Category Archives: Corporate Cannabis

Hemp Inc. planted hundreds of acres of industrial hemp and high CBD hemp in North Carolina, Kentucky, Colorado, Nevada, and Oregon…

Hemp, Inc. (OTC: HEMP) recently announced that it built the largest commercial industrial hemp processing facility in North America, and the company that intends to “make America hemp again” is now in full operation at its 70,000 square foot facility in Spring Hope, North Carolina.

In addition, August 17 marked the official launch of Hemp Inc.’s NuAxon Tech CO2 Supercritical Extractor. David Schmitt, COO of Industrial Hemp Manufacturing, LLC, said “Hemp, Inc. is now in position to be a fully integrated high quality [cannabidiol] CBD manufacturer,” in a release.

Opening the facility took over three years, plus millions of dollars spent on purchasing, disassembling, transporting, reassembling, rebuilding, refurbishing, beta testing and debugging.

Putting their new extractor to work is a significant step forward in the company’s ability to clone, grow, cultivate and process high CBD plants, with market prices on their side, Schmitt said.

“It basically all boils down to supply and demand. Today, market prices are somewhere in the ballpark of $20,000 per kilo and we have large amounts growing,” said Schmitt.

Hemp Inc. planted hundreds of acres of industrial hemp and high CBD hemp in North Carolina, Kentucky, Colorado, Nevada, and Oregon. The CBD oil industry is expected to reach 1 billion by 2020.

Bruce Perlowin, CEO of Hemp, Inc. CMW Media/Christian Rodas

Bruce Perlowin, CEO of Hemp, Inc. said he intends to create infrastructure for a robust hemp industry by creating a business model of industrial and processing, education, farming, and extraction of CBD oil, so that people can start their own small family hemp farms.

“CBD is the fastest growing sector of the entire medical marijuana and hemp industry,” he said. He said he wants to support anyone who wants a start in the industry on the different technologies available for CO2 extraction, which allows the production of cannabinoid hemp oil.

Hemp, Inc. CEO Bruce Perlowin examines a hemp plant at a North Carolina farm. CMW Media/Christian Rodas

North Carolina Farmer Tony Finch grows hemp at his family farm. CMW Media/Christian Rodas

Perlowin invited President Donald Trump’s task force for Promoting Agriculture and Rural Prosperity in America to see the new hemp facility, saying “President Trump’s Task Force or any member thereof should really visit Hemp, Inc.’s facility in Spring Hope, North Carolina.”

The small family farm, once a staple of the American landscape, is fast disappearing – and Perlowin hopes to change that. He imagines a model family farm is situated on 5 acres and consists of a cloning room, a greenhouse, and 5,000 hemp plants.

“By showing farmers how to grow high CBD hemp plants, operate a greenhouse and turn a barn into a cloning room to earn $500,000 a year, the small family farm can reappear in the American landscape. After all, the original small family farms in America were able to survive economically by growing hemp as their main cash crop and the first five presidents of the United States were all hemp farmers. Our infrastructure is 100 percent aligned with what the President today, is trying to accomplish with this Task Force.”

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This Pharmaceutical Company Wants To Prove Cannabis Destroys Cancer

TREE

Submitted by Marijuana News on Wed, 06/07/2017 – 08:25

CURE Pharmaceutical, a technologically-based drug delivery platform and its partner, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology will be conducting a clinical study to test whether cannabinoid compounds will reduce or eliminate cancerous cells.

Can cannabis really make cancer disappear?

Cannabis as a cancer treatment not only for it symptoms but as a possible cure has been hotly debated and researched for some time.

Federally, the government does accept that cancer-related side effects such as decreased appetite, nausea and pain relief can be treated with cannabis, but as for cancer itself, patients and those in the medical field have only been able to anecdotally link cannabis to the destruction of cancerous cells and tumors.

CURE Pharmaceutical is researching this link head on, in its first ever clinical study of this nature. Brian Higuera, the father of a 4-year-old liver cancer patient says there’s a strong possibility after he witnessed the shrinking of his daughter’s liver tumors, along with one that fully disappeared; all after being administered CBD oil.

The tumors are believed to have been removed due to her cannabis use in which [a brand of] CBD (called Real Scientific Hemp Oil) was a major portion of the cannabinoids in her oil along with THC and CBN.

[But] without a study to prove the cannabis oil is what cause the tumors to disappear, many say she is an anecdotal testimony.

CURE’s CEO, Rob Davidson looks to move beyond the anecdotal stage and provide solid proof to back up cases like Sadie’s. His goal is to prove the efficacy of cannabis with hard science behind it.

There is strong anecdotal evidence, but we want to put some science into it. First, we’ll do an in vitro study and see the effects on cancer cells. We can get into human trials pretty quickly in Israel.

Getting doctors onboard

Much of the reason that cannabis is kept from many patients is due to its federally illegal status. For this reason, not only is cannabis testing for cancer treatment sparsely conducted, but many physicians are left unable to prescribe cannabis legally.

Former Chief Resident at Los Angeles Children’s Hospital, Bonnie Goldstein says that studies like the one conducted by CURE can be highly beneficial in helping doctors prescribe cannabis to patients.

I currently take care of many patients, both adults and children, that have life-threatening advanced cancers and so far, I have been unable to match cannabis treatment to the patient’s specific cancer sub-type.

Initial studies show that different cancers respond to the anti-neoplastic effects of different cannabinoids. This research will answer this question and will allow physicians like myself to tailor treatment for cancer patients.

The study comes on the heels of CUREs announcement that the company will be entering the pharmaceutical cannabis sector. If so, many more studies that prove cannabis’ effects as a cure could be on the horizon and can appeal to many more in the medical profession who wish for more options to successfully treat patients.

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First new hemp strain bred for US farmers

By: Chris Conrad

Retail Hemp field crop

A new industrial hemp cultivar has passed the THC hemp trials managed by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, the first hemp seed variety bred for the US to pass a Department of Agriculture hemp trial in any state.

Thomas Jefferson was a jealous hempseed breeder who allegedly brought Chinese seeds in from France in the 1790s to mix with the European strains. Later the US Department of Agriculture adopted an aggressive program to breed plants that were drought resistant and climate or soil specific for different parts of the United States and came up with some of the best hemp strains in the world. That all came to an end with the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, when hemp farming was essentially banned. The national seed banks died out when the federal Drug Enforcement Agency took control in the 1970s and destroyed them in the name of the Drug War.

Act of Congress opened the way for new hemp seedlines

In February 2015, Congress passed the hemp amendment to the Farm bill and opened new avenues for cannabis hemp. Two years later, Rely™ by New West Genetics has become the first modern hemp variety bred for the U.S. to pass Colorado Department of Agriculture hemp trials. The plants have a stable THC content below 0.1 percent, compared with the federal standard of 0.3 percent or less.

“This is a landmark victory for New West Genetics, as well as hemp production in the United States overall,” said Wendy Mosher, CEO for New West Genetics. “The use of regionally bred hemp seed for production is imperative for the US hemp industry to succeed, and we hope that the results for Rely™ act as a catalyst for other U.S. hemp product makers to recognize the benefit of regionally bred varieties – better yield, disease resistance, sustainability, etc. and demand those be used for their products.”

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George Washington, Champion of Growing Hemp

February 16, 2016

Washington Inseparable from Hemp

by Joe Klare

The recent occasion of Presidents Day allows us to take some time to look back on Presidents of yore and discuss the things they championed. When you talk about the Father of our Country, George Washington, you really can’t have a discussion of his life without talking about hemp.

Washington, like most of the Founding Fathers, was a man of substantial wealth. He owned several farms in the Virginia area and was a big proponent of industrial hemp, using it for rope, thread, canvas and repairing nets.

While some like to believe Washington also smoked hemp, this scenario is highly unlikely, especially since he would have felt no effects from smoking the hemp besides a headache. To grow marijuana as we know it today, Washington would have had to segregate the plants; growing industrial hemp in the same area as good ole get-me-high-as-a-kite marijuana will only result in cross pollination, which would destroy the THC-producing abilities of the plant.

Believe it or not, hemp was a common crop in the days of the Founding Fathers. Its utility was championed by the U.S. government, right up until World War II and the famous “Hemp for Victory” war film. After that, its association with the now illegal and evil “marihuana” caused it to fall out of favor.

This injustice has only recently been remedied as the federal government has backed off its prohibition of industrial hemp and several states have passed legislation re-allowing it to be grown; huge fields of hemp are grown just a few dozen miles south of where I write this in Kentucky.

The Founding Fathers knew a lot, and one of those things was the amazing ability of industrial hemp.

Read more: http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/george-washington-champion-of-hemp/#ixzz40RMnGEYZ

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Soon Hemp May Be A Tradable Commodity With Startup Seed CX

February 17, 2016, 1:00 AM EST

 

You can trade gold and pork belly futures, why not hemp?

Raising venture capital is difficult for any first-time founders with a company that hasn’t yet launched. Multiply that by 100 when your startup has any tangential relationship to cannabis.

It is no surprise, then, that it took Edward Woodford, co-founder of Seed Commodities Exchange, a commodities trading platform for industrial hemp, to send 11,000 emails, travel 46,238 miles, and meet with 604 investors to raise Seed CX’s first round of funding. At one point, Woodford sent so many messages on LinkedIn that the service temporarily banned him.

It’s also little surprise that when Seed CX finally secured its $3.42 million convertible note, announced today, many of the company’s 50 investors declined to make their names public. The ones that it did include were lead investor Charlie O’Donnell of Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, Darren Herman, Tom Sosnoff, 500 Startups, iAngels, Struck Capital, Ron Geffner, David Adler, Christopher Lee, and Julien Codorniou.

The problem is not that Seed CX operates in a legal gray area — the platform only operates in areas where hemp farming is federally legal — or that its legal risk is any higher than a disruptive company like Uber or Airbnb. It’s that most investment funds have a “vice” clause, which forbids them from touching anything that sounds like drugs.

A number of venture investors liked Seed CX enough to invest their personal money. Seed CX’s investor list is rounded out by commitments from several trading platforms, Woodford says.

Seed CX’s commodities trading platform is powered by GMEX Technologies, a London-based subsidiary of financial technology company GMEX Group. Seed CX is awaiting regulatory approval by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. The startup hopes to be up and running with its first commodities: hemp seed, whole hemp plant and whole hemp plant extract, by the time the farming season starts in May.

The market for commodities, which dwarfs the stock market, allows traders to buy and sell anything from precious metals like gold to farm products like onions. As the U.S. government cuts subsidies for tobacco, many farmers in Kentucky have begun growing and processing hemp. Currently there are around 100 hemp farmers in the U.S. and 150 hemp processors. (Hemp farming and processing is federally legal under the Agricultural Act of 2014, but only in states with the proper infrastructure, which currently includes Kentucky and 26 others. Hemp itself is legal everywhere.) Woodford would not disclose how many farmers and traders had signed up to use Seed CX when it launches.

If it gets regulatory approval, Seed CX will be the first trading platform for hemp. Many commodities trading platforms start out specializing in one type of commodity to maximize liquidity, Woodford says. From there, Woodford says Seed CX will expand into other “nascent, illiquid” commodities.

Woodford believes commodities traders will be eager to trade hemp because they like unique, idiosyncratic risks of a new market with a complicated legal framework. Also, many traders believe that the longer they are in a market before it becomes mainstream, the more edge they have. Likewise, for hemp farmers and processors, a commodities market allows them to lock in prices with derivatives contracts.

Even though hemp is made from cannabis, Woodford is not eager to be associated with the marijuana industry. “The perception of cannabis — sometimes it widens peoples’ eyes and sometimes it narrows them,” he says. “In Silicon Valley, it is a real turnoff.” That’s part of the excitement behind Seed CX, but Woodford is careful to note that hemp is different from marijuana.

Seed CX’s fundraising struggle speaks to the broader business world’s mix of fear and excitement around cannabis legalization. Few startups in the category have been able to raise venture capital from traditional institutional investors.

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Legalizing Weed: 4 Agricultural Benefits of Industrial Hemp Cultivation

By Andrea Miller   |   Tuesday, 01 Dec 2015 06:56 PM

As legalizing weed becomes more and more prevalent among U.S. states, industrial hemp cultivation is one such change that has the potential to benefit the farming industry.
For agriculture to continue to be a viable industry in the U.S., profound change is needed in order to bolster economic opportunity for farmers. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there were 6.8 million farms in the nation in 1935. Today, there are just 2.2 million farms even as the population has increased, and many principal farm owners and/or operators are older than age 60.
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Here are four agricultural benefits of industrial hemp cultivation:
1. Hemp can serve as an alternative to tobacco. As more Americans quit smoking and fewer young people start, tobacco is no longer a viable product for many farmers. One study conducted by the University of Kentucky, reported by the North American Industrial Hemp Council, found that industrial hemp has the potential to become the most profitable crops for the state second only to tobacco, and may be able to serve as an alternative crop for tobacco farmers whose product is no longer in demand.
2. There are production advantages for farmers who grow hemp. This hardy plant is less susceptible to fluctuations in weather and other environmental conditions than other plants, such as cotton. This means that farmers are more likely to profit from their investment in an industrial hemp crop, and are able to grow a substantial amount of hemp in a relatively small acreage. Experts also note that an industrial hemp crop requires minimal maintenance compared to output.
3. Industrial hemp crops help to enrich the soil. A boon for any farmer, the growth pattern of this plant naturally creates more nutrient-rich soil. Because the dense leaves block sunlight, few weeds grow among industrial hemp crops. The deep roots of the plants provide nitrogen and other minerals to the earth, while reducing the salinity of the groundwater and minimizing topsoil erosion. In addition, this crop is ideal for composting to grow other plants, such as wheat or soy.
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4. Industrial hemp is a profitable rotation crop. While the rotation crop system is often necessary for sustainable agriculture, few of these crops are truly profitable. However, industrial hemp not only makes an excellent rotation crop because of the features listed in the previous item, but because of the huge U.S. market for the plant, farmers may be able to keep businesses running that would have not otherwise survived.

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Hemp advocates hope to see a resurgence of the crop that’s legal for the first time in decades.

Hemp advocates hope to see a resurgence of the crop that's legal for the first time in decades.

Javier Rodriguez helps harvest some of the 27 acres of hemp on an Andy Graves’ farm near Winchester, Ky. GenCanna, which moved to Kentucky from Canada to focus on hemp, harvested the 27 acres of hemp grown this year in Winchester and processed it to produce a kind of powder they plan to sell to companies that want to put hemp in nutritional supplements. A law was passed in early 2014 to allow experimental hemp farming in states that conduct agricultural research.

By Paul Woolverton, Staff writer

By next summer, some North Carolina farm fields could be filled with cannabis plants – not marijuana, but hemp, which is marijuana’s near-twin in appearance but has little of the ingredient that makes people high.

For the first time in decades, hemp will be a legal crop in this state.

Initially it’s to be grown only on an experimental basis. But hemp advocates hope North Carolina will become part of a national revival of a hemp industry that was knocked down in the 20th century when hemp was lumped in with marijuana by national and local laws against illicit drugs.

The 21st-century American hemp revival is somewhat reminiscent of Colonial times. In the 1700s, according to historical records, leaders in North Carolina and other English colonies in North America encouraged farmers to grow hemp. They aimed to generate income with exports.

In 1766, North Carolina’s legislature voted to open a hemp-inspection warehouse in Campbellton, one of the two towns that later merged and became Fayetteville. A journal of the legislative session says the lawmakers also renewed for four years a bounty paid to hemp farmers.

More than two centuries later, North Carolina and the United States were importing all of their hemp products. After encouraging hemp production during World War II to supply the military with rope and other materials, the government effectively banned hemp farming in 1970. The last known American commercial crop was reported to have been grown in Wisconsin in 1957, according to The Denver Post newspaper.

In early 2014, Congress and the president approved a law to allow experimental hemp farming in states that conduct agricultural research. North Carolina’s lawmakers voted nearly unanimously in late September to join this effort. The legislation, which emerged with little warning or opportunity for vetting or public comment in the final days of the 2015 lawmaking session, creates the opportunity "to study the growth, cultivation, or marketing of industrial hemp."

Including North Carolina, 27 states are pursuing hemp production, says the Vote Hemp Inc. advocacy group.

That’s great news for people such Brenda Harris, who operates the The Apple Crate Natural Market health food stores in Fayetteville and Hope Mills. The hemp seed, hemp-based protein powders and hemp-based soaps, lotions and oils on her shelves are imported from Canada and overseas.

Hemp seed is high in protein, Harris said, and in essential fatty acids that people need for good health.

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD oil, is reported to reduce nausea, suppress seizures, help with cancer, tumors, anxiety and depression and other health problems, says the Leaf Science website. But it notes that most of the studies that made these findings were with animals, not people.

In addition, hemp can be used in a number of fiber-based products.

"I’d love to know my dollars were supporting a North Carolina farmer," Harris said.

"It will definitely mean the product will be more competitively priced," she said. "And it’s not a terribly expensive product to start with, but still I feel like with bringing that closer to home, it’ll be more sustainable, there’ll be less shipping involved, there’ll be less mark-up involved. That’s usually the way the chain works."

New opportunities

Organic farmer Lee Edwards of Kinston, about 90 minutes east of Fayetteville, could become one of Harris’ North Carolina suppliers.

Edwards plans to become part of North Carolina’s hemp pilot project and get a crop into the ground in mid-2016. He thinks hemp will make more money than the corn, wheat, soybeans and cereal grains he grows now.

"It’s a lower input cost and a higher profit per acre crop," Edwards said. He estimated hemp could net him $1,250 per acre after expenses versus the $400 at most "on a real good year" from traditional grains. And he hopes that he can get two hemp crops a year.

Las Vegas-based Hemp Inc. opened a processing plant last year in Spring Hope, between Raleigh and Rocky Mount. It has been extracting fiber from kenaf, which is similar to hemp (and never was banned), and plans to process hemp as it becomes legal and available in the U.S.

The decortication plant extracts fibers that can be used in paper, clothing and other fiber-based products, even car parts and building materials, according to the Hemp Inc. website.

Back in Fayetteville, researcher Shirley Chao and her students at Fayetteville State University might be able to get North Carolina-grown hemp seed for their research into a hemp-derived insecticide. Until now, they have been buying imported seed.

Over the past several years, Chao and her students discovered that chemicals in hemp have a variety of detrimental effects on roaches, carpenter ants and grain-eating beetles.

"We found that it’s very effective in controlling reproduction," Chao said. "And when they feed on it, they don’t develop normally. And so they, most of them, either die or have these deformations that you can see. And then if they do survive, they don’t reproduce normally."

Chao hopes that further research will demonstrate that the hemp-based pesticide has no ill effects on people or other vertebrates. That quality could make it preferable to other pesticides in use today.

The school also is seeking a patent for the pesticide.

Regulatory system

Before anyone buys hemp legally grown in North Carolina, the state has to set up its system to regulate it and issue hemp-growing licenses to the farmers.

That process is not moving as quickly as advocates would like.

The new hemp law says a state commission must be set up to license and regulate the growers. But first, the industry has to raise $200,000 in private donations to pay for the commission.

As of mid-November, about $20,000 had been raised, said Thomas Shumaker, the executive director of the N.C. Industrial Hemp Association.

Shumaker’s group led the effort at the legislature this year to pass the hemp law.

Once the money is raised, a five-person N.C. Industrial Hemp Commission will be appointed to set up the state’s hemp program, the law says. It is to work with federal law enforcement or other federal agencies as appropriate, vet people seeking licenses and set rules for how the program will operate.

Because of law enforcement concerns, the GPS coordinates of every hemp farm will be noted, and the hemp will be subject to testing to ensure that it isn’t actually marijuana. Under the law, hemp plants must have no more than 0.3 percent THC content, the psychoactive chemical that makes marijuana users high.

Marijuana typically has 5 to 20 percent THC and the highest grades carry 25 to 30 percent, Leaf Science says.

It will probably be June before North Carolina’s hemp regulatory system is in place and farmers can start planting, Shumaker said.

Learning from others

In the meantime, the state’s farmers can learn from growers in several other states who have been experimenting with hemp.

Kentucky just finished its second year of its pilot project. It had 922 acres planted in 2015, said Adam Watson, the industrial hemp program coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

The state is looking at different varieties of hemp for grain (the seeds), fiber and nutraceuticals, which are oils that are thought to have health benefits.

The program has worked with with law enforcement, Watson said. Police know the growers have hemp, not marijuana, he said, but some thieves didn’t know the difference and went into a field and stole some.

Farmers have tested seed from Canada, Australia and Europe, he said. They are allowed to sell their harvest, but it’s too soon to figure out yet the extent of the potential market, he said.

While hemp can be used to make paper, textiles, building materials and other items, it may not necessarily be the best raw material for those products, Watson said. Much depends on whether the hemp-based products prove to be practical and cost-effective, he said.

Watson and other industry observers said the American hemp industry is in a chicken-and-egg situation in getting started: Because there have been no growers, there is no marketplace or infrastructure to buy their product. But without growers, there is no incentive to set up a marketplace.

But there is demand for hemp.

The Congressional Research Service this year estimated that in 2013, the United States imported $36.9 million in hemp products. The Hemp Industries Association estimated that the total U.S. retail value of hemp products in 2013 was $581 million, the research service said.

People like Edwards, the farmer from Kinston, want a piece of that market.

"I hope to start with around 50 acres," Edwards said. "That’s more of just getting going the first year. Depending on how things go, I’d love to get up to a couple hundred acres."

Staff writer Paul Woolverton can be reached at woolvertonp@fayobserver.com or 910-486-3512.

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Kentucky Farmers Ready for Growth of Hemp Industry

By Janet Patton | November 4, 2015

Tucked away off a narrow country road in Clark County, Kentucky, in the middle of a farm, 27 acres of hemp grew all summer. Now, the plants will be harvested and processed.

Kentucky, hailed as a leader by industrial hemp advocates, has grown the hemp. Now the state is working on growing the industry.

“In two years, we’ve come a long way,” said Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, who is now running for Congress. “We’ve proven first of all that it’s not a drug, which was very important for the opposition to realize. And we’ve proven it’s economically viable, or there wouldn’t be 22 companies that have made an investment in the state. … What we’re doing now is working with the companies that want to go to the next step to commercialize the product. “

The plants in Winchester are part of the 100 acres of hemp – high in cannabidiol and low in tetrahydrocannabinol (the high-inducing chemical in marijuana) – grown this year for GenCanna, which moved from Canada to Kentucky to be in the heart of the hemp revolution. It deliberately chose to come to Kentucky over other states, including Colorado, because of the agricultural resources and the climate, both meteorological and political.

“We have been in this industry for many years, and we are setting a new bar in Kentucky,” GenCanna CEO Matty Mangone- Miranda said. “Kentucky’s kept the focus on industrial hemp” rather than cloud the issue with other forms of cannabis cultivation, as Colorado has permitted.

Mangone-Miranda, who estimates that hemp could become a billion-dollar industry, said his group is in hemp for the long run.

“The industry is likely to have a bubble, then stabilize with a market of diversified products,” he said, citing potential uses in sports drinks, nutritional products, supplements and more.

GenCanna has invested more than $5 million in Kentucky, according to company officials, although it has yet to see any revenue. That will come once the company is able to deliver a stable source of low-THC/high-CBD hemp.

“The only way to have hemp become an agricultural commodity is to grow lots of it and see what happens,” said Steve Bean, GenCanna’s chief operating officer.

Coming to Kentucky had other benefits, too. Many farmers were eager to get into the crop, which decades ago proliferated in the Bluegrass; hundreds applied to be part of pilot projects to grow hemp. The crop still can legally be grown only in affiliation with the state Department of Agriculture and entities that sign detailed memos of understanding.

Kentucky also has resources that in the past were used for tobacco that have converted well to hemp cultivation.

In fact, GenCanna’s headquarters is now in part of a former Philip Morris office building stuffed with former labs. The place was practically abandoned as the cigarette maker began retreating from Central Kentucky.

And next door is a processing center in a former tobacco seed plant, where GenCanna built a system to turn the chopped-up hemp plants into a sort of dried powder to sell as a nutritional supplement.

The Shell Farm and Greenhouses in Lancaster is turning its fields away from tobacco, growing 157,000 hemp plants on 40 acres outdoors and 3,500 plants in a greenhouse.

“And we’ll be growing it indoors all winter,” Giles Shell said. Shell’s greenhouses once raised flowers; now he’s working on hemp genetics.

“There’s no seed crop, so we have to take cuttings to get the plants in the field. So I’m selecting genetics, for a hardier plant – bigger, fuller,” Shell said. “We’ve got a problem with variegation or chimera, so I trying to select away from it.”

Next year, Shell intends to grow even more hemp.

“We’re going to quit raising our tobacco crop, and if we do any flowers, it will be downsized,” Shell said. “Last year, we raised 120 acres of tobacco. This year, we dropped to 80. Next year, we will drop to none. There’s not a market any more for tobacco and not enough money once you factor in labor and chemical costs.”

Both the offices and the processing center are shared with Atalo Holdings, another hemp entrepreneur company, this one formed by Andy Graves and other Kentuckians working on crushing hemp seed for oil and other fiber production. Graves also grew the 27 acres of hemp for GenCanna.

Other groups, including the Stanley Brothers of Charlotte’s Web CBD oil fame, also are pursuing the hemp’s potential.

Kentucky could be on the cusp of a green revolution – a hemp boom that could go in myriad directions or spiral into a bubble of speculation.

“It could,” Comer acknowledged. But, assuming that sometime in the next two years, Congress makes it legal for anyone to grow hemp, he said Kentucky should be well-positioned, with a jump-start on the infrastructure.

“We get requests every day for companies that want to start processing hemp. I worry that some may not have the credibility of some of the others, and that’s why it’s taking longer to certify, to get more background info,” Comer said. “We’re not picking winners and losers, but those that have credibility. Our reputations are on the line here, too.”

GenCanna has more contracts with farmers than any other company at this point, Comer said. It’s the only one in the cannabidiol business with signed contracts with national chains to buy their hemp product, he said.

“GenCanna is the real deal,” he said. “And they’ve given me assurances everyone will be paid, and all the farmers are happy.”

The Shell family, which has a three-year contract with GenCanna, certainly is now.

“We were very leery – I was the most reserved in my family of starting to do this,” Giles Shell said. “But … I felt like we were the best route to help commercialize this crop. Demand is really high, and supply isn’t there. Basic economics will tell you that’s profit.

“We’ve got a year ahead of everybody else that’s going to get into the game.”

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Historic Partnership Offers 566 Native American Tribes and Sovereign Nations Sustainable Cannabis-Based Economic Solutions

Source: CannaNative
October 12, 2015 09:00 ET

CannaNative: Historic Partnership Offers 566 Native American Tribes and Sovereign Nations Sustainable Cannabis-Based Economic Solutions

Native American-Focused Company Brings Experience to Pave the Way for Indigenous Tribes to Restore Cannabis Cultivation, Use, Research, Commerce and Banking on Tribal Lands

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 12, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, Native American tribes are positioned to benefit from the official launch of CannaNative, LLC.  CannaNative™ is the premiere majority Native American-owned and operated company to assist tribal nations – more than 560 tribes in the U.S. – with utilizing the rapidly emerging cannabis industry to gain true sovereignty: restored self-sufficiency with complete economic and environmental sustainability.

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/da498128-198e-4bd0-ae15-b0d33cd5cd99

http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/01e02670-b92e-4cd1-aab6-ec40e69eb13d

http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/a320c632-18bd-47a8-85be-ec6d15b8e7bc

http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/f02683b6-eee4-47f4-9b90-d3af15119968

In addition to a booming marijuana industry, current U.S. imports of hemp products are valued at $620 million annually. CannaNative™ will usher a new age for sovereign nations, as Native American tribes have unique rights that allow for cannabis (marijuana and industrial hemp) cultivation, manufacturing, marketing, sales, use, distribution, medical research and even banking institutions for the rapidly growing cash-and-carry industry.

CannaNative™ was recently featured in a Bloomberg issued report titled Where to Stash Cannabis Cash?  Tribal Nations Make Bid to Bank It introducing the Native American economic development and advisory group. The report answers the question that Bloomberg recently posed, “Does Anybody Want $3 Billion in Cash From Pot Sales? Big Banks Say No, Thanks”.

The vision for CannaNative™ began with former tribal Chairman, Anthony Rivera, Jr., who evaluated the emerging cannabis industry and viable business partnerships in late 2014.  By early 2015, Rivera established a majority partnership with General Hemp, LLC, and launched the unprecedented venture CannaNative, LLC.  CannaNative™ plans to bring back improved health, wellness and prosperity to all tribal nations – with cannabis.

“We are honored to take part in this historic venture between Native Americans and our group that has developed the largest hemp CBD pipeline,” states Stuart W. Titus, PhD and President of General Hemp, LLC.  “Native Americans generally have a good amount of agricultural land that can be used to grow a robust hemp crop.  I’m also very excited about the potential for medical marijuana to be grown and researched on native lands; that opens up a great amount of possibilities for tribes and the industry.“

Rivera states, “To move forward, one must first take a look back at our ancient heritage.”

According to hemp history, carbon tests have suggested that the use of wild hemp dates as far back as 8000 B.C.  The Columbia History of the World (1996) states that weaving of hemp fiber began over 10,000 years ago.  Native American natural remedies and farming heritage and culture dates back centuries.

Hemp was grown at Mount Vernon, and George Washington became interested in the crop by 1765 to serve as one of the staple crops to replace the cultivation of tobacco. Washington is quoted as saying, “The Hemp may be sown anywhere.”

In 17th Century America, farmers in Virginia, Massachusetts and Connecticut were ordered by law to grow “Indian hemp”. By the early 18th century, a person could be sentenced to jail if they weren’t growing hemp on their land; hemp was considered to be legal tender. For over 200 years in colonial America, hemp was currency that one could use to pay their taxes with.

The reason, Rivera states, “Cannabis benefits Mother Earth and mankind.”

There are more than 25,000 known uses for industrial hemp including: pulp, paper, insulation, biocomposites, construction materials, food, feed and pharmaceuticals. Hemp is used today for soil remediation in polluted areas; planting cannabis naturally eliminates toxins and restores balance.  With no need for herbicides or pesticides, cannabis is a proven eco-friendly resource.

The crop flourished until negative propaganda created stigma of its use in the late 1930s.  By the early 1940s, the botanical was removed from the U.S. economy and pharmacopeia.  Its demonization and elimination was extended to tribal nations through Federal law.

Today with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Wilkinson and Cole memorandums, that has all changed.  Functioning as an educational and advisory group on the cannabis industry, CannaNative™ has traveled to numerous leaders on reservations.  Meetings focus on building their nations with sustainable cannabis-based solutions, as well as protecting tribal sovereignty through strict regulations and collaboration with legal authorities.

Rivera continues, “The response has been 100% positive.  Helping tribes create and implement proprietary solutions in the cannabis industry will take them to true sovereignty. Cannabis restoration by sovereign nations represents a unique advantage that is larger than the multi-billion dollar Native American gaming industry.”

Titus adds, “Native Americans have done a lot to get the gaming industry ‘banked’ so to speak; the Native American gaming industry represents a proven banking model in a cash-based industry. Another thing we are interested in is developing banking solutions for the cannabis industry. Through the development of CannaNative, we are very excited about the numerous opportunities before us.”

Rivera concludes, “In the gaming industry, location is key and not all tribes are benefitting. However, the cannabis industry is limited to only land and imagination.  The gaming industry is a great stepping stone proving that native tribes already have a blueprint for success in a cash-driven industry.  Becoming involved in the cannabis industry levels the playing field for all tribes.  We are here to help tribes grow with CannaNative.”

About CannaNative’s Leadership Team:

Anthony Rivera, Jr. leads CannaNative, LLC, an innovative company working with Native American Sovereign Nations to establish a self-sustaining Cannabis and Industrial Hemp economy on sovereign lands.  He is Harvard University trained and governed his Indian Tribe as Tribal Chairman.   He has also earned earned his wings with over twenty years of experience in management and business development, academic and government assignments and financial services.  He has served various businesses and tribal organizations as an Executive Leader, Elected Official, Project Manager, Lead Negotiator, Business Diplomat, Financial Specialist, Academic Instructor, Security Operator, and Cultural Specialist. In his role as Tribal Chairman of the Acjachemen Nation in southern California, Anthony was instrumental in leading the tribe’s economic and political efforts in both California and in Washington D.C.  He is the Owner and Founder of 7 Green Feathers and has demonstrated his trustworthiness throughout Indian Country.

Dr. Cedric Black Eagle, Co-Founder of CannaNative, served as Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Crow Tribe of Montana and has a background in business administration and Indian Law.  Dr. Black Eagle was instrumental in negotiating the Crow Nation Indian Water Rights Settlement and continues to serve as a consultant to Indian tribes on Indian economic development projects, Indian water rights, and Indian energy projects.  Dr. Black Eagle formed Black Eagle Enterprise International, serving as the company’s president.

Andy Nakai, Co-Founder of CannaNative, is a member of the Navajo Nation whose passion is to create and develop economies on reservations all across the country.  A graduate of the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, Nakai studied finance at the graduate school at the University of Utah.  He began working with tribal economics and finance issues in 1995, and has represented more than thirty tribes and tribal enterprises to date.  A former Vice President in the banking industry, Nakai served as a Board Member for the Navajo Partnership for Housing and American Indian.  Currently, he is Vice Chairman for the Board of Directors for Navajo CDFI, which is poised to be the largest Native CDFI for Indian Country.

For more information on CannaNative, visit the Company’s website at www.CannaNative.com

About CannaNative LLC.

CannaNative’s goal is to help tribes to develop hemp and cannabis-based economies on Native American lands throughout the United States.  We believe that every tribe should have the opportunity to establish and grow a responsible, cannabis-based economy to sustain all future generations. For more information on CannaNative, visit the Company’s website at www.CannaNative.com

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (FDA) DISCLOSURE
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.

FORWARD-LOOKING DISCLAIMER
This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements and information, as defined within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and is subject to the Safe Harbor created by those sections.This material contains statements about expected future events and/or financial results that are forward-looking in nature and subject to risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements by definition involve risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Medical Marijuana Inc. to be materially different from the statements made herein.

LEGAL DISCLOSURE
Medical Marijuana Inc. does not sell or distribute any products that are in violation of the United States Controlled Substances Act (US.CSA). The Company does grow, sell, and distribute hemp-based products and is involved with the federally legal distribution of medical marijuana-based products within certain international markets. Cannabidiol is a natural constituent of hemp oil.

The final photo is also available at Newscom, www.newscom.com, and via AP PhotoExpress.

For further information, please contact:

Media Contact:

Andrew Hard
Chief Executive Officer
CMW Media
P. 858-380-5478
andrew.hard@cmwmedia.com
www.cmwmedia.com

Corporate Contact:
CannaNative, LLC.
550 West "C" Street, Ste. 2040
San Diego, CA 92101
877.989.6420
www.CannaNative.com

Attachments:

  • Anthony Rivera, Jr., Co-Founder of CannaNative, LLC, signs historic majority partnership agreement with General Hemp, LLC.

  • Dr. Cedric Black Eagle, Co-Founder of CannaNative, LLC, signs historic majority partnership agreement with General Hemp, LLC.

  • Industrial hemp provides more than 25,000 known uses. Source: Congressional Research Service

  • Andy Nakai, Anthony Rivera, Jr., Stuart W. Titus, PhD, and Dr. Cedric Black Eagle represent the founders of CannaNative, LLC.

Retrieved from "http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2015/10/12/775319/0/en/CannaNative-Historic-Partnership-Offers-566-Native-American-Tribes-and-Sovereign-Nations-Sustainable-Cannabis-Based-Economic-Solutions.html"

The Great Kentucky Hemp Experiment

By Jessica Firger 10/11/15 at 10:05 AM

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Above:  Western Kentucky University senior Corinn Sprigler helps harvest hemp plants at the WKU Farm in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in September 2014. Hemp potentially could be much more lucrative than tobacco if universities and farmers taking part in the Industrial Hemp Research Program, established by James Comer, Kentucky’s commissioner of agriculture, continue to hone their skills cultivating the crop. Bac To Trong/Daily News/AP

Filed Under: U.S., Hemp, farming, Agriculture, Kentucky

The Shell Farms & Greenhouses is an expansive 1,000-acre property in Garrard County, 37 miles south of Lexington, Kentucky. The five-generation family farm is operated by 31-year-old Giles Shell and his 60-year-old father, Gary. The two are whizzes at making ornamental flowers flourish, and like most farmers in the area, the family has grown tobacco for years.

In late June, the younger Shell stood outside one of six greenhouses on the farm and held up a yellowed tobacco plant with limp rootstock. The Shells know how to save sickly tobacco plants like this one, but they don’t want to anymore. “I’m hoping it’s our last crop,” Shell said.

Along the winding back roads of Central Kentucky’s bluegrass country, horses and cows graze on lush plains. For decades, tobacco helped farmers here keep their families clothed and fed. But that’s changing. Tobacco production facilities have slowly migrated to North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee due to consolidation within the industry, which has resulted in an ever-shrinking demand for the crop in Kentucky. There’s a replacement crop starting to come in, though: The Shell greenhouses that once nurtured thousands of tobacco plants are now home to 3,200 industrial hemp plants.

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Hemp Rescues Kentucky’s Flailing Agriculture Industry

As demand for tobacco diminishes, the state’s farmers are turning to growing cannabis—but not the kind you smoke. slideshow

It’s been close to 70 years since anyone in Kentucky—or anywhere in the U.S.—attempted to legally cultivate industrial hemp in massive quantities. But today, the Shells and other skilled farmers are taking up the cash crop yet again, under the auspices of the five-year pilot Industrial Hemp Research Program, established by James Comer, Kentucky’s commissioner of agriculture, which vets and licenses farmers in the state.

Shifting gears so dramatically hasn’t been easy. The biggest problem is the learning curve: Hemp isn’t tobacco, which means it’s unlike the crop farmers in the area are most familiar with. A major component of the pilot project has involved figuring out the optimal way to make the plant flourish in a much rainier environment than California or Colorado, where most cannabis is currently grown. Farmers have experimented with a number of techniques: covering the beds to prevent over-watering (as you would, for example, with tomatoes) and growing cuttings in flower pots (as they do with ornamental flowers).

And there’s another undeniable challenge: Industrial hemp is really just a few genetic tweaks away from marijuana and outsiders often don’t know one from the other. “When the stuff really starts to flower it has the same look and smell as marijuana. That’s why we have security” to contend with potential plant thieves, says Shell.

The difference between the two cannabis sativa plants is the level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical compound in the plant that’s responsible for causing the high. In order for cannabis to be considered industrial hemp, it must contain THC levels less than 0.3 percent; any more and the plant has officially crossed over into weed territory.

Currently all cannabis sativa—whether grown to ease chronic pain, get stoned or make rope—is a schedule I controlled substance, a result of the Controlled Substances Act passed by Congress in 1970, though state marijuana laws have changed some of the classifications at local levels. This is viewed as unfortunate by marijuana activists, but also by many in the agriculture industry, including Comer. He hopes to single-handedly turn industrial hemp into Kentucky’s No. 1 cash crop—and in the process, breathe new life into family farms that have lost millions of dollars with the fall of the tobacco industry.

Most industrial hemp is grown in China. With the right processing methods, the highly versatile plant can provide several notable revenue streams. Cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical compound in the plant, can be extracted from the leaves, blossoms and stems for medicinal and nutraceutical purposes. Cannabis oil derived from cold-pressing seeds is a healthful alternative to the oils sitting on most kitchen shelves, and it is already used in a number of cosmetic and beauty products. Other genetic variants of the plant are cultivated to produce fiber that can substitute for cotton, wood and plastic—a more sustainable way to make everyday products ranging from T-shirts to particleboard and even car dashboards.

And then there’s the potential for food. Hemp seed—high in fiber, antioxidants, omega-3s and protein—has a mild, nutty taste akin to flax. With the right marketing it could become the industry’s next superfood. It would also make for nutrient-packed animal feed.

Kentucky has a long, but mostly forgotten, history of hemp farming. The Speed family, intimately close friends of Abraham Lincoln, were hemp farmers in the state, as was Henry Clay, the 19th century statesman. Kentucky led the U.S. industrial hemp business until the end of the Civil War, when production of the crop declined and was generally replaced by tobacco. The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 put the kibosh on all production and sales of cannabis, including industrial hemp, but the crop saw a rapid resurgence during World War II. Hemp fiber became essential to produce military necessities such as uniforms and parachutes. The U.S. Department of Agriculture launched its national "Hemp for Victory" program, which provided seeds and draft deferments to farmers. In 1942, farmers planted 36,000 acres of hemp seed. A USDA-funded informational film from that year noted that “hemp grows so luxuriantly in Kentucky that harvesting is sometimes difficult.”

With backing from Senator Rand Paul, Comer’s proposed legislation—Senate Bill 50—passed in 2013. It created a regulatory framework for farmers to legally grow hemp in the state. In addition, Paul and Comer were able to get a provision added to the federal Farm Bill that legalized hemp production in states like Kentucky that had programs set up to grow the crop. The bill was signed by President Obama in 2014.

10_16_Hemp_02 Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has backed the efforts of Comer to return hemp to its historical position as one of the Bluegrass State’s cash crops. Its history in Kentucky includes even Abraham Lincoln, whose in-laws grew hemp, as well as Henry Clay, the 19th century statesman. Kentucky led the U.S. industrial hemp business until the end of the Civil War, when production of the crop declined and was replaced by tobacco. Carlos Barria/Reuters

Though state and federal lawmakers support the efforts, Comer says it hasn’t been easy for Kentucky’s agriculture department or any of the farmers in the pilot program. Last year was the first for Kentucky’s pilot program, but it yielded only 33.4 acres of industrial hemp in the state. The farmers were capable of growing much more, but the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has made it challenging, says Comer. The DEA’s cannabis eradication program provides funding to local law enforcement to form a SWAT team of “cowboys flying around in helicopters.” They have been known to sweep through private farms to confiscate the plants, and have even been known to mistake okra for marijuana.

Despite all this, the project has nearly doubled its hemp production this year, and at least 500 people in the state are now employed at it as a result. Comer says he hopes farmers will soon be able to grow at least 10,000 acres. “We want to be the Silicon Valley for industrial hemp,” he says. The state’s backcountry has already become fertile ground for startups like GenCanna Global, which has partnered with six local farms to grow hemp for CBD.

Matty Mangone-Miranda, GenCanna’s president and chief executive officer, and Chris Stubbs, its chief scientific officer, conducted early work to cultivate low-THC, high-CBD cannabis plants formerly called “hippie’s disappointment”—since it doesn’t cause a high—and now known as Charlotte’s Web. It’s produced by the Realm of Caring Foundation as a dietary supplement under federal law and as medical cannabis for sale in states that allow for its use. The story of Charlotte’s Web first came to public light in 2013, when CNN aired Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s documentary Weed, featuring Charlotte Figi, a 5-year-old with a rare refractory epilepsy disorder known as Dravet syndrome that caused her to have up to 300 seizures per week. The Figis were preparing to sign “do not resuscitate” forms for their daughter when a friend connected them with the founders of the company, and the girl gained nearly complete seizure control once she started ingesting the CBD oil.

After the CNN documentary ran, Realm of Caring couldn’t keep up with the resulting high demand, says Mangone-Miranda. They still have thousands of families on their waiting list. “The lack of supply of oil was a huge problem,” he explains. “For me, the logical solution was that we needed a massive, sustainable and reliable supply.” To solve the problem, GenCanna has invested in Kentucky’s farms with the goal of planting 200,000 plants that are genetically similar to Charlotte’s Web in 2015.

Now, GenCanna has an increasing list of companies looking to purchase CBD oil to develop novel products that have absolutely nothing to do with treating rare seizure disorders or making healthy granola. The company has received proposals for CBD-infused sports drinks, wine, beer, Listerine-type fresh breath strips and transdermal patches.

Over the summer, GenCanna, along with Atalo Holdings—another hemp cooperative—purchased a 147-acre former tobacco seed development and breeding facility in Winchester, Kentucky. Along with storage, processing, formulating and shipping buildings, their new Hemp Research Campus includes an over-8,000-square-foot laboratory with breeding rooms. The two companies hope the Hemp Campus will serve as an incubator for the industry, says Steve Bevan, GenCanna’s chief operating officer. “With the Hemp Campus we think we can bring more and smarter people here,” he says. GenCanna and other companies hope to plant their flags before imminent changes in federal and state cannabis regulations allow Big Pharma to enter the picture. “They’re going to throw money in a big way, so we want to understand as much as possible because we have a belief that this stuff is food.”

There is currently a bill in U.S. Congress that would reclassify hemp from a narcotic to an agricultural crop. If the law were to pass, it would minimize the red tape for established hemp farming programs. For example, says Comer, “we won’t have to send staff to a field to do GPS coordinates and then get that information to the state police and all this bureaucracy.”

Despite the regulations and red tape, industrial hemp has already been a saving grace for some of the farmers in the pilot program. The Halverson family, for example, was preparing to shutter their operation, which primarily grew ornamental plants, until GenCanna approached them. The company offered to pay the rent for their property, cover all expenses upfront—including a refurbishing of the greenhouse—and provide salaries to the family and a staff of more than 20. One condition: They would turn all their energies to cultivating hemp and work with GenCanna to learn how to grow this complicated plant and find a way to breed the best version of the plant that is stronger and more aggressive.

hemp_8 Tobacco farmers only earn the equivalent of about 4 cents per pack of cigarettes. It’s still uncertain how much revenue hemp will bring into Kentucky’s agriculture business but the farming community is hopeful. Jessica Firger for Newsweek

In the beginning, the Halversons were skeptical. The family are Sabbath-keeping Christians, and it was hard to know what their neighbors would think. But by that time the family had run out of money and options other than to close the farm. So they went for it.

At first, they were the subject of the weekly gossip at church. “You get to finishing some choral music, and then the conversation after is ‘Are you guys really growing that stuff?’” says Mikkel Halverson. “We feel that growing hemp is more than just work—it is a way we can help those in need. It is part of a healing ministry.” Now, the Halversons’ 36,000-square-foot greenhouse overflows with thousands of hemp plants.

Halverson knows he could probably make a lot more money if he grew the type of cannabis that gets people high, but his family has decided they will not grow a version of hemp that could potentially be smoked, no matter how skilled they become at farming the crop. “I think God made all of the plants,” he says. ”But we’re going to stick with CBD hemp.”

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