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The Hemp Report

An online trade journal covering the North America hemp industry: agriculture, processing, marketing, research, business and regulatory news, and updates. Strong focus on hemp farming and developments in Canada.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hemp News Update 


     Many people still have the image in their minds that those who run hemp companies are neo-Luddites, and that the farmers who supply them with their raw materials sow the seed by hand on small plots and harvest the grain or fiber with horse-drawn equipment. This may come to pass again in the future, but for now farmers, manufacturers, distributors and consumers are all part of a complex and modern system. I also work for a company that distributes all kinds of industrial supply parts from companies such as Grainger, John Deere, McMaster-Carr, Motion Industries, MSC and Timken. It often strikes me that the hemp industry is also part of this massive supply chain. We are far from being part of the "counterculture." As The Oregonian story on Living Harvest shows, we are indeed becoming more a part of the mainstream every day.

     Traditional industries in the U.S. and around the world are embracing the benefits of using hemp in their products. I was reminded of this again earlier this week when Reuters reported that visitors at the British International Motorshow in London viewed a prototype of the Lotus Eco Elise which is made with the equivalent of 1,700 recycled aluminum cans and with hemp grown locally in Norfolk (comprising 25% of the car). It also has solar panels on the roof to help power its electrical system. While the car is not a high-torque electric tractor running off solar panels and farming local, organic, sustainable crops, it does push the envelope of industrial design. That in turn helps get us closer to that future by educating the media and the public about what is truly possible and attainable.

     As wonderful as it is to imagine and work towards a future where industrial hemp is grown locally to meet our needs for food, clothing, shelter and transportation, reality does have a way of rearing its ugly head when you least expect it. Anna Korakaki found this out in Athens, Greece last week in a nightmarish scene where she was arrested for receiving 4.5 kilos of hemp protein powder at her local post office and was then forced to spend the night in a jail cell. All this because she was creating superfood recipes for her new natural foods company.

     We have come a long way in the last fifteen years through educating farmers, legislators, the media, businesses and consumers, but it is obvious that we still have a long way to go, and we need your help to do it.


posted by Tom  # 6:49 PM
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