Tag Archives: KYHIA

It’s with a great respect for all persons of the Kentucky Hemp Industry that I address you today as the new president of the Kentucky Hemp Industries Association

The KYHIA is pleased to welcome Chad Rosen as our new president. Chad shares his thoughts and thanks you for your support of the Kentucky hemp industry. 

It’s with a great respect for all persons of the Kentucky Hemp Industry that I address you today as the new president of the Kentucky Hemp Industries Association.

Dr. Trey Riddle will continue to serve as a board member for the KYHIA and we thank him for his leadership this past year.

For those of you that attended yesterdays Annual Conference, thank you for coming out to educate yourselves and engage with the community of advocates in our young industry in order to arm yourselves with knowledge that will continue to build upon the strong foundation of this industry that we are shaping. Also, thanks is due to the researchers across the state who continue to do the hard work of helping us understand what all is possible with this plant as we move to commercialize hemp in the myriad of possibilities. The research findings and presentations we heard yesterday are in large part what make Kentucky the leading state for our industry. 

I ask each of you individually as members of this industry to share with me your thoughts on how we can build a stronger industry alliance and think of what your role in this process might be. The members of the KYHIA board are volunteer, and it’s in the spirit of service that most serve. If you have ideas of how the KYHIA can have broader or better impact to serve our industry please speak up and take action, your voice serves to alert, and your action serves to lead and effect. The platitude about a rising tide lifting all boats could not be more acute to our highest objective as an industry and I hope to hear from you throughout the year as we continue to build an industry that serves our communities.

With Gratitude,
Chad Rosen

ps. for those of you that attended yesterdays event, a few asked me for the recipe of the hemp encrusted salmon. Enjoy!

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The hemp industries association; lawrence serbin, president, introduces himself…

Hello everyone!

On October 14, 2015 the new board of directors for the Hemp Industries Association had their first board meeting and elected me, Lawrence Serbin to be the new president. Our previous president, Anndrea Hermann will continue to serve on the board of directors.

I would first like to applaud Anndrea Hermann for all the work she has done over the years with the HIA as well as all the great work she has accomplished for the hemp industry as a whole. It will be a challenge to follow in her footsteps.

Many people know me in the industry, but for those who do not, I would like to provide an introduction.

I first got involved with hemp 25 year ago in 1990, right after I graduated from college. I had been contemplating what to do with my life and wasn’t sure which industry I should pursue. I knew I wanted to start a company and felt I should do something which would help the planet. One morning I awoke and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I would start an environment hemp company to promote and sell hemp products.

It was not easy at first because at that time, there were no hemp companies in existence. I bought a copy of the "Emperor Wears No Clothes" and began to do my research. From that book, I got to know Chris Conrad of the Business Alliance for Commerce in Hemp (BACH) where I volunteered to help out. I also met Jack Herer the author of the Emperor Wears No Clothes. Within 6 months of volunteering, Chris Conrad moved to Europe to write his own hemp book, and I became the national director in his place. I ran BACH for about a year and a half from early 1991-to late 1992. I left BACH to start my own business in 1994. I formed Hemp Traders, specializing in selling hemp textiles. During the next 22 years, my business slowly grew and my company is now the largest supplier of hemp textiles, twine, yarn, rope and fiber in the United States.

I joined the HIA in 1995 and have always been a member. I served as an early Fiber and Fabric committee leader, and around 5-6 years ago I was elected to the board of directors and became the secretary and vice president. 

There have been so many changes in the hemp industry over the years. From the beginning, hemp enthusiasts constantly had to endure the jokes about smoking our products. People were constantly inferring the only reason we supported industrial hemp was because we wanted to legalize marijuana. The early days were mostly about educating the public on the difference between hemp and marijuana and the benefits of industrial hemp.

But it has been a long and frustrating process. We did see some early advances with a number of western European countries legalizing industrial hemp in the mid to late nineties and Canada legalizing industrial hemp in 1998. But nothing seemed to change for industrial hemp in the United States. Even when a number of states began legalizing medical marijuana during the next decade, the status of industrial hemp stayed the same. A few states did legalize industrial hemp, but without federal approval, viable seeds could not be imported and practically nothing was grown.

But things finally began to change with Colorado legalizing industrial hemp in 2012. The U.S. Congress included a provision in the Agricultural Act of 2014 that allowed colleges and state agencies to grow and conduct research on hemp in states where it is legal. 2015 has seen the first viable industrial hemp crops grown for commercial and research purposes, with Colorado and Kentucky taking the lead.

So what is happening with the HIA and what is the status of hemp? In my next article I will discuss the exact measure the HIA will be taking to promote hemp and empower our members and state chapters. In the meantime, I would like to provide a parable.

Imagine there is a farmer who has magical seeds. The farmer knows these seeds are special and represent tremendous possibilities. These seeds hold the potential to provide food, clothing, shelter, and medicine for all humanity. The farmer talks about the magical seeds to the neighbors who are also stewards of the land. Some listen intently but others dismiss his claims. They don’t quite seem to believe what the farmer is telling them. They want to see proof.

But something is wrong with the land and the seeds will not grow. Year after year the farmer plants the seeds, and year after year they fail to germinate or are eaten by birds. The neighboring farmers shrug their shoulders and shake their heads. After many years the farmer feels frustrated and even contemplates giving up. 

Then one spring morning the farmer notices something has changed in the air. The wind is blowing from a different direction and the soil seems more fertile. There is a feeling of positive energy all around the land. So the farmer decides to give it one more try. He takes his magical seeds and scatters them across his fields. At first, nothing seems to be happening, but after a couple of weeks the farmer notices a few sprouts have appeared. Not all the land is fertile, but in a few fields, the green leaves of his miraculous plants have begun to grow. The farmer does not get discouraged because the plants are only growing in some areas, nor does he feel impatient because the plants are not fully grown. The farmer is thrilled because he realizes this is the beginning of something tremendous.

Even with some of the plants now growing, the farmer understands the work is just beginning. With new vigor, the farmer sets out to cultivate the plants which have developed. He also continues to plant in the areas of his fields which did not sprout. For the farmer knows these areas will eventually become ripe for growing.

It is the spirit of the farmer’s new vigor that the HIA should to emulate. Hemp in America is just starting to sprout, but there is a lot of work which needs to be accomplished to bring our industry to harvest. Don’t be discouraged or impatient if things seem to be moving too slowly. Hemp plants grow on their own time and only need to be nurtured.

Over the years I have been told certain things about hemp were impossible. It would be impossible for hemp to be legalized. It would be impossible to get seeds. It would be impossible to make fine textiles, it would be impossible to build a house. It would be impossible to make paper. When I hear these things I just smile, for I know todays impossibilities are tomorrows realities. There are miracles happening everywhere with hemp. All it takes is love, imagination, and application.

Membership in the HIA has doubled during the past year, and our annual conference was the biggest and best ever. We expect more states to legalize industrial hemp and lots more acreage to be planted next spring and in the years to come.

I look forward to working with all hemp entrepreneurs, enthusiasts, students, and farmers during the next year. I am always available for business advise and will be happy to listen to your questions and plans for hemp. I am most easily reached by email.

Be blessed.

Lawrence Serbin

Board President

Hemp Industries Association

President

Hemp Traders

About the Hemp Industries Association

The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) represents the interests of the hemp industry and encourages the research and development of new products made from industrial hemp, oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis. To learn more about the HIA and the benefits of membership, visit our web site at: http://www.TheHIA.org

Farmers, Industry Leaders Excited About Future of Industrial Hemp in Kentucky

KENTUCKY — Kentucky Hemp is coming back. Fiber, seed, fuel, oil, and artisan products are simmering in the recently revived hemp industry.

 

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SEE GRAPHIC HERE

Research and debate about bringing hemp back has circulated since the 1990s, when other countries like Canada and Australia re-legalized hemp production. Finally, last year, the 2014 Farm Bill provided a framework for U.S. state agricultural departments and universities to plant hemp seed on U.S. soil as long as individual state law allows it.

Now, Kentuckians are turning their research and theories into a promising hemp industry.

“We don’t want to put the cart before the horse,” said Josh Hendrix of the newly formed Kentucky Hemp Industries Association (KYHIA). “We haven’t had a hemp industry for over 70 years.”

He says research is necessary to reduce risk to farmers. His organization and others, who have participated in hemp trials, are testing for the best seeds to plant, and the best way to harvest and process hemp crops. Part of KYHIA’s mission is to disseminate its research and provide education about the hemp industry.

Hemp production was deterred in the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act. Then, in 1970, the Controlled Substance Act coupled hemp with the drug, marijuana, making hemp illegal as a narcotic. Hemp does not hold the drug’s THC properties, but the plant is from the same genus, cannabis, and looks similar.

Before 1937, 98% of hemp seed used in the U.S. came from Kentucky. Now, they have no seeds. Hemp trials have used seeds imported from other countries.

“2014 was a celebratory year, just to get seed in the ground,” said Hendrix. “2015 has seen a nice expansion, with 326 applications.”

Kentucky farmers can submit applications to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture to participate in the hemp revival. They must provide production plans to be approved, and pass a background check to appease the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

Kentucky U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, along with two Oregon senators, submitted a bill on January 8, 2015, to decouple hemp from marijuana, and remove hemp production from DEA enforcement.

“We don’t know if or when it might become a legal crop,” said David Williams, of the University of Kentucky. “We also do not know how large an industry the market will support. We extrapolate based on data from other markets, but we cannot know exactly what the market will be in the U.S.”

A Promising Market

Kentuckians have deep roots with the hemp plant, and have grand plans for bringing the industry back. Industries, like tobacco and coal, are facing hard times, and hemp may offer both profitable alternatives.

Hemp advocates, like Hendrix, also see hemp as a crop to sustain dwindling family farms, and increase young and new farmers. Artisans can use hemp for cloth, beauty products, teas, and countless other items. The organic market for hemp is also highly profitable and growing.

Seventh generation family farmer, Andy Graves, grows conventional grains like soy, wheat, and corn. His generation is the first in his family to not grow hemp. The Graves family was the top hemp seed producer when hemp was legal, and is set on renewing that legacy.

“The market is so big,” Graves said. “We haven’t even scratched the surface.”

Graves is also the CEO of Atalo Holdings, Inc. The group contracted 5 farms to grow hemp in 2014 and for 2015 they’ve expanded to 26 farms. Atalo has three subsidiaries: Hemp Oil Kentucky, Kenex, and Kentucky Hemp Research and Development — each focuses on seed, fiber, and research and development, respectively.

Oil from seed, Graves said, has a quick return. Once Atalo has a revenue stream from oil, it will invest in fiber operations. Fiber operations have a higher barrier to entry because of the cost of new machinery.

Hemp seed can be harvested using the same equipment as conventional grain. As far as processing, Graves said that seed pressing equipment that is currently used for chia and sesame seeds can also be used for hemp. He will add chia and sesame to his portfolio as well.

Graves is using the most popular hemp seed for oil: Finola, from Finland. Atalo has guaranteed a no loss crop by securing a deal with Hemp Oil Canada to buy any seed Atalo cannot sell.

‘We haven’t scratched the surface of the market.’

Atalo has been approved for 356 acres of hemp, and is hoping for up to 500. 10-12 acres will be devoted to organic hemp seed production. Their research and development subsidiary aims to be an educational asset to the hemp industry in the U.S., Graves says.

Hendrix, Graves, and Williams all emphasize that they are building a new industry from the ground up. It will take research and time, but, Hendrix believes they have “the right people, the right place, and the right time” to build the industry and create jobs.

The Hemp Capital of the U.S.

Other groups germinating in the Kentucky hemp industry include The Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Association, which focuses on biomass and high capacitance graphene nano-sheets; and Sunstrand LLC, which focuses on industrial fiber. There are many others cropping up. Stay tuned, says Graves, new developments are breaking on Kentucky soil.

The laws may not be set yet, but hemp advocates in Kentucky are confident that their state will soon be known for more than bourbon, and re-claim their name as the ‘Hemp Capital of the U.S.’

CONTINUE READING…

JOIN THE KENTUCKY INDUSTRIAL HEMP ASSOCIATION (KYIHA) HERE