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Regional Reports

US Drug Czar Attacks Hemp Industry

American hemp merchants are breathing a sigh of relief now that the Justice Department has backed their position on the legality of industrial hemp imports. Twice in recent months, Customs agents had been ordered to stop hemp shipments at the border. The controversy started in August 1999 when a load of commercial birdseed that was grown in Canada and processed under their strict regulations was stopped at the Detroit border station. Customs alleged that since there were traces of THC in the shipment, that it was a controlled substance and not eligible for importation. Customs then ordered the recall of 17 previously shipped Canadian loads, which resulted in a virtual shutdown of the growing domestic hemp trade.

In a deal that was brokered by the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC, the DEA and Customs backed off of this position and agreed to allow compliant shipments "pending further review." In a December 7, 1999 Field Directive, Customs agreed to accept what is becoming an international standard, allowing importation of sterilized seed and seed products with up to 0.3% THC (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol) without a DEA license. It was a clear victory for the hemp merchants who then began to recover from the losses caused by the four-month interruption of supply.

But this flew in the face of the Barry McCaffrey, Director of the Office of National Drug Policy Control, who maintained that hemp products "sent the wrong message to children." Acting at the personal request of the drug czar, US Customs reversed its previous ruling and banned hemp importation of shipments with any trace of THC into the United States. A Customs Field Directive, dated January 5, 2000, ordered customs agents to hold and test all entering shipments using constructive seizure procedures. The directive pertains to all hemp shipments, not just hemp foods, and bans entry to any hemp shipments that contain any trace of THC.

This action by the ONDCP was a direct blow to the emerging Canadian hemp industry, whose major market is the United States. Because this action was taken without consultation with the government of Canada, it violated the NAFTA treaty. The Field Directive, issued on January 5, 2000, stated "the ONDCP, together with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will review the issue to determine whether the policy to allow for traces of THC in hemp products is consistent with their National Drug Control Strategy." The memorandum goes on to say that in the meantime, Customs field personnel are "instructed to use constructive seizure procedures" for "any hemp product, or part thereof, which contains ANY amount of THC."

"What we have is McCaffrey over-ruling US Customs, the DEA and the Justice Department," observed Jean Laprise of Kenex, Inc. "The laws don't matter to him at this point, and I would be surprised if this gets resolved outside the courts."

Eventually, the U.S. Justice Department acted to bring sense to the issue. In a letters written on March 22 and 23rd, to the DEA and Customs, John Roth, Chief of Justice's Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Section wrote that McCaffrey's position had no legal merit. Agreeing with the arguments presented by the hemp community, the Justice Department adopted the legal position that THC is not specifically listed in the Schedule of Controlled Substance, only synthetically derived THC is scheduled. "Thus, it appears we are not able to regulate or prohibit the importation of 'hemp' products based on any residual or trace content of naturally occurring THC." Based on this legal opinion, Customs again opened the border up to hemp importation, though there is not yet confirmation that the January 5th Field Directive was officially withdrawn.

It was soon reported that the drug czar's office was trying to line up Congressional support to ban hemp products or at least food products made from hemp. For now, the coast is clear for American hemp importers, and hopefully the election year will stagnate any further efforts to change the existing law.

This is a quickly changing situation. The best way to get the most current news is through a website set up by the Hemp Industries Association at www.hempembargo.com. The site also features several sample letters for citizens to send to public officials. There is a link to www.vote-smart.org, where Americans can find the names and addresses of their state and federal legislators. In May, the Hemp Industries Association decided it needed to initiate a political action committee to conduct an aggressive campaign for full legalization of domestic hemp cultivation. Details are available at: http://www.votehemp.com.


Don Wirtshafter <don@hempery.com>

Proposed DEA Rules

I recently returned from Washington, DC where I met with Congress members and government officials about industrial hemp. I learned that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will be publishing its new rules shortly in the Federal Register. This message is a warning to you in the industrial hemp industry.


1. DEA Interpretive Rule.

First, the DEA will be interpreting the Controlled Substances Act and its own regulations as declaring any products that contain any amounts of THC to be a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, even though such products are made from portions of the cannabis plant that are excluded from the definition of marijuana. However, the DEA also will publish in the Fed. Register a Proposed Rule and Interim Rule, the latter of which will create exemptions to its Interpretive Rule. Otherwise, as DEA notes, its Interpretive Rule standing alone would declare as "controlled substances" a wide variety of cannabis derived products historically allowed by the federal government. For example, hemp based paper, hemp clothing, hemp rope, and bird seed containing hemp all would be considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance under the DEA Interpretive Rule if they contained any trace amounts of naturally occurring THC.


2. Proposed Rule.

The DEA's Proposed Rule will revise the wording of its own regulations so that THC refers to both naturally occurring THC and synthetic THC, making both Schedule 1 marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act.


3. Interim Rule.

The DEA's Interim Rule will exempt portions of the cannabis [industrial hemp] plant from control to the extent such products are not used or intended for use for human consumption. DEA concedes that hemp paper, clothing and rope "legitimately used" cannot result in THC entering the human body. Hemp animal feed (including birdseed) is included in this category. [I credit Kenex for winning the "birdseed war" and letting trade resume for this product.]


4. Personal care hemp products are in question.

Since hemp based shampoos, lotions, etc. come into contact with the human skin, DEA evidently searched for evidence that THC could be absorbed into the skin. However, lacking such evidence at this point, those hemp products are not yet outlawed. However, if comments on the new rules claim that THC is absorbed into the human body from personal care products, then I believe DEA will take steps to outlaw them. This is evidenced by DEA's action in considering hemp lip balm as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance in its rules, and therefore hemp lip conditioner will be prohibited in the USA. Body Shop, please take note!!


These proposed rules have been reviewed and evidently approved by the US Justice Department, DEA and Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). A July 10, 2000 letter from Barry McCaffrey (ONDCP) to Congresswoman Patsy T. Mink shows where the federal government is coming from, and I quote in part from McCaffrey's letter:

"Many allege that hemp products are only those that are made from the portions of the Cannabis sativa plant that are excepted from the definition of 'marijuana' in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). However, industrial hemp products have historically referred to rope, canvas, machine oil, paper, cloth, and oil used in paint and varnish. Such products were thought not to contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and were made from various fibrous plants, including plants such as Cannabis sativa, banana and jute. The United States also has a long history of importing sterile Cannabis sativa seeds (commonly referred to as hemp seeds) for use as bird and animal feed. Recently, however, Cannabis sativa seeds and oil, pressed from those seeds, have been imported for human consumption in various forms of hemp products. These later offerings include topical solutions, as well as products specifically designed for ingestion. Such applications for human consumption are confounding [McCaffrey's word] our Federal drug control testing programs, if they contain THC, and are of significant concern."

Once these DEA proposed rules are published in the Federal Register, you will have 30 days to comment on them. I urge those of you who will be impacted by the proposed ban on hemp products made for human consumption to immediately contact your US Congress members. Ask them to immediately contact Janet Reno, US Attorney and Mr. Donnie Marshall, DEA Administrator to object to these proposed rules which will make hemp consumables a Schedule 1 substance.

The rules apparently will be published in August. Please get to work on this now!


Representative Cynthia Thielen <thielen@aloha.net>

Hemp Growing in Tasmania

The Tasmanian Hemp Company continues to strive to achieve the objectives derived in the late 1980's and reported in JIHA Vol 1 No. 1 (June 1994). Amongst the challenges set before us we cheerfully report a few significant wins and remain heartened that one day we will see a vibrant and environmentally sustainable hemp manufacturing industry. We have continued our work using the dioecious Hungarian cultivar 'Kompolti'. A major barrier was lowered in 1998 when the Tasmanian State Government modified its 1971 Poisons Act to allow unlicensed possession and sale of hemp seed oil where THC content did not exceed 50 ppm. We were also elated when the Australia and New Zealand Food Authority (ANZFA) decided to evaluate hemp seed products as food and we were pleased to be able to contribute to this process as Australia's only hemp seed and oil producers. The same year saw improved co-operation by the State Government in providing assistance for crop establishment in our larger field hemp growing trials using precision equipment. This time we selected three soil types, with one being in the south of the state and two in the north. The southern site was a sandy gray loam while one of the northern sites was a rich red Krasnozem clay loam and the other a gray duplex clay loam. All sites were provisionally certified organic and varied in size around 0.2 hectares. The main objective was to produce seed for oil.

Production was conducted using only organic growing principles with the main objective of maximizing seed production. The soil was prepared to a fine tilth, fertilizer pre-drilled using an organic 14:15:13 NPK mix, 75 mm to the side and 50 mm below the seed position. Some sections were not drilled with fertilizer to provide a fertilized versus non-fertilized comparison. Seed was sown with a precision air seeder to establish about 20 plants/m2. Sowing was completed by 31st October, 1998. Irrigation was applied to a 300 mm deficit schedule until post-flowering time. Weed control was essential at this low planting density and was undertaken twice using a mechanical inter-row scarifying technique. One strategic hand weeding was also conducted. To obtain estimation of yields, 20 harvest plots of one square meter were chosen at random across each site.

All harvesting was conducted manually and the plants, complete with matured seed heads, conveyed to a sheltered area for drying off and threshing. Seed oil was extracted using a "Hander" worm type expeller cold press.

Seed germinated in 7 days and emergence counts were conducted 12 days from sowing. Plants grew extremely well and responded favorably to inter-row cultivation and irrigation. By mid February, plants averaged 1.5 meters in height with some exceeding 2.7 meters.

Plot assessments on average indicated a total seed yield of 1.5 t/ha across all sites and a stem yield of 8.5 t/ha. There was no significant difference between fertilized and non-fertilized areas. About 40% of the plants were male. Sieved dry foliage material from the assessment plots yielded equivalent to 1.8 t/ha. The red basalt Krasnozem soil provided superior yields and on average about doubled the yield of crop grown on the gray soil types.

The main insect pest was native bud worm (Helicoverpa punctigera), which was observed in densities up to 2/m2 feeding on plant crowns. Minor attacks of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum were observed also on lower stem parts and caused some plants to become non-productive by senescing prematurely. The insect and fungus damage was observed at all sites, although not at economically significant levels, and control measures were not considered necessary.

The rate of oil recovered from this season's seed was a disappointing 12.5%. This is not easy to explain considering it was 22% in 1997-1998. Also of interest was the fact that de-hulled seed was virtually impossible to press into oil using the "Hander" expeller and had to be mixed with whole seed for best results. We continue to seek answers as to why our expelled oil had a THC reading of greater than 50 ppm considering that the plants at flowering time were well under the legal 0.35%.

This season we have two trial sites where seed production again will be the main focus, combined with increased use of mechanization at harvest time. We remain optimistic that the environmental benefits of hemp fibre production when compared to that of all other significant fibres will eventually be recognized.


Patsy and Frits Harmsen <pharmsen@tassie.net.au>

Record breaking seed yield

We have a record breaking 'FIN-314' hempseed crop: the magic 2000 lb. per acre yield has been achieved! I am sending this message out to share my enthusiasm over this crop, harvested at the Hutterite colony in Belle Plaine, Saskatchewan. The 65 acres were planted on May 24th, on sandy soil pre-worked with conventional fertilizer. Seeding rate was 30 lb./acre. The field grew to a very even, thick stand of about five feet. Weeds were not a problem, almost nonexistent, as excellent coverage was achieved. The field was irrigated once during flowering with a quarter-section pivot system (irrigation was not practiced during vegetative growth, as rainfall was more than adequate). The crop was swathed on August 31 (after 99 days) without incident, then dried for a week before the Hutterites harvested September 7, using their five rotary combines at the same time. Again, no equipment modifications were necessary and the harvest was complete in two hours. The seeds look very good, plump and dry. Total yield weighed in at 130,800 lb., or about 59,500 kg. This represents 2012 lb. per acre (2287 kg/hectare or 45 bushels per acre) on average over the whole 65 acres! There is very little dockage, but I expect about 15% shrinkage after cleaning and final drying.

This clearly shows what can be achieved under optimum conditions. Compare this to other oilseeds: for example a 2000 lb/acre canola crop would be considered phenomenal in Saskatchewan. I have never heard of anything above 1500 lb./acre for a commercial hempseed crop. Have you?


Sasha Przytyk <sasha@gen-xresearch.com>

Hemp in Argentina

I have not met with any success in regard to getting a crop of hemp planted in Argentina as I have been advised that "due to National Law 21671 (19/10/77), it is prohibited to plant, cultivate and harvest Cannabis sativa L. in Argentina, as well as is its commercialization, exportation and transportation." It is certain from what I have been told that this prohibition is all encompassing. Perhaps someone in your organization can advise me as to whether it is worth trying to get industrial hemp varieties in production despite this law.


Steve Collins <scollins@interprov.com>

1999 - Good Year for Canadian Hemp

The Canadian hemp industry began to turn a profit by year's end in spite of US DEA interference in the third quarter. The hemp issue in Canada has clearly evolved from the initial drug debate into working out the details of smooth delivery to the modern market place ahead.

The first modern homegrown hemp textile woven in the New World and ready for sale to the public was produced in Quebec by Fibrex Corp. from Canadian-grown hemp fibers supplied by Hempline. The first hemp offering - wonderful blankets- was woven with a curious international experimental blend of Chinese hemp, polyester, US cotton and Canadian hemp threads. This modest beginning is an important leap into hemp fiber textile manufacture in North America. Hemp fibre, which at the start of the Canadian initiative was the most touted hemp market breakthrough, has seen promising advances, but less than the sizzling success of culinary hempseed.

Canada, like other modern hemp producing nations, scrambles to finish the paperwork of hemp re-imple-mentation, while waiting in line to proceed in a world market for Cannabis-derived materials. North American farm strategies have yet to include industrial hemp and still do not make adequate provisions for Cannabis as a diverse species yielding fibre, seed oil, culinary "grain" and "soon-to-be-legal" medicinal cannabinoids.

In the summer, Health Canada announced a comprehensive five year study of medical Cannabis with clinical trials to learn more about the long term effects of Cannabis on humans. This will be the first major review of the Cannabis phenomena conducted by the Canadian Government since the insightful, but largely ignored LeDain Commission, thirty years ago.

Health Canada issued 674 hemp permits to Canadian hemp farmers in 1999 and authorized the planting of 31,000 acres (about 14,260 hectares) of hemp for both fibre and seed; Canada grew almost half as much hemp in 1999 as all of Europe combined, and approaches the "Hemp for Victory" production levels of the 1940s. This modern hemp crop brought the Canadian farmer an estimated CA$400-600 (US$200-300) per ton in 1999, on a par with returns from cereals and canola. More than 85% of the 1999 Canadian hemp crop was sent to 20 different US processors.

About 15% of the Canadian hemp crop in 1999 was designated organically grown. News reports indicate that spot vandalism is on the wane, but birds have discovered ripe hempseed and seem to like this traditional food. A pilot program to release domestic cats (Felis domesticus) into the field's prior harvest is still seeking funding.

The 10,000 acre (about 4,500 hectares) parcel of hemp sown by Consolidated Growers and Processors (CGP) in Manitoba, is Canada's biggest hemp swath on record, and likely the single largest concentrated hemp planting on our planet in 1999. These figures happily exceed all expectations for the Canadian Industrial Hemp initiative at decade's end, and the succession of good harvests were more than hoped for after only seven years of modern hemp culture. Much of our success is due the tight and fully accountable regulatory process that unfolded along the lines of the European model for monitoring hemp. Cannabis sativa in all its forms will remain controlled substances in Canada for the time being.

The most decisive moment for Canadian hemp in 1999 was the world record yield of two thousand pounds of FIN-314 hemp seed per acre, 99 days after planting. This outstanding variety was grown with spot irrigation at the Hutterite Colony at Belle Plaine Saskatchewan. The amazing yield represents 300 pounds of protein from one acre of land. Other culinary hemp "grain" plantations on the Canadian prairies are also gearing-up to produce modern hemp food for export to American processors and world markets.

In preparation for hemp foods arriving on the Canadian market, the Health Minister's office received a preliminary risk assessment of THC ingestion that initially suggested unrealistic new standards for the Canadian crop. Hemp industry insiders viewed this as ridiculous, and the report was quickly withdrawn after heavy criticism in the press. However, Canadian hemp seed will be officially listed as a 'Novel Food' in order to qualify for new Canadian food standards remodeled to fit more closely with international norms. From the perspective of world history and cultures, hemp is not really a "novel" food and those who have been selling hemp foods for the greater part of a decade do not welcome this designation, just as these items begin to merge into the mainstream market.

Large-scale hemp production centering in Manitoba and Ontario is now well established, supplying three regional hempseed dehulling mills operating at full commercial capacity. Western Canadian hemp farmers are committed to develop hempseed as a prairie oilseed heir to canola. Canada boasts a dozen commercial hemp grower/processors and almost 100 private sector secondary manufacturers preparing the hemp harvest. The second wave of hemp infrastructure construction was not as fruitful. Two new dehulling factories in British Columbia and Manitoba advertised to start up in time for the 1999 harvest, are progressing for launch in 2000. Established large-scale oilseed processing facilities will continue to be used. Major and secondary Canadian hemp processors are pursuing organic certification of their own culinary hemp. A half dozen hemp license holders grew, harvested, processed and marketed their own private lines of Canadian culinary hempseed products. Organic Canadian hempseed is worth twice the price as regular hempseed.

Canadian hemp processors; Hempline, Kenex and CGP, saw hemp niche markets grabbed away by newly established regional hemp farming associations moving directly into hempnut and oil-based packaged product. The inevitable collision between Canadian Cannabis products exported into the United States and US drug policy- something for which Canadian producers long prepared, took shape in a quiet string of seizures at the US/Canada border, and product recalls of Canadian hemp in August.

Hardest hit by the joint US DEA/Customs action was Kenex, Southern Ontario's largest hemp grower-processor with 17 truckloads of various Canadian hempseed materials, seized at the Detroit border. Kenex founder Jean LaPrise shared some rude awakenings with 300 international delegates at the 6th Annual Hemp Industries Association HIA convention in southern Ontario. The popular press in both Canada and the US mocked a rigid Drug Regulatory Agency who refused to distinguish birdseed from "Brand X" Cannabis. But no progress was made for three months.

The DEA stall on deliveries of canary seed and granola bars was a trifle overkill, even for a stated concern that hempseed may have been imported to America inadvertently as an animal feed when in fact it was being sold for human consumption. The DEA is mandated to enforce US policy in the battle against recreational drugs and is charged with monitoring hemp to assure no drugs are being smuggled in from abroad.

The Canadian Senate urged the Canadian Trade Mission in Washington for a quick deal for industrial hemp exports rather than enter into a potentially nasty international trade dispute. The 1999 DEA ban on Canadian hemp exports may well have been a stall tactic to allow US regulating agencies to catch up with integrating hemp policy into the Federal machine. Furthermore, sanctions against Canadian hemp were not being applied to hemp arriving in the US from any other nation.

Canadian dehulled hempnut will likely be the first successful hemp product. Large-scale production is feasible in Canada right now, as culinary hempseed is fully compatible with conventional food processing operations. Hemp market sources suggest greater availability of Canadian hempnut at more attractive prices in the third quarter of 2000. Once hemp clears the diverse international food regulation hurdles, commodity trade codes for hemp products will soon be put into place and standards assigned. Only then will hemp take-off in the international marketplace.

Canadian hemp farmers who dared to grow hemp in the 90's arrive at the new century with field experience, diverse financial arrangements and an industrial processing infrastructure for their hemp, factors which were sorely lacking at the start of the hemp farming adventure. Canadian-grown hempseed is prepared for market at local private facilities which process the harvest on contract and deliver the hemp "grain" to licensed regional oilseed crushing facilities that also process canola.

A half dozen new hemp varieties under development at research stations across the country will be ready for the approved list next year. Classic European hemp varieties, and 'Fasamo' sown in North Western Ontario by Dr. Gordon Schefele at Thunder Bay are progressing favorably. Hemp looks like a good thing to be able to bring to a hungry world ahead.


Roddy Heading <rheading@becon.org>

'FIN-314' Research Plot - Sussex, UK - 1999

This year, MotherHemp Ltd. has gone into partnership with Dr. J. C. Callaway of the Finnish company, Finola (www.finola.com), for the cultivation of 'FIN-314' in Europe. We have, therefore, started this year with one trial near our central headquarters in Sussex. A full collection of photos of the cultivation of this crop is available on http://www.motherhemp.com.

The soil type in the south of England is downland chalk with plenty of flints. The seed bed was average quality, with no obvious weeds. It is well-drained and on a gentle slope, facing Southwest. The ground is exposed to the strong sea winds. The previous crop on that plot was winter barley. Stubble was left in the field over winter, then ploughed and pressed at the end of February. Ploughing was not possible before then as this field is in an "Area of Outstanding Beauty" and receives a special subsidy if not ploughed before February. The 'FIN-314' seed was sown on the 11 May 1999 using a combination PH/ Drill. Eighty-three kg of seed was used on 3.24 ha (giving a seeding rate of 25.6 kg/ha). It was rolled the following morning, but there was then no rain for a week. However, once it had some water on it, germination was swift.

The early part of the spring was cold, and this probably slowed early development. As the temperatures rose, growth became more rapid, and the first males began to show around the middle of June. By the start of July, these were in full bloom and seeds were forming on the female plants. The males soon died back and disappeared, thinning the canopy by 50%. This results in a reduction of total fibre yield, which may fall below the minimum requirement for subsidy eligibility (although 'FIN-314' is not yet certified within the EU). This die-back may also allow weeds to take hold. A higher seed rate would definitely help, but time was short at that point, and only an approximate calibration of the drill was done. Also, nitrogen application was kept lower than it might have been. Increased nitrogen application should help yield - the height of the plants at harvest was approximately 125 cm.

By mid-August, it became obvious that there would be too much foliage on the plants to harvest them before Autumn had set in. A spell of persistent wet weather and warm temperatures kept the crop green, and knocked plump ripe seed from the seed head. An unusually wet spell also encouraged some of the remaining ripe seed to sprout on the flowering heads. Migrating birds had a number of meals, which they seemed to enjoy. The harvest date was too late for any substantial acreage of 'FIN-314' to be reliably harvested with a combine. Swathing may be a solution, but was not used in this case. The use of an herbicide was rejected due to our wish not to use any chemicals on the crop.

The combine went through on October 5th and there were no problems. The seed was dried on a floor with circulating air. The seed was then dressed and prepared for next year's trials in the UK and across Europe. There was approximately 2.5 tons of cleaned seed representing a yield of almost 800 kg/ha.

For any further information please contact MotherHemp on +44 1323 811 909 or e-mail: "info@motherhemp.com".


Will Stephens <will@motherhemp.com>

Hawaii Plants Historic Hemp Crop

On December 14, 1999, a large crowd of politicians and hemp activists gathered on the Hawaiian island of Oahu to participate in the first US-sanctioned hemp planting in almost 50 years. At the invitation of Hawaii Governor Benjamin Cayetano, the assembled dignitaries heard speeches and watched a group of Hawaiian shamans perform a traditional ceremony to bless the crop.

The historical planting was made possible by the persistence of State Representative Cynthia Thielen. Thielen first learned of hemp's potential through her son, Peter and his wife Shannon, who are owners of a hemp clothing business. Over a period of three years, she pushed an enabling bill through the Hawaiian legislature. Thielen, who is also a practicing attorney, then pressured the DEA to issue an experimental permit and import license to the project. Using her goal of getting seeds in the ground before the end of the millennium, Thielen was able to get the unprecedented permits issued in record time.

The Hawaiian economy has recently suffered the decline of sugar and pineapple agriculture, the state's leading crops. The momentum behind the hemp project can best be explained by the potential economic benefits this alternate candidate brings to a state in distress.

Plant geneticist David West Ph.D., who has been researching industrial hemp for several years, and who is now a professor at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, was chosen as project director. "This is a huge step for Hawaii and the U.S. as a whole. Once the DEA removes its restrictions on growing industrial hemp freely outside of the test plot trials, the vast economic and ecological benefits of this plant will make themselves known to American farmers."

To comply with strict Drug Enforcement Agency regulations, the research has to be conducted in a quarter-acre area surrounded by a 10 foot (3 meter) tall fence topped with barbed wire. The facility has solar collectors to power the motion detectors and alarms designed to meet DEA requirements. The deep red, compacted volcanic soil and the high fences make the area look like a tennis court.

Politicians lined up to praise the new project including Calvin Say, speaker of the Hawaiian House of Represent-atives; Felipe Abinsay, Jr., Chair of the House Agricultural Committee; Jerry Chang, Chair of the House Tourism Committee; and State Representative Michael Puamamo Kahikina. Governor Cayetano issued a proclamation declaring the day to be Hawaii Hemp day. "My administration sup-ports stimulating Hawaii's economy and keeping our agricultural lands productive. Industrial hemp could meet both of these objectives."

Representative Thielen was ecstatic about the historical planting, "We succeeded in the first step of bringing this plant back to its rightful place as one of America's valued agricultural crops. "'Go forth and sow hemp', the Mormon leader declared generations ago, as his flock moved to Utah. Today we did just that."

The project budget is initially set at US$200,000, a sum that was contributed by Alterna Professional Hair Care Products of Los Angeles. The purpose of the project is to breed sub-tropical strains of hemp seed for use in Hawaii and for sale to other parts of the world.


Don Wirtshafter <don@hempery.com>

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