Tag Archives: cannabis

Lawmakers eye THC content of state’s industrial hemp

For Immediate Release

May 3, 2017

Lawmakers eye THC content of state’s industrial hemp

FRANKFORT—Industrial hemp legally grown in Kentucky is not considered marijuana. It has only a fraction of THC—or tetrahydrocannabinol, a psychoactive compound—found in marijuana. And state regulators aim to keep it that way.

Around 100 pounds of industrial hemp grown under Kentucky’s three-year old Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program were destroyed just three weeks ago after the state found the crop had a higher THC level than the law allows. An April 13 Associated Press article on the destroyed crop reported that it registered THC levels of between 1.2 and 0.4 percent, or slightly above the federal and state legal limit of 0.3 percent.

Kentucky mandated 0.3 percent as the legal THC limit for industrial hemp grown in the state four years ago when it passed legislation allowing industrial hemp production as part of a state pilot program cleared by the 2014 U.S. Farm Bill. Hemp grown under the state program is routinely tested—as the destroyed crop was—to ensure that its THC level falls at or below the legal limit.

Questions about the destruction of the non THC-compliant crop were raised today before the state legislative Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee by Rep. Kim King, R-Harrodsburg. King asked for more information about what happened with the crop from representatives of Atalo Holding of Winchester and Sunstrand of Louisville, two companies that process industrial hemp at their facilities.

Atalo Holdings Chairman Andrew Graves said the crop is question was a variety most commonly grown in the western U.S. “In this climate, when it’s grown, the THC level tends to be a higher level than it should be.” He said there wasn’t any question that the crop needed to be destroyed.

“It’s not a problem with us. We are used to regulated industries—tobacco is heavily regulated—and so this is as well,” said Graves.

King said she is pleased the system worked.

“I’m very, very inspired and I’m very, very hopeful that the system caught a portion of the crop that tested above the legal limit,” said King. “I just wanted some additional discussion on that.”

Sen. Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville, mentioned the use of industrial hemp in the production of CBD or cannabidiol oil, which is extracted from hemp. CBD oil reportedly helps with balance, mood, sleep, appetite and can help relieve pain. It has also been known to help with epilepsy. And, since the oil is made from low-THC hemp, it doesn’t create the sensation of being high, like marijuana can.

Hornback asked Graves and others testifying before the committee if medicinal products made from industrial hemp, including CBD oil, are more effective if the THC level is above 0.3 percent. Atalo Holdings Research Officer Tom Hutchens said that, as of yet, is unknown.

“We don’t know the answer to that, truly, because there hasn’t been enough research. I think it will probably get (to a) higher (level) somewhere along the line, but all of this has to do with the national scope,” said Hutchens.

Graves said he’d like to see Kentucky increase its legal limit of THC in industrial hemp from 0.3 percent to 1 percent to improve plant breeding options. That would give Hutchens “some leeway, where he wouldn’t be under the scrutiny of law while he’s trying to breed some new variety that could be indigenous to Kentucky and beneficial to farmers here,” he said.

Cultivation of up to 12,800 acres of industrial hemp for research purposes has been approved by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) for 2017. That is nearly three times the acreage approved for industrial hemp cultivation in 2016, according to a press release from the KDA. Kentucky has “the largest state industrial hemp research project program in the nation,” the KDA reports.

Some funding for hemp processing in Kentucky has come from the state’s share of the national Master Settlement Agreement, a 1998 multi-billion dollar agreement between major tobacco companies and 46 states including Kentucky. Spending of those funds are overseen by the Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee.

-END-

ORGANIC HEMP IS IN DEMAND BUT CURRENTLY IT CANNOT BE CERTIFIED IN THE U.S.

 

ORGANIC HEMP IS IN DEMAND

BUT CURRENTLY IT CANNOT BE
CERTIFIED IN THE U.S.

HELP US CHANGE THIS!
See “Take Action” Section Below to Act Now.

Your participation in this call-to-action is crucial to our collective progress regarding organic certification of domestic hemp production.

Currently, hemp cultivated in the U.S. per Sec. 7606 Farm Bill regulations cannot be certified organic by the USDA, due to misinterpretation by the National Organic Program that aligns industrial hemp with other forms of cannabis.

We are asking all our supporters to register public comments for the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Spring 2017 Meeting, which is being held in Denver, Colorado, this April 19-21.

Background

Congressionally mandated by the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA) and governed by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the NOSB considers and makes recommendations to the USDA National Organic Program (USDA-NOP) on a wide range of issues involving the production, handling, and processing of organic products.

Out of any rule-making process left functioning at the federal level, the NOSB is the most openly democratic in that any citizen is able to contribute to the process through written and oral public comment. It is because of this process that we have such robust standards where if international production is under equivalency and certified compliant under USDA-NOP standards, it may carry the USDA Organic Seal.

The USDA-NOP is currently basing approval of organic certifications for domestically-produced industrial hemp on a misinterpreted definition articulated on the “Statement of Principles on Industrial Hemp,” which is in contravention of the Sec. 7606 definition and is confusing certifiers, producers, consumers, State Departments of Agriculture and law enforcement in the implementation of legal hemp pilot programs.

Take Action! Here’s What We Need YOU to Do:

The official NOSB-USDA-NOP Docket for the meeting can be found here. All written comments must be registered through this site by 11:59pm ET, Thursday, March 30, to be considered.

We are collectively recommending the main points in our registered written comments to the NOSB,

feel free to copy & paste the following points into the NOSB-USDA-NOP Docket page:

  1. We highly-value the congressionally-mandated NOSB process and the integrity of the USDA Organic Certification. 
  2. Like many other common crops, hemp is bioaccumulative in that it has the potential to uptake toxins in whatever medium it is growing. It is important for hemp products consumed by humans and animals to be distinguished as organic if they are grown as such, for consumers with these food safety considerations in mind.
  3. We ask that the NOSB make a strong recommendation to the USDA-NOP to immediately clarify the instruction “Organic Certification of Industrial Hemp Production” to allow organic certifications of Industrial Hemp adhering to the congressional intent of the Sect. 7606 definition, and removing the language “as articulated in the Statement of Principles on Industrial Hemp” from the instruction.

Please consider adding your own comments on how this issue affects you and your involvement in the hemp industry.

We encourage you to share this action so that others may join in solidarity.

Thank you for all you do!

SOURCE LINK

A Kentucky-based hemp seed grower is the first company to have its seeds approved and officially certified by the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

 

 

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Blair Miller

DENVER – A Kentucky-based hemp seed grower is the first company to have its seeds approved and officially certified by the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

Lexington, Kentucky-based Schiavi Seeds LLC had three separate seed varieties certified as CDA Approved Certified Seeds under the new program, which aims to promote hemp agriculture in the state.

CDA has worked with CSGA and Colorado State University over the past several months to breed plants that produce seeds under the 0.3 percent THC content threshold to qualify as hemp and not psychoactive marijuana.

Varying seed types were grown and tested in trials in different parts of the state in order to find ideal conditions for hemp cultivation.

Colorado law requires industrial hemp seeds to contain less than 0.3 percent THC. Three trial seeds from Schiavi Seeds – Eletta Campana, Fibranova and Helena – passed trial tests and were accepted by the state Seed Growers Association’s review board.

CDA says seeds submitted by Fort Collins-based New West Genetics have also passed the THC trial, but still have to be accepted by the review board before they can also be labeled as a CDA Approved Certified Seed.

Congress approved hemp production in 2014, but a state certification like Colorado’s is necessary to raise the crop.

Colorado farmers will be able to start buying and growing the seeds next year.

CONTINUE READING…

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.

CONTINUE READING…

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.
Urgent: Should Marijuana Be Legalized in All States?
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.
Vote Now: How Do You Feel About Marijuana Legalization?
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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Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/FastFeatures/legalizing-weed-hemp-agricultural/2015/12/01/id/704145/#ixzz3tCshkCYs
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“Rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to purposes and principles of the United Nations.” HOW THE UNITED NATIONS IS STEALING OUR “UNALIENABLE RIGHTS” TO GROW FOOD AND MEDICINE THROUGH THE U.N. CONVENTION ON NARCOTIC DRUGS AND AGENDA 21.

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10/25/2015

Sheree Krider

Because of the nature of the Beasts which we are dealing with in regards to the “War on Drugs” in general, but additionally because the Beasts are taking control of plants, food, medications and plant medicines worldwide at will, I feel it is imperative that we confront this issue now.

WHILE READING THIS KEEP IN MIND THAT THE U.S. HAS HAD A PATENT ON MARIJUANA SINCE 2003: #6,630,507 October 7, 2003 Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants.

This control is being achieved thru the United Nations which officially began on October 24, 1945, with the victors of World War II — China, the U.S.S.R., France, United Kingdom, and the United States — ratified the U.N. charter, creating the U.N. Security Council and establishing themselves as its five permanent members with the unique ability to veto resolutions. This ability keeps them in control of the U.N.

To date More than six in ten Americans have a favorable opinion of the U.N. as reported on the “Better World Campaign” website which is the funding source for the U.N.

The U.N. 1961 convention on narcotic drugs essentially set into motion the drug war as we know it today.

The United Nations Conference to consider amendments to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, met at the United Nations Office at Geneva Switzerland from 6 to 24 March 1972. 97 States were represented.

On November 7, 1972 President Richard Nixon was re-elected to office. It was on his watch that the amendments to the U.N. were enacted with an establishment of a “United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control."

They readily admit that many of the drugs included have a useful and legitimate medical purpose and are necessary to maintain the health and general welfare of the American people.

The term ”addict” means any individual who habitually uses any narcotic drug. Who will determine when a narcotic has become habitual? The "Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 .

"The Parties, recognizing the competence of the United Nations with respect to the international control of drugs, agree to entrust to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs of the Economic and Social Council, and to the International Narcotics Control Board, the functions respectively assigned to them under this Convention.”

The "Parties shall maintain a Special administration for the purpose of applying the Provisions of this Convention." in the U.S. this was the Drug Enforcement Administration or DEA.

Article 28 control of cannabis states that if a party permits cultivation that the system of control is the same as for opium poppy in article 23 which requires licensing by the "agency" which in the case of the U.S. would be the DEA. The number of acres planted and harvested must be recorded and "the agency must purchase and take physical possession of" it. The agency has exclusive rights to importing, exporting, and wholesale trading. It is also subject to limitations on production.

This is total control of the plant by the U.N. and effectively eliminates any chance of personal growing.

Natural growing plants which are included in Schedule 1 are marijuana, mescaline (peyote), psilocybin, and Khat. Other drugs are also included in this list.

More common opiates such as hydrocodone are included in Schedule II. These are regulated and handed out at the will of the government thru the medical industrial complex. How many people have been refused a prescription for Valium or Xanax in the past year because of a positive drug screening for Marijuana? How many people who do not consume Marijuana have been cut off as well because the DEA has, for all practical purposes, threatened the physician’s livelihood thru Statutes and "Bills" which have cut people off from their medications with no warning in the past year or two?

Title 21 states that the rules shall not apply to the cultivation of cannabis/hemp plant for industrial purposes only – however, it also does not say that hemp may be used for medicine without restriction.

Article 33 states that the parties shall not permit the possession of drugs without legal authority.

In the 1972 Protocol Amending The Single Convention On Narcotic Drugs 1961 Article 49 states that:

f) The use of Cannabis for other than medical and scientific purposes must be discontinued as soon as possible but in any case within twenty-five years from the coming into force of this Convention as provided in paragraph 1 of article 41.

1972 + 25 = 1997

Ironically enough the first medical cannabis law was enacted by California in 1996 – just in time to meet the 25 year deadline for ending all use of cannabis except for medical and scientific purposes…

Proposition 215, or the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, is a California law allowing the use of medical cannabis despite marijuana’s lack of the normal Food and Drug Administration testing for safety and efficacy. It was enacted, on November 5, 1996, by means of the initiative process, and passed with 5,382,915 (55.6%) votes in favor and 4,301,960 (44.4%) against.

As I stated previously, in the U.S. the governing agency would be the DEA and on July 1, 1973 this agency officially came into existence in accordance with the U.N. Treaties which the U.S. government created and implemented. THE DEA HAS AN Annual Budget of $2.4 billion.

THE DEA Controlled Substances Act, TITLE 21 – FOOD AND DRUGS, CHAPTER 13 – DRUG ABUSE PREVENTION AND CONTROL EFFECTIVE Oct. 27, 1970, SUBCHAPTER I – CONTROL AND ENFORCEMENT,

States that:

“(1) If control is required by United States obligations under international treaties, conventions, or protocols in effect on October 27, 1970, the Attorney General shall issue an order controlling such drug under the schedule he deems most appropriate to carry out such obligations, without regard to the findings required by subsection (a) of this section or section 812(b) of this title and without regard to the procedures prescribed by subsections (a) and (b) of this section.”

Meaning, it does not matter what the U.S. Citizens (or any other country for that matter) has to say about Cannabis or any other drug or plant on the list of U.N. control we are bound by the U.N. Treaty first and foremost, which was set into place by our own government.

"In 1986, the Reagan Administration began recommending a drug testing program for employers as part of the War on Drugs program. In 1988, Drug Free Workplace regulations required that any company with a contract over $25,000 with the Federal government provide a Drug-Free Workplace. This program must include drug testing."

Manfred Donike, in 1966, the German biochemist demonstrated that an Agilent (then Hewlett-Packard) gas chromatograph could be used to detect anabolic steroids and other prohibited substances in athletes’ urine samples. Donike began the first full-scale testing of athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, using eight HP gas chromatographs linked to an HP computer.

YEP, HP IS HEWLETT PACKARD…His method reduced the screening process from 15 steps to three, and was considered so scientifically accurate that no outside challenges to his findings were allowed.

HP has laboratories around the globe in three major locations, one of which happens to be in Israel. Late Republican Senator Jesse Helms used to call Israel "America’s aircraft carrier in the Middle East", when explaining why the United States viewed Israel as such a strategic ally, saying that the military foothold in the region offered by the Jewish State alone justified the military aid that the United States grants Israel every year.

Most everybody thinks that the Cannabis issue is a U.S. issue and an issue unto itself, not encompassed within the issue of control of the masses, and at least as far as our own laws/statutes are concerned. "ALL WE NEED TO DO IS GET OUR STATE TO LEGALIZE IT”. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

We are all rolled up into the UN by virtue of our own Country which used this as a means to control worldwide, the people, without ever having to answer for or take responsibility for it again. Why? Because it is now a UN issue. And WE ARE BOUND by the UN treaties, as one of 5 founding members, who now rule the world.

Welcome to "THE NEW WORLD ORDER". Yep, it’s been around a long time, we just didn’t notice it in time. Our men had just gone through a horrific war (WWII) and were too beat down and TOO sick to fight again and most likely didn’t even notice or worse yet thought the U.N. was a good thing that would prevent another WWII….. WELL, WELCOME TO WWIII AKA THE "DRUG WAR".

I don’t care which State you reside in it is NOT legal to possess or use Marijuana in any form or fashion. You are living in an "Illusion.

As long as the U.N. has control over all narcotics in any form, we as a people will not legally be able to grow cannabis or any other plant that they categorize as narcotic.

What they will do for us is to use us like Guinea pigs in a testing environment to accumulate enough information whereby cannabis can be deemed a potentially useful drug from a pharmacological standpoint and then they can turn it over to the pharmaceutical companies to sell to us through commerce as a prescription. This is happening as we speak.

The drug war was created for us, and the prison industrial complex which they set up for control of us is the holding center for the Guinea pigs which are "us".

They make sure enough of it gets out there that we can continue to use it illegally and they can study it at the same time they are locking us up for doing just that — using and studying marijuana. This in effect creates a double paycheck for them as they are keeping the prisons full and instituting private prisons for commerce and at the same time they are collecting information about the beneficial uses of cannabis thru drug testing patients. As well, those who seek employment or who are already employed with are targeted by random testing, and they collect our medical records for research at the same time the physicians are tagging us as cannabis abusers for reference via the ICD-10 codes used on medical claim forms submitted to the Insurance companies by our doctors’ offices. Essentially anyone who is a marijuana user is rounded up by the legal and medical system. If you use marijuana you cannot hide the fact unless you are part of the drug cartel itself and do not seek employment or medical care anywhere in the U.S. The marijuana cartel remains intact because they are "self-employed".

Additionally, HIPPA states that In the course of conducting research, researchers may obtain, create, use, and/or disclose individually identifiable health information. Under the (HIPPA) Privacy Rule, covered entities are permitted to use and disclose protected health information for research with individual authorization, or without individual authorization under limited circumstances set forth in the Privacy Rule.

As far as Pharma Drugs are concerned, I must quote from Ms. Cris Ericson of the Vermont Marijuana Party, who stated, "People can no longer afford the pharmaceutical industry. The U.S. Congress votes to give research money to the pharmaceutical companies who invent new prescription drugs by synthesizing natural herbs, and then the pharmaceutical companies claim ownership of the new Rx patent, but it was the taxpayers who paid for the research. The taxpayers, under the patent law which states that “work made for hire, should own 50% of the patent” should rightfully be paid. The pharmaceutical companies not only profit wrongfully, by taking ownership of the patent that the taxpayers paid the research for, but then they take their huge profits and donate millions of dollars to PAC’s political action committees and Super PAC’s and then the PAC’s donate money to the U.S. Congress, so your taxpayer dollars have come full circle, and that looks just like money laundering, because millions of your taxpayer dollars end up in the campaign war chests of the elected officials."

To that I must add that even if you obtain your medications for a $0 copay, you have paid for them already via taxation of the general public. Even those persons on disability or other government subsidy pay tax every time they make a purchase.

The U.N. Convention and the CSA both state that, "No prescriptions may be written for Schedule I substances, and they are not readily available for clinical use. NOTE: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, marijuana) is still considered a Schedule 1 drug by the DEA, even though some U.S. states have legalized marijuana for personal, recreational use or for medical use. May 4, 2014"

This issue gains even more momentum when you understand that it is not just about cannabis/hemp/marijuana. It also involves all food and plants which are coming under their jurisdiction.

It is entirely possible that just as they can use drug testing to determine what drugs you put into your body they could develop testing to determine what foods you are eating. Imagine being "food tested" to see if you ingested beef or broccoli that was illegal to be in possession of! It seems an exaggeration but entirely within the realm of possibility.

HENCEFORTH, AGENDA 21…

The national focal point in the United States is the Division Chief for Sustainable Development and Multilateral Affairs, Office of Environmental Policy, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, U.S. Department of State.

A June 2012 poll of 1,300 United States voters by the American Planning Association found that 9% supported Agenda 21, 6% opposed it, and 85% thought they didn’t have enough information to form an opinion.

The United States is a signatory country to Agenda 21, but because Agenda 21 is a legally non-binding statement of intent and not a treaty, the United States Senate was not required to hold a formal debate or vote on it. It is therefore not considered to be law under Article Six of the United States Constitution. President George H. W. Bush was one of the 178 heads of government who signed the final text of the agreement at the Earth Summit in 1992, and in the same year Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Eliot Engel and William Broomfield spoke in support of United States House of Representatives Concurrent Resolution 353, supporting implementation of Agenda 21 in the United States. In the United States, over 528 cities are members of ICLEI, an international sustainability organization that helps to implement the Agenda 21 and Local Agenda 21 concepts across the world.

During the last decade, opposition to Agenda 21 has increased within the United States at the local, state, and federal levels. The Republican National Committee has adopted a resolution opposing Agenda 21, and the Republican Party platform stated that "We strongly reject the U.N. Agenda 21 as erosive of American sovereignty." Several state and local governments have considered or passed motions and legislation opposing Agenda 21. Alabama became the first state to prohibit government participation in Agenda 21. Many other states, including Arizona, are drafting, and close to passing legislation to ban Agenda 21.

The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) was established in 1974 as an intergovernmental body to serve as a forum in the United Nations System for review and follow-up of policies concerning world food security including production and physical and economic access to food. The CFS Bureau and Advisory Group-The Bureau is the executive arm of the CFS . It is made up of a Chairperson and twelve member countries. The Advisory group is made up of representatives from the 5 different categories of CFS Participants. These are: 1 UN agencies and other UN bodies; 2 Civil society and non-governmental organizations particularly organizations representing smallholder family farmers, fisherfolks, herders, landless, urban poor, agricultural and food workers, women, youth, consumers and indigenous people; 3 International agricultural research institutions; 4 International and regional financial institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, regional development banks and the World Trade Organization; 5 Private sector associations and philanthropic foundations.

FREEDOM ADVOCATES OPPOSITION TO AGENDA 21:

"Even the term “sustainable” must be defined, since on the surface it appears to be inherently positive. In reality, Sustainable Development has become a “buzz” term that refers to a political agenda, rather than an objectively sustainable form of development. Specifically, it refers to an initiative of the United Nations (U.N.) called Sustainable Development Agenda 21. Sustainable Development Agenda 21 is a comprehensive statement of a political ideology that is being progressively infused into every level of government in America."

Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines unalienable as “not alienable; that cannot be alienated; that may not be transferred; as in unalienable rights” and inalienable as “cannot be legally or justly alienated or transferred to another.”

The Declaration of Independence reads:

“That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…”

This means that human beings are imbued with unalienable rights which cannot be altered by law whereas inalienable rights are subject to remaking or revocation in accordance with man-made law. Inalienable rights are subject to changes in the law such as when property rights are given a back seat to emerging environmental law or free speech rights give way to political correctness. In these situations no violation has occurred by way of the application of inalienable rights – a mere change in the law changes the nature of the right. Whereas under the original doctrine of unalienable rights the right to the use and enjoyment of private property cannot be abridged (other than under the doctrine of “nuisance” including pollution of the public water or air or property of another). The policies behind Sustainable Development work to obliterate the recognition of unalienable rights. For instance, Article 29 subsection 3 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights applies the “inalienable rights” concept of human rights:

“Rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to purposes and principles of the United Nations.”

Read that phrase again, carefully! “Rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to purposes and principles of the United Nations.”

It suffices to say that the "war on drugs" is a war on us as a people. It is entwined with the United Nations and agenda 21. It is control of the masses through the illusion of a better world and offers peace and harmony to all people. It sounds really good on the surface until you start analyzing the issues at hand. The problem is that its intent is ultimately to control everything and everybody.

"Rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to purposes and principles of the united nation"…there you have it in one sentence, straight out of the horse’s mouth. The new world order is now. If we continue down this path, sooner rather than later we will be told that we can no longer grow our own food, or meat, eggs, cheese, etc. It must be purchased through a reputable source – the grocery stores and the pharmacy so it can be "regulated".

Our rights to the cannabis/marijuana plant has all but been lost at this point and if we do not do something immediately to regain it and continue passing illegal statutes (by virtue of the U.N.) state to state is not going to hold up in the long run because, first of all, federally it remains illegal and they can squash those legalization antics at any time, and most of all the U.N. owns it. And who owns the U.N.? The United States and five other countries which are china, Russia, France and the U.K.

It seems to me that the placing of these plants (including marijuana, and peyote) into a "U.N. Convention of Narcotic Drugs" was just the first step in their taking total control of all people throughout the world through their access to food and medication, and was and still is a test case to see if it would work in their favor. So far it seems it is working in their favor because we are losing the ability to fight back on a political basis and their guns are bigger than ours.

The fact that for years we have blamed the eradication of marijuana on Harry Anslinger even though the LaGuardia commission refuted his findings and Harry Anslinger himself later admitted his testimony wasn’t true and in fact marijuana was relatively harmless, only proves that the rhetoric remained in place for ulterior motives.

When the 1937 tax act was repealed in 1969 in Timothy Leary v. United States, the Controlled Substance Act of 1970 picked up and took over keeping the plant from us yet again. To this day it remains illegal although individual states within the U.S. are attempting to change that, the fact still remains that legally it is still a schedule 1 at the federal level and since federal law trumps state law we are getting next to nowhere.

The only thing that state legalization does do, is keep the state authorities from prosecuting except within the realm of the individual state statutes. At least we are fighting back and gaining momentum in that we are letting them know how we feel about it! Other than that at any time everything gained could be lost at the whim of the federal government.

If we do not focus on regaining the freedom of cannabis from the U.N. now, not only will it be forever lost to pharma, all of our food, medicines and plants are going right along with it and we will not ever be able to get them back. And if you think the prison industrial complex is a monstrosity now just wait till we are being locked up for growing a tomato or hiding a laying hen in our closet just to have access to an egg. Yes, I believe that it will get that bad in the not so far future.

So if you are not worried about it because you do not smoke marijuana, you might ought to worry about it because your grandkids will still need to eat whether or not they have cannabis as a medication through the pharmaceutical industrial complex. And to top it all off, what happens when you "break the law" by planting food and they find out and take away your right to obtain food much the same way they have taken away our rights to obtain scheduled medications because you tested positive for marijuana? (Don’t worry too much I am sure they will let you "something" to eat!)

We must have access to our own gardens and herbal plants because virtually every "drug" made comes from a plant and both prescription drugs and over the counter medications are at risk and could disappear rapidly. Remember over-the-counter pseudoephedrine? Every time they want to take something out of our hands they make it illegal and claim it is for the greater good. You may very well need to grow your own medicine too because if you do not meet their requirements they won’t let you have any of theirs.

It is a fact that cannabis/hemp is a food and a medicine. By withholding it from us they have effectively made many of us weaker through endocanabinoid deficiency and people are becoming sicker in general from the foods that we ingest as well as the ones that we do not have access to. Our ability to stand up to an enemy of any kind on a physical scale has been dramatically affected by both nutrition and the chemicals we are exposed to in our food and in our air and water as well as required inoculations against various diseases. Our children are having the worse reactions to all this which can be seen by the rise in not only autism but other birth defects as well.

The most important thing to note is that cannabis, food and medicine is something that everyone needs to have access to in various forms for various reasons. If it is only available thru a controlled environment then we will be subjected to probable malnutrition and genocide. Our health has become bad enough already due to corporate food and medicine. We certainly do not need it to get any worse. Is this going to be total population control via food and medicine? I am afraid so.

"People who don’t get enough food often experience and over the long term this can lead to malnutrition. But someone can become malnourished for reasons that have nothing to do with hunger. Even people who have plenty to eat may be malnourished if they don’t eat foods that provide the right nutrients, vitamins, and minerals."

NOW THAT THE BEAST HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED, WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST COURSE OF ACTION TO TAKE?

Probably the best thing we can do right is to demand cannabis sativa and any naturally growing plant removed from United Nations control and the Controlled Substance Act in the U.S.

Additionally, Agenda 21 needs to be eliminated as it stands now. No entity should be allowed total control over plants and food, especially those grown in our own garden.

However, it is a fact that any type of food or medicine created and/or sold by a corporate entity has to be governed. Their entire purpose is to make money and they will do anything to accomplish that including selling us pink slime for meat. That is what should be governed.

It seems to me that the FDA is not doing its job correctly. Protect the people, not the corporations. The fact that a corporation has its own "personhood" is just totally ridiculous and must end.

The United Nations itself could be modified into an agency that protects the unalienable rights of the people throughout the world. It cannot police the world however. And it cannot rule the people as a government does. For this reason any policing agencies that are international such as Interpol must be eliminated. This would throw the policing back to the people’s own respective countries and the people of those countries will have to police their own governments to ensure that they keep the will of their people as top priority while governing.

Will this mean that war will continue to be a fixture in our world? Yes, of course it does. War always has been and always will be. It is the next closest thing to "God" that exists in that aspect. But if each country’s government has jurisdiction over its own people then the citizens can decide who will be ‘in charge’. If they need help during a crisis then other countries can step in to help where needed at the time and as they choose to do so. If the whole world comes under the rule of one governing body then we would have no control anymore at all. And this is what it seems to be leading up to – one governing body ruling virtually the entire planet with the ‘head’ of that governing body being the five original victors of WWII: the United States, Russia (U.S.S.R), France, China and the U.K.

World War II never really ended, it just changed it course. We have to put an end to this global war against all God’s people and the time is now! If you do not believe in god then you can say we have to put an end to the war against world humanity. It means basically the same thing – at least to me.

Just say no!

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NOTES & REFERENCE LINKS:

Leary v. United States, 395 U.S. 6 (1969), is a U.S. Supreme Court case dealing with the constitutionality of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Timothy Leary, a professor and activist, was arrested for the possession of marijuana in violation of the Marihuana Tax Act. Leary challenged the act on the ground that the act required self-incrimination, which violated the Fifth Amendment. The unanimous opinion of the court was penned by Justice John Marshall Harlan II and declared the Marihuana Tax Act unconstitutional. Thus, Leary’s conviction was overturned. Congress responded shortly thereafter by repealing the Marihuana Tax Act and passing the Controlled Substances Act to continue the prohibition of certain drugs in the United States.

"By 2020, 30 billion connected devices will generate unprecedented amounts of data. The infrastructure required to collect, process, store, and analyze this data requires transformational changes in the foundations of computing. Bottom line: current systems can’t handle where we are headed and we need a new solution. HP has that solution in The Machine. "

Ban Ki-moon (Hangul: ???; hanja: ???; born 13 June 1944) is a South Korean statesman and politician who is the eighth and current Secretary-General of the United Nations. Before becoming Secretary-General, Ban was a career diplomat in South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the United Nations.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpol

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_personhood

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_slime

http://kidshealth.org/parent/growth/feeding/hunger.html

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/types.html

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/03/27/autism-rates-rise/6957815/

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/

http://www.nel.edu/pdf_/25_12/NEL251204R02_Russo_.pdf

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6630507.PN.&OS=PN/6630507&RS=PN/6630507

http://hemp.org/news/book/export/html/626

http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/hemp/taxact/anslng1.htm

http://www.freedomadvocates.org/understanding-unalienable-rights-2/

http://www.freedomadvocates.org/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Committee_on_World_Food_Security

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld

https://www.worldwewant2015.org/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agenda_21

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel%E2%80%93United_States_relations

http://www.hpl.hp.com/research/systems-research/themachine/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HP_Labs#Labs

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manfred_Donike

http://www.globalsources.com/manufacturers/Drug-Test-Kit.html?keywords=_inurl%3A%2Fmanufacturers%2F&matchtype=b&device=c&WT.mc_id=1001007&WT.srch=1&gclid=Cj0KEQjw2KyxBRCi2rK11NCDw6UBEiQAO-tljUJHHVLsYxnVYIjclmlCiwuLEH2akAa-iTolJ2zN6-8aAjtm8P8HAQ

http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr/cfr/2108cfrt.htm

http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr/cfr/1308/1308_11.htm

http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/prelim@title21/chapter13&edition=prelim

http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/prelim@title21/chapter13&edition=prelim

http://www.fda.gov/regulatoryinformation/legislation/ucm148726.htm#cntlsbc

http://www.medicinehunter.com/plant-medicines

http://www.unfoundation.org/what-we-do/issues/united-nations/advocating-us-funding-un.html

http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr/21usc/index.html

http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/hp/cannabis-pdq

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=2767

Titles II and III Of The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act Of 1970 (Pub-Lic Law 91–513) https://legcounsel.house.gov/Comps/91-513.pdf

Monsanto Develops First Genetically Modified Strain of Marijuana

FYI…

The following was copied from a Google news search for “Marijuana” on 6.16.15 at 11:48pm CST.  The link to the story has been “deleted”.

Monsanto develops first GMO marijuana strain patent 6.16.15

 

Monsanto Develops First Genetically Modified Strain of Marijuana

Wisconsin Ag Connection
– ‎17 hours ago‎

 

Monsanto has announced it has patented the first genetically modified strain of marijuana. Global Ag Investing reports that the news has been welcomed by scientists and leaders of the agriculture business alike as a move forward towards the industrial

GMO Cannabis Monsanto 6.16.15 link deleted

 

DEA to Allow Huge Increase in Marijuana Production to Meet Research DemandsRegulatory Focus

DEA Wants the Feds to Grow More Marijuana (Again)Marijuana.com

See realtime coverage »

I also found this information, dated June 7, 2014 which states the following:

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread1016482/pg1

Link


U.S. corporation Monsanto plans to launch production of genetically modified marijuana, and companies such as Drug Policy Alliance y Open Society Foundation are going to create our own brand, which will be produced under cannabis, information portal La Red 21.
Organization of Open Society Foundation is under the control of the shareholder Monsanto, billionaire George Soros. Company Drug Policy Alliance y Open Society Foundation, funded by Monsanto will be responsible for market development of transgenic seeds of marijuana, particularly in Uruguay.

Oddly enough, the “Link” above goes to another “Page not found (404)” error…

When I searched Google for “Monsanto Develops First Genetically Modified Strain of Marijuana” I found the following:

 

http://www.drugpolicycentral.com/bot/article/wisconsinagconnection6559.htm

A “BOT” picked up the story on the DPA site rendering this screen shot:

Drug Policy Alliance 6.17.15 GMO Cannabis Monsanto

 

My question is this:  Who is trying to hide what from whom and why?  The story has been picked up by numerous blog sites:

Google search:

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=Monsanto+Develops+First+Genetically+Modified+Strain+of+Marijuana

 

Whatever the reason for the secrecy or attempt thereof, this is a story that should be closely watched as the “Billionaire Cannabis Club” is “Now Open”….

Hemp History Week coming up Events taking place from June 1st -7th, 2015

By Diego Flammini, Farms.com

In an effort to raise awareness about hemp and its place as a sustainable, versatile and profitable agricultural product, the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) and Vote Hemp are putting together the 6th annual Hemp History Week, set to take place from June 1st – 7th, 2015.

The weeklong celebration, whose theme is “Sow the Seed” will highlight the many different industries that can benefit from hemp crops including manufacturing and cooking.

It will also highlight the spring planting and progress in the states that already allow large-scale hemp farms.

One of, and perhaps the main issue affecting hemp’s place as an agricultural commodity is that it’s closely associated with marijuana.

Here are some things that set hemp apart from marijuana:

  • While both marijuana and hemp are classified as the Cannabis sativa, hemp is taller and has less than 0.3% of THC, the chemical responsible for the effects of marijuana.
  • When hemp is grown and harvested on a large scale and used for things like oil, wax, soap, rope and paper, it can be classified as agricultural or industrial hemp.

Hemp rope

According to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, retail sales of all hemp-based products in the United States could be worth approximately $300 million per year.

In 1938, Popular Mechanics deemed hemp the new billion-dollar crop.

Currently there are 13 states in the US that allow for commercial hemp farming: California, Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.

Tell us your thoughts about Hemp History Week and the events taking place. If you’re a hemp farmer, what are some of the myths that need to be dispelled surrounding hemp?

Additional related content…click below to see more :

(News): USDA releases four pillars of agriculture

(News): USA to consider repealing COOL

(Featured): Video: Agostino: Freak Snowstorm Delays Corn Planting And Worries Grain Market.

(Featured): FCC Video: Management Moment: Farmer to CEO

CONTINUE READING…

Do You Know What’s on Your Weed?

If You Care About Ingesting Weed Free of Harmful Pesticides, You Need to Know a Crucial Difference Between Medical and Recreational Marijuana

by Tobias Coughlin-Bogue

 

Before looking into it, I naively assumed Washington State’s groundbreaking marijuana legalization law had given us a unique opportunity to do things "right," which meant, to my mind, a crop that’s not only legal but pesticide-free, organic, and eco-friendly. Maybe we’ve all already given up hope when it comes to fruit and vegetables grown by giant agribusinesses, but weed, given all the tree-hugging, organic-food-eating, GMO-avoiding hippies who love it, must be different. Right?

Wrong. What I discovered was that legal weed is most certainly not pesticide-free, although to be fair, there are severe restrictions on the kinds of pesticides recreational marijuana growers are allowed to use. Pesticide use is so commonplace in agriculture that the question becomes one of degrees rather than absolutes. In a storybook version of reality, we would be smoking pesticide-free fatties with the Lorax and satisfying our munchies with unsprayed apples 100 percent of the time. But as glorious as that would be, that doesn’t reflect the economic or ecological reality of agriculture.

When the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) was inventing rules for pesticide use on recreational marijuana plants, they turned to the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) for some expert advice. The WSDA studied pesticides typically allowed on hops (a close cousin of cannabis), tobacco, and food products. The rules in place are a result of that work.

The state appears to have done a good job at regulating a previously unregulated and unstudied area of agriculture—a plant the federal government still classifies as a Schedule I drug. All pesticides used on any crop in the state of Washington must be registered with the Department of Agriculture, and the list of approved pesticides is available via the Pesticide Information Center Online (PICOL), a database operated by Washington State University. There are, by my highly scientific estimate, a metric shit ton of allowed pesticides in our state. How many of those pesticides are recreational pot growers allowed to use on pot that ends up in your body? Two hundred and seventy-one.

That number is not nearly as upsetting as it may sound, given a little context. At a recent meeting of state and local officials working with the recreational cannabis industry, one attendee voiced concern that 271 legally allowed pesticides seemed like a large number. In response, Erik Johanson, the WSDA’s special pesticide registration program coordinator, offered this sobering bit of information: "If we were talking apples, the number would be 1,000."

When it comes to regulating recreational marijuana pesticides, the WSDA did what government agencies do best when faced with uncertainty: They played it safe. They chose to only allow pesticides that were exempt from any tolerance level requirements—thresholds established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that dictate the amounts at which pesticides become harmful when consumed, inhaled, or otherwise encountered. Being exempt from those requirements is the EPA’s way of saying a substance is so benign, they didn’t feel it necessary to study it further. Also, thanks to the popularity of edibles, the WSDA chose to consider the harvested buds as a food product—though they are not technically classified as such by the legislature—disqualifying a bunch of nasty stuff intended for use only on ornamental plants or otherwise inedible crops. This led to that relatively small list of 271 pesticides. It is primarily composed of the type of essential oils that might lead you to overpay for a bottle of shampoo.

Many of the allowed pesticides with scary names aren’t even that scary: azadirachtin is an extract of neem oil, potassium laurate is just soap, and bacillus subtilis is a bacteria with antifungal and probiotic properties that occurs naturally in our gastrointestinal tract. None of them are listed on the Pesticide Action Network’s list of "bad actors." Is each and every one of the 271 legally allowed pesticides something you would feel comfortable gently misting over a field of adorable puppies? No. I found two somewhat troubling substances on the list: pyrethrins and their trusty sidekick piperonyl butoxide (PBO). Pyrethrin is listed on PAN’s "bad actors" list, and while PBO is not, it is a chemical synergist for pyrethrin, working to enhance its effects. The duo is most commonly found in fogger-style bug bombs with brand names like Doktor Doom and X-clude.

Those two ominously named brands are not on the PICOL list, though they are still available for purchase at your average gardening supply store, a clear indication of their popularity. Doktor Doom and X-clude may not be on the PICOL list, but other fogger bombs with the same active ingredients are. (The PICOL list is organized by brand name, not active ingredients.) Pyrethrins are classified by the EPA as a botanical insecticide, being the active chemical ingredients of pyrethrum, an extract of chrysanthemum flowers. Pyrethrins and PBO are, given their inclusion on the PICOL list, exempt from residual tolerance requirements and thus safe for human consumption in any amount, according to the EPA.

But if you’ve ever used one of these foggers, you know they’re some pretty heavy shit. Before you use one in your house, you have to cover all exposed food products and remove yourself and your pets from the area for at least several hours. In the context of growing marijuana, they cannot be sprayed directly onto a plant or the plant will die. Most growers agree they should not be sprayed onto plants at all. "It leaves a lot of residue on plants," said Dustin Hurst, head grower at Monkey Grass Farms in Wenatchee, explaining that it’s especially risky to use these products late in the plant’s flowering stage when the flowers begin to enclose into buds, potentially trapping pyrethrin residue within. Daniel Curylo, "lead instigator" at Cascade Crops in Shelton, concurs: "You don’t want to be spraying all sorts of crap on your product, because the residue—I don’t care what anybody says—that stays on there."

Indeed, a 2002 fact sheet from the Journal of Pesticide Reform cites a study in which pyrethrin residues were found in carpet dust more than two months after application, which is a bit unnerving when one considers the crystal-encrusted tendrils of a flowering pot plant. A later study, published in 2013 in the Journal of Toxicology, found that up to 69.5 percent of pesticide residues can end up in flowers at the point of inhalation. So, if pyrethrin/PBO foggers are being used at any point during the flowering stage of the plant’s growth—which would not explicitly violate any of the WSLCB’s rules—you’re likely smoking some of it.

How big a problem is that, health-wise? The Journal of Pesticide Reform cites concerns about pyrethrin ranging from disruption of hormonal systems to the chemical’s EPA-granted status as "likely to be a carcinogen by the oral route." The EPA’s own human health risk assessment of pyrethrin suggests that long-term inhalation of pyrethrin in significant amounts can cause "respiratory tract lesions" in rodents. Scarier still, the JPR factsheet notes that pyrethrins are absorbed by humans most rapidly via the lungs.

If you’re curious about what may be on the marijuana you get in a recreational store, ask. Every pot grow operates differently, but under WAC statute 314-55-087, growers are required to keep accurate records of all pesticides applied—when, how much, by whom, etc. The WSLCB’s team of inspectors can check these records to ensure proper use at any time. And every grower is required to make this information available to recreational stores that carry their products.

What Kinds of Pesticides Are Recreational Marijuana Growers Using?

So why would any pot farmer worth a damn want to use the stuff on their plants? Because weed farmers have to deal with pests like any other farmers do. "I think you could bleach everyone and everything, and [spider mites] would still get in," Hurst, the Monkey Grass Farms grower, told me.

"Everybody gets it—spider mites, stuff like powdery mildew, it’s everywhere," said Curylo from Cascade Crops. Spider mites, which appear as little black dots on the bottom of a marijuana plant’s fan leaves (the part of the pot plant most likely to be superimposed over Bob Marley’s face on a T-shirt), are the bane of growers, along with mold and bacteria. Left unchecked, these infiltrators can ruin an entire harvest. Getting rid of them is a constant battle, and growers have typically employed a wide variety of weapons, most benign but some less so, like pyrethrin.

But pyrethrin does have legitimate uses. According to various gardening supply store managers I interviewed, if growers are using it right, it’s primarily as a "reset button" between grow cycles when all the plants have been removed from the grow room. Given the surfaces available for pyrethrin to cling to in the absence of fuzzy budding plants, it’s not likely to linger. Regardless, most of the growers I spoke with—both licensed and unlicensed—indicated that they preferred to use lower-impact pest solutions anyway, for both economic and ethical reasons. Most relied heavily on AzaMax, a brand name of azadirachtin. Azadirachtin, as I mentioned previously, is just an extract of neem oil, an age-old Indian cure-all and a very hot seller during scabies outbreaks at Evergreen. Curylo said he planned to stop using even AzaMax, because he has found it cheaper and just as effective to mist using a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution.

To keep growers from using products even nastier than a fogger bomb, the WSLCB maintains the authority to pull, at random, a sample of any grower’s weed to run a comprehensive pesticide residue panel on it. If any unapproved pesticides show up, growers face a $2,500 fine and 10-day license suspension to start. The penalties for repeat offenders escalate rapidly, culminating in a permanent loss of license.

There are, of course, recreational marijuana consumers who will argue that all weed should be subject to pesticide residue testing before sale. That was certainly my first reaction when I discovered that the residue test was not part of the required panel of tests that all pot goes through on its way to market. But the system of randomized testing seems to provide a significant enough disincentive for growers to ensure compliance. Given the amount of time and money most people have invested in their operations, a 10-day suspension is a pretty serious deterrent.

I asked Phil Tobias, who runs Sea of Green Farms in Seattle, whether randomized testing motivated him to stick to the approved list, and he replied, "Yes. One hundred percent. We would get fined if we were to use something else, and we can’t risk that." His primary methods of pest control? Ladybugs and ionized water. (Ladybugs think spider mites are delicious.)

Hurst, from Monkey Grass, concurred: "If there’s someone there watching over your shoulder, you’re gonna make sure everything is perfect."

Nick Mosely and Bobby Hines, from pot-testing lab Confidence Analytics in Redmond, were also quick to praise the PICOL list. Hines said the existence of the PICOL list "absolutely" put weed grown under I-502 a cut above everything else. "It’s not just the penalty," added Mosely, "but also that there’s a resource they can look to that guides them toward healthy alternatives." And indeed, a booklet distributed to regulators and enforcement personnel from various state and local agencies includes a section on encouraging integrated pest management, a holistic method of pest control that attempts to avoid the use of any pesticides at all. Mosely also suggested that many of the bad practices being employed were not due to maliciousness so much as an absence of education. "A lot of [underground growers] just don’t know that Avid is so poisonous. They just know their buddy told them it works," said Mosely. "If they know that Avid is dangerous—it’s not on the list, but here’s a list of things that do work—then they’ll go to that."

Mikhail Carpenter, a spokesperson for the WSLCB, says the agency’s inspectors have the power to decide what constitutes improper use of a pesticide, and can immediately shut down and quarantine any grow operation that they feel to be unsafe, pending appeal. He also stressed that the WSLCB’s enforcement officers, when checking grow facilities, will be examining these records closely to ensure accurate record-keeping and responsible usage. He assured me that if they were to find a grower using pyrethrin bombs dangerously close to harvest, they would put the kibosh on it. So while responsible use of foggers may not be specifically codified into the WSLCB’s myriad of regulations regarding legal weed, it is subject to the (hopefully) expert oversight of the WSLCB’s inspectors.

If the thought of any pesticides of any sort, no matter how benign, freaks you out, simply avoid growers who use them. There are plenty out there who don’t, and there is even a third-party organization—Certified Kind—that certifies weed as organic in the absence of USDA certification.

As far as pesticide disclosure goes at our local shops, Uncle Ike’s is ahead of the game, offering a small printed card listing all their suppliers and the substances applied to their products. Ganja Goddess isn’t far behind. I spoke with someone there identifying himself as Al Green, who did not serenade me with his rendition of "Can’t Get Next to You" but did assure me that, while they did not have a list printed up, they would be able to provide the required information to customers upon request. The gentlemen I spoke with at Cannabis City and Ocean Greens were both "not really sure," though I have no doubt they’ll amend that uncertainty once their bosses remind them it’s required.

The liquor control board hasn’t performed any pesticide audits yet, but Steve McNalley, senior microbiologist at cannabis testing lab Analytical 360 in Sodo, confirmed that his lab was setting up to perform the audits and expects to do so in the "next couple of months." He suspected that the WSLCB likely hadn’t performed any audits yet because they wanted to let growers get up and running before introducing any potential fines. Hines and Mosely told me that calibration for pesticide residual tests was also quite expensive and that screening for all the disallowed pesticides that might be out there was an arduous process, something like looking for a "needle in a haystack of needles." Arduous but worthwhile, according to the WSLCB. Carpenter indicated that the agency intended to scan for as broad a range of pesticides as possible, and will be shouldering the expense of the tests, at least initially.

What Kinds of Pesticides Are Medical Marijuana Growers Using?

You might be wondering: Why make all this fuss about the finer points of pesticides under I-502 if most growers play it safe? Well, because legal growers are facing extremely stiff competition from the unregulated medical and underground markets. The fact that legal recreational weed is verifiably free of mold, bacteria, and harmful pesticides is perhaps recreational stores’ most serious competitive advantage over the black market and the medical marijuana market. This distinction is a pretty important one, given the stakes, and I’m a bit surprised legal growers and retailers haven’t publicized it more aggressively.

A couple months back, I interviewed a few black-market marijuana growers about their take on the cannabis landscape in the wake of legalization, and one of them, Darryl, said something that stuck with me. I asked him why, if legal weed was tested to ensure it was free of mold and harmful pesticides, he nevertheless insisted that black-market weed was better. He replied, "Well, the black-market growers are much more boutique. It’s more of a craft market. They’ve been doing it longer, they’ve got more experience, and they don’t have the same restrictions the legal growers do as far as overhead and regulation."

Now, I believed Darryl when he told me he is personally dedicated to organic, additive-free growing. But something about his answer didn’t sit right with me. He was essentially claiming that the black market didn’t need testing or any governmental oversight whatsoever because consumers could just trust the experience of seasoned growers. That would be a great argument if the black market (and the medical market, which was not affected by the passage of I-502) were entirely composed of responsible, experienced growers. But…

I’ve witnessed questionable practices firsthand. I’ve heard countless tales of growers who are just in it for a buck, turning to harsh chemical pesticides for the quickest, easiest solution. Ian Eisenberg, the Ike of recreational marijuana store Uncle Ike’s, told me of buying weed at medical shops and listening to the budtenders extol the organic, locally grown pot they were selling, only to see those same budtenders buy pot from a guy who just pulled a black duffel bag out of a car with California plates.

When I asked another black-market grower, Josh, if he’d ever seen questionable growing practices, he replied: "Definitely. People using household pesticides out of Lowe’s or Home Depot. I’ve heard some wild stories."

And Chase, an all-natural home grower who also works at a larger medical grow, had a similar tale to tell. "It’s more common than you think, unfortunately," he told me, in regards to usage of sketchy pesticides in the black and medical markets. "You can go into a [medical] shop and they’re not going to tell you, ‘Oh, we had to spray that one last week.’" He also added that in certain urgent pest situations, his boss at the medical grow had instructed them to use stronger pesticides that would definitely not pass muster under I-502, though Chase did not specify which ones.

Not knowing where your weed came from or what’s on it is pretty scary when you start to delve into what’s out there. The worst pesticides that I’ve heard of being used on weed are all still available for purchase, as many of them have legitimate uses on the type of plants you look at but don’t eat or smoke. Aqua Serene, a gardening supply store in Fremont, sells both Forbid, an insecticide that was instantly described to me as "horrible," and Eagle 20, a fungicide that received a rating of "gross" from Markia Gwara, the store’s manager. I wanted to know why, exactly, they would still sell these if they wouldn’t use them in their own garden. She told me that there is still a market for them—albeit a shrinking one—and their store is, after all, a business. She was quick to emphasize that she does her best to steer people away from harsh pesticides in favor of natural methods, but regardless, they’re for sale. Most of the people asking for them were, according to her, "not as savvy of gardeners or old-timers who have stuck to their ways."

Would banning these products from stores help? Probably not. All of the worst culprits—Avid, Floramite, Forbid, Eagle 20, and their ilk—are available online for those who really want them.

Rick, who was working the counter at Hydro 4 Less in Tukwila when I stopped by to ask about the pesticides they stock, said that he occasionally gets customers in the store asking for the heavy hitters, which they don’t carry. He noted that often the same customers come back but don’t ask again, which he reads as a sure sign they’re getting it elsewhere—either online or from other shops.

And, harsh chemicals aside, there is always the possibility of mold when buying from untested sources. Much of the weed not legally sanctioned by I-502 is grown in dank basements, hung up to dry in dank basements, and trimmed in dank basements. "The stuff that comes out of people’s basements is often riddled with mold. Basements are moldy and it’s Seattle and it’s wet," McNalley, the microbiologist from Analytical 360, told me. "Basement molds are stuff that you really don’t want in your lungs." He continued, "I would recommend smoking the legal stuff as opposed to anything that’s unregulated. I’m for regulation. Having that limit [on microorganisms] is going to keep things safer overall. You could go to a dispensary, you could buy a nug, and it could test in at only 120 colony-forming units, but that doesn’t mean anything if you don’t get the test done. And no one’s getting the test done." This could change—in Seattle at least—under the mayor’s proposed rules for medical shops, but until then it’s still the Wild West.

If You Aren’t Sure, Get It Tested

Getting weed from a medical shop or "the guy" will almost undoubtedly be cheaper than going to a recreational store, because unlicensed growers operate without the burdensome expenses and taxes involved in I-502 compliance. Testing is expensive. Rachel Cooper, from Monkey Grass Farms, estimated that the tests they run on their marijuana cost around $3,000 per month.

Of course, weed that’s been tested is much safer to consume. This quote, from a paper entitled "Testing Cannabis for Contaminants" by the BOTEC Corp., a California lab testing company that advised the WSLCB on its pesticide rules, sums up the situation in the unregulated market nicely: "As a high value crop, cannabis will no doubt prompt some growers to use any and all measures to maximize yields, regardless of burdens or risks placed upon employees, customers, or their surroundings."

It is an unfortunate truth that, in the absence of regulation, some people are going to cheat in pursuit of wealth. For every 10 medical growers who are dedicated to growing beautiful, organic weed and are willing to send their product in to the lab on their own dime, there’s one guy with dollar signs in his eyes spraying his plants down with Avid because it’s easier and passing it off as "all-natural." Provided he’s got his medical authorizations in order, there’s currently no way to stop that guy from using any pesticide legally available.

Beyond the fact that it still feels weird and amazing to be able to walk into a clean, brightly lit store and purchase weed, it feels even cooler to know that the weed you get from that store is pretty much guaranteed to be free of harmful pesticides and mold. People have made much of all the things that I-502 screwed up—and that list is not a short one—but it’s heartening to discover something it got right.

So unless your medical shop or your "dude" is willing to require suppliers to run testing through a certified lab, like Confidence or Analytical 360, and provide you with a list of pesticides used on their product, it’s probably worth paying the premium at the recreational store if you’re at all concerned about the purity of your pot. A sandwich board with a green cross and the word "organic" painted on it guarantees you nothing. A dude weighing out a sack on a cluttered coffee table while Phish videos play in the background is not a safe source. When it comes to weed safety, I think Uncle Ike put it best: "I don’t want to take someone’s word of honor, I want my shit tested." recommended

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Myths of cannabis & hemp cross-pollination

Posted on April 8, 2015 | By Vivian McPeak

 

 

Note: I invited Joy Beckerman to guest blog on this important issue. The opinions expressed are her own. – Vivian

MYTHS & REALITIES OF CROSS-POLLINATION
by Joy Beckerman

Oh, the irony. On the one hand, marijuana and hemp activists have been tortured for decades by the DEA’s exceedingly absurd stance that marijuana growers will use industrial hemp fields to camouflage their marijuana plants; and on the other hand, there has recently arisen the hysterical stance by some populations of outdoor marijuana growers that marijuana and industrial hemp fields must be kept extraordinary distances apart in order to avoid cross-pollination. To be sure – whereas the DEA stance is unequivocally non-factual and has no basis in reality, the cross-pollination hysteria is actually grounded in truth, albeit recently a distorted and emotionally-based version of the truth. Greed inspires irrationality. Let’s have an intelligent conversation based in fact because there is no need for hysteria and cross-pollination is a common agricultural issue with a common agricultural solution…and one that would never require a distance of anywhere in the realm of 200 miles between plant species types. We don’t see the State of Kentucky in an uproar. Make no mistake, Kentucky’s Number One cash crop is outdoor marijuana while Kentucky simultaneously is the country’s Number One industrial hemp producer (both feral [i.e. leftover/wild] and deliberate, now that it is legal to cultivate there).

No doubt it will be helpful to found our discussion on a necessary botany lesson, especially since the most common misunderstanding about the “difference” between marijuana and industrial hemp is that “hemp is ‘the male’ and marijuana is ‘the female.’” In fact, nothing could be farther from the truth. “Cannabis” is the plant genus, “sativa” is Latin for “sown” or “cultivated” (and is included in many scientific plant species names), and the “L.” we often see associated with Cannabis sativa merely stands for the surname initial of Carl Linnaeus, the Swiss botanist who invented taxonomy. Cannabis sativa is a member of the Cannabaceae family. Within the Cannabis sativa plant species, we have the drug type known as “marijuana” and we have the oilseed and fiber type known as “industrial hemp.”

Both plant types – marijuana and industrial hemp – can be dieocious, which is to say they can be either exclusively male or exclusively female; and they can also be monoecious, which is to say they can have the staminate (i.e. the male pollen-producing part) and pistillate (i.e. the female ovum-producing part) on the same plant. However, marijuana is a high-resin crop generally planted about four feet apart for its medicine or narcotic rich leaves and buds, whereas industrial hemp is a low-resin crop generally planted about four inches apart for its versatile stalk and seed. The different kinds of marijuana are classified as “strains” and the different kinds of industrial hemp are classified as “varieties” and “cultivars.”

Industrial hemp is non-psychoactive with a higher ratio of CBD to THC, thus smoking even several acres of it will not result in achieving a high; conversely, only a memorable headache is achieved, regardless of Herculean effort. Marijuana flower production and industrial hemp production cultivation processes are distinctly different. Finally, there is no such thing as a plant or plant species known as “Cannabis hemp” and “hemp” is not a synonym for “marijuana,” “pot,” or “ganja,” etc. Botanists have argued for ages over whether a separate plant species “Cannabis indica” exists, and that age-old debate is not being addressed here.

The significant difference between the two types that effects cross-pollination and legitimately frightens marijuana growers is that hemp plants go to seed fairly quickly and would thus pollinate any marijuana plants growing in the same field or in a nearby field. This is botanically analogous to field corn and sweet corn, one of which is grown for human consumption, and one of which is grown for animal consumption. Corn producers take great measures to prevent any cross-pollination between their field and sweet corns; including growing the different varieties of corn at different times or making sure there is sufficient distance between the different fields. Either way, these corn producers do what is necessary to ensure that pollen carrying the dominant gene for starch synthesis is kept clear of corn silks borne on plants of the recessive (sweet) variety.

Cross-pollination of hemp with marijuana would significantly reduce the potency of the marijuana plants. While hemp farmers are not going to want marijuana cross-pollinating with their hemp and increasing their hemp’s THC content, it would be entirely more disastrous for the marijuana grower if hemp were to cross-pollinate with their marijuana due to the cost of producing and value of selling medical and adult-use marijuana. The concern is real. The concern is valid. But the concern does not merit the level of hysteria that appears to have arisen in Washington. We must take a note from Kentucky.

Industrial hemp is primarily pollinated by wind, and most pollen travels approximately 100 yards, give or take. Bees, of course, can also pollinate hemp; and bees travel up to three miles from their hives. It is also true that, depending on the weight and size of any plant pollen, combined with other natural conditions, wind-borne pollen can technically travel up to 2,000 miles away from the source. Yes, it’s true, up to 2,000 miles. And also it would be beyond ridiculous to give serious agricultural consideration to this extreme factoid for entirely obvious reasons.

Cannabis case in point: Kentucky. Kentucky may not have legal outdoor marijuana grows, but you’d better believe that – like every other state in the nation – there’s a whole lotta marijuana being deliberately cultivated outdoors; and on quite a grand scale in Kentucky, which state learned centuries ago that Cannabis grows exceedingly well in that climate and soil. Kentucky was always been the heart of our nation’s industrial hemp farmlands, thus Kentucky is covered with more feral hemp than any other state. This issue of marijuana and hemp cross-pollination is old news and no news at all to the marijuana growers of Kentucky, who experience and demonstrate no sense of hysteria like that which has risen up in Washington.

Global industrial hemp leader and professional industrial hemp agrologist Prof. Anndrea Hermann, M.Sc, B.GS, P.Ag., who has been a certified Health Canada THC Sampler since 2005 and is the President of the U.S. Hemp Industries Association, has assisted with creating and reviewing hemp regulations in Canada, the European Union, South Africa, Uruguay, Australia, New Zealand, and several U.S. States. Anndrea refers to this issue of cross-pollination as the “Cannabis Clash” and “Cannabis Sex 101.” So what is the answer? What is a safe distance between marijuana and hemp fields?

The Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA), which is the global agency to which most developed countries subscribe for agricultural purposes, has completed its draft industrial hemp seed certification regulations, which rules include a range from a minimum distance of three (3) feet to a maximum distance of three (3) miles between different pedigrees and cultivars of industrial hemp. This is the same with Health Canada’s industrial hemp regulations. But we are talking about safe distances between two plant types – marijuana and industrial hemp. Absent intense research and collection of hard data that will be interesting to conduct as we move forward and funding becomes available, experts agree that a distance of ten (10) miles between hemp and marijuana fields is exceedingly appropriate to avoid cross-pollination. Or as Anndrea Hermann would say, “a nice, country road drive!”

This is not a complicated issue or a new issue. This is basic agriculture. Marijuana and industrial hemp are best friends and this is no time for them to start picking unnecessary fights with one another. Ten miles, folks; ten miles!

Joy Beckerman is the President Hemp Ace International LLC, and the director of the Hemp Industries Association, Washington Chapter

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