marijuana.

Proposal #1:
Government-Run Monopoly
Under this approach, there would be no commercial marijuana market allowed. Marijuana would be grown and processed for sale under government contracts, supervised and/or managed by a large, government-chartered nonprofit organization. Marijuana would be sold in state-run retail outlets (similar to the state-run stores that have a monopoly on liquor sales in places like Mississippi, Montana and Vermont, among others), where the sales personnel will be trained to provide accurate information about cannabis and its effects. Products like edibles and marijuana-infused liquids with fruity flavors would be banned out of a concern that they can encourage minors to try the drug. There would be no advertising or marketing allowed, and no corporate or business prof- its. Instead, the revenue earned from sales would pay for production costs and the operation of the state control organization; the rest of the profits would go to government-run treatment, prevention, education and enforcement programs. Regulations would be enforced by criminal sanctions and traditional law enforcement (local, state and federal police). No personal marijuana cultivation would be allowed. The price of marijuana would remain at or near current levels in order to discourage underage use.

Proposal #2:
Limited Commercial Market
Under this approach, the cultivation, processing and retail sale of marijuana would be conducted by private companies operating under a limited number of licenses issued by the federal government. Advertising and marketing would be allowed, but they would be regulated similar to the provisions governing alcohol and tobacco promotion. Taxation would be used to keep prices at or near current levels in order to discourage underage use. Corporate profits would be allowed, and tax revenues would be used to fund treatment, prevention, education and enforcement programs. Regulations would be enforced by criminal sanctions and traditional law enforcement (local, state and federal police). No personal marijuana cultivation would be allowed.

Proposal #3:
Regulated Free Market
Under this approach, entrepreneurs would have open access to any part of the marijuana market. Cultivation, processing and retail operations could be legally undertaken by anyone willing to bear the risks of investment and competition. Advertising and marketing would be allowed, but they would be regulated similar to the provisions governing alcohol and tobacco promotion. Prices would be determined by supply and demand, with taxation set at modest levels similar to current taxes on alcohol, tobacco and gambling. (These vary widely from state to state, but assume that under this model, the price of marijuana would be substantially lower than it is in the current market.)

Also, home cultivation would be allowed. Licenses may be required for any sort of cultivation, but these would be for registration purposes only and subject to nominal fees based on the number of plants involved. Individuals and corporations would be allowed to make whatever profits they can through competition. Tax revenues would fund treatment, prevention, education and enforcement programs. Competition and market forces would structure the market rather than licenses or government edicts, and regulatory agencies rather than law enforcement would supervise market activity.

A Different Approach
There are two key issues when it comes to deciding among these proposals. First, should the price of marijuana be kept high through government intervention in order to discourage underage use as well as abuse? Second, does commercialization translate into corporate money being spent to convince teenagers to use marijuana? Many of the proposals for how a legal market should operate are based on assumptions about these two issues, which leads to recommendations that the government must, one way or another, direct and control the marijuana market.

Obviously, the first two proposals outlined above reflect those very concerns. The third takes a different approach, in which marijuana is treated like similar psychoactive commodities, and the public relies on education, prevention and age limits to discourage underage use as well as abuse.

We want to know what type of legal marijuana market you prefer. Please take part in our poll on the HIGH TIMES website.

NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform

Continue Reading

sctp1-tm Marijuana High Life Hemp Personalized Stretched Canvas Print Sign

Posted on05. Jul, 2014 by .


Some recent marijuana auctions on eBay:

Continue Reading


Posted on03. Jul, 2014 by .


marijuana eBay auctions you should keep an eye on:

Continue Reading