Volume 1, Issue 5, October 1999 ISSN 1488-3988
© 1999 AHEM, ARTHUR HANKS.
IN THIS ISSUE:
Top of the Crop
US Border Closing?
New Products from Hempline
Ruth's Hemp Foods Launches
Harvest Notebook, Part I
Moisture Chart Released
CHC becomes NAH Inc.
Processing Oil Seed Straw Options
Hemp Pulping 101
Echo Oils Opens
News From Rella/Hempnut
California, Here We Come...
The HCFR and Hemp Hazards
HIA Convention Report
Canadian Health Food Show
Upcoming Industry Events
Editor: Arthur Hanks firstname.lastname@example.org
Sales, Sponsorship, and Distribution:
Jason Freeman email@example.com
CONTRIBUTORS THIS ISSUE:
Mark Bologna firstname.lastname@example.org , Jon Cloud email@example.com , Ryan Crawford firstname.lastname@example.org , Brian James email@example.com , Terry Lefebvre firstname.lastname@example.org , David Marcus email@example.com , Sasha Prytyk firstname.lastname@example.org, Dr. Alexander Sumach email@example.com; thanks to HIA, COHIP, Jim Geiwitz and "newshawk" Ann Hanks.
SUBMISSIONS: Submissions are most welcome. Please contact HCFR editor, Arthur Hanks, at firstname.lastname@example.org, with your story, research or information for inclusion in the HCFR.
Welcome to our fifth issue. We've been extremely busy putting this edition together while trying to stay on top of the current seizure at the border. Between issues we have sent out two press releases concerning the embargo and have generated a lot of response from our readership.
Not all of it has been positive. However, we do appreciate all communications, positive, negative or otherwise. Part of the joy in publishing a trade journal is to create dialogue amongst stakeholders concerning this and other important issues facing our young and exciting industry.
Although the border affair has captured much of our and the publics attention reserved for hemp many extremely positive things have taken place in the past six weeks. Among them are the launch of Ruth's Hemp Foods at the recent Canadian Health Food Show in Toronto, the announcement by HempNut Inc. of the largest advertising campaign ever for a hempseed food, HIA's very successful annual meeting plus Gen-X Research's world record breaking FIN-314 yields.
So whether you think hemp is an important gift, a useful rotational crop, the sober cousin of marijuana, the next big thing, an over-hyped and questionable commodity, a poster child for natural fibres, flax with attitude, a farmer's saviour, the DEA's regulatory nightmare or Health Canada's puzzle, please keep your opinions, press releases and information coming in.
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Top of the Crop
1) US Border Closing (and Opening?) on Legal Canadian Hemp Products
In probably the most reported incident affecting the industry this year, Kenex Ltd. of Chatham, Ontario is facing sudden American inflexibility over exporting hempseed products into the United States.
The facts of the affair are well documented. On August 9th, a tractor trailer hauling 20 tons of sterilised seed was seized at the border. US customs, backed up by the DEA, then demanded that Kenex recall previous shipments - 17 trailer loads worth of oil, horse bedding, granola bars and animal feed. The company is reportedly facing at least 500,000 in fines if this recall is not met.
Kenex Ltd. originally declined comment on the issue, hoping that the situation could be resolved privately and quietly. This situation increasingly frustrated customers as weeks passed.
"I took the business call on that, "says Laprise. "It was very important for me not to be wrong." Laprise notes that the controversial birdseed was the only shipment that had a detectable amount of THC - that is 14 parts per million or 0.0014 %THC.
As of late September, the animal bedding had been waived through, with the authorities refining the matter as an issue of THC in food for humans and animals. No resolution was in sight, and Kenex took the story public and began recruiting allies, among them the Hemp Industries Association, who now count the Canadian company as a member.
It appears that Kenex, who has been exporting to the US for the past two years, has not broken any laws. Clearly, Canada's Industrial Hemp Regulations allow for the trade of sterilised hempseed. Of course they do not pertain to the laws of another country. "Zero tolerance is zero tolerance."
On the American side the legal issue is less straightforward. According to the US Controlled Substance Act, it is legal to import sterilised seed, oil, grain and other derivatives. As well, affidavits have been produced that affirm these exemptions. Rather it seems that the company has run afoul of a just-instituted DEA policy that now renders all THC as equivalent with the Schedule I drug, marijuana. Additionally, the DEA is claiming that any importation of products containing THC has to be under DEA license. No word has emerged on just how to get one of these.
While this is the agency's policy, the question is does the agency have the executive authority to make this decision? It will be up to the lawyers and politicians to decide whether the DEA has this kind of power. Public and industry pressure and awareness will help push their decisions.
As of press time, what was initially feared to be a continent-wide crackdown, has since settled into a showcase with huge implications. So far, Kenex is the only Canadian exporter to have any problems at the border. There are no reports of any oil and grain shipments from China or Europe being stopped. It seems to be mostly, an issue of volume and public profile.
Canadian governments are now beginning to react to this issue. "Canada considers this seizure action to be contrary to the US NAFTA and WTO obligations," read an October 8th statement from the Canadian embassy in Washington. "This company has acted in good faith and should expect to be afforded due process."
With no end to this showcase embargo in sight, Canadian and American hemp advocates and businesses are scrambling to keep legitimate trade open. Companies that are directly affected by the "Kenex Embargo" include Nutiva, The Ohio Hempery, Custom Blends/Hempzels, and Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps. Potentially, it's every company working in the food and cosmetic sector, and with their markets blown apart, every single Canadian hemp grain farmer.
Important tools and more information on this critical issue:
Kenex is at: http://www.kenex.com
HIA sponsored: http://www.hempembargo.com
Colorado Hemp Initiative Project (COHIP) action page: http://www.levellers.org/dea
And a humorous editorial page at BC Magic: http://www.bcmagic.com/newpage1.htm
2) Hempline Unwraps Staple Lengths for Spinning & the First Canadian Hemp Upholstery Fabrics
Delaware, Ontario's Hempline now offers hemp fibre in a variety of staple lengths suitable for spinning on cotton, woollen and worsted spinning systems. Hempline cites the expanding interest in natural fibres, particularly in the home furnishings market, has resulted in renewed market interest in hemp fibre. Its strength, durability, absorbency and resistance to rotting and UV degradation make hemp fibre an attractive new alternative in technically demanding applications. As it is grown without pesticides, hemp also maintains a strong, "earth-friendly" cachet.
The availability of commercial quantities of premium-quality, North American produced, hemp fibre now gives yarn and fabric producers and designers a consistent supply. Hempline cites their raw material grading system is in place to ensure the fibre is of consistent and premium quality.
60/40 hemp/polyester upholstery yarns are also available to industry.
As an example of the application of Hempline's fibre, a wide selection of hemp upholstery fabrics are now on display at the Building & Design Resource Centre at Designers Walk in Toronto. The hemp-blended fabrics are being introduced from Iguana Designs by Rose Fabrics of Montreal. These fabrics have a natural look and original dobby and jacquard patterns and are suitable for a wide range of applications.
Hempline Inc. was the first North American company to grow hemp in modern times when it planted its first test crop in 1994 near Tillsonburg, Ontario. Since that time, the company has implemented a modern hemp crop production and processing facility for hemp fibre suitable for textiles. Hempline's products also include bast fibres suitable for paper, non-wovens (hemp felts and biocomposites) and stable bedding.
For more fabric information, contact Hempline Inc. at: http://www.hempline.com, or Iguana Designs at: Tel (450) 464-3624.
The Building and Design Resource Centre is located at Designers Walk, 168 Bedford Road, Toronto. Tel (416) 961-1211
3) Anka update
Anka is a new cultivar under development by Peter Dragla of the Industrial Hempseed Development Company in Chatham, Ontario. This year IHSDC planted 10 acres earmarked for registered seed production. According to Dragla, Anka will be on the market in 2000 on a limited basis and will be available in mass quantities in 2001.
Anka is a monoecious early flowering cultivar bred for grain production. Stem height is 2.00-2.38 m.; flowers appear 78 days after seeding. Technical maturity for this strain is measured at 80 days. Seed maturity is 105 days.
Dragla notes that the disparity of female flowering (compact clusters at on top of primary branches) to male flowering (large clusters at insertion of primary branches with stem) is 8 days.
Fibre content in 30-31%; potential seed yield is 1000-1100 kg. /ha with 1000 seeds weighing 18-19 grams. The EFA profile is unknown at this time.
IHSDC's breeding program includes plots in Romania, where work with varieties that read over 0.3% THC is possible.
Selection brings the THC down, to a point where the foundation seed can be imported and then planted and bred in Canada. "Selection has to be done every year; the hardest part is THC screening and selecting from hundreds and thousands of plants, " says Dragla, noting that screening for THC, even to bring down from 0.3% to 0.1%, takes at least three years.
The current delta-9 THC content of Anka is low, at most 0.2%.
For more information about Anka and IHSDC's breeding program. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
4) The Natural Order Launches Complete Line of Food Products
The Natural Order launching an only-in-Canada line of ready-to-eat hemp foods at the Canadian Health Food Association Show in Toronto on October 15-17th. The Ruth's Hemp Foods line includes pasta, tortilla wraps, paté and hummous, three flavours of tortilla chips and four flavours of salad dressings
"This is the most complete and extensive launch of hemp foods so far that I am aware of," says the Natural Order's principal Ruth Shamai. According to Shamai, a hemp soda will be available very shortly; hemp oil, blended hemp/flax oil, and vegetarian softgel capsules will be kept off the shelf until a recommendation on THC in hemp foods is made from Health Canada.
To begin with, all products will be distributed in the east by Ontario Natural Food Co-op and in the west by Wild West Organics. The oil and soft gels will be distributed throughout Canada by Purity Life. The line will be brokered through Michael Theodor Brokerage. The line is expected to be launched in the US by the year 2000.
The Natural Order's sister company is R&D Hemp, who have grown several hundred acres of mostly certified organic hemp on the Prairies for the past two years. R&D 's products include sterilised, certified organic seed, certified organic oil, flour and seedcake.
For more information on The Natural Order and Ruth's Hemp Foods line, go to: http://www.thenaturalorder.com
5) European Acreages 1998-99
Following are figures for EU industrial hemp acreages in 1999 (1998 figures follow in brackets); All figures are given in hectares.
Spain 11,032 (20,600)
France 11,000 (10,000)
Germany 3,993 (3,500)
UK 1,517 (2300)
Netherlands 1,000 (1,000)
Austria 600 (1,000)
Italy 300 (1,000)
Portugal 225 (N/A)
Finland 150 (N/A)
Others 117 (N/A)
Totals ca. 30,800(39,400)
Notably, there was a 10,000-h. drop in acreage from 1998, due to an EU crackdown on "subsidy" farming in Spain. All other relevant growers have maintained or expanded their acreage.
Source: Gero Leson, Les Echos de Chanvre
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Developing sustainable alternatives in international agribusiness
Harvest Notebook, Part I
Editor's Note: We had hoped to include more data from Canada's hemp harvest this issue. However, as we "go to press," many producers were still harvesting. We are aiming to include more updates in our next issue.
A) A Record Breaker:
FIN 314 Harvests at One Ton per Acre
By Sasha Prytyk, GEN-X
We have a record breaking FIN-314 crop: the magic 2,000 lbs. per acre hempseed crop has been achieved!
This crop was harvested at the Hutterite colony in Belle Plaine, Saskatchewan. The 65-acre crop was planted on May 24th, on sandy soil pre-worked with conventional fertiliser. Seeding rate was 30 lbs./acre. The field grew to a very even, thick stand of about five feet. Weeds were not a problem, almost non-existent, as excellent coverage was achieved. The field was irrigated once during flowering with a quarter-section pivot system (irrigation was not practised during vegetative growth since rainfall was more than adequate). The crop was swathed on August 31st (after 99 days growth) without any incident, and then dried for a week. The Hutterites harvested on Sept.7th, with 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 lbs., or about 59,500 kgs. This represents 2,012 lbs. per acre (2,287 kgs/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 drying.
This clearly shows what can be achieved under optimum conditions. Compare this to other oilseeds: for example a 2,000 lb./acre canola crop would be considered phenomenal in Saskatchewan. I have never heard of anything above 1,500 lbs./acre for a commercial hempseed crop, have you?
B) Moisture Chart Created for Harvesting Hemp
The Canadian Grain Commission has created a moisture chart for harvesting hemp. Contracted by CGP, Prairie Hemp and Manitoba Agriculture, this was a much-needed tool, as farmers were previously trying to modify the buckwheat and/or canola chart without much success.
According to Manitoba Agriculture's Bruce Brolley, hemp growers should direct combine the crop when seed moisture is between 25-30%.
One of the difficulties of harvesting hemp is the sheer mass of the plant. Though early flowering, "dwarf" varieties such as FIN 314 and Fasamo have been planted this year, other French and Ukrainian cultivars can reach 12 feet or more, and represent the bulk of western Canadian hemp production.
Hemp fibres represent a hazard on the field as they have a tendency to wrap around combine belts and bearings - pretty much any moving part. One solution is to move into the fields when the crop is still green, and this is earlier than many producers would like. Still, it does protect combines. After the first commercial harvest in 1998, Ontario producer Kenex has advised farmers that combining repairs could cost up to $7 an acre. A second method? Going slow. Consensus is that hemp harvesters should cut speed and go from 1.5 to 5 acres an hour.
Wet seed should be aerated within 24 hours of combining, says Brolley. Timing is more important than technique, as if hempseed is wet it will spoil quickly. Essentially, you have 24 hours to dry the seed and the seed should be stored at a moisture level between 9-10%.
The moisture charts are available through Manitoba Agriculture, The Canadian Grain Commission, and the Manitoba Industrial Hemp Association.
Sources: The Western Producer; AHEM files
c) CHC Becomes North American Hemp Inc.
Want to generate some good news and good will in the community? Have a field day. Hemp fields have a visceral appeal that leaves people smiling and attracts good media attention.
Saanich /Vancouver-based Canadian Hemp Corp hosted a well-attended public event outside Chilliwack, BC on October 6th. Close to 300 people from the community and the region were treated to free coffee, a healthy and still green 10-acre stand of Fasamo and a short combine demonstration from co-operator Tim Peters. Representatives from Ecosource Paper, Ferlow Brothers and Nature's Design did a brisk business selling product and answering questions.
CHC President Rick Plotnikoff was in good spirits explaining to the crowd the crop's seeding rates, planting costs, and harvesting. According to Plotnikoff, the company is close to opening up a functioning oil press facility in the area, and is looking at purchasing a second oil press and a dehuller. This year, CHC contracted over 300 acres in the Lower Mainland, and confirmed that they are buying grain from independents from across the West. CHC will also be pressing seed in Manitoba. Next year, the company expects to increase acreage on a large scale.
At the event, CHC announced that they will be merging into a new company, North American Hemp Inc. CHC will operate as a subsidiary of the new American-based parent corporation.
For more information on CHC and their grower's group, the Canadian Hemp Farmer's Association, check out their web site at http://www.hempcorp.com
Processing Oil Seed Straw Options
By Arthur Hanks
Even as hemp based foods are poised to make big gains in the marketplace (that is, if the politics would get out of the way), arguably, hemp fibre looms largest in the public consciousness about hemp and offers the most tantalising possibilities for development of this emerging crop.
Ironically, when hemp became regulated as a new agricultural crop in Canada, most of this country's production was dedicated to oilseed. This trend continued in 1999, with a six-fold increase in licensed acres, most of it in western Canada.
Many grain producers are faced with burning or composting their hemp fibre for lack of a buyer, or storing their bales for future use at their own expense. So far, they are missing out on value-added opportunities.
Models exist of course. Ontario's Kenex and Hempline are vertically integrated operations that produce a variety of fibre outputs. Durafibre in Canora, Saskatchewan was established in part to help give value to Cargill's linseed and solin flax producers. Quebec's Fibrex mill is working with flax and hemp fibres. And Elie, Manitoba's Isoboard is making strong fibreboard out of the often overlooked and undervalued wheat straw.
Lacking intensive capital investment, there are some overlooked possibilities for straw processing at and close to the farm gate that involves relatively minimal infrastructure. A couple of inventive individuals in the West are working with some of these options.
Casey Van Ginkel of Langley, BC leads a venture under development that is looking at the processing of straw for stable bedding. Innerhemp's predicament is interesting as they are trying to sell hemp as a lumber substitute to a wood saturated local market.
"We've had real positive feedback, and good potential at the upper end of the market," says Van Ginkel. However, timber chips are readily available at a half a dozen sawmills in the municipality. "It's incredibly competitive."
An electrician by trade, Van Ginkel and a partner have looked at other industries' equipment, and made adaptations in designing their own processing/decorticating line. He says that Innerhemp's line can pull through 2-4 metric tonnes an hour, with minor contamination. "Its an incredibly tough process, and very tough on the equipment."
He's happy with their product: "100% dust free after screening, with an average 55% core content."
Van Ginkel looks at his market and identifies two immediate obstacles: lack of product on the West Coast (a few hundred acres each year 98-99), and the need for a certain amount of volume to be able to compete. He also notes that no one in the West is letting the fibre ret, which in BC's rainy climate, shouldn't be a problem
Processors elsewhere in Canada have found, as a by-product of other processes, bedding to be a pleasant surprise in the marketplace. Van Ginkel thinks a fair price to pay farmers would be $60-$100 a ton for fibre. However, given the hold wood chips have on the market, Van Ginkel thinks if the value of straw was brought down to $40-$50 a tonne, then money could be made on the mass market. But given the higher quality of bedding, a premium market exists right now in stable horses.
Applied Construction Technologies
In Calgary, Geoffrey Lyford of Applied Construction Technologies sees hemp straw as a prime material for use in building technologies. "We could use any fibre, but hemp is the premiere fibre, the strongest fibre and has the highest insulation value, "he says. "Flax is close, but it doesn't have the insulation qualities."
Lyford says that the fibre can be used in construction straight off the field. "Hemp has strength and engineering properties as does any cellulose stalk, but hemp has greater size and strength than many plants," he says. Hemp fibres added to concrete, for example, increase tensile and competitive strengths, while reducing shrinkage and cracking. Lyford emphasises that "Building materials can use lower quality fibre, and to reach the final product, would take minimal processing."
Other products that can be made on the farm and in nearby urban areas with minimal processing include whole hemp stalk mats or lattice matrixes serving as skeletons for building panels; hemp stalk bundles used directly for structural use; and semi-decorticated hemp and hurds formulated into building materials; and hammermilled hemp mixed directly into concrete or concrete substitutes with clay and gypsum.
Lyford notes for many applications, bundled hemp stalks could be left directly in the field until use, so storage isn't necessarily an issue.
Hammermilling or decorticating hemp would allow for advanced uses; mixing into concrete or concrete substitutes with clay and gypsum, and mixing hemp's cellulose with mineral or binding agents to produce a superior, and light, natural fibre based panel that could compete with drywall. It is these kinds of applications that excite Lyford most, as he sees them as a fusion of ancient and modern technologies.
One idea he ponies up includes using a hemp concrete liner to buildings built with other materials. "Add a minimal coating to shed water and then add a binder... and you have Fort Knox!" he says. Another is partition wall systems for modern offices. "Companies have gone that way, because they can depreciate their walls as furniture," he wryly notes.
Lyford's formulas for materials and binders are evolving - the 1999 goal is to develop prototype buildings using some of Alberta's straw harvest.
"If you are producing hemp oil, there's hemp fibre of high quality that could be used, "he says. " I see these processes as a quick entry that could begin on a cottage industry level that could then be exported onto a global level."
Western Canadian hemp ventures will at some point evolve their outputs to be more than food crops. Adding value to their crop by using appropriate levels of technology for processing is one way farmers will receive extra incentive to keep growing hemp for 2000 and beyond.
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The Space of Magic and Mystery
By Jon Cloud
The Rhizosphere is the zone of life where plants obtain all their nutrients. It is technically called "the rhizosphere."
The rhizosphere can best be understood by comparison with the Earth's atmosphere. We know that the atmosphere surrounding the Earth is essential to life on the planet. The rhizosphere is like the earth's atmosphere as it surrounds the roots and is essential to plant life. Without an atmosphere or a rhizosphere, no life can exist. The roots of a plant in relation to the rhizosphere are like the Earth in relation to the atmosphere.
The nutrients which feed our crops are held in place in the soil by pairing up their small electrical charge with an oppositely charged soil particle. When the root's rhizosphere comes in contact with the nutrient, the electrical bond which held the nutrient to the soil particle is broken. When this electrical bond is broken, the nutrients are released to the plant. Nature has provided ways to allow the nutrients to be warehoused until the plants need them. Without this electrical bond, all nutrients in the field would be lost. The plant, through its expanding root system and the root's rhizosphere signals the nutrient to break its electrical bond with the soil particle and make itself available to the plant. Phosphorus and potash are two of the most important nutrient that the plant can get from the soil. They bond readily with other soil elements and organic matter and consequently, are not moved from the soil by rain.
Lets talk about phosphorus, specifically that phosphorus which is available to your crop and will be shown on your soil test as P1 -phosphorus. What happens in the rhizosphere when phosphorus, in the form of rock phosphate, is added to the soil? The larger particles of rock phosphate that need to be broken down are broken down by microorganisms. The micro-organisms begin to incorporate from rock phosphate or organic matter into their bodies much like earthworms that pass pieces of rock phosphate and organic matter through their digestive systems and release the processed material in their castings. This material, which is ready to be used by the plant, is held in place by an electrical bond to the soil particles until neutralised and released by the mildly acidic environment of the rhizosphere. These highly soluble nutrients are made available through the accumulating bodies or excretions of the microbes. I like to think of it as "microbe manure."
Phosphorus tends to bond with calcium; however, when your organic matter is over 5% on your soil test, the activity of all the creatures in the soil is high enough to assist in breaking the bond and making the phosphorus more available to the plant. P1 phosphorus, for example, is 7 times higher after passing through an earthworm than prior to ingestion.
A practical farmer once said to me, "All this theory is nice, but supposing the soil on my farm is deficient in phosphorus, how much rock phosphate should I apply to my field?" Let's say your soil test shows your P1 - Phosphorus results at 16 PPM and you want to raise it to 20 PPM. You have learned from the workshops with me that your P1 soil test will increase 1ppm for every 60 lb. of rock phosphate per acre, thus applying 250 lb. of rock phosphate 0-30-0 per acre will provide you with approximately 4 PPM of available phosphorus (P1 ) a year for the next 3 years. This is because rock phosphate requires 3 years to dissolve totally and therefore you can expect 1/3 of the new application to be available each year for three years. Ultimately you want your P1 phosphorus to show test results over 40 PPM. A smart farmer, then, will apply rock phosphate for a few years in a row, helping to build his P1 soil text number to the 40 PPM or over which is his goal.
This is the 4th part of Jon Clouds 4-part series on soil. A recognised authority on organic farming, Jon Cloud can be reached at email@example.com
Cloud Mountain Inc. contracts with certified organic farmers for hemp grain and fibre production to produce hemp oil as well as a line of hemp, and hemp cotton socks and sweaters. Everything is Canadian Made.
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US dealers and representatives wanted.
Hemp Pulping: 101
By Mark Bologna
Most people are aware that hemp can be used to make paper. Most people are also aware that hemp makes expensive paper. Why is this so?
Quality is the first reason why hemp paper costs more. Hemp is an excellent quality paper making fibre, most often used in specialty applications such as currency and cigarette papers where strength is the main concern. Hemp fibres are long, strong and have good characteristics for bonding and printability.
Due to its superior quality, it demands a higher dollar value on the pulp market, about twice as much as wood pulp. This translates to expensive photocopy paper and a complete lack of items such as hemp paper bags and newsprint.
It is important to recognise how wood pulp is manufactured in order to understand how so much of it can be given away for free (i.e. coffee cups and napkins). Contemporary pulp mills operate on economies of scale where bigger is definitely better. These operations have to run seamlessly with little or no downtime for the mills to turn a profit due to their immense size and overhead expenses. If these mills do not operate at 90% capacity or more, they are losing money on each ton they sell. This fact makes the idea of conservation impossible to even consider.
Currently, there is an oversupply of pulp on the market, which drives the price down even further. Forests are liquidated cheaply and efficiently with many a government subsidy and little or no recycling efforts encouraging the collection and pulping of offcut wood. If hemp production increases, it stands to reason that the price will come down. It will likely still be more expensive than tree pulp - again due to quality and production capacity.
Transportation and storage are also key factors to the high cost of hemp pulp. Wood is by far more compact than even the most compressed hemp bale. In order to supply demands of high capacity papermills, an immense amount of hemp on hand for processing is required. Currently paper mills' fibre is stored floating on rivers and/or stacked outdoors in large piles. This is not an effective method of storing hemp, as housing is needed to stop fibre deterioration. Storage costs help drive up the pulp price.
Hemp's bulkiness makes shipping another concern. What would have taken one train car to ship now takes two, three or even four. Also our contemporary pulp mills are situated close to forests, not farmland, so the distance travelled by hemp can be expected to be farther.
The good news? These factors generally encourage decentralisation and smaller mills, closer to the source of fibre. A decentralised approach holds much promise for a better method of pulping fibre over the long term. Smaller mills are also able to adapt better to newer environmental regulations and technological upgrades and could be made more flexible to process different sources of fibre. However, over the short term, these mills need to be implemented from scratch with large capital costs. Currently, little infrastructure exists to process raw hemp fibre in Canada.
It can be expected that current wood pulp mills will not be able to convert completely and in some cases not at all to the pulping of hemp. Each mill will have to individually look at the potential that hemp offers. Although contemporary mills are theoretically able to pulp hemp, they are engineered to pulp trees and pulp them efficiently. Again transportation and storage are major concerns.
Because of the growing global fibre market, hemp and other agricultural crops will increasingly be used for pulp and paper and as their integration grows, their costs should come down. Also provided that the environment continues to be protected and forests are increasingly conserved, wood subsidies will be removed and the costs of harvesting wood should increase to properly reflect their value. The important point to remember is that hemp paper is not too expensive - trees are too cheap!
Mark Bologna is the principal of the Greenman Nonwood Papermill (http://www.nonwoodpaper.com) - a distributor of machine milled non-wood paper products, and a handmade paper artisan. He is a member of the Technical Association of the Pulp & Paper Industry (TAPPI).
A dummy's guide to Cannabinoid variation in fluctuating genetic potentials of site specific phenotypes of Cannabis
Compiled and edited by Dr. Alexander Sumach
Ernie Small grew a lot of cannabis under the sponsorship of the Health Minister and the Dept of Agriculture in the 1970's. This was shortly after Israeli scientists had made an initial positive identification and isolation of THC as the primary psychoactive agent of cannabis. At that time, cannabis, a single species with many different varieties and the source of many different preparations, was suddenly arriving on the illicit market. Science knew very little about cannabis dynamics.
Dr Small's practical contribution to our present day understanding of cannabis and hemp is considerable, and his recommendations are carefully considered by policy makers in government. His detailed studies of many different varieties of cannabis, grown under government license from seed obtained from proper diplomatic sources, suggests great variation in the ability of diverse cannabis to develop THC.
Just how the biomechanics of this worked became the focus of Dr Small's long research into the secrets at the heart of cannabis - our oldest and at one time most important textile crop in Canada.
Cannabis research in pre LeDain Commission Canada had not advanced for thirty years when Small began his research. He is the originator of the 0.3% threshold point for THC, generally accepted worldwide as the legal ceiling that distinguishes hemp and psychoactive/medicinal varieties of Cannabis sativa. He is perhaps the most informed government cannabis researcher accessible to both the hemp industry and the Canadian Government
Addressing a group of Six Nations farmers in the winter of 1998, Dr Small answered thoughtful questions about the nature and character of the cannabis plant and provided many useful insights about the hemp plant, hempseed, hempseed oil and the controlled substance THC.
The following is a condensed and edited-for-brevity version of ideas and information presented at the Sixth Nations conference and should be considered as an introductory guide only, and not a statement of official policy nor an interpretation of law.
* * *
Any reader with knowledge of wild hemp habitat is urged to contact Dr. Sumach for more information about collecting viable wild hempseed and forwarding it correctly. Please Contact: Dr. Sumach, Hemp Futures Study Group, PO Box 1680, Niagara on the Lake Ontario, Canada, LOS IJO, Ph: 905-468-3928, firstname.lastname@example.org
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PUT YOUR CORPORATE LOGO HERE! Hemp Baseball Caps and Bucket Hats for the Canadian Hemp Industry. Contact Larry Duprey, Ph: 514-845-4993 Fx: 514-845-4687
A) Echo Oils Opens Organic Oil Processing Facility
Echo Oils is opening a small-scale oil processing facility in Christina Lake, BC. The facility houses an innovative portable oil press, pasta maker, ice cream machines and de-hulling equipment
Echo Oils' principal aim is to produce the highest quality organic oil seed products in BC. While the company intends to focus development on hemp and sunflower products, their facility will provide space to press a variety of oil seeds for the wider organic market. Echo Oils is exploring ways to work with existing businesses and distribution networks, allowing the company to focus on processing and product development.
The oil press represents the key to quality for the company's products. Developed by Lee Environmental Technologies, the oil press offers: flexibility for processing virtually any oil seed, ease of operation and maintenance, improved oil extraction, low pressing temperature and an air-free pressing environment. The portability of the oil press represents a number of opportunities for the company to explore farm gate processing, as well as to work with other manufacturers to produce fresh, high quality oils and oil seed products.
The press is housed in a unique straw bale structure using load baring construction techniques developed by FibreHouse. Echo Oils say they chose this method out of a need to create a space quickly and a desire to use sustainable building techniques.
An open house will be held on October 27th; Tim Lee will be on hand at the event to answer questions about his technology and to provide a demonstration of its capabilities. In addition to samples of various oils and oil products, Echo Oils will be offering creations from their neighbour, Ron's Kootenay Kitchen.
For more information contact Echo Oils at email@example.com
B) Rella/Hempnut Announces Two Management Appointments and Big Marketing Push
John Goodman has joined the management team of Rella Good Cheese Company and HempNut, Inc. as Vice President of Sales and Marketing, on October 1. Goodman has previously held sales/marketing positions at Spectrum Naturals, Arrowhead Mills, United Natural Foods Inc., Mercantile Food Company, and Red River Foods,
"We're delighted and honoured that John chose to work with us," says Richard Rose, Founder and President of Rella and Hempnut. "His 25 years of experience, proven track record, and high integrity are a great fit with our company and lines of innovative products."
HempNut Inc. has also announced the appointment of Petra Sperling-Nordqvist as Executive Assistant, to work directly with Rose. Sperling-Nordqvist previously was Editor for HempWorld magazine, and a reporter for the Sonoma West Times and News.
With these appointments, HempNut Inc. is moving forward with its aggressive marketing campaign, and has placed half and full page colour ads in a mix of leading health, industry and socially aware media. Promoting HempNut as "The Soybean of the Millennium" and "Y2K Ready", the California company expects its message to be seen by 20 million natural products customers. Complementing advertising expenditures - for the largest advertising campaign for a product to date - of $150,000 for 1999 is a proactive company-run public relations campaign that has netted editorial coverage, including a six-minute appearance by chef Rose on the CBS-TV's "The Roseanne Show".
For more info on HempNut Inc. go to: http://www.TheHempNut.com
C) Fighting Words
"(Rod) Flaman also wants farmers to seriously diversify whether it's raising elk for the velvet in their horns, or growing ginseng or hemp. 'Why are we producing all of this wheat for export? It's not helping producers. The starving people of the world aren't benefiting, because they can't afford to buy our grain.'"
"Hemp is a perfect Canadian crop, Flaman says, though he himself isn't growing it. He wants Canada to cut down importing cotton, rayon and nylon and grow hemp for a made-in-Canada solution. 'Let's start producing something that we can consume here in Canada. Overnight we could displace 50 per cent of our wheat exports. And it would create jobs. The hell with exporting. We're just feeding the transportation system.' "
Excerpt from a Martin O Malley Column, CBC News Online, on a growing grassroots municipal tax revolt among Saskatchewan farmers. Flamen is with a group of Canadian farmers called "Farmers for Justice" who are fighting for the right to sell their crop independently of the Canadian Wheat Board. For the full text of this story, go to: http://www.cbcnews.cbc.ca/viewpoint/omalley/martin990909.html
D) California State Assembly Endorses Industrial Hemp
On October 15th, the California State Assembly endorsed the legalisation of industrial hemp. The resolution passed on the last day of this year's session.
The resolution declares that industrial hemp can be grown by California farmers and regulated without interfering with marijuana laws. It recommends that the Assembly consider allowing farmers to grow industrial hemp and that the crop be studied by the state university system.
Sam Clauder, Political Director of CAIR - an organisation dedicated to renewing the legal status of hemp - says, "Next year the resolution will move on to the State Senate while working with the Congressional delegations of this and several other states to get the DEA to shift authority to regulate Industrial Hemp to the USDA. Farmers would then be permitted to grow Industrial Hemp under the condition that they comply with local and states' laws and regulations."
For more information, contact: Sam Clauder at Sam@att.net or check out http://www.CAIR.net
E) The HCFR and Hemp Hazards
A short note. The HCFR is participating in an ad hoc committee on hemp hazards. While some interesting points of discussion have been raised to date regarding the findings and methodologies of the research team of Orr and Starodub (please see last issue), nothing is ready for publication at this early date. We hope to offer some good analysis in our next issue.
Good resources that all readers and reviewers of this report should take advantage of include the most recent contribution to the literature on cannabis science, Marijuana Myths and Marijuana Facts, 1998, by L. Zimmer, Ph.D. and J.P. Morgan, M.D., ISBN-0-9641568-4-9. Another source for a more complete bibliography on THC than is featured in the report (which purported to be a complete literature review on the subject) is available from the University of Mississippi (Old Miss) on CD-ROM.
The HCFR additionally invites other concerned researchers and industry professionals to correspond with us on this critical issue. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts and findings, or to get your own copy.
North America's largest wholesaler of certified organic hempseed oil products: Drums, pales, bottle, capsules
Please call Jason Freeman, President, at 604 255 7979,
or email: email@example.com
By the HCFR staff
Stunning fall weather marked by crisp red maple leaves called over 100 HIA members and guests to the Ecology Retreat Centre in Hockley Valley Ontario, on September 23-26th. This four day retreat, meet and greet was well attended by Canadians, approx. 40 attendees.
Lots of highlights. A full day session of workshops and presentations Friday including a Cross-Canada Update with Don Hunter (Nova Scotia), Jerzy Prytyk (Quebec), David Marcus (Ontario) and Shawn Crew (Manitoba), Food and Fibre panels, Marketing and Retail, and Legal panel discussions
Evening speakers included Dr. David West of the "Hawaii Research Project," Geof Kime of Hempline, historian/hempologists Roddy Heading and John E. Dvorak, and author Wayne Roberts (Get a Life!).
Saturday saw an open-to-the-public Hemp Field day at the Al and Shirley Meeks farm. Speakers of note included AAFC's Ernie Small, OMAFRA's Bill Baxter, Hempola's Greg Herriot, and Kenex's Jean Laprise.
Underlying all the activity was a sense of urgency as regulatory issues on both sides of the border were topics high on the agenda. The dual impact of Kenex's current border difficulties and Health Canada's Hemp Risk Assessment compelled early morning and late night analysis and strategizing on legal issues.
"We like to think HIA is the most courageous of the hemp industry associations, " says Ken Friedman, board member and attorney-at-law. "We want to stay active and stay visible. Each attack on the industry is an opportunity to do public relations...and we turn it around."
Conversations also turned to the industry's need to build up Good Manufacturing Practises, inspections and standards. "These restrictions are in place to give the industry authority, "advised Mel Green, a Toronto lawyer in attendance. "These (internal) regulations say 'Trust Us'."
The HCFR would like to extend thanks to Larry Duprey (The Hemp Club/Chanvre en Ville), Ruth Shamai (The Natural Order/R&D Hemp, David Marcus (Natural Hemphasis), Paul Chang (Alme Inc.) and Candi Penn (HIA secretariat) for organising this exceptional event - and to the staff at The Ecology Retreat Centre who worked hard keeping all attendees well-stoked in hemp foods of all kinds.
HIA is an interesting organisation as it is home to companies working on all levels of the industry, with a commensurate mix of experience and beliefs. To quote John Ralston Saul rather loosely, tolerance and the willingness to disagree are Canadian conditions that on the surface reflect weakness, but are actually hidden strengths. These supple traits are evident as well in the American-based HIA; they serve the Association well. Next year, HIA is meeting in Hawaii, but it likely won't be long before the organisation is back in Canada.
Hemp for Health!
CHFA Trade Show Report
By Ryan Crawford
This year's instalment of the Canadian Health Food Association's (CHFA) Expo East, was held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on October 14th-17th. Canadian hemp companies present offered variety, selection and a unique "nutty" flavour to thousands of nutritionally aware and health conscious consumers, retailers, wholesalers and distributors. This event was the keystone of National Health Food Store week, marking CHFA's 35-year anniversary
The hemp contingent at Expo East ranged from distributors, manufacturers, producers and sales organisations. All did a great job in promoting a promisingly high percentage of organically grown Canadian hemp based products. The inclusion of wheat and gluten free, vegetable-based sources of protein and EFA's in the show, stimulated minds, bodies and stomachs and served as a welcome addition among a field of 350 exhibitors
Among those companies present offering to educate and supply Canadian health food stores were Earth Scents Soap Co./Earthemp, showcasing their line of hemp soaps, hand and body lotions, skin care products and cold pressed nutritional hempseed oil; Cloud Mountain Inc; Bastex Inc., designers of organic cotton and hemp socks; Hempola; Kenex; Hempy's and Alkaso International Inc., a recently formed company whose product line, imported from Germany, includes hemp teas, hemp flour, hemp pasta and skin care products.
CHFA Expo East also saw the launch of Ruth's Hemp Foods from The Natural Order (see Top of The Crop). Nature's Path, known as The Organic Cereal People, is now offering Hemp Plus, an organic hemp granola cereal. Omega Nutrition had their Hemp Flour and Certified Organic Hempseed and Hemp/Flax seed oils on display, while Corwin Distribution offered up White Buffalo Hempseed "smart" snack bars to eager retail buyers. Hats off to all the individuals and companies promoting organic and Canadian hemp health food products.
The conference concluded with Dr. David Suzuki speaking out about the dangers of bioengineering to an audience of 500 concerned individuals. A trained biologist, Dr. Suzuki provided a context for debate on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's), in alluding to the negative effects that DDT and CFC's have had on the planet, while reminding us to err on the side of caution when implementing new technologies. Suzuki likened GMO's to a "gigantic experiment" and referred to biotechnology as a "pyramid scheme based on speculation, promise and hype". The sponsors of Suzuki's address were The Big Carrot, Nature's Path, Naturally Nova Scotia and Alive Magazine.
The Hemp Industries Association
Chilliwack, BC: October 29-30th:The British Columbia Industrial Hemp Growers Association AGM
The first Annual General Meeting of the BCIHGA (BC Industrial Hemp Growers Assn.) will be held at the Rainbow Country Inn, Chilliwack, on October 29-30th. Friday (October 29th) will be an evening social event for people to get acquainted. The actual meeting will begin on Saturday at 8:30 AM. Conference fee is $40.00 for members and $60.00 for non-members. Membership in the association for voting members costs $60.00 per year/associate memberships cost $45 per year. Note that only current members will be able to vote at the General meeting (you will be allowed to become a member at the meeting.)
Display tables will be available at a fee of $30 for members and $60 for non-members for industry or associations to display products and information. Vendors are to supply own backdrops as no tacking on hotel walls is allowed. To book a table, call Cherie Cursinoff at 250-442-2346.
For room reservations at the Rainbow County Inn, please call 604-795-3828.
The BCIHGA is BC's first government approved and sponsored non-profit hemp organisation and has received seed funding by BC Ministries of Agriculture and Food, Advanced Education, Training and Technology and HRDC Canada to draft by-laws and a constitution that will be ratified at this first AGM.
For more information about the meeting and the BCIHGA, contact Lee Wells, BCIHGA, PO Box 1031, Grand Forks, BC, V0H 1H0, phone: (250) 442-0333 or fax (250) 442-2875, or Al Oliver, BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food at (250) 371-6050 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rolling Meadows, Illinois: November 4-6th: NAIHC Annual Conference
The 1999 annual meeting and international conference of the North American Industrial Hemp Council (NAIHC) will be held at the Holiday Inn, Rolling Meadows Illinois (near Chicago). This show is an opportunity to learn more about annual industrial fibre crops and to interact with agricultural and industrial experts. Attendees will exchange ideas, discuss opportunities, and explore the economic potential of industrial hemp for farmers and industry. The conference will allow farmers, researchers, industry, environmentalists, and public policy makers to form educational networks in order to advance industrial hemp as a renewable agricultural fibre and seed crop.
The agenda for the conference includes:
Canadian speakers include Geof Kime, Jean M. Laprise, Dr. Ralph Hardy, Gordon Scheifele, Evelyn David, and Ruth Shamai.
A trade show will complement the conference; space is limited. A membership business meeting will precede the conference on Thursday, November 4th from 3:30-5 p.m. Early Registration cut-off date is October 19th.
Check here for updates and the full speaker line-up: http://www.naihc.org or contact NAIHC - Theresa, PO Box 259329, Madison, Wisconsin 53725-9329. Email: email@example.com, Ph: 608-224-5137, Fax: 608-224-5111.
Alexandria, Minnesota: November 20, 1999: Hemp & Sustainable Farming Expo, Arrowwood Resort, Alexandria, MN
Speaker: Bud Sholts, Chairman of North American Industrial Hemp Council.
For info contact Marlene at firstname.lastname@example.org
Montreal: January 28-February 4th: Canadian Pulp and Paper Association Exfor 2000 and Technical Section,
Palais des Congrès de Montreal. Annual meeting convention with exhibition. More info soon.
HAVING AN INDUSTRIAL HEMP EVENT?
Contact Arthur Hanks, HCFR Editor, at email@example.com with details.
Looking for Hemp Nuts?? - Hemp Oil Canada Inc. - email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hemp Watch International is on the air in California. Email Dave Patak at email@example.com, or check out http://www.kmud.org for more info.
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CALL FOR PHOTOS: The HCFR is looking for quality pictures and photographs to appear in upcoming issues and affiliated web sites. Contact us for terms, formats and subject matter.
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Arthur Hanks Editing and Media Services,
909 Windermere St., Vancouver, BC, V5K 4J6.
Call (604) 255-4332, fax (810) 314-2138
Or email email@example.com
Get your web site up and going already...
Online but not on the web? Need to give your non-profit group an Internet presence? Too busy to get around to setting up ... still? ? Terry Lefebvre of Hemptrade is offering FREE web page hosting for industrial hemp-related sites, as well as layout, set up and administration for all sites at fairly reasonable rates. Contact Terry at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
SUPPORTING ADVERTISERS IN THIS ISSUE:
Fibrex Québec Inc, email@example.com
The Hemp Club/Chanvre en Ville, firstname.lastname@example.org
Living Tree Paper email@example.com
Hemp Industries Association, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cloud Mountain Inc, email@example.com
BioHemp Ltd., firstname.lastname@example.org
Greenman Nonwood Papermill, email@example.com
Tell them you saw it in the HCFR!
READER'S FEEDBACK: Keep us honest and write us. Let us know what you think about our formats, articles, coverage, tone, delivery, coverage and everything we are doing. We appreciate all letters, though we can't reply to them all. Make the HCFR the reader's choice!
SPECIAL OFFER -THIS ISSUE ONLY: Readers who send us their comments, and enclose their full name, mailing address and phone numbers will be eligible to receive a copy of Hemp Pages: The Hemp Industry Sourcebook 1999-2000 edition. Limited copies available - best letters will win. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
The HCFR is available for free to interested parties only on the Internet. Direct subscription for this issue is 1,000+. We encourage associations working in the industry to circulate the HCFR to their members (*.txt versions are available to all interested parties, please contact us, if this is what you want). Other non-profit use is encouraged.
THE HCFR ON THE WWW:
Back issues of the HCFR are posted on three leading industrial hemp web sites: Natural Hemphasis, Hemptrade and Hemppages.com. Check us out at:
Thanks to David Marcus, Terry Lefebvre and Mari Kane for their continuing good work on making needed information available.
NEXT ISSUE: 4TH WEEK OF NOVEMBER 1999
© 1999 AHEM, ARTHUR HANKS. INDIVIDUAL ARTICLES REMAIN PROPERTY OF THE AUTHOR (S). NOT TO BE DUPLICATED FOR FINANCIAL OR PERSONAL GAIN. CONTACT US ABOUT REPRODUCTION RIGHTS.