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Press Release: Strong Growth of Hemp Food and Body Care Sales Continues in 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, September 25, 2007 CONTACT: Tom Murphy: T: 207-542-4998, E: tom@thehia.org or Adam Eidinger, T: 202-744-2671, E: adam@votehemp.com Strong Growth of Hemp Food and Body Care Sales Continues in 2007 U.S. Farmers Suing DEA to Grow Industrial Hemp for Expanding Market Baltimore, MD – As leading North American brands that make hemp food and body care products with hemp seed and oil exhibit at the Natural Products Expo in Baltimore from September 27-29, new retail data released today proves that these brands are racking up record sales. The strong sales have occurred against the backdrop of state-licensed hemp farmers in North Dakota fighting a high stakes legal battle against the DEA to grow hemp seed for U.S. manufacturers. The new sales data lends credibility to U.S. farmers’ assertion that they are being left out of the lucrative hemp market that Canadian farmers have cashed in on for ten years. The sales data, collected by the market research firm SPINS, was obtained from natural food retailers only, excluding Whole Foods Market and mass-market food and pharmacy stores, and thus under-represents actual sales by a factor of two to three. The new report shows that hemp food sales grew in the sampled stores by 39% over the previous year (from August 2006 to August 2007), or by $2.1 million, to a total of $7.7 million. Based on the representative growth of this sample, the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) Food and Oil Committee now estimates that the total retail value of hemp foods sold over the past 12 months in North America grew from $14 million last year to approximately $20 million this year. In addition, the SPINS data show that sales of hemp body care products grew 11% over the past 12 months in the sampled stores to $12 million. Due to the large hemp body care line sold by The Body Shop, as well as the fact that many unreported leading mass-market brands of sun tan lotion and sunscreen products include hemp oil, the HIA estimates the total retail value of North American hemp body care sales to be at least $50 million. “The hard work we did four years ago to preserve legal sales of hemp foods through successful litigation has paid off with steady double-digit growth year after year,” says David Bronner, Chair of the HIA Food and Oil Committee and President of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps. “The HIA is confident that the total North American hemp food and body care market over the last 12 months accounted for at least $65-70 million in retail sales,” adds Bronner. Over the last three years, hemp food sales have averaged 41% annual growth, making it one of the fastest-growing natural food categories. "Last fall we expected the double-digit growth of the hemp food sector to continue in 2007, especially since hemp milk would finally be available to waiting consumers," comments Eric Steenstra, HIA Executive Director. "We project that growth in the markets for hemp food and body care will keep pace into 2008,” says Steenstra. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Statistics Canada data show that the quantity of hemp seed exports increased 300% from 2006 to 2007. Hemp oil exports kept pace, with an 85% increase in quantity. Hemp fiber exports showed encouraging progress, with a 65% increase in quantity. All statistics represent growth from the period January to June in 2007 versus the same period in 2006. A summary of hemp food and body care sales data is available by visiting http://www.thehia.org/PDF/HempSPINS2007.pdf . # # # The mission of the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) is to represent the interests of the hemp industry and to encourage the research and development of new hemp products. More information about hemp’s many uses and hemp legislation may be found at www.HempIndustries.org or www.VoteHemp.com. DVD Video News Releases featuring footage of hemp farming in other countries are available upon request by contacting Adam Eidinger at 202-744-2671.
Location: 
Baltimore, MD
United States

Press Release: North Dakota Farmers File Motion for Summary Judgment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, September 20, 2007 CONTACT: Adam Eidinger, T: 202-744-2671, E: adam@votehemp.com or Tom Murphy, T: 207-542-4998, E: tom@votehemp.com North Dakota Farmers File Motion for Summary Judgment in Hemp Farming Case Motion Includes Response to DEA’s Motion to Dismiss BISMARCK, ND – Two North Dakota farmers, State Rep. David Monson from Osnabrock and Wayne Hauge from Ray, have filed a Motion for Summary Judgment in a lawsuit filed June 18 in U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota that seeks to end the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) obstruction of state-licensed and state-regulated commercial hemp farming in the United States. The farmers are seeking a declaration that they cannot be criminally prosecuted for growing hemp under state regulations, now in effect in North Dakota, which ensure cultivated plants have no potential drug value and are grown solely for the production of legal hemp fiber and seed commodities. The Motion and other legal documents can be viewed at http://www.votehemp.com/legal. “The DEA cannot purport to extend Congressional authority under the Commerce Clause via the Controlled Substances Act in order to interfere with North Dakota’s industrial hemp program, in which only federally-exempted, entirely legal hemp fiber and seed commodities are placed into interstate commerce,” says Tim Purdon, an attorney working on the case. “North Dakota regulations enforce conservatively strict non-psychoactive THC limits similar to Canadian regulations, which ensure there is no drug value in any part of the plant that could be diverted into the interstate market for recreational marijuana.” The farmers were issued their state licenses to grow industrial hemp from North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson in February 2007. Pursuant to North Dakota law at that time, the farmers also applied for a DEA license to grow industrial hemp. Over the next few months, however, the DEA’s delay and expressed intent to review the applications as if the farmers intended to grow an unprecedented amount of Schedule I drugs, versus cultivate a non-drug agricultural crop, fueled frustration in North Dakota’s legislature. In April, the legislature changed their law, removing the requirement for a DEA license and asserting that the state license itself was fully sufficient. An Affidavit accompanying the Motion from Professor Burton Johnson of North Dakota State University (NDSU) included a formal letter from NDSU to the DEA this summer. In the letter, NDSU relays that the public university was directed in 1998 by North Dakota state law to collect and cultivate feral, local wild hemp in order to begin breeding industrial hemp varieties that could best thrive in North Dakota’s climate and meet the requirement of 3/10 of one percent THC or less in flowering tops. NDSU filed for a license from the DEA in 1999, but to date the agency has failed to act on the application. See the letter online at http://www.votehemp.com/PDF/NDSU_Letter_7-30-2007.pdf. “The national movement supporting farmers’ right to grow hemp learned from the NDSU example that the DEA has no intention of being rational about facilitating non-drug industrial hemp research and cultivation, even when it’s by a major university,” says Vote Hemp President Eric Steenstra. Vote Hemp’s grassroots supporters are funding this legal action to overcome the irrational hysteria and bureaucratic inertia of the DEA, and to restore industrial hemp farming to American farmers. Vote Hemp is dedicating this effort to recently-deceased Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, and Michael Sutherland, former board member of the Hemp Industries Association (HIA). Both were trail-blazing pioneers in the modern restoration and renaissance of the global hemp industry. # # # Vote Hemp is a national non-profit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and a free market for low-THC industrial hemp and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers to once again grow the crop. More information about hemp legislation and the crop's many uses may be found at www.VoteHemp.com or www.HempIndustries.org. DVD Video News Releases featuring footage of hemp farming in other countries are available upon request by contacting Adam Eidinger at 202-744-2671.
Location: 
Bismarck, ND
United States

Press Release: California Legislature Passes Industrial Hemp Bill for Second Time in Two Years

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 12, 2007 CONTACT: Patrick Goggin at (415) 312-0084 or Adam Eidinger at (202) 744-2671, adam@VoteHemp.com California Legislature Passes Industrial Hemp Bill for Second Time in Two Years AB 684 Would Allow Farmers to Grow Non-Drug Varieties of Cannabis New Compromise Legislation is Ripe for Governor’s Support SACRAMENTO, CA – Last night, California’s Senate and Assembly each voted to approve AB 684, the California Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2007. The legislation gives some California farmers the right to grow non-psychoactive industrial hemp, which is commonly used in everything from food, clothing, paper, and body care to bio-fuel and even auto parts. The bill now goes to Governor Schwarzenegger for his signature. The text of the legislation can be found at: http://www.votehemp.com/state/california.html#Legislation . AB 684, the California Industrial Hemp Farming Act, was authored by Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and Assemblyman Chuck DeVore (R-Irvine). Thanks to their leadership, this is the second time in two years that a bipartisan hemp farming bill has passed the legislature. Last year, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 1147. The new version of the bill responds to his concerns. “The new legislation significantly limits the scope of hemp farming to just four agricultural counties, includes a sunset provision, and contains rules on testing crops to ensure the industrial hemp contains less than 3/10 of 1% THC,” says Vote Hemp legal counsel and San Francisco attorney Patrick Goggin. “This bill is a response to the Governor’s detailed explanation of his veto last year. Everyone knows hemp farming is consistent with California’s effort to be leader on US environmental policy. We believe this new hemp legislation is deserving of the Governor’s signature,” adds Goggin. Farmers would only be able to grow industrial hemp as a pilot program in Imperial, Kings, Mendocino, and Yolo counties. Hemp is a versatile plant that is taking off as an organic food and body care ingredient. Imports from Canada of hemp foods grew 300% between 2006 and 2007. Today more than 30 industrialized nations grow industrial hemp and export it to the US. Hemp is the only crop that is both illegal to grow and legal for Americans to import. There is strong support for hemp in California. A telephone poll of likely California voters, taken from February 22 – 26, showed a total of 71% (+/- 3.5%) supporting changes to state law allowing farmers to grow hemp. The survey was conducted by the respected research firm Zogby International on behalf of Vote Hemp and five manufacturers of hemp food products, including Alpsnack®, French Meadow Bakery®, Living Harvest®, Nature’s Path Organic Foods® and Nutiva®. Poll questions and results regarding industrial hemp farming policy and consumer attitudes on hemp products and nutrition can be viewed online at: http://www.votehemp.com/polls.html # # More information about hemp legislation and the crop’s many uses can be found at www.VoteHemp.com.
Location: 
Sacramento, CA
United States

Emergency Industrial Hemp Action Alert

We can't let a hemp bill supported by 71% of Californians go down without a vote! Demand a Senate vote for AB 684! September 10, 2007 ­ AB 684, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, passed the California Assembly, every relevant Senate committee and, as of the end of August, looked like it was heading straight for the governor. Now, political wrangling is keeping the bill from getting its Senate floor vote. Vote Hemp needs you to contact President pro Tempore Sen. Perata and Democratic Caucus Chair Sen. Migden immediately to ask them to let our industrial hemp bill be voted on before the Senate adjourns tomorrow. We can't let an industrial hemp bill supported by 71% of Californians go down without a vote! Please call their offices today: President pro Tempore Sen. Perata: (916) 651-4009 Democratic Caucus Chair Sen. Migden: (916) 651-4003 Or send them faxes or e-mails: http://capwiz.com/votehemp/issues/alert/?alertid=9480636&type=CU About Vote Hemp Vote Hemp is a non-profit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and a free market for industrial hemp and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers to once again grow industrial hemp. Industrial hemp is non-psychoactive, low-THC varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant. Web Site: http://www.votehemp.com Support Vote Hemp Vote Hemp depends on your donations to support our work. Please consider making a donation today. Donate Now: http://www.votehemp.com/contribute_email.asp Vote Hemp, Inc. Alexis Baden-Mayer Director of Government Relations email: alexis@votehemp.com phone: 202-744-0853
Location: 
CA
United States

Press Release: Hemp Food Markets Continue Growth in United States

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, September 10, 2007 CONTACT: Tom Murphy, tel: 207-542-4998, e-mail: tom@thehia.org or Adam Eidinger, tel: 202-744-2671, e-mail: adam@votehemp.com Hemp Food Markets Continue Growth in United States, Canadian Hemp Acreage Declines in 2007 as Expected OCCIDENTAL, CA – The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) is pleased with the latest statistics on hemp markets and acreage from Canada. The statistics, released by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Health Canada and Statistics Canada late last month, show that the decade-old Canadian hemp industry is continuing its growth, but at a more moderate and sustainable pace. "Last fall we expected the double-digit growth of the hemp food sector to continue in 2007, especially since hemp milk would finally be available to waiting consumers," says Eric Steenstra, HIA Executive Director. "The latest statistics out of Canada for 2007 to date far exceeded our expectations. We project that this growth in the markets for hemp products will keep pace into 2008, with some categories experiencing triple-digit growth,” adds Steenstra. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Statistics Canada data show that the quantity of hemp seed exports increased 300% from 2006 to 2007. Hemp oil exports kept pace, with an 85% increase in quantity. Hemp fiber exports showed encouraging progress, with a 65% increase in quantity. All statistics represent growth from the period January to June in 2007 versus the same period in 2006. Hemp industry experts had predicted a drop in acreage as a result of wholesale market conditions. "Due to higher prices of other commodities, the lack of a major commercial fiber processing facility, and some surplus left over from 2006, hemp acreage has decreased for 2007," says Arthur Hanks, Executive Director of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance. "On the plus side, we estimate that the farm-gate value of Canada's hemp industry is about $7 million per year, and with value-added processing that number can well exceed $10 million per year.” Health Canada statistics show that 48,060 acres of industrial hemp were produced in Canada in 2006. The Health Canada draft statistics for 2007 show a decline to 11,569 acres. Hemp industry experts had expected an even larger decrease and are not surprised with this year’s numbers. Farmers in Canada have reported that hemp is still one of the most profitable crops they can grow. “In 2006 there were some exceptional yields in hemp grain. It is very easy to overproduce in this sector,” comments Arthur Hanks. “The hemp industry cut contracted acres in 2007 in order to move remaining 2006 production. Food processing capability continues to expand.” Hanks continues, “The data is very good and shows quite strong market growth. There was a 300% growth in quantity of hemp seed exports, and hemp oil exports are on track to exceed 80% growth. And this is all happening with a stronger Canadian dollar.” U.S. companies that manufacture or sell products made with hemp include Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, a California company that manufactures the number-one-selling natural soap, and FlexForm Technologies, an Indiana company whose natural fiber materials are used in over 2 million cars. Hemp food manufacturers, such as French Meadow Bakery, Hempzels, Living Harvest, Manitoba Harvest, Nature's Path, Nutiva and Ruth’s Hemp Foods, now make their products with Canadian hemp. # # # The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) represents the interests of the hemp industry and encourages the research and development of new hemp products. More information about hemp’s many uses and hemp legislation may be found at www.HempIndustries.org and www.VoteHemp.com. DVD Video News Releases featuring footage of hemp farming in other countries are available upon request by contacting Adam Eidinger at 202-744-2671.
Location: 
Occidental, CA
United States

Press Release: Television Coverage of Industrial Hemp Confused by Puns and Drug References

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, July 24, 2007 CONTACT: Adam Eidinger at 202-744-2671, adam@votehemp.com or Tom Murphy at 207-542-4998, tom@votehemp.com Television Coverage of Industrial Hemp Confused by Puns and Drug References “You Can’t Get High Talking About Hemp” WASHINGTON, DC – Vote Hemp, the nation’s leading industrial hemp advocacy organization, recognizes that the American news media strives to provide accurate information to their readers and viewers. In recent years there have been an increasing number of news reports about hemp farming legislation and the activities of industrial hemp advocates at the local and federal level. On average, the facts presented on industrial hemp are accurate; however, silly pot humor still manages to creep into some of the coverage. Confusion between non-drug, industrial hemp varieties and psychoactive, drug varieties of Cannabis is fueled by these easy pot shots, ultimately aiding the myth that hemp and marijuana are the same. The DEA’s justification for threatening prosecution against anyone who grows the non-drug industrial hemp is that there is no distinction under federal law. Just saying that hemp is not marijuana is not enough to save a story. The media should take extra effort to provide straight, fact-based news coverage of industrial hemp legislation, lawsuits and grassroots campaigns that seek to bring the U.S. in line with the rest of the industrialized world that already grows hemp. “We at Vote Hemp are tired of seeing TV news personalities giggle and act stoned when talking about industrial hemp,” says Eric Steenstra, co-founder of VoteHemp.com. “You can’t get high eating or talking about hemp, so don’t act stoned,” he adds in reference to giggling by hosts on NBC’s TODAY Show earlier this year. “It’s time to get past the giggle-factor. Legitimate news organizations have an obligation to treat industrial hemp as the serious issue it is and to not confuse it with drugs.” “We constantly have to correct misstatements about the relationship between industrial hemp and marijuana,” says Alexis Baden-Mayer, director of Government Affairs for Vote Hemp. “The most recent offence was in Mike Luery's July 11 report on San Francisco’s NBC Channel 11 which was laced with bad puns tainting any hope of serious coverage.” Luery begins by saying that Cannabis can be used by farmers to make not only industrial hemp, but also marijuana. This is the equivalent of saying, “Canis lupus can be used by breeders to create not only chihuahuas, but also wolves." Luery just isn't making sense. Industrial hemp and marijuana are genetically distinct varieties, or sub-species, of the genus Cannabis. They each have been bred over thousands of years for very different characteristics. Like dogs and wolves, two kinds of Canis lupus, different sub-species of Cannabis can interbreed, but you would not mistake one for the other. More information is available online at: http://www.votehemp.com/media. Chemically and genetically, marijuana and industrial hemp are opposites: marijuana has a lot of THC and very little CBD, both cannabinoids, while industrial hemp has a lot of CBD and almost no THC. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive component that gives marijuana users a high, while CBD (cannabidiol) effectively blocks THC's psychoactive punch. This means that if you try smoking industrial hemp, all you'll get is a bad headache. Luery relishes using his favorite puns from the marijuana joke book to color the debate. For example, opponents’ arguments "went up in smoke," and Chuck DeVore is the bill's "self-proclaimed joint author." The amazing thing is that — despite this kind of reporting — most California voters are aware of the truth about industrial hemp and don’t buy into the drug storyline. In fact, Vote Hemp's recent Zogby poll showed that 71% of Californians support changing state law to allow hemp farming. See the news clip at: http://video.nbc11.com/player/?id=127962. “The story that should be told is that in the past six months new hemp products like Hemp Milk have been a huge success,” says Steenstra. “California companies lead the nation in manufacturing hemp products such as soap and snack bars. Meanwhile, legislation in the California legislature to allow industrial hemp farming is likely to succeed, and North Dakota farmers with state-issued hemp farming licenses have recently filed a landmark lawsuit against the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).” In June, two North Dakota farmers filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota in an effort to end the DEA’s obstruction of commercial hemp farming in the United States. If successful, the legal action would result in licensed hemp farmers receiving assurances that no federal agency could hold them criminally liable under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Vote Hemp’s grassroots supporters are funding the legal action. A copy of the complaint is available online at: http://www.votehemp.com/legal. Last year, just over 48,000 acres of hemp were grown in Canada, primarily in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, provinces that border North Dakota. Hemp farmers in Canada averaged $250 CDN per acre in profit in 2006, according to the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance (CHTA), an association of businesses, farmers and researchers. Hemp currently has a better profit outlook than any other crop in Canada. Hemp is a good rotational crop, with the ability to reduce weeds in future cereal crops. Very few chemicals, if any, are required to grow the crop which is considered a good alternative to those with harmful environmental impacts such as cotton, tobacco and soy. In the largest hemp-producing country, China, which grows 2 million acres annually, hemp hurds are processed into lightweight boards, and hemp fibers, already used in the paper and automotive industries, are finding new uses as reinforcement in plastics for products such as window frames and floor coverings. (In fact, some of these innovative products will be used on a large scale at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, according to news reports.) In Sweden, companies including IKEA, Volvo and Saab have shown interest in hemp fibers and hurds for use in vehicle interiors and furniture. In the UK, Germany and the Netherlands, considerable investments are being made by governments and private businesses to utilize hemp fiber in composites that are used to manufacture auto parts for BMW, Chrysler, Ford and Mercedes. In Canada, Germany and Japan, businesses are investigating reinforcing Polylactide (PLA) plastic with hemp fibers in order to widen the technology’s field of applications. # # # Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue, non-profit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and a free market for low-THC industrial hemp and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers to once again grow the crop. More information about hemp legislation and the crop's many uses may be found at www.VoteHemp.com or www.HempIndustries.org. BETA SP or DVD Video News Releases featuring footage of hemp farming in other countries are available upon request by contacting Adam Eidinger at 202-744-2671.
Location: 
United States

'Illogical' Policy On Hemp

Location: 
ND
United States
Publication/Source: 
The Day (CT)
URL: 
http://www.theday.com/re.aspx?re=760408df-c757-4889-8f24-90044442eb40

Sober North Dakotans Hope to Legalize Hemp

Location: 
Osnabrock, ND
United States
Publication/Source: 
The New York Times
URL: 
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/21/us/21hemp.html?em&ex=1185163200&en=187b22d1791d9eda&ei=5087%0A

S.D. Farmer Struggling to Grow Hemp

Location: 
SD
United States
Publication/Source: 
Forbes.com (NY)
URL: 
http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/07/11/ap3901737.html

Home State Blues, or What's an Itinerant Activist To Do?

Your itinerant Drug War Chronicle has been bouncing around North America for the last few years, spending significant amounts of time in Washington state, British Columbia, Mexico, Northern California, and my home state, South Dakota. The traveling is nice, but I’ve felt politically homeless, as if my presence anywhere were too fleeting for me to be able to do local or state-level politics, and that’s a frustration. So, as much as I would rather be elsewhere, I’m thinking I need to hunker down here in Dakotaland and try to get something done. It is not friendly territory. South Dakota is the only state where voters rejected an initiative to allow the medicinal use of marijuana. Although it was a close vote, 52% to 48%, it was still a loss. Medical marijuana bills (introduced by an acquaintance of mine) early in the decade went nowhere. The state has one of the fastest growing prison populations right now, thanks largely to its approach to methamphetamine use. Marijuana possession is routinely punished by $500 fines, and there is a good chance of jail time, too. (In fact, you may be better off being convicted of drunk driving, if my local court records are any indication.) And, most hideously of all, South Dakota is the only state I know of that has an “internal possession” law. That means when the police arrest you with a joint, they make you submit to a urine test, then charge you with an additional offense if you test positive. South Dakota judges also routinely sign drug search warrants that include forced drug tests. I know one gentleman currently serving a five-year prison sentence for “internal possession” of methamphetamine metabolites, and no, it wasn’t a plea bargain. That was the only charge they had. South Dakota’s drug reform community (which can probably be counted on the fingers of one hand) seems beaten down, but I think I’m going to reach out and see if I can’t get anyone interested in a four-pronged drug reform legislative package: Hemp. Our neighbors in North Dakota have passed a bill allowing farmers to grow hemp and are currently suing the DEA to force it out of the way. South Dakota farmers would like to make profits, too. Medical marijuana. Yeah, we lost a close one last year, and it’s never been able to get any traction in the legislature. But I think we should make them deal with it again. Our neighbors in Montana seem to be surviving medical marijuana. Marijuana decriminalization. Does South Dakota really think pot possession is more serious than drunk driving? Does the legislature understand the lifelong impact of pot conviction on its constituents? Our neighbors in Nebraska decriminalized pot back in the 1970s, and the cornfields are still standing. Repeal of the internal possession laws. Criminalizing someone for the content of his blood or urine is just wrong. Winning any of these will be an uphill battle, and perhaps even linking hemp to broader drug reform issues would spell its doom here. But I think it’s every good activist’s responsibility to do what he can to slow down the drug war juggernaut, so I’m going to give it a shot. What are you doing in your state?
Location: 
United States

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