Volume 3, Issue 16, Spring 2001 ISSN 1488-3988


Webworthy: Hemp Earth Ship

Time for something different: see http://www.earthship.org/lakota for a great photo essay of the construction of an Earthship -- an indestructible, off grid and structure built on a principle of appropriate technology -- using Hemp for insulation and with mud strengthening. Earthship built by Lakota-Sioux partnership in Slim Buttes, near Chadron, Nebraska.

Also: Mark April 26th in red on your calendar as the Ogala Sioux --whose 2000 industrial hemp crop was confiscated by an armed DEA raid last August -- will be planting again.


The Merry Hempsters® are dedicated to promoting the end of Cannabis prohibition through the production of environmentally friendly products. We use the finest quality natural ingredients combined with environmentally sound and cutting edge eco-friendly packaging. Each product is unique in its healing properties but all contain hemp oil as a base. We have a well established and expanding presence in the marketplace with outlets all over the United States and Canada.

Contact us at info@merryhempsters.com fax at 541-345-0910 or voice at 541-345-9317 (Toll-free number is US only)

US Update: Spring 2001
By Arthur Hanks

While hemp struggles to build itself as a business in Canada, there is a marked increase in the number of American state legislatures pondering some form of action. Last year, North Dakota, Minnesota, Hawaii and Maryland all passed prohemp legalisation. This year, Virginia and Kentucky have joined this list, and numerous other states have adapted resolutions regarding industrial hemp.

California may be next. A new bill, championed by assemblyperson Virginia Strom-Martin has recently been introduced to the California legislature.

"Today Industrial Hemp offers a very real and immediate solution to deforestation, the abuses of the petrochemical industry, and the destruction of our topsoil", Strom-Martin says. "Hemp is an untapped source of revenue for the state and it is absolutely ridiculous that the sole reason for its illegality is because of absurd claims made at the height of this nation's 'yellow journalism' era."

Progress at the state level has been also marked by some profound disappointment. A research bill in Illinois was passed, but the governor of the State chose to exercise his veto. An effort in Idaho fell short, prompting proponents to conclude that their educational efforts need to redoubled. In New Hampshire, a hemp bill that was narrowly defeated last year, was crushed by a 211-114 vote. Organisers are feeling a bit bruised.

For a relatively up-to-date "scorecard" on state legislative activity please see a hyperlinked version at: IndustrialHemp.net - State Hemp Legislation, or download State Legislative Action For The Development Of A Hemp Industry In The U.S. in Adobe Acrobat .pdf format. (courtesy of the Office of Hawaii Representative Cynthia Henry Thielen)

The lobby effort to legalise hemp in the US is being led within the industry by national groups such as NAIHC and VoteHemp. Both are reportedly preparing legal challenges on behalf of the industry.

Allies are emerging. The Resource Conservation Alliance (RCA), whose work is focussed on protecting natural forests and other ecosystems has asked the Bush administration to reconsider Washington's stance on hemp. A petition to the DEA and USDA to adopt regulations was denied by the DEA on December 19th, 2000. Merry Christmas.

"At a time when the American farmer is facing a devastating farm crisis and farm states around the country are passing pro industrial hemp legislation, banning this crop shows a disregard for Americas genuine interests," said Leda Huta, Director, RCA Alliance. "We want the Bush Administration to take a fresh look at this issue and at the value of industrial hemp for Americas economy and environment."

For more on the RCA's hemp actions go to: http://www.rca-info.org/hemp.html

The legalisation and legislative drive is also being conducted by citizen groups, such as in Alaska and Michigan, where pan cannabis referendum initiatives are underway. Do not forget that despite the recent success the Kentucky Hempgrowers have had in getting their state to pass legislation, it took the group a long, painful time to gain credibility. The lobbying and educational efforts needed to change entrenched opinions require a truly sustained effort.

Speaking of entrenched opinions, virulent nongovernmental opposition is barking loudly. Groups who have weighed in recently with anti-hemp education include the Family Research Council (key message: hemp is marijuana), Drug Free Kids: America's Challenge formerly America Cares (key message: ban marijuana and all hemp products) and the Weston A. Price Foundation (Key message: hemp is unfit for human consumption).


On the law enforcement side, the advertising of outdoor marijuana crimebuster-type phone lines such as 1-888-xxx-hemp certainly helps to confuse the issue in the public minds.

Meanwhile, in Washington itself, there is a pause, as there is a void at the top of the regulatory food chain, as the Bush administration has not yet filled the top job vacancy at the Office National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).

Candidates for this powerful Cabinet-level position include: Brent Coles, mayor of Boise, Idaho and president of the Conference of Mayors; Jim McDonough, Florida drug czar; Bill McCollum, former Florida Representative and Elizabeth Dole.

Under the Clinton administration, Drug Czar and martinet Barry McCaffrey heavily muscled into hemp, regarding the crop as nothing more than "a stalking-horse for the legalization of marijuana." In the absence of a leader, controversial new recommendations circulated late last year by the DEA, have not yet been brought into effect.

The DEA "Interim Rules", which include the banning of any form of THC entering the human body, can be found here in Adobe Acrobat .pdf format.

Hemp Report Extra: New Letter --March 30th-- from Toni P. Teresi, DEA Chief, Office of Congressional Affairs to Hawaii State Representative Cynthia Thielen, clarifies the DEA's current position on the Proposed Hemp Rules "Use Of Marijuana For Industrial Purposes." Available here also in Adobe Acrobat .pdf format.

Please keep your eye on "Today's Table of Contents" in the Federal Register.

In anticipation to potential blocks on trade, a NAFTA challenge has emerged. Petitioners in the challenge include the ATLAS Corporation, BioHemp Technologies, The Body Shop, CHII Hemp Industries/Zima Foods, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, Fresh Hemp Foods, Hemp Oil Canada, Hempola/Hempola Valley Farms, Kenex, The Merry Hempsters, Ohio Hempery, R&D Hemp, Santa Barbara Hemp Company, Sue's Amazing Lip Stuff, Tierra Madre, Two Star Dog, and Virgin Body Care. This NAFTA challenge has also been endorsed by the 285 member strong Hemp Industries Association. Reportedly, NAIHC has also contributed to the costs of filing the complaint.

In their joint application the companies indicated that barriers to the marketing of hempseed based products for food and cosmetic markets would cause damages of at least $30 million US collectively. NAFTA embargo watchers should note that this figure is higher than the amount cited in the front page-in-Canada stories only US ban on PEI potatoes.

Lost in the shuffle has been Canada's "double dip" of THC testing. This policy, derived from existing regulations but only enforced this year, calls for THC testing of all hempseed derivatives in the country of manufacture -- even including grown and tested-in-Canada hempseed derivatives that have since been manufactured outside the country.

Meanwhile the industry as it is has displayed fractures -- but has not broken -- with the stress of dealing in this challenging environment. There has been some debate as to whether the proposed DEA regulations are a threat or a challenge for the industry to get its act together. There has also been debate -- worthy of Beckett -- as to the true meaning of zero.

Another ugly fault line is found over rights of a name: "HempNut/hempnut" and whether this coined word for dehulled seed is a generic and descriptive name or TM-able. A ruling in July 2000 by the US patent office recalled an earlier decision, and for now, there appears to be no US trademark on the word. Another round in court is expected and the blood bad will continue to quietly flow in the hemp food sector. Observers are reminded on the divisive HempWorld vrs HempWorld controversy a few years ago. So when the dust and chaff clears, please pass the sesamenut -- the 21st century doesn't belong to hemp yet.


Nutiva's hempseed foods are nourishing for people and the planet. Shelled hempseeds can be enjoyed right out of the can, in Nutiva's Organic Snack Bars or as a super-nutritious condiment for cooking and baking. Hempseed has balanced essential fatty acids (Omega-3 and Omega-6), and it's rich in GLA, vitamin E, iron, and protein. Nutiva, Inc., Sebastopol, California, U.S.A. info@nutiva.com Phone: 1-800-993-HEMP, Fax: 707-823-2424

Industrial Hemp: Reality and Rhetoric
By Louie B. Nunn

Editor's note: Louie B. Nunn was the Governor of Kentucky from 1967 to 1971. Originally published Monday, February 19, 2001 in the Lexington, Kentucky Herald-Leader. Published in the Hemp Report with Mr. Nunn's permission. Photo courtesy of Kentucky Educational Television (KET) used by permission.

louieb.jpgIt is time to separate reality from rhetoric. When I was governor, I listened to all sides of the issues, carefully considered all opinions before me and tried to be fair in my responses. Being actively involved in public service, I am often asked for my opinion on various matters affecting our state.

One of the most recent, the industrial hemp issue, has also proven to be one of the most important.

Although Kentucky has long been known for its historical hemp industry, it wasn't until about a year ago that I became educated about industrial hemp. Frankly, I was opposed to the legalization of hemp for years because I had been of the opinion that hemp was marijuana. I was shortsighted in my thinking, and I was wrong.

Last year, as our farmers struggled with the loss of 65 percent of their tobacco income, I was asked to examine information on hemp. What I learned was that hemp is not a drug, and never was. After studying the facts, I believe hemp cultivation has the potential to make a positive impact on our faltering agricultural economy and to create economic opportunities for Kentucky farmers and local industries.

I am concerned with all the misleading and intimidating rhetoric being offered to politicians as facts. We Kentuckians have been so mired in misinformation about industrial hemp that it has become difficult to distinguish reality from rhetoric.

They say politics makes strange bedfellows, but none stranger than marijuana growers and law enforcement. Like preachers and bootleggers, they oppose legislation for different self-serving reasons.

Law enforcement opposes legalizing hemp production because officers get paid to destroy it, while marijuana growers oppose legalization because hemp cross-pollinates and destroys marijuana's potency. And neither side talks about Orincon, a company with the technology to differentiate marijuana and hemp from up to 5,000 feet in the air, and other simple in-field tests that accomplish the same results.

But despite these diametrically opposing sides, there is a middle ground where common sense and rational people exist together.

For instance, the North American Industrial Hemp Council is so adamantly opposed to "mixing the message," it will not accept pro-marijuana members. Its membership includes James Woolsey, former head of the CIA; Jeff Gain, former director of the National Corn Growers Association; Erwin Sholts, former head of the Wisconsin Department of Agricultural Diversification; Raymond Berard, vice president of Interface Carpets (a billion dollar industry); Curtis Koster, formerly of International Paper; and Shelby Thames, a distinguished professor of polymer science at University of Southern Mississippi.

The list goes on to include farmers, businessmen, legislators and 16 other states in the process of passing legislation encouraging the growth of industrial hemp. Is it rational to say all of these folks are involved with the effort to legalize marijuana?

Should we listen when Canada's Royal Mounted Police report no problems regulating hemp, or is that force also working to legalize marijuana?

I know Kentucky State Police are as well educated as their Canadian counterparts and could as easily understand and incorporate industrial hemp regulations.

As difficult issues are analyzed with just, unbiased and sensible minds, solutions reached are usually fair and beneficial to all. Why should the industrial hemp issue be treated any differently? We should be looking forward to the time when intelligence and truth overshadow rhetoric and lack of knowledge.

Remember, we can't distinguish between Kentucky white moonshine and spring water by looking, but we haven't seen fit to outlaw spring water.

Hempcar TransAmerica: Coming To Your Town This Summer

smhempcar1.jpg smhempcar2.jpg
Hempcar! Click for larger pictures.

Hempcar is an alternative-fuel project car that utilises hemp biodiesel for fuel. Hempcar will demonstrate the concept of hemp fuels on a multi-national level and promote the reformation of current law.

This summer, the car will tour America and Canada, frequenting alternative-energy, environmental, and hemp-legalisation events. The car will depart from Washington D.C. on July 4, 2001 and return on October 2, 2001. The car is expected to generate publicity, emphasising the utility of industrial hemp to modern society. We intend to provide the public with information about biofuels, hemp, their uses, and current American laws. We wish to establish a world distance record for a vehicle utilising hemp for fuel: 10,000 miles.

A network of hemp activists and businesses will provide us with the hemp oil at planned intervals throughout the country. Canadian suppliers of hemp oil to date include Manitoba's Hemp Oil Canada and Fresh Hemp Foods; the Ohio Hempery is also a hemp oil sponsor. Major financial sponsors include HempWorld Inc. Further funding, sponsorships, and networking are necessary for Hempcar to succeed. The crew notes that there is promotional space on the car for all organisations that contribute to Project Hempcar.

Hempcar has already received thousands of supportive emails and a fair amount of media attention. The Hempcar web site (www.hempcar.org ) has amassed over 600,000 hits in 5 months. Hempcar will appear in the June issue of Mother Earth News. The crew is also working on having a film documentary made of the tour.

The sheer novelty of Hempcar makes it a unique opportunity to take the hemp/environmental message to the mainstream.

Basic route and a rough schedule is online at http://www.hempcar.org

If you or your organisation is interested in contributing to this project please contact: crew@hempcar.org.


CALL NOW 831-466-0500, email: info@cruzexpo.com
Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
307 Church Street, Santa Cruz, California
Publicity Voice mail 831-425-3003
See You In Santa Cruz!

Strom-Martin to be keynote speaker at upcoming Santa Cruz Expo


Assembly member Virginia Strom-Martin (D-Duncans Mills) will be the keynote speaker at this year's Santa Cruz Industrial Hemp Expo. Strom-Martin will speak on "Industrial Hemp Reintroduction" at 11:30 AM, Saturday, May 12, from the Main Stage of the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. Strom-Martin recently introduced Assembly Bill 448 in the California legislature to legalize the commercial production of industrial hemp in California. Assembly member Virginia Strom-Martin's web site is http://democrats.assembly.ca.gov/members/a01/.

The Santa Cruz Industrial Hemp Expo is the nation's largest trade show for industrial hemp businesses and products. Now in its fourth year, the Expo presents more than 75 commercial booths featuring industrial hemp products and businesses from all over the world.

This year's Expo will be held at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium on Saturday, May 12, and Sunday, May 13. Doors will open at 10:00 AM and close at 6:00 PM. Admission is $6 per person.

For more information call the Expo publicity voice mail at 831-425-3003 or visit on the web at http://www.cruzexpo.com

New Study: Assessing the Impact from THC Uptake from Hemp Oil Cosmetics

A new study: "Assessing the Impact from THC Uptake from Hemp Oil Cosmetics" has been released. Conducted by Leson Environmental Consulting, the study builds on previously conducted research on hemp food and THC uptake, and looks at whether hemp oil based cosmetics will cause a positive urine test from marijuana. The study reviews the limited literature available on the subject and provides estimates on daily THC uptake based on exclusive use of hemp oil based cosmetics.

The conclusion is that use of hemp oil based cosmetic products will not cause positive urine tests. While specific regulatory action is not necessary, the author recommends a 5 ppm limit of THC as a sufficient margin of safety.

Download the whole study in Adobe Acrobat .pdf format here.

Executive Summary

The presence of low concentrations of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in cosmetics from hemp oil has raised concerns that the use of these products may cause positive urine tests for marijuana in work place drug tests, commonly administered in the U.S. This study's objective was to estimate a theoretical range of THC uptake rates from the extensive use of hemp oil cosmetics. They were compared to uptake rates previously found to cause no positive urine tests when ingested via hemp food.

Review of the scientific literature found only two relevant experimental studies on the transdermal uptake of THC. These studies suggest that skin penetration by THC is slow compared to other, less lipophilic (fat-liking) compounds. However, the high THC concentrations applied in these studies and other limitations did not allow for extrapolation of the results to the use of hemp oil cosmetics. Rather, transdermal uptake factors for THC, i.e. the fraction of topically applied THC that enters the blood stream, were estimated based on physico-chemical characteristics of THC, known uptake rates of similar organic compounds, and the consideration of skin condition.

Daily THC uptake from the use of hemp oil cosmetics was then estimated for two scenarios. Both scenarios assumed high, yet conceivable product application rates, reflecting exclusive use of hemp oil cosmetics. Based on vendor information, conservatively high hemp oil contents in all products considered were also assumed. Under the "high exposure" scenario, a 5% uptake factor for healthy skin was conservatively assumed. The "worst case" scenarios assumed use by persons with considerably compromised skin. THC levels in hemp oil of 5 and 10 µg /g or parts per million (ppm) were assumed for the two scenarios, respectively.

The exposure assessment indicates that THC uptake, even from the extensive application of commercially available hemp oil cosmetics to healthy skin, is typically less than 1 µg/day. In case of the highly unlikely full body application of pure hemp oil with a 10 ppm THC content on partially compromised skin THC uptake could conceivably be raised to 11 µg/day. Even this higher rate is only a fraction of the 450 µg/day of oral THC intake, found not to result in a positive screening test for marijuana. Thus, our findings suggest that even extensive use of hemp oil cosmetics will not cause positive urine tests for marijuana or even contribute significantly to the THC uptake rates required to produce a confirmed positive test. In addition, ongoing efforts to reduce THC levels in hemp oil will further reduce transdermal THC uptake from hemp oil cosmetics.

The results of this exposure assessment show that specific regulatory action, such as limiting THC content in product formulation or formulations is not necessary. Limiting THC levels in hemp oil to 5 ppm appears to provide a sufficient margin of protection from impacts on health or drug tests by hemp foods and cosmetics. Considering the high margin of safety, an experimental study is not warranted for the sole purpose of assessing interference of hemp oil cosmetics with drug testing. However, such a study would provide useful information on the kinetics of THC uptake as a function of product formulation and skin conditions.

To go back to the Table of Contents, click here.

To go to Part 1, Farming, click here.

To go to Part 3, Food & Commerce,click here.

To go to Part 4, Fibre Front, click here.