Collected, compiled, and collated by
John E. Dvorak, Managing Editor, Hemp Magazine
Please contact JD with hemp news items: boston.hemp@pobox.com


By a 198-168 vote, delegates to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFB) convention went on record as being against industrial hemp production and research. This is in sharp contrast to 1996, when AFB delegates unanimously endorsed a resolution to encourage research into the viability and economic potential of industrial hemp production in the United States.

The reason for this turn-around was voiced by Missouri Farm Bureau President Charles Kruse, who complained that the AFB was being manipulated by groups interested in marijuana law reform. Kruse was quoted as saying "don't take the good name of the Farm Bureau and associate it with these people" and "if we say we support research, we are going to continue to be used." Unfortunately, Kruse doesn't realize that he and the AFB are actually being used by the law enforcement community. Consider the following inane statement made to Congress by President Clinton's chief drug policy adviser, Drug Czar Fubar Barry McCaffrey: "lifting the ban on hemp cultivation in the United States would promote increased availability of marijuana, not legitimate commerce." Eric Steenstra, Vice President of Ecolution, responded to the AFB vote by saying "it is a big disappointment to see farmers succumbing to pressure from law enforcement." Steenstra believes that the AFB changed their position based upon inaccurate information.

This situation should motivate hempsters around the country to contact the AFB or their local farm bureau or grange and educate them about hemp's economic potential and environmental benefits. Joining the AFB is also a good way to promote change from within. [ AFB: fbnews@fb.com, Don Lipton, 704-348-1435, donl@fb.com, Mace Thornton, 704-348-1435, macet@fb.com, www.fb.com ]


When Anita Teinert opened the Simply Hemp kiosk at Midland Park Mall in Texas, she wasn't intending to promote the use of marijuana by selling products made of industrial hemp. Rather, Ms. Teinert was more interested in the durable and versatile nature of hemp. Unfortunately, members of a local Bible Study class believe that selling hemp products sends the wrong message to children. Complaints to the mall administrators may result in the renaming of Simply Hemp. In the meantime, every item that Teinert wants to sell at her kiosk has to be inspected by mall administrators to ensure that it has no marijuana designs or labels. [Ed's note: Perhaps the names Simply Zero Tolerance or Fascist Fashions should be considered.]


Over 600,000 copies of Jack Herer's landmark book, The Emperor Wears No Clothes, have been sold. Herer's research, writing, and activism is responsible for almost single handedly jump-starting the modern hemp industry. Now, an insightful group wants to produce a feature length documentary movie based on the "hempster's bible". The documentary will focus on industrial hemp, medical marijuana, and assorted conspiracy theories. Interviews with Jack and other cannabis hemp experts will be interspersed with a sure to be hempy soundtrack. Double J Films, which acquired the filming rights to Jack's book, is looking for funding to help accomplish this historic project. [ Double J Films, Jeff Meyers, 805-648-3952, jmeyers@isle.net ]


Bridgestone, one of the largest tire manufactures in the world has offered its support to the Hemp Racing Team (HRT) for the 1998 racing season. The Hemp Racing Team will be competing in the final 12 races of the AMA 250 National Series. The HRT had to miss the first scheduled race in Phoenix because of a lack of funding. "Representing the hemp industry is important" said Yvonne Ramage, the owner of the Hemp Racing Team. "We are looking forward to continuing the work we have been doing for this incredible industry. With 300,000 motorcyclists traveling to Daytona Bike Week in March, the potential impact is huge." Marcello, HRT's multifaceted rider, won a 125cc class race at Daytona in 1996. He is also known for singing the national anthem before races and for his trademark "reverse wheelie". The next three HRT race dates are:

March 4-8 Daytona Beach, FL
April 17-19 Monterey, CA
April 24-26 Rosamond, CA

HRT is still looking for hemp companies to help sponsor their effort. [ Hemp Racing Team (HRT), 208-478-1765, knewseed@sisna.com, www.knewseed.com, www.e-z.net/~ramage ]


Several innovative hempsters have started a new web site that they hope will benefit the entire hemp industry. Hempstores.com's search engine allows visitors to locate, and hopefully patronize, their nearest hemp retailer. Hempstores.com also utilizes the "Where Can I Get More Hemp" logo to increase overall awareness. The listing of hemp retail stores on Hempstores.com will help manufacturers of hemp products determine which stores are not carrying their products, thereby creating future sales possibilities. Because of the number of companies involved, the cost to participate in Hempstores.com is low. Retailers can have enhanced listings and manufacturers can have their web sites linked. Hempstores.com is looking for three more sponsors to join Ecolution, Headcase, Hempseed.com, Hempy's, and the HIA in this effort. [ 1-500-HIA-HEMP, info@thehia.org, www.hempstores.com ]


The 5th Annual HIA Convention will be held at the beautiful Isis Oasis in Sonoma County, California on September 19, 20, & 21, 1998. This is the same location that last year's convention was held. The HIA convention is an excellent networking and learning opportunity for all involved. Don't miss it! In addition, proposals for hosting the 1999 HIA Convention are being accepted now. Contact the HIA office if you have any ideas about when and where this end of the century gathering could be held. [ HIA, Candi Penn, 1-500-HIA-HEMP, info@thehia.org, www.thehia.org ]


Hempsters who enjoy an occasional beer and/or glass of wine will be glad to know that three new hemp beverages have hit the market. In addition to Hempen Ale and Hempen Gold from Frederick Brewing Company (NASDAQ symbol: BLUE), two new hemp beers and a hemp wine were recently introduced. Out of the Bluegrass state comes Kentucky Hemp Beer, a light and imminently drinkable beer. Lexington Brewing Company, which makes Kentucky Hemp Beer, replaces one third of the regular amount of hops with crushed hemp seeds during the brewing process. From California's Emerald Triangle comes Humboldt Hemp Ale, a dark brown ale topped with a thick, creamy head. Humboldt Hemp Ale is available in Northern California and will be on tap at the Santa Cruz Industrial Hemp Expo. Hemp Wine, bottled by Nirvana Homebrews Winery in Dundee, New York is a "fine white wine blended with natural hemp. Hemp Wine has a beautiful light color and is not too sweet. There is very little noticeable hemp flavor although it does possess a certain earthiness. [ Kentucky Hemp Beer, Mike Hart, 606-252-6004, Hemp Wine, Eric Geetter, 888-520-9463, www.hempwine.com ]


On Friday, January 30, Colorado Citizens for Compassionate Cannabis (CCCC) filed a ballot initiative, the Compassionate Therapeutic Cannabis Act (CTCA), that would allow the therapeutic use of cannabis by medical patients under the advice of their physicians. CCCC is a group of Colorado patients and family members, medical professionals, caregivers, and others who support the compassionate use of cannabis in the treatment of symptoms of a variety of illnesses. The CTCA eliminates the term "marihuana" from all Colorado statutes and mandates the use of accurate terminology based on the historic uses and varieties of Cannabis Sativa. The clarification of the definition of marihuana would result in treating industrial hemp as an agricultural product. 55,000 valid signatures are needed before August 3, 1998 and donations to this effort are essential if it is to be successful. The text of the initiative is online at www.levellers.org/ctca.htm. [ Colorado Citizens for Compassionate Cannabis, Joseph Vigorito, P.O. Box 729, Nederland, CO 80466, 303-784-5632, cohip@levellers.org, support@eagle-access.net ]


More and more graduating college students want to find work in the hemp industry. It is the industry's responsibility to try and hire some of the bright young minds who want to contribute. Recently, two such prospective graduates sent out internet requests for employment. Please consider them for internships or full time positions.

Dennis Midkiff is a Senior majoring in Agribusiness at Texas A&M University. Dennis supports the use of industrial hemp as a cash crop for the American farmer and he is very interested in working in the hemp industry. Agribusiness majors must take courses in finance, marketing, and agricultural economics & policy. It is a very broad business degree with emphasis on the dynamic world of agriculture. Dennis believes he can work his way up through a company if he is given a chance. [Ed's note: As a 1981 graduate of Texas A&M, I can personally attest to the excellent academic standards of this fine institution. Gig 'Em Aggies!!] [ Dennis Midkiff, 409-822-2228, dlm6690@unix.tamu.edu ]

Marlayna Gehrking is majoring in Political Science at the University of Minnesota. Marlayna comes from a farming family, which results in her interest in sustainable agriculture. Marlayna wants to assume a leadership role in her community when hemp cultivation is legalized. In order to do that, she needs some practical experience. She is therefore offering herself as a possible intern. If room and board are supplied, Marlayna would consider an unpaid internship. She has experience as an office assistant, is a fast learner and is very reliable. [ Marlayna Gehrking, Marlayna.M.Gehrking-1@tc.umn.edu ]




Approximately 40 of Canada's most well respected and renowned hempsters were invited to Ottawa on February 25-27 to comment on the proposed regulations regarding the commercial cultivation of industrial hemp. Over the last four years, Health Canada has granted experimental licenses to grow hemp. They have confirmed that for 1998, Canadian farmers will be able to obtain commercial hemp licenses. The stakeholder workshop allowed farmers, manufacturers, and researchers the opportunity to see what the regulations will be. Attendees commented that while the regulations may be difficult to work with, they are better than no regulations at all. Here's to a successful and plentiful Canadian hemp season in 1998! [ Jean Peart, Hemp Project Manager, 613-954-6524, jean_peart@hc.sc.gc.ca, www.hc-sc.gc.ca/main/drugs/ ]


If anyone is wondering how to create the infrastructure necessary for the nascent hemp industry, they need look no further than Ontario. Jean M. Laprise, President of Kenex Ltd., recently announced the signing of an agreement with KittyHawk Securities Ltd. to provide equity financing for Kenex of up to one and a half million dollars. Kenex is investing over four million dollars to build a 20,000 square foot hemp processing facility in Ontario. Kenex is also contracting with local farmers to grow hemp in 1998. Laprise hopes that 2,000 acres of hemp will be grown by farmers under contract with Kenex in 1998. As such, Kenex is sponsoring an information meeting on hemp for all interested growers on March 4th. There will be information about hemp production, research, Health Canada hemp regulations and market developments. This event is a follow-up to the enormously beneficial field day held last August that was attended by hundreds of farmers, hempsters, and industrialists.

By working with regional farmers, investing in the harvesting and processing equipment, and developing markets for hemp based products, Laprise is creating the hempster's utopian vision of a locally sustainable, vertical industry. For more information on Laprise and Kenex, check out the Winter, 1998 issue of HempWorld for an article about the August, 1997 Kenex field day, written by Ruth Shamai. [ Jean M. Laprise, 519-352-2968, laprise@kent.net, www.kenex.org ]


Manitoba's Agriculture Minister, Harry Enns, is hopeful that farmers in this central Canadian province will apply to grow 5,000 acres of hemp in 1998. Enns said that "we're going to reintroduce an age-old crop here that could replace the lost sugar beet industry in Manitoba." Greg Herriott, of Hempola Inc., sees Manitoba as leading the country in hemp production and processing, adding, "Our vision is to create an entire infrastructure in the province from growing to primary processing to secondary processing to marketing and distribution." Herriott has met with a group of local growers and investors who are interested in forming a co-op to finance and run a hemp processing facility there. He also wants to market a 100% home grown Canadian hemp seed oil which will be more nutritious than the oil made from imported hemp seed. [ Greg Herriott, 800-240-9215, hempola@hempola.com, www.hempola.com ]