News

  • 01 Jun 2015 8:00 AM | Deleted user

    Spring Hemp Plantings, Hemp Home Building Courses & Grassroots Events Planned Across the Country to Restore Industrial Hemp Farming in the U.S.

    WASHINGTON, DC – The 6th annual Hemp History Week campaign began today, bringing over 1,400 events including documentary film screenings, cooking demonstrations, retail promotions, educational outreach, spring hemp plantings and hemp home building courses to the public—all aimed to catalyze movement on the issue of lifting the federal ban on industrial hemp farming in the U.S. Organized by Hemp Industries Association (HIA) and Vote Hemp, Hemp History Week will be held June 1-7, 2015, with events occurring in all 50 states. Encouraged by federal support in Congress, with the Industrial Hemp Farming Act introduced in both the House and Senate in January 2015, the campaign’s theme Sow the Seed highlights spring plantings in states that have passed legislation legalizing industrial hemp farming, and encourages consumers to participate in our call for support among legislators to support industrial hemp farming and the growth of the hemp industry nationwide. To learn more about Hemp History Week, visit: www.HempHistoryWeek.com.

    Spring Hemp Plantings

    HIA and Vote Hemp have partnered with University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, to coordinate a hemp planting demonstration, to occur June 2, 2015, on the site of the university’s hemp pilot program fields. Throughout the country, farmers in states that have legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp will begin to plant this spring, and Hemp History Week is coordinating events to celebrate the return of hemp to the American agrarian landscape. Spring planting events will be open to both community and media attendance. An environmentally sustainable crop, industrial hemp does not require chemical inputs of pesticides and herbicides to flourish. As farmers open their hemp fields to the public, grassroots activists will offer educational events about industrial hemp—its history, agronomy, health and ecological benefits—as we join together to sow the seed.

    Farmer Spotlight

    Hemp History Week has launched a new aspect of the campaign this spring: Farmer Spotlight Interviews. Farmer Spotlights will document hemp history in-the-making, focusing on a prominent hemp farmer each month and interviewing the farmer regarding such topics as hemp agriculture practices, benefits of hemp farming, how they became interested to grow hemp, and other issues pertinent to hemp farming and hemp industry. To view our Farmer Spotlight series, visit the Hemp History section of the website: http://hemphistoryweek.com/hemp-history/u-s-hemp-farmers/.

    The Health Benefits of Hemp

    Among the fastest-growing categories in the natural foods industry, hemp seed is a rich source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids (EFAs), providing both SDA and GLA, highly-digestible protein, and naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E and iron. An excellent source of dietary fiber, hemp seed is also a complete protein—meaning it contains all ten essential amino acids, with no enzyme inhibitors, making it more digestible by the human body.

    Hemp Building Courses

    HIA will organize a hemp home building course, in which members of the public will be invited to participate. The HIA Hemp Building Course will take place in Lexington, KY on June 26-28. Hemp structures are built with hempcrete— a natural material that is energy-efficient, non-toxic and resistant to mold, insects and fire, and which is more quickly renewable and sustainable than lumber. A multi-day course, these programs will cover contemporary construction methods and hands-on practical applications of working with hempcrete, including forming or shuttering, mixing and casting the hempcrete within a framed structure, as well as finishing with plasters and coloring. Students who complete the course will have the knowledge and skillset to pursue a hemp-building project of their own.

    Celebrity Endorsements

    Hemp History Week is endorsed by celebrities and high-profile wellness experts, including Dr. Andrew Weil, Alicia Silverstone, Phil Lempert, Ashley Koff R.D., Brendan Brazier, Elizabeth Kucinich, Ziggy Marley, Alexandra Jamieson, Dar Williams, Michael Franti, John Salley, Kevin Danaher, John Trudell, and Grammy award-winning band Ozomatli. For the 2015 campaign, musician Jason Mraz, and author Doug Fine have signed on as endorsers of Hemp History Week.

    Grassroots Engagement

    Over 275 grassroots events will take place nationwide, including an educational tour of college campuses, a restaurant program, film screenings of the documentary “Bringing It Home,” community outreach at farmers’ markets, state lobbying days, a letter writing campaign, spring plantings and other exciting engagement opportunities. Specific details for these Hemp History Week events are listed on the website: http://hemphistoryweek.com/events/.

    United in the Effort to Bring Back Industrial Hemp Farming

    An incredibly versatile crop, hemp fiber, oil seed and flowers are used for a myriad of products—including health foods, dietary supplements (e.g. CBDs), cosmetics and body care products, building materials, automobile parts, bio-composites, batteries, bio-fuel, textiles, paper and other products. Now in its sixth year, Hemp History Week is an industry-wide effort made possible by the support of the leading natural product brands known for manufacturing the highest quality hemp products. These HIA members and platinum sponsor brands include Daily Greens, Dr. Bronner’s, Living Harvest, Manitoba Harvest, Nature’s Path Foods and Nutiva, silver sponsor Himalania, and supporting sponsors The Wonder Seed, Satori Movement, and Just Hemp Foods.

    “Our line of hemp milks infused with green superfoods is a natural evolution from our core line of all-green cold-pressed juices. Hemp milk is the perfect plant-based milk alternative,” said Daily Greens founder, Shauna Martin. “Not only is it a complete protein with perfect proportions of Omegas 3 and 6, it is also high in iron and calcium. We are excited to participate in Hemp History Week in order to help educate folks about the rich nutritional benefits of hemp seeds and all the wonderful ways to consume hemp.”

    “Hemp is an integral component in our body care products, as the Omega-3 rich hemp oil provides moisturizing nourishment to the skin, and imparts luxurious smoothness to our soaps’ lather,” says David Bronner, President of Dr. Bronner’s, the top-selling brand of natural soap in the U.S.  “Dr. Bronner’s plans to source the twenty tons of hemp oil we use annually from American farmers, rather than import it from Canada, once the crop is legal and the infrastructure for hemp production is in place. Given the momentous progress made this past year, including the first legal hemp crops harvested in Colorado, Kentucky and Vermont since the 1940’s, we are determined to keep up the momentum on the issue in Congress so that 2015 lawmakers allow U.S. farmers to once again cultivate hemp.”

    “With the ever growing number of food allergies, hemp seeds are an easily digestible plant protein and an impressive source of all 10 essential amino acids,” says Dan Ratner of Tempt, which makes the #1 selling hempmilk, coconut hempmilk, hemp tofu, and brand new hemp yogurt. “Currently, we must import our hemp seed from Canada and Europe, which translates to higher consumer prices and an increased carbon footprint. We continue to push for better industrial hemp legislation and hope to one day purchase our hemp from U.S. farmers."

    "Here in Canada the legalization process started with research trials, so we are tremendously hopeful the same will be true in the U.S.," says Mike Fata – CEO & co-founder of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods. "As the market for hemp food products grows, we need to source more hemp seed to meet the demand. Manitoba Harvest is eager to partner with U.S. farmers and has profitable production contracts waiting." 

    “Hemp seed is a nutritious superfood that Nature’s Path includes as a plant-based source of protein and fiber in a growing number of our foods – from snack bars to granolas, waffles and oatmeal,” attests Arran Stephens, co-founder and co-CEO of Nature’s Path Foods, North America’s largest organic breakfast and snack food company. “We’ve been cooking with hemp seeds for decades and are delighted to see the industry grow. We look forward to celebrating this important and versatile crop during Hemp History Week – a time to educate people on the benefits of embracing hemp; both in our farmlands and on our kitchen tables.”

    “More Americans are choosing organic foods. Nutiva is the leading producer of organic hemp products and we've seen our sales grow over 60% annually for the past 10 years,” said John Roulac, founder and CEO of Nutiva. “It’s vital we legalize the cultivation of hemp within the U.S. so we can source domestically grown hemp and support our American farmers.“   

    Legislative Progress and Challenges in 2015

    When the 2013 farm bill was signed into law in February of 2014, the hemp amendment to the farm bill, Sec. 7606 Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research, defined industrial hemp as distinct from marijuana, which is subject to prohibition per the Controlled Substances Act. This was an historic moment in the longstanding effort to legalize hemp as the act asserts that industrial hemp is not psychoactive, having less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol on a dry weight basis and therefore presenting no drug value.

    The bill further allows for states that have already legalized the crop to cultivate hemp within the parameters of state agriculture departments and research institutions. Read the full text of the Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research amendment on the Vote Hemp website: http://www.votehemp.com/PDF/Pages_from_farm0127.pdf.

    In defiance of clear Congressional intent regarding the legitimacy of industrial hemp for agriculture and industrial applications, the Drug Enforcement Administration has hindered attempts at progress made by agriculture departments in many states that have legalized industrial hemp farming, by refusing to grant permission for state licensing of potential hemp farmers and by not granting import permits for certified hemp seed.

    In January of 2015, The Industrial Hemp Farming Act was introduced in both the House and Senate, H.R. 525 and S. 134 respectively. If passed, the bill would remove all federal restrictions on the cultivation of industrial hemp, and remove its classification as a Schedule 1 controlled substance.

    Despite contradictory actions among federal authorities, the number of states that have pro-hemp legislation continues to increase. Currently, 23 states may grow hemp per Sec. 7606 of the Farm Bill, including California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

    # # #

    Hemp History Week, June 1–7, 2015, is an industry-wide initiative of the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) and Vote Hemp.  The HIA is a non-profit trade group representing hemp companies, researchers, farmers and supporters.  Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue, non-profit advocacy group founded in 2000 by members of the hemp industry to remove barriers to industrial hemp farming in the U.S. through education, legislation and advocacy.  For further information, please visit www.TheHIA.org and www.VoteHemp.com.


  • 27 Mar 2015 10:00 AM | Deleted user

    Industry Leaders Advocate Best Practices for Regulation, Labeling and Manufacturing of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp Products

    SILVER SPRING, MD - The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) Cannabis Committee, in coordination with Americans for Safe Access (ASA), and the Hemp Industries Association (HIA), announces the release of a joint statement advocating for implementation of best practices for the regulation of consumable, topical, and inhalant cannabis and hemp-derived products to ensure quality and consumer safety.  These best practices were developed with the input of numerous industry experts and establish common language and defined terms for the transparent and accurate labeling of these products to support responsible commerce and informed use of the cannabis plant.

    AHPA, ASA and HIA will be promoting these best practices at the 3rd Annual National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference being held March 27-31, in Washington, DC.

    Recommendations for plant part identification 

    The AHPA Cannabis Committee has established a policy that lawfully-marketed products consisting of or including Cannabis spp. ingredients that are intended for oral ingestion, topical application, or inhalation be labeled to identify the part of the Cannabis plant from which the ingredient is derived (e.g., seed oil, flower extract, or extract of aerial parts). This policy does not apply to parts of the Cannabis plant provided to consumers in unprocessed and recognizable forms.

    "Today's hemp food and body care companies implement good manufacturing practices and adhere to established standards for labeling," noted Eric Steenstra, executive director of the HIA. "In the best interest of consumers, it's vitally important for leading industry associations and manufacturers to work together to clarify and implement guidelines for all hemp and cannabis products."

    Regulatory recommendations 

    The AHPA Cannabis Committee has developed regulatory recommendations in the form of best practices addressing the operational stages of cannabis production and distribution: cultivation and processing; manufacturing and related operations; laboratory practice; and dispensing. These recommendations are applicable to any operation lawfully producing and/or distributing cannabis or industrial hemp consumable, topical, or inhalant products that are not already governed by federal regulations. ASA and HIA members contributed to the development of these recommendations as well.

    The AHPA Cannabis Committee, ASA, and the HIA support the regulatory trends toward mandatory product testing and adoption of other product safety regulations in states currently implementing medical marijuana programs. 

    "Regulators seeking to enhance cannabis product quality can adopt and implement these recommendations, as well as the product quality guidelines found in the American Herbal Pharmacopeia (AHP) Cannabis Monograph," stated Michael McGuffin, president of AHPA. "AHPA is conducting outreach encouraging all medical cannabis states to update their laws and regulations accordingly to include product safety and quality considerations."

    Cannabis companies are volunteering to adjust to these market demands as well. 

    "Cannabis companies are encouraged to participate in ASA's Patient Focused Certification (PFC) program as a way to independently demonstrate to consumers that these guidelines have been integrated into their production processes," explained Steph Sherer, ASA executive director. "The PFC program criteria draw from both the AHPA Cannabis Committee recommendations and the AHP Cannabis Monograph to foster consistency across the industry."

    "This is an exciting time for the cannabis industry; tremendous progress has been made in the past few years and the industry will continue to offer these products in a safe and transparent way that is imperative to its future," McGuffin added.

    The complete joint statement is available online.

    About American Herbal Products Association   
    The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is the national trade association and voice of the herbal and botanical products industry. AHPA is comprised of more than 300 domestic and foreign companies doing business as growers, processors, manufacturers, and marketers of herbs and herbal products, including foods, dietary supplements, cosmetics, and non-prescription drugs. Founded in 1982, AHPA's mission is to promote the responsible commerce of herbal products. 

    About Americans for Safe Access     
    With over 50,000 active members in all 50 states, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research. ASA works to overcome political and legal barriers by creating policies that improve access to medical cannabis for patients and researchers through legislation, education, litigation, grassroots actions, advocacy and services for patients and the caregivers. 

    About Hemp Industries Association
    The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) is a non-profit trade association comprised of hundreds of hemp businesses, representing the interests of the hemp industry and encouraging the research and development of new hemp products. More information about the HIA can be found on the association's website: http://www.thehia.org.

    "Hemp" means industrial hemp as defined by Congress as "the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis." Sec. 7606 (b)(2) 

    # # #

    The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) represents the interests of the hemp industry and encourages the research and development of new hemp products. More information about hemp's many uses and hemp advocacy may be found at www.TheHIA.org and www.VoteHemp.com. DVD Video News Release featuring footage of hemp farming in other countries is available upon request by contacting Lauren Stansbury at 402-540-1208 or lauren@wearemovementmedia.com .

    END

  • 12 Mar 2015 10:00 AM | Deleted user

    Hemp Foods and Body Care Retail Market in U.S. Achieves 21.2% Growth in 2014

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Hemp Industries Association (HIA), a non-profit trade association consisting of hundreds of hemp businesses, has released final estimates of the size of the 2014 U.S. retail market for hemp products. Data from market research supports an estimate of total retail sales of hemp food and body care products in the United States at $200 million. Sales of popular hemp items like non-dairy milk, shelled seed, soaps and lotions have continued to skyrocket against the backdrop of the new hemp research provision in the Farm Bill, and increasing grassroots pressure to allow hemp to be grown domestically on a commercial scale once again for U.S. processors and manufacturers. The HIA has also reviewed sales of clothing, auto parts, building materials and various other products, and estimates the total retail value of hemp products sold in the U.S. in 2014 to be at least $620 million.

    The sales data on hemp foods and body care, collected by market research firm SPINS, was obtained from natural and conventional retailers, excluding Whole Foods Market, Costco and certain other key establishments, who do not provide sales data — and thus it underestimates actual sales by a factor of at least two and a half. According to the SPINS data, combined U.S. hemp food and body care sales grew in the sampled stores by 21.2% or $14,020,239, over the previous year ending December 31, 2014 to a total of just over $80,042,540. According to SPINS figures, sales in conventional retailers grew by 26.8% in 2014, while sales in natural retailers grew by 16.3%. Indeed, the combined growth of hemp retail sales in the U.S. continues steadily, as annual natural and conventional market percent growth has progressed from 7.3% (2011), to 16.5% (2012), to 24% (2013), to 21.2 in 2014.

    "The HIA estimates the total retail value of all hemp products sold in the U.S. to be at least $620 million for 2014," says Eric Steenstra, Executive Director of the HIA. "Eleven new states have passed legislation and new businesses are rapidly entering the market now that American farmers in a handful of states are finally beginning to grow the crop legally. Challenges remain in the market and there is a need for Congress to pass legislation to allow farmers to grow hemp commercially in order for the market to continue its rapid growth," continues Steenstra.

    When the 2013 farm bill was signed into law in February of 2014, the hemp amendment to the farm bill, Sec. 7606 Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research, defined industrial hemp as distinct from marijuana in states where hemp is regulated under authorized hemp pilot programs. This was an historic moment in the longstanding effort to legalize hemp as the act asserts that industrial hemp is not psychoactive, having less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol on a dry weight basis and therefore presenting no drug value.

    The bill further allows for states that have already legalized the crop to cultivate hemp within the parameters of state agriculture departments and research institutions. In 2014, 1831 acres of hemp were licensed in Kentucky, Colorado and Vermont. Many licensees were unable to obtain seed in time to plant due to DEA seed import requirements. We estimate that approximately 125 acres of hemp crops were planted during 2014. Read the full text of the Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research amendment on the Vote Hemp website:http://www.votehemp.com/PDF/Pages_from_farm0127.pdf.

    In January of 2015, The Industrial Hemp Farming Act was introduced in both the House and Senate, H.R. 525 and S. 134 respectively. If passed, the bill would remove all federal restrictions on the cultivation of industrial hemp, and remove its classification as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. Currently, 21 states may grow hemp per Sec. 7606 of the Farm Bill, including California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia.

    To download a PDF copy of this release, click here

    # # #

    The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) represents the interests of the hemp industry and encourages the research and development of new hemp products. More information about hemp's many uses and hemp advocacy may be found at www.TheHIA.org and www.VoteHemp.com. DVD Video News Release featuring footage of hemp farming in other countries is available upon request by contacting Lauren Stansbury at 402-540-1208 or lauren@wearemovementmedia.com.

    END


  • 10 Jul 2014 10:00 AM | Deleted user

    HIA Statement Clarifies Production of Hemp Oil vs. Cannabidiol Products and Calls for Clarification in Marketplace among CBD Manufacturers

    WASHINGTON, DC — Hemp Industries Association, the non-profit North American hemp trade association, has published its position on the misbranding of cannabidiol (CBD) products as ‘hemp oil.’ The statement explains the difference between hemp oil and CBD extracts in terms of their respective uses and means of production; and furthermore, emphasizes the need for accurate language in the marketplace so that consumers are not misled.

    The position states, “Hemp oil is the common term for hemp seed oil, obtained by pressing hemp seeds that contain low levels of CBD, typically less than 25 parts per million (ppm). In contrast, CBD extracts are produced either directly from cannabis flowers that are up to 15% CBD (150,000 ppm), or indirectly as a co-product of the flowers and leaves that are mixed in with the stalks during hemp stalk processing for fiber.” Read the entirety of the HIA position on CBD extracts misbranded and marketed as ‘hemp oil’ on the HIA website: HIA-position-CBD-FINAL.pdf.

    The Drug Enforcement Administration attempted to ban import and commerce of hemp seed and oil food products in 2001, claiming these food products where controlled Schedule 1 substances. However, HIA successfully sued DEA, unequivocally establishing hemp seed, oil and protein as entirely legal to import, process, sell and consume in the U.S. Hemp oil is primarily consumed as a nutritional culinary oil, or used in body care products such as soaps, lotions and balms. Lauded for its high content of Omega 3 fatty acids, hemp oil is sold in natural product and health food retailers around the country, including Whole Foods, Costco and Sprouts grocers.

    “With hemp research and development pilot programs taking off this spring, and the hemp retail market growing at an incredible rate, it’s crucial that consumers and retailers alike understand the difference between hemp oil and CBD extracts,” says Eric Steenstra, Executive Director of Hemp Industries Association. “Our Hemp Industries Association position regarding this distinction calls on makers of CBD products to brand and market their products truthfully and clearly, so as to not further the confusion surrounding CBD products in the marketplace.”

    To date, thirty-nine states have introduced pro-hemp legislation and twenty-two have passed pro- hemp legislation. Sixteen states (California, Colorado, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia) have passed legislation allowing them to take immediate advantage of the industrial hemp research and pilot program provision, Section 7606, of the Farm Bill. Nine states (California, Colorado, Illinois, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Vermont and Virginia) have passed resolutions. Finally, nine states (Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota and Vermont) have passed hemp study bills. However, despite state authorization to grow hemp, farmers in those states still risk raids by federal agents, prison time, and property and civil asset forfeiture if they plant the crop, due to the failure of federal policy to distinguish non-drug oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis (i.e., industrial hemp) from psychoactive drug varieties (i.e., “marihuana”).

    # # #

    The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) represents the interests of the hemp industry and encourages the research and development of new hemp products. More information about hemp's many uses and hemp advocacy may be found at www.theHIA.org andwww.VoteHemp.com.


  • 26 Mar 2014 10:00 AM | Deleted user

    Hemp Farmers, Business Leaders and Legislation Experts Gather for Public Dialogue on the Future of Hemp Farming in Colorado

    BRIGHTON, CO — The Hemp Industries Association is proud to present the Colorado Industrial Hemp Farming Symposium, which will take place on April 3rd 2014 from 5pm to 8pm at the Adams County Government Center Conference Center, 4430 South Adams County Parkway, Brighton, CO 80601. Admission to the symposium is $15. This event is open to the public, and will include discussion on how Colorado farmers can move forward with cultivating industrial hemp now that Colorado has legalized the crop, how hemp is grown and processed, as well as markets for hemp and realistic expectations for farmers who are interested in growing the crop.

    "The hemp industry has strong economic potential for the state of Colorado," said Adams County Board Chairman Charles "Chaz" Tedesco. "We are standing at the forefront of a new sector in our local economy, and Adams County is poised to provide a positive business environment for hemp growers and producers. We are pleased to be partnering with Hemp Industries Association on the upcoming Hemp Symposium, and look forward to a successful educational forum for all those interested in the hemp industry."

    The symposium will include presentations by President of Vote Hemp Eric Steenstra, Colorado Department of Agriculture Deputy Commissioner Ron Carleton, Director of Farm Operations with Manitoba Harvest Foods Clarence Shwaluk, Kent Peppler of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, and other experts in the fields of hemp agriculture and processing, the hemp market, and hemp legislation efforts.

    WHAT: Colorado Industrial Hemp Farming Symposium, presented by the Hemp Industries Association, and sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Adams County & Vote Hemp: Admission price: $15.

    WHEN: Thursday, April 3rd 2014 from 5 pm to 8 pm

    WHERE: Adams County Government Center Conference Center
    4430 South Adams County Parkway
    Brighton, CO 80601

    # # #

    The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) represents the interests of the hemp industry and encourages the research and development of new hemp products. More information about hemp's many uses and hemp advocacy may be found at www.TheHIA.org and www.VoteHemp.com. DVD Video News Release featuring footage of hemp farming in other countries is available upon request by contacting Lauren Stansbury at 402-540-1208.

    END


  • 28 Feb 2014 10:00 AM | Deleted user

    Hemp Retail Market in U.S. Achieves 24% Growth in 2013

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Hemp Industries Association (HIA), a non-profit trade association consisting of hundreds of hemp businesses, has released final estimates of the size of the 2013 U.S. retail market for hemp products. Data from market research supports an estimate of total retail sales of hemp food and body care products in the United States at $184 million. Sales of popular hemp items like non-dairy milk, shelled seed, soaps and lotions have continued to skyrocket against the backdrop of the new hemp research provision in the Farm Bill, and increasing grassroots pressure to allow hemp to be grown domestically on a commercial scale once again for U.S. processors and manufacturers. The HIA has also reviewed sales of clothing, paper, auto parts, building materials and various other products, and it estimates the total retail value of hemp products sold in the U.S. in 2013 to be at least $581 million.

    The sales data on hemp foods and body care collected by market research firm SPINS, a leading information provider for the Natural and Specialty Products Industry, was obtained from natural and conventional food retailers, excluding Whole Foods Market, Costco and certain other key establishments, who do not provide sales data — and thus it underestimates actual sales by a factor of at least three. According to the SPINS data, combined U.S. hemp food and body care sales grew in the sampled stores by 24% or $11.89 million, over the previous year ending December 23, 2012 to a total of just over $61.4 million. According to SPINS figures, sales in conventional retailers grew by 26.5% in 2013, while sales in natural retailers grew by 22.4%. Indeed, the combined growth of hemp retail sales in the U.S. continues to steadily rise, as annual natural and conventional market percent growth has risen from 7.3% (2011), to 16.5% (2012), to 24% in 2013.

    "The U.S. hemp food and body care market is booming and there is a scarcity of hemp seed materials in the market," says David Bronner, President of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, which uses hemp oil in its top-selling products. "The market is poised and ready for American hemp farmers and manufacturers, and the federal government needs to finally legalize this valuable crop, so we can take advantage of its economic opportunities."

    "The HIA estimates the total retail value of all hemp products sold in the U.S. to be at least $581 million for 2013," says Eric Steenstra, Executive Director of the HIA. "As the hemp market grows and Canadian farmers increase their hemp acreage to meet demand, U.S. farmers' frustration at being shut out of the lucrative worldwide hemp market is catalyzing real movement throughout all levels of government to legalize industrial hemp," continues Steenstra.

    Earlier this year, an amendment to allow industrial hemp research in states that have already passed legislation allowing hemp cultivation was passed as part of the Farm Bill. In addition to the Farm Bill amendment, two standalone industrial hemp bills have been introduced in the 113th Congress so far. H.R. 525, the "Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013," was introduced in the U.S. House on February 6, 2013. The companion bill, S. 359, was introduced in the U.S. Senate soon thereafter on February 14, 2013. The bills define industrial hemp, exclude it from the definition of "marihuana" in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), and give states the exclusive authority to regulate the growing and processing of the crop under state law. If passed, the bills would remove federal restrictions on the domestic cultivation of industrial hemp, defined as the non-drug oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis. The full text of the bills, as well as their status and co-sponsors, can also be found at http://VoteHemp.com/legislation.

    To date, thirty-two states have introduced pro-hemp legislation and twenty have passed pro-hemp legislation. Ten states (California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia) have defined industrial hemp as distinct and removed barriers to its production. Three states (Hawaii, Kentucky and Maryland) have passed bills creating commissions or authorizing research. Nine states (California, Colorado, Illinois, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Vermont and Virginia) have passed resolutions. And eight states (Arkansas, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota and Vermont) have passed study bills. Kentucky and Colorado, among other states, have pilot programs underway to begin hemp research in the spring of 2014.

    # # #

    The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) represents the interests of the hemp industry and encourages the research and development of new hemp products. More information about hemp's many uses and hemp advocacy may be found at www.TheHIA.org andwww.VoteHemp.com. DVD Video News Release featuring footage of hemp farming in other countries is available upon request by contacting Lauren Stansbury at 402-540-1208 or lauren@wearemovementmedia.com.

    END


  • 28 Jan 2014 10:00 AM | Deleted user

    Hemp Research First Step to Restoring American Hemp Agriculture and Manufacturing Industries

    WASHINGTON, DC — Vote Hemp, the nation's leading hemp grassroots advocacy organization working to revitalize industrial hemp production in the U.S., is excited to report that an amendment to legalize hemp production for research purposes was included in the Farm Bill, which will soon be voted on in both the House and Senate. Originally introduced by Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO), Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), the amendment allows colleges and universities, and now also State Agriculture Departments per the conference committee revisions, to grow hemp for academic or agricultural research purposes, but applies only to states where industrial hemp farming is already legal under state law. The full text of the bill may be found at: http://www.votehemp.com/FarmBill.

    "Although I strongly opposed the Republican Farm Bill, I was pleased to see that the bipartisan amendment that I offered with Representatives Blumenauer and Massie was included in the final bill that passed the House of Representatives today," said Rep. Polis. "This commonsense amendment will allow colleges and universities to grow and cultivate industrial hemp for academic and agricultural research purposes in states where industrial hemp cultivation is already legal. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to ensure that this language becomes law."

    "This is an important victory for farmers, manufacturers, and consumers in Kentucky and across the country. Our amendment paves the way for production of industrial hemp by first allowing America's academic and research institutions to demonstrate that hemp and the products derived from hemp present a great economic opportunity for our country," said Rep. Massie. "The inclusion of our industrial hemp amendment in the farm bill reflects widespread support for cultivating industrial hemp and proves Congress can work together in a bipartisan fashion to help the American economy at a time when creating jobs is a national priority."

    So far in the 2014 legislative season, industrial hemp legislation has been introduced in eleven states: Hawaii, Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire (carried over from 2013), New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington (two bills were carried over from 2013) West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The full text of these states' hemp bills may also be found at: http://www.votehemp.com/state.html#2014.

    "With the U.S. hemp industry estimated at over $500 million in annual retail sales and growing, a change in federal law to allow for colleges and universities to grow hemp for research would mean that we will finally begin to regain the knowledge that unfortunately has been lost over the past fifty years," says Vote Hemp President, Eric Steenstra. "The American Farm Bureau Federation announced their opposition to the controlled substance classification of hemp earlier this month, and now passage of this amendment means America can get on track to once again become the predominant producer and manufacturer of hemp-one of the most versatile and ecological industrial crops on the planet."

    In addition to the Farm Bill amendment, two standalone industrial hemp bills have been introduced in the 113th Congress so far. H.R. 525, the "Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013," was introduced in the U.S. House on February 6, 2013. The companion bill, S. 359, was introduced in the U.S. Senate soon thereafter on February 14, 2013. The bills define industrial hemp, exclude it from the definition of "marihuana" in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), and give states the exclusive authority to regulate the growing and processing of the crop under state law. If passed, the bills would remove federal restrictions on the domestic cultivation of industrial hemp, defined as the non-drug oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis. The full text of the bills, as well as their status and co-sponsors, can also be found at http://VoteHemp.com/legislation.

    To date, thirty-two states have introduced pro-hemp legislation and twenty have passed pro-hemp legislation. Ten states (California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia) have defined industrial hemp as distinct and removed barriers to its production. Three states (Hawaii, Kentucky and Maryland) have passed bills creating commissions or authorizing research. Nine states (California, Colorado, Illinois, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Vermont and Virginia) have passed resolutions. And eight states (Arkansas, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota and Vermont) have passed study bills. However, despite state authorization to grow hemp, farmers in those states still risk raids by federal agents, prison time, and property and civil asset forfeiture if they plant the crop, due to the failure of federal policy to distinguish non-drug oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis (i.e., industrial hemp) from psychoactive drug varieties (i.e., "marihuana").

    # # #

    Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue, non-profit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and a free market for low-THC industrial hemp and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers to once again grow this agricultural crop. More information about hemp legislation and the crop's many uses may be found at www.VoteHemp.com or www.TheHIA.org. Video footage of hemp farming in other countries is available upon request by contacting Lauren Stansbury at 402-540-1208 or lauren@wearemovementmedia.com .

    END


  • 22 Jan 2014 2:44 PM | Deleted user

    Majority of Leading Farming Organizations Now Support Hemp Farming in the U.S.

    WASHINGTON, DC — The national, single-issue, non-profit advocacy group Vote Hemp applauds the new resolution on industrial hemp that was adopted by delegates of the American Farm Bureau Federation at its 95th annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas last week, January 14, 2014. The policy resolution urges the repeal of the classification of industrial hemp as a controlled substance. The effort was lead by the Indiana Farm Bureau. The resolution, which falls under the "we oppose" category, reads:

    "The classification of industrial hemp as a controlled substance."

    The Farm Bureau previously passed a policy resolution supporting industrial hemp research in 1995, which read:

    "We recommend that [the] American Farm Bureau Federation encourage research into the viability and economic potential of industrial hemp production in the United States. We further recommend that such research includes planting test plots in the United States using modern agricultural techniques."

    The AFBF position in favor of decriminalizing industrial hemp cultivation is an auspicious boon to the hemp legalization movement, as currently the House version of the Farm Bill contains an amendment to legalize university research on industrial hemp in states that have removed barriers to the crop's production. The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) annual policy resolutions significantly influence both state and federal legislation on agriculture, food and interstate trade, and represent the majority voice of farmers around the country.

    "We support the declassification of industrial hemp as a controlled substance because of the opportunity that it provides some farmers to diversify their operations and share in a new market opportunity. At a time when small farms are innovating and diversifying to remain competitive, we should provide every opportunity to increase farm incomes and allow the next generation the ability to continue living off the land as their families have for generations," said Kyle P. Cline, Policy Advisor with the Indiana Farm Bureau. "Industrial hemp is one such opportunity that may work for some farmers in certain regions. Furthermore, industrial hemp will allow the U.S. farmer to share in income that is currently going overseas. Right now, it is legal to import hemp but illegal to produce it. Therefore, there is no opportunity currently to share in the profit."

    "The AFBF position on removing hemp from the Controlled Substances Act demonstrates a positive shift at the grassroots level, it shows that farmers all over the U.S. see industrial hemp for what it is-a versatile, low-input crop," said Eric Steenstra, President of Vote Hemp. "Farmers see hemp imported from China, Canada, and realize that they're missing out on the growing U.S. market for hemp. That farmers are coming forward with formal support for policy change in favor of hemp legalization is a huge step forward and Congress should follow their lead and pass legislation to once again allow hemp farming under federal law."

    The Farm Bureau's position on industrial hemp demonstrates the widespread support among national farming organizations for a change in the federal government's position on hemp. The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) previously passed a resolution that "supports revisions to the federal rules and regulations authorizing commercial production of industrial hemp." The National Grange voted to support hemp in 2009, stating that it "supports research, production, processing and marketing of industrial hemp as a viable agricultural activity." The National Farmers Union (NFU) passed their first pro-hemp resolution at their 2010 convention. The policy was updated at their 2013 convention and states that the NFU supports:

    "Urging the president, attorney general and Congress to direct the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to reclassify industrial hemp as a non-controlled substance and adopt policy to allow American farmers to grow industrial hemp under state law without affecting eligibility for USDA benefits."

    Grown commercially in Canada since 1998, hemp has become one of the most profitable crops for farmers north of the U.S. border. While American farmers often net less than $100 per acre for soy and corn, Canadian farmers net an average of $250 per acre for hemp.

    To date, thirty-two states have introduced pro-hemp legislation and ten states have defined industrial hemp as distinct and removed barriers to its production: California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia. However, despite changes to state laws allowing hemp, farmers in these states risk raids by federal agents, prison time and land forfeiture if they plant the crop, due to the failure of federal policy to distinguish oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis (i.e., industrial hemp) from drug varieties.

    Currently, Vote Hemp and the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) are organizing Hemp History Week, a national campaign sponsoring local educational and retailer events in all 50 states from June 2-8, 2014. This industry-wide project involves hundreds of hemp manufacturers, retailers and volunteers. For more information, visit:www.HempHistoryWeek.com.

    # # #


  • 16 Jan 2014 12:26 PM | Erin Pully (Administrator)

    Tennessee HIA Chapter Launches New State HIA Affiliate Program as Grassroots Coalition for Legalization of Industrial Hemp Gains Momentum

    MURFREESBORO, TN — The Hemp Industries Association and the group formerly known as The Tennessee Hemp Organization, are proud to announce the establishment of the Tennessee Hemp Industries Association, the first state chapter affiliate of the national HIA. Formally launched in September of last year, 2014 marks the inaugural year of the novel associations' education initiatives to support legalizing industrial hemp farming and industries in the state, and facilitate a hemp business resource network. Founding member, Colleen Sauve, represented the Tennessee HIA chapter at the 2013 Annual HIA conference in Washington, DC in November, where she participated in a hemp lobby day, visited Senator Bob Corker's DC office on Capitol Hill, and met with his staff to discuss opportunities for hemp in Tennessee.

    The Tennessee HIA will launch a fundraising campaign this coming spring, to begin as a strong trade-association in support of future hemp industries in the state. Having the HIA as the backbone to the state initiative will assist to facilitate business and opportunity in Tennessee's future.

    "There is much work to be done in Tennessee to prepare our local farming and business sectors for the economic boom industrial hemp legalization will bring," said Colleen Sauve, founder of the nascent Tennessee HIA chapter. "We aim to provide resources and information to all those looking to grow, manufacture or sell hemp and hemp products as well as catalyze support for industrial hemp legalization throughout the state."

    "The grassroots movement to legalize industrial hemp is quickly gaining momentum, especially at the state level, as business, agriculture and manufacturing sectors realize the value and versatility of this incredible crop," said Eric Steenstra, Executive Director of the national Hemp Industries Association. "We hope to see more local state chapters partner with the HIA, so we can collaborate and work together toward making hemp farming a reality for farmers across the country."

    To date, thirty-two states have introduced pro-hemp legislation and ten states have defined industrial hemp as distinct and removed barriers to its production: California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia. However, despite changes to state laws allowing hemp, farmers in these states risk raids by federal agents, prison time and land forfeiture if they plant the crop, due to the failure of federal policy to distinguish oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis (i.e., industrial hemp) from psychoactive varieties.

    # # #

    Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue, non-profit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and a free market for low-THC industrial hemp and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers to once again grow this agricultural crop. More information about hemp legislation and the crop's many uses may be found at www.VoteHemp.com or www.TheHIA.org. Video footage of hemp farming in other countries is available upon request by contacting Lauren Stansbury at 402-540-1208 or lauren@wearemovementmedia.com.


  • 28 Sep 2013 12:21 PM | Erin Pully (Administrator)

    SB 566 Would Allow California Farmers to Grow Industrial Hemp Upon Federal Approval

    SACRAMENTO, CA — Vote Hemp and the Hemp Industries Association (HIA), the nation's leading hemp grassroots advocacy organization and industry trade group, respectively, each working to revitalize industrial hemp production and processing in the U.S., are excited to report that Governor Jerry Brown has signed SB 566, the California Industrial Hemp Farming Act. After moving smoothly through the California legislature with strong bi-partisan support, this landmark legislation has now become California law.

    Introduced by Senator Mark Leno earlier this year, SB 566 ensures that California is prepared to begin registering hemp farmers once the federal government has given states the green light. The California Industrial Hemp Farming Act will establish a framework for farming the oilseed and fiber varieties of the plant, which are used in a myriad of everyday consumer products, including food, body care, clothing, paper, auto parts, composites, building materials, and bio-fuels. Enforcement and oversight of hemp production would be conducted in concert with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and county agricultural commissioners, as is done with other crops.

    "SB 566 demonstrates the real momentum behind the national movement to legalize industrial hemp," said Eric Steenstra, Executive Director of the Hemp Industries Association. "With Congressional bills to legalize hemp currently in both the House and Senate, California is on the cutting edge, pushing forward with an industrial hemp law that would not only stimulate much needed growth in local business and farming sectors, but ultimately lead the nation toward a federal policy change that would open hemp cultivation to hemp farmers around the country. This will lower our dependence on Canada and China for hemp imports, and empower our agrarian and manufacturing economies to finally tap into one of the fastest growing natural products in the market."

    "With the signing of this bill, California is poised to grow industrial hemp when the federal government gives states the green light," said Senator Leno, D-San Francisco. "In the past year, the conversation to legalize the cultivation of hemp has gained momentum at the federal level, and it is only a matter of time before a farmer's right to grow hemp is restored. Hemp, which is already found in hundreds of consumer products manufactured in our state, is a perfect crop for California. It has great potential to revitalize family farms, create new jobs and stimulate the economy."

    Strong support for the bill has come from The California Sheriffs Association, individual county sheriffs, family and organic farmers, environmental organizations, labor unions, and businesses statewide.

    Vote Hemp and HIA believe that hemp farming registrations could be accepted as soon as 2014 based on the recent memo from Deputy Attorney General James Cole of the Department of Justice. "Before farmers can begin planting hemp under SB 566, the state will need to seek clarification from federal officials that state regulations for hemp farming meet the requirements outlined in the recent memo issued by Deputy Attorney General James Cole," notes Vote Hemp Director Patrick Goggin.

    Today, more than 30 industrialized nations grow industrial hemp and export it to the United States. Hemp is the only crop that is illegal to grow at the federal level, yet is legal for Americans to import. Among the numerous California-based companies who have supported the bill are Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, makers of North America's top-selling natural soap, and Nutiva, a rising star among innovative health food companies. Both of these businesses currently must import hemp from other countries. The passage of SB 566 sends a strong message to Washington that the time has come to change federal policy regarding industrial hemp.

    "Hemp grown right here in California would stimulate massive growth in the food, body care, textiles, building and other crucial sectors that suffer from having to import less efficient materials in lieu of this lucrative industrial crop," says David Bronner, President of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps. "The nationwide movement to legalize industrial hemp and farm it right here in the US to benefit American business is growing, and SB 566 opens a door to incredible opportunity for farmers who seek sustainable agriculture, ecologically responsible businesses and products. Ultimately, this bill will help end the prohibition on what is one of the most versatile and environmentally revolutionary industrial crops on the planet."

    "Nutiva looks forward to buying hemp from American farmers," says John Roulac, President of Nutiva. "This will add American jobs and reduce our fuel consumption."

    California businesses currently spend millions of dollars each year importing hemp primarily from Canada, China, and Europe. Demand for hemp products has been growing rapidly in recent years, and it is estimated that the U.S. hemp market now exceeds $500 million in annual retail sales. From natural soaps to healthy foods, there are a large variety of "Made in California" hemp products whose manufacturers and buyers will greatly benefit from an in-state source of hemp seed, fiber, and oil.

    The environmental and agricultural benefits are not limited to the versatility of uses. Industrial hemp is an excellent rotation crop because its dense growth smothers weeds without herbicides and helps to break the disease cycle. Hemp requires less water and agricultural inputs than other crops, has deep tap roots that leave the soil in excellent condition for the next crop, and is proven to increase yields. These benefits save farmers money and reduce the amount of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers that run into our waterways.

    # # #

    Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue, non-profit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and a free market for low-THC industrial hemp and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers to once again grow this agricultural crop. More information about hemp legislation and the crop's many uses may be found at www.VoteHemp.com or www.TheHIA.org. Video footage of hemp farming in other countries is available upon request by contacting Lauren Stansbury at 402-540-1208 or lauren@wearemovementmedia.com.



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